Does anyone else fight with their children about respect? Or the lack-of in your family?
Let me tell you a little story.
A couple weeks ago the Mister was working late so it was just the girls and I at dinner time. Nothing pisses me off more than the fact that they’re better behaved when he is around then when it is just me. I was busy getting food ready for their non-stop demands (this is what happens when I don’t have something planned before hand) while they sat at the table and bickered for the millionth time that month. Or week. It seems like it is non-stop bickering these days. Mostly this is the two older girls but the youngest gets pulled into it too. I’m not sure I can even describe their bickering except to say it feels like a constant battle of belittling and one-upmanship. And the correcting – the constant correcting of one another and of me. This shit would never have flown on Little House on the Prairie – and I remind them of that all the time.
I suspect they are learning this at school, along with the knowledge that every time mummy starts the car a polar bear dies! It is enough to make you want to homeschool except then I would have to spend All Day with them as they corrected me for every little thing.
Anyway, back to the bickerfest. I’d had enough and basically lost my mind.
“SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP!” I screamed. “I AM NOT RAISING YOU GIRLS TO BE BITCHES AND BULLIES.”
Then I had to explain what a bitch was because according to my girls shut-up is considered a swear in our house. (Although they have now learned all the other ones in the school yard this year as Fionnuala repeatedly needs clarification that fuck is the F-word.)
So, probably not my best parenting moment. I left them at the kitchen table to cry into their dinners and eat by themselves.
But the truth is, I am NOT raising them to be bitches and bullies and sometimes their is no other way to say it. Over the years I have repeatedly told them that it is very disrespectful that their behaviour changes when their father isn’t around and that I shouldn’t have to use his presences as a threat to get them to behave. (But I do. Nothing like a Facetime conversation with Daddy because you won’t go the fuck to sleep.)
I want my girls to grow up to do and be all kinds of things in this world but mostly I want them to respect themselves, each other and ME. Respect starts at home and sometimes I wonder if I am doing enough to make sure they understand that. I’m sure screaming it at them doesn’t help but I get so frustrated sometimes. I keep telling them that we do not raise ourselves up by putting others down. I keep telling them that nowhere in the world are they going to find other people who have the shared experience than they do with their sisters. And as much as I hate to think about it; that shared experience could very well be one of: our mom died when we were young, and I don’t know anyone that hasn’t been royally fucked up by something like that.
So yeah, no bitches or bullies in my house. And while the rest of the world burns at least they have each other.
What’s the one thing that your kids do that makes you absolutely mental? I’ll tell you my other thing another day.
(The amount of swearing in this post is reflective of how I actually talk to myself in my head.)