Happy Saturday! I had a great fun Friday, mostly! I went for a run, and it felt great! I had to battle with myself to get out and go. Why do I have to do that? On my way out to my run I found an interval app that would ring a bell at the end of each interval. I got a great workout. It felt good and was faster than my usual run lap times. This training tool will help me get faster and increase my times. I run the Rock and Roll Portland and the Rock and Roll Seattle Half Marathons every year. I also found that my Nike Running app has a coach option that has training plans for half marathons and put myself on that. I think it will help me be more ready than last year, I had to wimp out and do the 10K option because I hadn’t trained well enough. So today I start with a 4 miler. I am excited to have a plan and be ready for my first race at the end of May!
Yesterday my kids were in a mood when they came home which lead them to be fighting in the car as we were leaving to take the Girl to dance. In my frustration I said “You guys are in your room all day tomorrow unless you are doing chores!” (So I get my laundry folded without having to but for some reason it is harder to follow through than just saying it). They are currently folding clothes while I watch TV and write here. Doesn’t seem like much of a punishment, they are currently playing a game they created out of it and watching TV while they fold. My kids know how to work me and I hate that. I hate being a mean mommy and yelling at them and taking away privilidges. I always question myself. Are they really learning by folding clothes? The Girl and I were going to do something tonight but we can’t because she got in trouble. Who am I punishing? I know that consistency is key. So if I know this, why is it so easy for me to let them off?
They are 9 and 10 they can fold clothes and they can follow through with what they are told. They are old enough to help. When I was their age my mom made me start doing my own laundry and my washer and drier that I have now are easier to use than my mom’s was. So I know they are capable. Not to mention my kids are much smarter and more informed than I was. I just want the punishment or consequence to teach them something. Like to not compete with each other for everything, you don’t always have to be first or be better than your sibling! Be happy when they get something special, not jealous! The need to learn that they sometimes need not to be selfish. They need to be considerate of their siblings and the rest of the family when they make decisions of how to act. They are good kids. They behave extremely well when I am not around, apparently.
I know my kids are good kids. But I also know that they sometimes gets phantom pain and hunger when they are told to do a specific task. The boy is the kids who when he was first starting to be responsible for picking up his own toys, I told him I would throw them away if he did not pick things up. He would look at me and say “I don’t want them anyway”, so that didn’t work. Is he a control freak, or does he just have to win? He has been having a rough time at school. He is having some of the same type of issues. He didn’t know a song in music he was supposed to be singing but instead he was dancing. He said to me “what was I supposed to do I didn’t know the song” and the music teacher took his self manager badge away. (I am aware there is probably more to this story) Then his homeroom teacher told him what he was doing was not self manager behavior and his response was “Well, I don’t have my badge right now, anyway” Seriously I am not liking this kind of behavior, yes it could be worse but I am not letting this slip through the cracks! This is the stuff that will lead to him manipulating everything I say or any authority figure to work in his favor. He is a child he needs to follow directions and meet expectations even is his justification of what he was doing isn’t “exactly” against what I said! I love my boy I know he is working out some important things in his head maybe he’ll be a powerful attorney when he grows up but in the mean time he needs to follow what I say! I don’t want to stifle his thinking or damage his sense of self, but he does have to learn when to follow directions and how to manage himself even when I am not watching, they both do.
The girl on the other hand almost as soon as I announced they were having consequences she apologized and said when she came home she would not have an attitude towards me. She was referring to the attitude she brought home from school. I am panicking that my kids are trying to work me over. Manipulate me and make me think they care and then BAM slap me in the face with a major transgression that I should have saw coming down the pipe and everyone will be going…”she should have known better!”
OK, so I know, that I may be over thinking and panicking a bit…okay, A LOT. I also think that that is what will keep me on my toes and give me a healthy fear, enough to teach my kids respect, to follow directions and not make excuses for bad behavior. Understanding that sometimes things are not fair and not everyone gets to do things that they think they should be able to. Your needs or wants or desires don’t supersede mine and sometimes the opposite it true. Sometimes rules just need to be followed. I don’t want to change them, I want to accept them for who they are. Respect is important to me. Knowing when to follow directions, when to flex their personality is a fine line.
Bottom line is I need to be consistent as a parent. Sometimes teaching kids lessons is harder on us parents than it is on the kids. Partly because we know what they are missing when the consequence or punishment takes away special things they get to do. I want the consequence to fit the crime. I want them to learn something from it and not think I am just an iron fist with a place to blame and get my chores done for me. I want them feel the pain of the consequence enough to learn but also understand that if they had made better choices they wouldn’t have to deal with it. So that in the future they make better choices. All kids have currency, I need to learn what my kid’s is. I am starting to figure some of it out but in the mean time today, I will enjoy that they are the ones, folding clothes and I get to sit back and relax. Manners, following directions and treating each other like they want to be treated is what I am focusing on. Allowing my kids to be themselves in the meantime. I can do this!
Since the Girl and I don’t get to do our thing The Hubs and I get to have a date! Yay for date nights and for a cheap way to get out of folding clothes! And Yay for kids who are respectful and well behaved when I am not around!