Parenting momentPosted: April 1, 2011
I think I have pretty decent tools. I know my kids are amazing. My own parents gave me a wonderful imago of a healthy family…connected marriage, compassionate parenting, the whole nine yards. I’m educated. I know who I am. But every once in awhile, little parenting moments leave me speechless and grasping for the “right tool.”
Both my kids have taught me a great deal about life. And I fully expect this to continue for the rest of our lives, I am so grateful for that. One of the lessons my youngest is working to teach me is to slow down and embrace the moment. She is incredibly creative, has a wonderful imagination, highly dramatic, expressionate, and wildly sure of herself. She’s not afraid to look at someone and say “no thank you” to the hug or kiss, or high five they extend to her. And I LOVE that about her! She knows who she is 🙂
This morning we reminded the kids it is pick-up day. Every weekend, everyone pitches in and helps bring the house back in order after a busy week. They know to expect it, and generally do a pretty good job. This morning Payton was kind of getting after Logan…just poking, trying to get a rise out of him, then pouting on the floor when I told her to stop. I calmly told her that she could act that way, but it would be in her room, alone, and not around the rest of the family. I brought her there. She came out. I brought her back. She stayed…came out. Then, as she sees Logan getting more attention, pipes in with, “I want to be held!” And then, the awful words no one wants to hear…”I ha….t………..e you mom.” She mumbled it at first, knowing the power those words can have. Seeing no reaction, she said it more confidently, “I ha..t.e you mom.” Again, I calmly brought her to her room, told her she can act that way alone, not around the rest of the family. I know she doesn’t mean it, just wants to get a reaction. And THAT, I refuse to give her. So it appeared this would go round and round for longer than I thought was appropriate, so I thought…[consequence…natural consequence mom…come on…]. I had it! “Payton, I reminded you that this morning we are to be picking up. You have chosen to not do that, and rather pick on your brother, and say inappropriate things. If you come out of your room and continue to act that way, I will pick up all of your things downstairs that do not belong there, and they will be mine for the weekend.” [pause…Payton’s wheels turning…] Her response, “do it! Pack them up!” I could kind of read her thinking, “then I won’t have to pick them up.” All right kid. Down I went….and she followed. She HELPED me pack up her things for me to jail! All right, I’m thinking that plan backfired. Why consequence her with something that she thinks is great, that was not the intent!!! But I proceeded anyway, and downstairs in the depths of the basement, they went. [deep breath] About 3 minutes later, between tears and outright despair….”mooooooom, SLINKY was in there!!!! He was such a good dog, and the ONLY one I wanted to play with today!!” I said, “Paytie, I gave you a chance to change your behavior, and you in fact helped me pack up your things.” “But I didn’t know you were going to put SLINKY away!!!!!” Sorry kid. I hope the lesson was learned. You can have them back on Sunday.