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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

After spending a relaxing weekend away, you would think I’d come back all patient and have some stress-free time with the boys.  This especially because the younger boys are visiting Grandma (and doing school with her) this week.


Today hasn’t been difficult because I haven’t asked them to do much.  We have a monthly volunteer day which they enjoy, then their afternoon is free so everyone’s been cooperative.  Just wait ’till I ask them to do something though.  Ugh.  Yesterday evening I told Hubby, “If people don’t start doing WHAT I ask, I’m going to LOSE my mind, and it won’t be pretty.”

(Not that I’m in my right mind to begin with, but we all work with what we have.)

I know that a lot of this is adolescence.  I can work with that.  If I’m being annoying in some way, they’re more than welcome to get irritated with me.  Heck, I enjoy that.

But if I’m just making a normal request like “put your soccer socks away” (so he can find them at game time) or “feed the dog” (so she won’t starve) or “go get your school book” (so we can get our work done), then there should not be any sighing, muttering, or rolling of the eyes.  And doggoneit, there SHOULD be cooperation.

In an effort to improve my own contribution to life, I kept some promises and followed through on some other things.  Then I made sure the boys knew I was doing that.  It seems reasonable to expect that I can ask them for some cooperation in return.  After all, I started it.

But no.  Seemed like everything I did or said yesterday resulted in someone disagreeing with me.  There’s only so many times you can take that before you blow.  Just sayin’.

And again, if it made sense I wouldn’t mind so much.  But we had episodes of complete irrationality instead.  TechnoBoy asked me to teach piano lesson.  After complimenting his first song I asked him to play it again while I could see the music and make sure there were no problems.  Once I realized there were several tempo issues, I said, “I’m going to pass you on to the next song, but I want you to play this one just one more time so I can show you something.”  Then I started tapping (quietly) with a pencil so he could see where the tempo was off.

He got so angry with me that he couldn’t play, and then claimed that I told him he was playing it wrong.  How much more gentle could I get??

Later, I asked him about going to Scouts and he said it was pointless to go because it would take him 1-2 months to get a merit badge application going.  When I asked why not start now, he skipped around the question for half an hour.  I never did get an answer to that one.

And The Mercenary? Argued with my suggestions, didn’t bother to follow through when I asked him to pick things up, and then rolled his eyes and muttered under his breath all.  day.  long.  We had stopped at the store to pick up a dessert and some rope to tie down the trampoline for a storm and I’d gone over the directions multiple times.  I would get the dessert, the boys would get the rope and stakes, and we would meet at the cash register.  When we got to the store, neither boy got out of the car.  I asked if they were going to get out and shop, and they both acted like they had no idea what I was talking about.  Hubby said, “Never mind,” and hopped out to help me.

The Mercenary actually asked, “Did I do something wrong?”  Hello??  Why aren’t you doing what we discussed at least twice in the last ten minutes?  Is it that hard to remember what the mission was?  And it wasn’t just me saying stuff while they ignored.  There was an active conversation on the topic.

So anyways.  Frustration.

Today has been better, as I said.  The Mercenary just asked what I was doing and I told him I was complaining about him.  He laughed and said, “I haven’t done anything today”.

“I know,” I told him.  “I haven’t asked you to do anything.”

So I ended up asking him to pick up his room and then do piano with me.  5 minutes later I asked why he hadn’t picked up his room yet and he actually informed me that he thought I was joking.

Ohhhhhhh, if we all survive until their 18th birthday it’ll be a miracle.

And no son, I wasn’t joking.  I don’t joke about chores.  Clean up your room!!!

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Earnest Parenting: help for frustrated parents.

Image courtesy of Anthony Muñoz via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.