Before I had a clue what was happening, I have become a Pushover Parent. I am constantly trying to make my kids’ lives easier and then it’s like I forget I’m an adult with actual responsibility and authority. I forget that I can say no! It’s so stupid, but it’s like when Wonder Twin Boy asks for candy. “Can I have candy?” is what he typically says when I finally get him outside for playground time. Then he will ask “Can I have candy?” two more times on the way. By the fourth “Can I have candy?” happens, I GIVE HIM CANDY! It’s like just automatic reaction.
It reminds me of this story my mom made fun of me for. Back in the day, before subways had Metrocards, you bought tokens to ride the subway, and this white teen boy just came up to me and said “Can I have a token?” I didn’t know him. I wasn’t in danger. He wasn’t threatening me. I gave him one. “Can I have another one?” And I GAVE IT TO HIM! When my mom heard this, she was so mad at me she employed sarcasm, which she rarely uses. “What is wrong with you? IF someone asks you for money, you just give them money? Oh yeah, sure we should put you in Port Authority and just yell ‘Hey everybody! This woman just gives out tokens!”
I mean, if I’m being truthful, it’s not merely because I am passive that I give these things away. I am also not that attached to those items or rules or norms. I think when I am just bopping along and someone wants something I have, I figure, they must really want it, so I share.
But now that I’m a parent, I have to admit, that’s weird.