Sunday, October 11, 2009

These Crazy Kids

This weekend did not go well for me with my children. Was it a full moon? They were insane people. Oldest has a serious case of I-want-it-my-way, which has come to seem manageable in the last few months. But not this weekend.

My dream of myself is: three screaming children, one stomping and lobbing toys across the room, and I laugh to myself at the absurdity of parenting. Then I calmly deal with each child. Later, it is all over, and I enjoy the peace and am quietly amused at the roller-coaster of my life.

Is that possible? Would that be a sign of a different kind of insanity?

The fly on my wall saw this: Mom hollering, throwing hands up in defense against flying objects, counting minutes until husband comes home, rolling eyes in exasperation, explaining sassiness to children, ineffectively threatening ten different consequences, finally announcing to children: "Today it is very hard to be your mom."

None of this is tragic for me or the kids, but the overall attitude does not help any of us. I've read good parenting advice that recommends, basically, avoiding emotional engagement with children who are acting crazy. It's a great plan, but containing the frustration is much more difficult than they let on.

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Thanks for using this space to share your encouraging words.