Respect for the rules?
As parents, we spend a lot of time creating what we believe are perfect environments for our children. Our homes, their bedrooms, the playroom, the dining table, etc. should all be a certain way to afford our children the best experience for each occasion.
This is all fine and good, and works—mostly when they’re very small. Like infant small. It’s when they start developing opinions that things get interesting.
This is the phase in which my wife and I have found ourselves with our muchachos. Nearly every moment of our home life involves some kind of power struggle. Someone tries to assert authority over someone else and the result is a spectacular failure. Sure, I know you’re saying, “But why does he think parenting is about authority?” To that I say, I can’t bring myself to let my home fall into anarchy; besides, I’m raising boys who will one day become men—I’d like for them to have some respect for the rules.
I get it though. My sons are in first grade and pre-K and they follow the rules all day. They listen and obey and are probably little angels with their teachers. It’s when they get home that all hell breaks loose.
I know I let myself get too worked up about their behavior. My wife constantly reminds me they are little boys doing what little boys do. So what I have I done lately to keep more of my hair from turning gray? I’ve given away the belief that the aforementioned environments have to be perfect. I’m going back to letting the little devils be devilish. I realize I can’t control every little thing. I’ve stopped saying no so that when I really do need it, it actually works.
No telling how long all this well last. No telling how long any phase lasts. I’m going to be blink and my sons will be kind and courteous and respectful. They’re going to do what they’re asked and say “please” and “thank you” like they mean it. Oh. Yeah. That’s right. They decide when all this happens. Not me. Give it away, Dad, and it will all come to you. In due time, of course.