When you have been a parent as long as I have you sometimes become lazy.
As a first time mom, I worried about everything. I practically sat on my newborn 24/7. No one could do anything right BUT me. So I did it all. It was my way or the highway.
As my first born got older I didn't let down my guard.
Unfortunately for him. I was a strict parent.
There were rules. And rules, as you know, are made to be followed.
But as a parent of three very age separated children I have gotten lazy. I often find myself asking my two younger children "do they." As in, Do you want a spanking? Do you want to clean your room? Do you want XYZ for dinner?
What's up with that?
When my oldest was their age there was no asking. There were spanks when those rules were broken. There were cleaned rooms or you guessed it more spanks. There was dinner and you ate it.
What happened to me?
I could make a load of excuses.
But I won't.
Don't get me wrong. I have wonderful children.
It is next to impossible to get a photo of Army Son.
All of them.
But they don't do as they are told without debate, argument or discussion.
I will tell you that I knew this was happening and I've been praying about it. You know, I was asking for help or direction or some kind of wisdom to know how to deal with my kids to help them listen to me.
Things happen in our lives not TO us but FOR us. My treadmill breaking. That was an answer. Not in the form I wanted it. I wanted to magically have kids who would respect and obey me. Instead I have been given the opportunity to practice what I once knew how to do.
Before when LBM with his adorably cute face says he doesn't want to go for a run with me I would simply get on the treadmill because I didn't want to A) force him B) listen to him cry C) deal with it. Now I know that I don't have another option, he will have to listen to me and go.
Before when S'ghetti girl wanted to debate why she should be allowed to live in her disaster zone of a room, I would try and reason with her and then end up cleaning the room myself. Only to have it a hazmat area again within days. Now I'll veto her arguments and send her with trash bag in hand to her room.
Does that sound harsh?
Well it shouldn't.
Children should do what their parents tell them to. Don't freak out. I'm not going to duct tape LBM to the jogger and yes, there will be days when he won't go when he doesn't want to. I will still help S'ghetti girl in knowing what mommy's definition of CLEAN actually looks like.
most of the time they will have to
I can feel all the judgment now.
So if you are a parent who lets your children do whatever they want and it works for you, write a book. I'll be the first to buy it. But if in fact you did that and are struggling with a defiant teenager and wonder why?
Keep your criticism to yourself until you have a better solution.
You might be thinking that is a lot to "read into" the breaking of a 15 year old treadmill.
You might be right. But then again, I might be.
Everything happens for a reason.
Some of those reasons are just harder to see unless you are willing to look for them.
Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, so that your days may be long and that it may go well with you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. Deuteronomy16