Most of us had kids because we thought parenting would be a delight — full of fun moments, laughter and meaningful connection. We like to believe we’re the type of parents our kids think are “cool.” We convince ourselves that we’re better at parenting than our parents were.
After all, the drama we had with our parents was because THEY didn’t handle things well, right? We justify our own rebellion as kids and we’re righteous in our confidence as parents.
And then, we wake up from the daydream.
Even if we successfully fulfill this ideal vision of parenting, foul moods and hurt feelings still happen at some point. No matter how "nice" we are, we’re going to put limits into place that our kids won't like. And then … watch out!
Your happy, united family suddenly shifts to you versus your tired and hungry pre-schooler, frustrated elementary kid who isn’t getting what she wants, or worse — a snarling, seething, moody, hate-mongering … TEENAGER!
Even if we remember what it was like when we were kids — the yelling, the sulking, the drama — somehow we become indignant when reality strikes and our own kids behave the same way.
Snarkiness from your kids is normal (and even necessary).
It seems strange, but a certain amount of snarky, mean, dramatic interactions is actually critical to the natural process of child development and healthy separation. Why?