Parenting: the good, the bad, and the ugly

A little self-assessment.

The Good:

Chores.  I think I am doing a decent job of giving our children responsibilities.  At 6 and 8 they are responsible for cleaning their rooms (including vacuuming), putting their dirty laundry in the basket, putting their clean laundry in their drawers, putting their dishes in the sink, and putting their things where they go (dance shoes, jiu jitsu folder, backpacks, shoes, etc).  They also have a list of jobs they can choose from to earn a little money.

Money Management.  Speaking of earning a little money, they can also save or spend said money.  Boomer rocked the money lesson in kindergarten.  He has been earning, saving, and spending money for years now.  He can identify coins, tell you their worth and add them without a thought.  He can also tell you about taxes.

Kindness.  We make a big deal about being kind to others.  And also noticing the goodness in others.

Independence.  Our kids have ordered their own food at restaurants pretty much since they could talk.  We both kind of stink at being outspoken and assertive and will argue over who has to call and schedule appointments.  We want more for our kids—which means they need to learn to talk to people.  This is harder for Savannah but she still does pretty well.  I send them into CVS on their own, along with Little Caesar’s Pizza.

The Bad:

Electronics.  I am beginning to despise all electronics.  Despite my hypocritical dependence on my iphone.  I think they are robbing the kids of SO much.  And yet, as a parent, I find it SO hard to get rid of them—or even manage them.  I struggle with this more in the summer, thanks to the structure of the school year.  Between drive time, homework, activities, and bedtime routines there is no room left for screen time battles.  However, my idea of summer is the kids being outside all day using their imaginations.  Their idea of summer is Spongebob and iPads.  My current rule is all screens are turned off at 9:00 am and not turned again until all their jobs are done.  However, I think after this week I may be adding a mandatory 2-3 hours of outside time to their job list.

Independence.  Despite being able to manage while we are out and about, my kids struggle at home with being able to play without us.  When the screens are all off they are not sure what to do.  I send them outside and they want us to jump on the trampoline with them, climb the tree with them, go explore the woods with them.  I don’t mind doing those things but I fear they are becoming dependent on adult direction.  What has happened to their imagination and creativity?  Ingenuity?  Not enough time on their hands is my current theory.  Which is within my control.  More reason for the mandatory outside time.  Without me…

The Ugly:

Our diet.  While it’s not the worst I’ve seen, there is plenty of room for improvement.  This is pretty much all on me, as I put the food on their plates.  We simply do not eat vegetables.  And we should.  The positive reinforcement for buying, cooking and serving vegetables simply does not exist in this house.  Instead it is a definite way to ensure our dinner will be filled with whining and complaining.  An awesomely unpleasant experience.  I just need to suck it up and do what I know is good for them.



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