My youngest son and I had this silent battle going on before Christmas. I hung our sleigh bells on the doorknob on the back of the door and he moved them to the front. I didn’t like them on the front because they swung in the way when I closed the door. But whenever I moved them back, it wouldn’t take long for the little stinker to move them to the front again. I told him a couple times to leave them alone. So finally after 4 or 5 times of this little “game”, I got so annoyed and raised my voice… “Stop moving the bells to the front of the door will ya!” He replied, “I like them on the front so people can see them when they come.” Oh. Right. Good point. But too bad. I yelled back, “Well I don’t care. This is my house and they keep getting bumped in the door when I close it so stop moving them, you hear me?!” And that was it. I won.
Do you have similar battles with your kids? Do each of you have a different way of doing things? I feel that the older they get, the more incidents like the sleigh bells happen! But I’m trying really hard to not be so bossy and pick my battles wisely.
When I tell my son to clean his room, he does. Not to my liking but at least I can see the floor again and can vacuum. I choose to ignore the fact that things weren’t sorted properly and be grateful he cleaned at all.
When I tell my younger children to put their clothes away and they shove them in their drawers rather than do it carefully, I try to appreciate that the laundry basket is empty and not criticize their effort.
When my kids decorate their rooms with torn coloring pages when they were once beautifully and lovingly decorated with a fun theme, I shall bite my tongue. They are expressing themselves and that’s the one space they should be allowed that freedom.
Parenting is a tough gig. Not just because you’re responsible for the health and welfare of other people, but because one day you’ll wake up and realize that your kids are individual PEOPLE and not extensions of yourself. Sometimes this feels like an invasion! Some parents don’t handle this transition well and fight with their kids far too much. Don’t be overly critical and damage their confidence as they try something you KNOW is going to fail or if they are simply doing something a different way than you would. Our job is to guide them to be a little more responsible each day and that comes with trial and ERROR. Remember they aren’t YOU so their way isn’t your way. One day, we’ll have our homes back. And maybe just for the nostalgia’s sake, I’ll hang the sleigh bells on the front of the door.
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