There is a moment as a parent where you have to let go.
Where you have to release that grip on your kids that you have fought so hard to gain.
Unfortunately growing up is part of life and although we want our children to learn from our mistakes and cock ups. They can’t or won’t. They aren’t their mistakes. They aren’t their cock ups. They must learn for themselves.
We all want our children to do their best but do you remember your mother saying to you “if you just knuckled down and focus, you would do so much better!” Did you listen?
I struggle with Mr 11. Essentially he is me and we do probably rub each other up the wrong way. Unfortunately I have to have the last word and it really takes all my capacity as a parent to ignore his attitude and walk away.
I read a really great article about how children are just trying to “fill their cup”. Essentially what this parental guru was saying is that kids have an unexplained need to have a full emotional cup. This cup becomes full from both positive and negative interactions. For example asking a child to empty the dishwasher and them bitching, moaning that you are a slave driver is quite normal because they want their cup to be filled. Now my normal response would be something along the lines of “just empty the bloody dishwasher , your acting as if I asked you to chop your legs off” then this launches into a vicious cycle of bitching, arguing and the job taking 10 times longer.
Child 1 – Parent 0.
His cup is full.
I’m just pissed off.
We can all relate?
As a parent I need to learn how to stop him from “filling his cup” in a negative way. Easier said then done. Back to emptying that sodding dishwasher. His immediate response is to launch into asshole mode to fill his cup. My response SHOULD (this is still a work in progress!) be …… “OK but please realise if you don’t do the dishes you won’t be allowed on your …… (insert some beloved device, toy or activity here)”.
Stick to your guns.
Stop them before they launch into the “I hate you monologue”.
Repeat the expectations calmly and reasonably.
Don’t let them see they fact that you really want to see them do every single dish by hand and make them really cry about something.
Now like I said for me this is a work in progress and if your child is anything like mine they will know exactly how to play you.
Just remember don’t let them fill their cup but remember to fill yours with wine.