Besides updating this here blog, I’ve been forgetting a ton lately. A ton. It’s not the usual stuff like where’d I leave my keys? or what’s that person’s name again? It’s relational, day-to-day parenting stuff. I feel that right now I’m in a behavioral rut that I’m having a hard time finding my way out of.
Maybe somewhere along the way I’ll remember these important things again.
#1 Just because my kids are acting like assholes doesn’t mean they’ll forever be assholes!
Phew. Feels good just to yell that at myself. I’ve been seeing some (very age-appropriate) and yet very aggravating behavior from my oldest kiddo lately. Plenty of demands and direct contrariness seemingly for the sake of being contrary. Maddening! And I’ve thought about how this is what life will be like forever. I’ll ask you to do something tomorrow and the next day and the next and anytime that you don’t snarl back at me will be an exception not the rule because YOU’RE GOING TO BE LIKE THIS FOREVER! AND “THIS” IS SO ANNOYING!
Good to remind myself that my kids have been buttheads in different ways before and they’ll find different ways of aggravating me in the future for sure, but that doesn’t mean that they are permanent butts from here until I stop knowing them. Right?! RIGHT!!
#2 (As an accompaniment to #1) Just because their behavior is a little lacking right now doesn’t mean that I’M AN ASSHOLE EITHER!
Turns out that my ego is pretty wrapped up in this gig. I work to keep the stakes low for myself and them, but whether I like it or not (and sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t), my kids are a reflection of me (and my husband of course). I hear them repeating things that I say, both good and bad & it’s hard to divorce feelings of pride when my kind words are parroted back to me. Likewise it is difficult not to cringe when I hear a harsh “Stop it!” from my kids’ mouths directed at one another that sounds remarkably like my own cease and desist command.
Since I now view their collective behavior as subpar, I have to really try to show them how I want them to behave. Oh modeling! How often are you the answer to many varied questions? All the time! But how easy it is to forget, when I’m feeling frustrated and a little rattled. Everyone knows that patience and good will are not endless commodities, but finding just a little bit more for myself when my kids are in short supply would probably help everybody out. Hold on, I’m just going to check and see if Amazon has any Prime patience.
#3 What do you mean lectures don’t work?? Oh yeah. LECTURES DON’T WORK!
But that hasn’t stopped me from giving them. I’ve seemingly sent my kids off to college already based on the amount of adult reasoning and moralizing I’ve been doing at them lately. Since I have a terrible time remembering things lately (ha!) except infractions made by my kids, I see every misstep as another piece of a huge problematic puzzle. So failing to phrase something correctly when asking for a snack turns into a 7 minute diatribe on showing respect and kindness and having not just the right words but also the right INTENTION and blah blah blah blah blah. It must be maddening to listen to; for my kids and any grown ups who happen to be around when I’m bloviating.
All right. I’ll try to stop making power point presentations centered around the grammatical problems that I find in their requests to me. I’ll try to keep my “lesson teaching” under 1 minute. Maybe I’ll have a new mantra for a few days. <no lectures no lectures no lectures> We’ll give it a try anyhow.
I’m probably not going to jump right out of my little funk straight away, but at least by shouting into the void of the internet, I’ve given myself a little nudge toward remembering that we’re all ok, even if I do find myself rolling my eyes (and having eyes rolled at me) more than I’d like right now. Ugh.