Monday, February 9, 2009

A Tough Day of Parenting

I have been writing a post in my head for the last couple of weeks on Co-sleeping vs. Bed-Sharing. There is a lot of info though, and since I have had a tough day of parenting, I decided I need a little therapy to talk myself down! (I will be writing that post though over the next few days.)

I really don't want to make this into a blog about my family. There are some family dynamics, however, that are worth exploring. I, for one, am so sick of hearing myself repeat the same instructions over and over to the same children. I counted 5 times that I had to tell Daymon to practice his trumpet for another 15 minutes before he finally did it. When he actually did practice, he went over by 10 minutes and he sounded great.

Vena just could not get her room picked up the way I wanted it -- and that is the trick! Here is a funny thing about any family willing to fork out the money to have someone come and clean for them: you have to pick up the entire house before the cleaning lady can come to clean. My kids despise that. It creates a lot of stress to have the entire house picked up all at once, but we all love it when it's done. I'm probably not getting a lot of sympathy here, but I am willing to pay for this service so that I can devote my time to other things, such as this blog!

And it's Monday, so the elementary school kids came home with their homework packets for the week. Another thing to do. I'm describing all of our lives, I hope!

But here's an interesting dynamic I have noticed lately. My kids fight. Usually if there's a good fight going in our house, we can assume that Abby is right in the middle of it. She is such a firecracker. She has recently discovered tattling, as she is 7, almost 8. I have started asking the kids if they really want me to solve the problem for them. I will if they want me to, but they probably won't like my solution. (They know I'll make them clean something -- probably together -- and get some work out of them.) So, they are learning to solve their conflicts on their own. I have noticed they are getting better at this. It makes David and I very happy.

Tonight we had a Family Council Meeting about the commandment "Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother" and what that means. Respect, especially from a certain someone who will remain nameless, has become an issue lately and it is disrupting the entire family. I hope things improve in that area.

We have missing assignments from another student, who miraculously pulls As and Bs every six weeks, with a lot of stress in between. People tell me I should just let him fail, but I just haven't been able to do that. And yet, I believe (and of course, he doesn't) that he would fail if I didn't ride him about his assignments. How do you teach integrity and hard work besides by example? We are frustrated by this situation. He's lost the Play Station and computer time, but the problem continues...

The flip side of all this is that it makes me appreciate Darcy more. She'll be 4 in March. She says the funniest things and is so "innocent" -- those who know Darcy are laughing at that description! I hate to end this on a sour note, complaining about my day and parenting trials, so I'll end it with a good bed-sharing story:

We had a big storm last night with lots of really strong wind and rain. Right after it started, Darcy came running into our room and snuggled into her old spot in the middle. She was shaking. She cuddled right up to me and I felt her body relax after a few moments of listening to the storm. She's the only child who ever wakes up to any storm, so this morning as we drove Daymon to school, she was telling him all about it. I tried to remember exactly what she said: "At first I didn't realize (yes, she really used that word!) that it was rain, but then I did and I ran in the dark to Mommy and Daddy's bed. It was scary Daymon! I knew they would keep me safe and warm. That's where I slept until morning."

Hearing words like that, who can argue with bed-sharing and keeping your little one "safe"?


Sonia said...

I love this post, and I feel your pain. I would love to have someone come and clean my house so I could have more time for other important things, but I'm like you, I'd have to clean before they came. So silly. Oh, and the kids...story of my life. What do you do? Such a cute story about Darcy too, my two youngest wake up with the storms and end up in our bed, and I love it!

David I said...

Sorry things were so tough for you. It does sound like something needs to change - you are working too hard on their stuff! I'm a new dad, so I don't have any great advice, but I do value and respect these guys opinions (they go to my church). I will be learning from them as I go! Parenting By Design

This article may help, but it is more of a teaser for their full length CD on the subject:

Taking the Hassle Out of Homework

Here is another good article on the general principle of letting kids struggle some:

Fish Tale: Allowing Kids the Benefit of the Struggle

Take what you like and leave the rest.

Donna Ryan said...

My husband has a Fish Tale book or two, but I think they are related to business somehow (I've never read them). Maybe they are about managing people or a team -- I'm not sure. Is that possible it's by the same author? I think he enjoyed them.

publichealthdoula said...

I grew up with 2 of the same things - having to pick up before the cleaning people came, and homework struggles! I was the one not doing the homework, in this case. For what it's worth, my parents let me fail, although this may have been self-preservation on their part because it was going to be a tough fight. Eventually, around junior year of high school, I got tired of hearing "unrealized potential" from everyone and decided I wanted positive feedback at the end of every quarter instead of negative. I pulled myself together academically, got into college, continued pulling myself together, and am now a reasonably successful graduate student! I think every kid is different, but in my case I had to find my own motivation. Good luck! I can't imagine what my parents went through in all of that and can only think I'll be paid back when it's my turn ;-)

Alisa said...

I loved what Darcy had- and even more glad that you recorded what she said!

mamabirth said...

The best parenting book I have read is called "Scream Free Parenting" forget the author, and it was wonderful. Lots of gospel principals and really based on the freedom of choices and having consequences for our choices. I loved it and I think it would work for any age kid-