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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

There’s a conversation I have with the boys….often. The nutshell version: boys claim to be overworked and underpaid. I laugh in their faces. They’re unhappy, they complain about how difficult life is. I laugh some more and insist they do whatever task is before them. Sometimes I get frustrated. Okay well, frequently I get frustrated and wind up speaking sternly about the ills of complaining and acting like Eeyore all the time. (no offense to Winnie the Pooh, et. al.)

Lately I’ve been able to laugh about it, which annoys the boys further, which makes me laugh harder. So, that’s a good thing. Eventually they have to start laughing too. That hasn’t stopped the whole problem but it is providing a temporary stop to the complaints.

Case in point: last night on the way home from the soccer game they won, the older boys informed me that they really “need a break”.

“From what???!!!??” I asked.

They didn’t have a coherent answer. Right now their schedule involves school in the early part of the day, hours of free time, then soccer or Scouts or…more free time. Somehow they’ve gotten the idea that they’re working hard all day long.

Bwahahahahahahaa! These are boys who have time to disappear into the bathroom for 45 minutes every day. They have an hour break for lunch, and school is usually finished by 1:30 each day. If there’s an evening activity (usually at 6 or 7 pm), they manage to forget the four or five HOURS of free time that they’ve just had and commence moaning about how tough their lives are.

Clearly, they also suffer with an extremely unsympathetic mother.

I talked to them about the issue (again) this morning.

If I stood at the top of a stone mountain and poured out water, it wouldn’t stay where I put it. Instead, it would naturally flow to the lowest possible point to settle. In the same way, it’s in our nature as humans to find the lowest possible settling point in life. Face it, we’re lazy. Well, at least I am. And my children are following closely in my footsteps.

Since I know that I’m naturally ‘more at ease’ with less challenge in life, it follows that without those challenges and stretching experiences, I could easily turn into a big blob here on the couch. Aaaand since that’s true for me, it’s quite likely true for my children. So! Challenges ahoy! And whatnot.

They were not pleased.

I however, am unmoved. Well, except for the hysterical laughter when I think about boys who have that much time to sit on the toilet “reading” every day, offering up the claim that they’re stressed to the breaking point. That one gets me every time.

Currently they’re not very clear as to why Hubby and I are insisting on excellence. That’s okay….they’ll get it some day.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who demand excellence.