What movie is this from? The family is on vacation and the dad screams at everyone. Something like, “Stop it. Just stop it. We are all here to have a good time. So just quit it and have FUN!”
Our weekend sort of had that quality to it. Parentingwise, we are in a new stage. A new and difficult stage. I asked my own Mama and Papa about it, and they sort of just laughed and said “Yep.”
We have so much. What I mean is that our family has so much opportunity, entertainment, toys, etc. And yet, I feel like a lot of what my children have they take for granted. This weekend we heard a lot of complaining from a certain young lady, despite having many opportunities for fun. Honestly, my nerves are shot from it.
I can hear my inner voice yelling things like “You have more at your age than I ever had growing up.”….and then I start to doubt. Are we spoiling our children? How do we teach gratitude? Are we doing enough? Am I modeling gratitude in my own life?
I feel like Tommy and I take turns with who has a better grip on this parenting thing (thank goodness…otherwise where would we be?). He recently relistened to one of our favorite parenting resources. It’s a book on CD called Taking Power Struggle out of Parenting. I need to listen to it again as well.
It’s arduous work this whole raising humans thing. Our children are wonderful, lovely, and brilliant. It’s a wonder to me that they have so much empathy at a young age, so I’m long past the worry that all is lost and they are ruined forever. I do however remember wondering that when we were new parents of a toddler, because I had sworn that I would never have a two year old who threw a tantrum on the floor.
Similarly, I didn’t think we would be dealing with rudeness and lack of gratitude now. These developmental milestones and lessons sometimes smack me from out of nowhere. I feel like children really let you know what they are working on. It became clear this weekend that she is truly working on things like learning what are rights and what are privileges, about treating those who perform care tasks for her with courtesy, and showing gratitude for opportunities for fun and entertainment.
A few things I’m learning on this journey:
- Days when she has spent too much time on screens, she shows withdrawal like symptoms and it exacerbates attitude issues.
- Eating poorly exacerbates the problem (for both child and parent…When she eats poorly her attitude is worse. When I eat poorly, I deal with it worse.)
- This seems to be an issue that she has, perhaps subconsciously, decided to work on.
- I don’t have all the answers.
To finish off the day on Sunday, I was nursing a very fussy Finn, and we had just read stories. I normally braid the girls’ hair before bed, but since Finn had just fallen into a sleep and wasn’t feeling well, we needed to change routine. Tommy offered to braid her hair, and again we were met with rudeness, and a bit of a tantrum.
Tommy handled it with aplomb.
“Mama is not available to braid your hair tonight. If you treat me rudely, I will not braid your hair and you have to go to bed. If you don’t treat me rudely, then I will braid your hair for you before you go to bed.”
She chose to stop the rudeness and have her hair braided. Such little things, but that’s how it goes. Parenting is quite the amalgamation of little things all adding up to one huge job.