Julie Bowen Is the Mean Mommy

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For some parents, parenting is all about making the kids happy. However, in some households, life doesn’t revolve around happy kids, only well-behaved and cared for kids. Often making kids happy and making sure they are safe and healthy does not equal the same thing.

For Julie Bowen, making kids happy is not her goal at all. She says, “[I've learned] that being your kids’ best friend is not always the best parenting choice. It’s not about everybody being happy all the time. It’s about setting limits. In my house that makes my kids very unhappy, like tantrums-on-the-ground-twice-a-day unhappy. But the limits are set.”

I think this lesson is something that many parents fail to learn or decide to ignore all together in effort to be the “favorite” parent or a child’s best friend.

In my house, I am the mean mommy, I set rules, I expect my children to follow them. Very few of my everyday decisions revolve around making my kids happy or trying to be their friend.

That is not to say that we don’t have fun in our house or that I never allow them to get away with a broken rule or two – I do. However, in general I believe my purpose as a parent is teaching them responsibility, compassion, service, and how to survive in the real world. Little of that teaching involves making concessions because my child doesn’t want to put down the iPad or clean his room.

I sometimes have moments where I wonder if I am being too strict on my children or expecting too much from them, but when they are well-behaved, courteous children out in public and they know and understand the limits that I set for them, I know I am making the right decision.

Parenting is not meant to be easy. I can be a friend when they are adults, but until then I will make every effort to teach them that in life, we don’t always get to do what we want and that with all of the privileges they have there comes some pretty big responsibility.

Do you find that you parent in order to make your kids happy?

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What do you think?

Julie Bowen Is the Mean Mommy

Heather Montgomery is a freelance writer with a background in Elementary Education and an almost embarrassing need to read celebrity gossip. As a work-at-home mom to three children, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. She was married in 2003 and currently resides in Florida. ... More

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6 comments

  1. april says:

    She is a smart mom not a mean one.

  2. Bunsy Bear says:

    I agree, she’s not a mean mommy! That’s a smart mommy who know’s what’s best for children: boundaries. It makes them feel safe and cared for.

  3. Dee says:

    The title is so Not right… She aint no Mean Mommy. Limits need to be set to keep life, home, kids smoothly functioning. I am with you on this one!!

  4. Phammom says:

    Agree on the setting limits. Making sure fun is involved as well is important.

  5. Kika says:

    From a fellow “mean” mommy, right on sister! My daughter told me recently she liked it that there are rules — it helps her know what to do!

  6. nichole says:

    i must be a mean mommy too, because me feeling is, until your grown and living on your own, im not your friend. i love you, and i want you to be happy in what you do, but i am the adult, you live in my house, will follow my rules, and will be miserable if you dont. i dont give my kids tons of rules, but i expect them to be responsible (based on their age mind you, i dont expect my 4 year old to do her laundry or anything), to do as they are asked, use their manners, and such like that. rules are set, they are not negotiation points. if you follow the rules, your gonna be happy more often then not, dont follow them, you will be reprimanded/punished, and then be made to follow the rule anyways, making you more unhappy then you would have been had you just done it in the first place.

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