Tuesday, July 19, 2011

It's All I've Got

See this rope? I'm at the end of it. As long I am being frank about my lack of parenting skills, I will say that right now I am being sorely tried. Every time I ask or tell Bill to do something he says something like, "No, I'm not doing that." I'm not ordering him to do anything crazy or difficult... just ordinary stuff... do your reading, set the table... 

At seven years old, he is nearly as tall as me, and pretty dang strong. And, well, it's not like i was ever going to get physical with him. I spanked him once, and felt horrible afterwards. I don't think I did the wrong thing, but it was not something I would like to do again.

And at seven years old, his mind is quick and logical. He has inherited the debating skills of his father, the attorney, and the defensive skills of his mom, the middle of five kids.

So when your kid gets to be so big, so capable of logical argument, no matter how misguided, what is your recourse? "Because I said so"? This should be an extremely useful argument in the parenting arsenal, but... it has never really worked for me. In the end I can never actually make my kid do anything. He just flat out refuses. Taking away privileges is never preventative. Threatening to tell his dad (who is a big 6'2" guy) is slightly more effective... but on the whole, I have not had much success in changing the behavior of this stubborn child.

It doesn't help that in the back of my head, I'm thinking to myself - why do I give him such a hard time? I remember thinking as a kid, "why do my parents give us such a hard time?" We were honor students, active in the church, smart, funny and friendly. We didn't do drugs or get in fights... Yet we could not please them. Is this how I am being?

I hope not... I do appreciate what a miracle - what a sweet, smart child - he is... but he really needs to do his homework and learn how to do chores because ... well, that's what people need to do! Right? 

I am just hoping it is just a phase for him. I know he is super tired from going to camp all day, so once he gets some rest, maybe he will be more agreeable? In the meantime, I am just doing my best and smothering it all with love and prayer. That's going to have to be enough, because that's all I've got. 

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