The Nine R’s of November: Respect

respect

 

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.)

  9 Replies to “The Nine R’s of November: Respect”

  1. Emily
    November 16, 2016 at 3:10 pm

    OMG, preach it, woman! We are struggling with the same thing in our house (two boys and a girl – 6,4 and 2.5 years old, respectively). I’ve started saying “If you can’t say anything nice…” more than I’d like to admit. I’ve also found it causes me to reflect a bit on myself – how I’m treating them (that they perceive as disrespect) and their father. But the entitlement is TERRIBLE! Which I thought we were pretty good at preventing, but now – ugh. It is the WORST and I see how much of it is my fault because of what I considered fun, occasional treats…which ended up being more than occasional for them. I’m having to backtrack and basically behave as though we are destitute (no, we don’t have the money to buy those 25cent stickers), which might become reality if our current path continues…

    • November 20, 2016 at 9:44 pm

      I find that sentence coming out of my mouth A LOT these days too.

  2. Mister
    November 16, 2016 at 6:03 pm

    Fuck Christmas, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Easter and every other Hallmark holiday that is used as an excuse for marketers to sell me shit and get my kids to nag me for more sugar.

    Screw you sales people.

  3. Jen R
    November 16, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Yes. This. The previous disrespect of me as their Sunday school teacher had spilled over to disrespecting their new ss teachers and WEEKDAY teachers. Ugh. I just want to burn it all down and start from scratch. Respect your parents, respect your elders, respect your things, or we will quit buying them.

    • November 20, 2016 at 9:46 pm

      Yes! Exactly. I want to throw everything out before Christmas because I know it is just going to be more stuff in our house that is already bursting at the seams. I’ve witnessed many times that kids whose parents are their teachers/leaders/authority figures outside of the house lose their ever-loving minds. I’m sorry this is happening to you.

  4. November 16, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    No kids, but I was over at my friends’ the other day, and the mom was having a talk with her daughter about other peoples’ “personal freedoms.”

    The thing is that this stuff will sink into their heads. My dad always told me to not tell my brother he was stupid, or say things like that, because my brother would end up believing it. This lesson has influenced me to this very day.

    I still remember many of the things my parents said repeatedly.

    (Also on swearing and kids- Another friend told me her four year old dropped a glass of milk and said, “Fuck.” They had a hard time not laughing because he used the word properly. )

    (This post is poorly written. Please excuse me. I drove over 5 hours today, and got about 5 hours of sleep.)

    • November 20, 2016 at 9:47 pm

      Thanks. I hope the things I’m telling my girls sink in. I think it is awesome that your parents taught you that.

  5. Johanna
    November 17, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    My children are almost all grown up now (22, 18 and 16) but I do remember such days as that. It’s hard in the moment but, for me looking back and looking at who my kids are now, we survived and yes they do know and understand the word respect as it relates to themselves and others.

    My experience with the word respect, though, happened with my ex, after I found out he was having an online affair. In the six months from when I found out until he assaulted me (for the third and last time) I learned very deeply what disrespect looks and feels like. I won’t go into the sordid details, suffice to say that I survived and am in a much better place. In a new relationship with a person who does respect me.

    Respect is such a deep word.

    • November 20, 2016 at 9:48 pm

      Oh Johanna, I’m so sorry you had to go through all of that. I’m happy to see all of your happy Instagram posts and see what I hope is the visual proof that you are in a better place.

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