I am a Mean Mum???

Really. I never thought of myself that way.

But I think I was a bit of a Mean Mum today.

We had surfing lessons . This was the second lesson for Anthony and Thomas ( Jonathon and Alexander have surfed before).

The surf was rough. They got dumped. They wanted to come in and sit down.

And I wouldn’t let them.


I didn’t beat them but I did cajole them. Or maybe, in St Paul’s words, I exhorted them.

I sort of ordered them. I felt bad about it but I felt pushed to do it myself.

I knew that, if they could just get over the hump, over the difficult bit, they would feel progress. They would feel proud of themselves.

I see it all the time in myself – if I push a little harder and don’t give up with my Bootcamp workouts, I feel great about myself. I feel like I can accomplish anything.

And, eventually, I can do it! The squat thrust, the duck walks, the many pushups or situps…

I told the boys – “Go for it. Stay in. Don’t give up. No pain no gain ( Thanks Billy Blanks!). You can do it. Little steps. I have faith in you.”

And I cheered when they got up on their boards. And commiserated when they were dumped.

And bought them lunch out afterwards.

A Mean Mum? Yes, in some respects.

But you should have seen their smiles at the end. Anny text messaged his oldest brother, Luke, with his achievement.

We talked about another of *Billy Blanks’ maxims – “Where I am today is where my mind put me. Where I’ll be tomorrow is where my mind’ll put me.”

Billy Blanks taebo website

12 thoughts on “I am a Mean Mum???”

  1. “Exhort” is a good word and I do believe there are times we have to “exhort” our children.I’ll have to remember that word. Sounds more spiritual… : )

  2. You are the farthest thing I can think of from being a ‘mean mum’. Sometimes it is a challenge to know how to challenge our kids. finding a balance.. maybe not unlike the balancing they are having to do on their surfboards! How’s that for a bad analogy?You are doing great, Leonie! Neat opportunities you are giving your boys.

  3. It’s amazing how a little exhortation can help … my oldest was very reluctant to try piano. She’s 12 and had never tried lessons until a couple months ago. I did exhort her to start and to give it a fair shake. It turns out she’s really enjoying what she’s accomplishing, but she would never have initiated it. Willa just had a great post about temperaments and personality types — introverts and aversion to change — and that’s exactly what we were dealing with here. (Of course, my daughter is just like me, so I understand her fairly well ….) 🙂 Glad to hear your latest lesson went so well!

  4. I had a very similar experience with Wes at last sufing. He had a very severe dump and struggled to get to the surface. I encouraged him to do the relay they were doing. He was so pleased afterwards that he had gone back in. Thanks for all your inspiration leonie

  5. I have done this before with my son regarding his karate lessons. When he is trying to master a difficult move he will get upset and frustrated. Reminding him of the times when he couldn’t do even the basic moves has helped a lot. I also like the word “exhort”. It doesn’t mean you are forcing the child to do something, instead you are offering encouragement.

  6. Don’t know if you get notification for comments on old posts, but I read this via one of Willa’s old posts that she linked to, and liked it. It’s exactly the way I feel about having my teen learn Latin, which is so very hard at first. I try not to feel that way about everything, but for one or two things, I’m fine with it. No big smiles yet, but maybe there will be a quiet satisfaction one day ;-).

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