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
I have had similar struggles. Parenting isn't easy, but it is important to set the rules and enforce them. And I agree that they should do what you ask without bargaining.ReplyDelete
I agree with a lot of this. It's hard for me to know when to hold my ground and let something go because my daughter is so young. I can see how it is easier (now) to let her just do whatever, but it will come back to haunt me later.ReplyDelete
I almost feel like I need to sit down and write a list of rules (with my husband) because making them up as I go is hard!
We're pretty strict, but our kids are so used to it that they don't realize it...they just know those are the rules. Now...we do have our moments, so it is definitely all not perfect. I would call us easy going parents who have rules that ARE followed. Does that make sense? We've picked out battles and we don't back down.ReplyDelete
Good for you!!
Everything does happen for a reason. And you are allowed to interpret the broken treadmill however you would like.ReplyDelete
Being a strict parent, my kids still fight what I say. It often ends up in us cutting activities short, throwing away things because they refuse to clean and early bed times. I know that one day, they will just shut up and do what I say. Maybe.
No judgement here, I wish I were stronger and less enabling, but my kids are good and that's important to me.ReplyDelete
Sorry about your treadmill, thankfully summer is here and LBM will soon enjoy the runs more(and you must be so strong to be able to push a graduated preschool toddler around!)
No judgments from me! We are all learning this thing called parenting and it's never straightforward, as much as we wish it were. I think you're doing just fine!ReplyDelete
Yes, everything does happen for a reason and yes, you are being a great parent. Kids cannont get everything they want. Parents jobs are to give them what they need and this is the hard part. I am a firm believer in strong parents and follow the methods of positive parenting (really not easy to listen to my three year old scream for 4 minutes in a time out but it is needed at times). And I love what you said about wanting a defiant teenager (okay, none of us want that). I do confess, sometimes I ask my daughter what she wants but I do give options that I find acceptable....such as do you want to take your shower now or do you want to take your shower after my run (both would have been perfectly fine with me)! Keep up the great work!!ReplyDelete
I'm a mean parent too (lol), and I have darn good kids to show for it. I have rules, they are reasonable, but unmovable. There is room for negotiation, but I call the shots.ReplyDelete
One thing I did with my kids when they were younger in regards to room cleaning, they were told to clean their rooms, given a time limit, and if it wasn't done to satisfaction - whatever was left out of place was tossed in a garbage bag. Usually I would just set the stuff aside, but I have thrown things out. Mine are now teens and I don't have to do this anymore. A couple times and they figure out that you're serious.
Nope! No judgement here! Just encouragement. We do our best on the given day. Parenting is a full time job. It is hard. It is rewarding. Someday, when we are 70 and still running ultras, marathons and all the others, we will smile with happiness as our children AND grandchildren share in that moment with us! :) You go girl! 'Cuz we know you will....with treadmill or without!ReplyDelete
No judgement from me. Sometimes we do what comes naturally over time and then something changes it and we adjust. You are adjusting. Sounds completely normal to me. :) So, what does your version of clean look like?ReplyDelete
I'm mean and strict, and that's just the way it is... otherwise my house is insanity!!! ;-)ReplyDelete