I admit that I don’t ask much of my child. In part because I don’t run my house as my parents did, nor do I have the same financial issues or job requirements. In short, I’ve given my child very few responsibilities, and, I’m sure, it shows.
From time to time, he’ll get snotty with me, and when I go off, I mention how I would never have done this as well as all the responsibilities I was expected to fulfill as a child. I don’t know why I do it because it’s obviously not effective in getting what I want. Probably because I don’t know what I want at that moment in time. I’m guessing I want him trained like I was; however, I’ve not taken any time, given any attention, or been willing to be consistent in training him. His “failure” is really MY failure.
I’ve always known that when there are kid troubles that we should look to the adults. It’s our job to model for them and act as guides. Thing is, we’re really not that interested in doing so. We want to TELL them what to do, we expect it done to our satisfaction, and then we’re mad when it doesn’t happen. That’s just crazy, and it’s the best recipe for having poor relations there is. After all, look at all the romantic relationships that fail due to communication and expectation issues. Duh!
What really brought this home for me was a blog post that my cousin, Tiffany Heth, posted to her Facebook wall. It’s called “Top Ten Mistakes Christian Parents of Teens Make”. Now, we all know I’m not Christian, nor is my child a teen (yet). However, that doesn’t mean I might not find something worthy and valuable in the article. And indeed I did.
The article points out that spoiling kids isn’t just about access to money, it’s also access to too many opportunities. I would include in that giving them experiences that aren’t age-appropriate. We give and do for our children as a matter of fact, but then we’re pissed when they EXPECT these things. Yet, if we really look at it, we are the ones who created the problem. Remember, start as you intend to go.
One of the issues of the “modern world” is that kids today have too much. This has probably always been the case. But it seems that we never consider that parents these days GIVE too much. Perhaps we should reflect as to why we do this. For if we truly want to make changes, shouldn’t we start with ourselves? I would venture to guess that I’m not the only one with self-discipline issues.
Or is this where someone throws out “picking my battles”?