After much deliberation, doubt and a healthy dose of humble pie, I finally compiled a reward chart for my daughter. This is the last straw. So far, she has responded positively to it and actually engaged me on the subject in genuinely trying to understand how it works, what it means, what happens next, and even started owning up to lies she had said the day before because she wanted me to place a big fat red X in those blocks instead of the gold stars that I got for her good behaviour. So far, so good.
If I wasn’t stubborn and stopped being the disciplinarian for a second, but instead stepped back and looked at the situation like a concerned parent first, I would’ve saved myself a lot of frustration and anger. But this is how life’s lessons are learnt. Let’s hope she learns the lesson that I so desperately want her to learn so that I can start considering sending her off for the weekend so that I can finally have some ‘me’ time and take a break from this single-mom routine!
I often think of the story that every parent experiences where they go out and buy the most elaborately fascinating toy for their child that cost a pretty packet, only to discover the child discarding the toy and playing with the box it came in instead. We often over-complicate the needs of our children, more because we feel as if we’re inadequate if we do something that seems mediocre, as opposed to splashing out and believing that we’re selfless and committed parents in doing so. But we forget that the sophistication of options that appeal to us is often, if not most of the time, lost on our kids. It’s when we persist without noticing this that we instill the values of bling in them.
I guess it’s a natural tendency in most parents to want their children to live the childhood that they never had. However, we forget too easily that it’s that same childhood of ours that made us into the adults that we are, and if we’re not comfortable with how we turned out, splashing out on our children is not about to change that. Retail therapy never sorts out the root cause of our demons ever. So instead of hiding behind our children, we need to have the courage to accept our shortcomings and take positive steps towards becoming the adults that we wish our children to be.
Like the old saying goes, our kids were made for a different time from ours, so we shouldn’t expect them to behave as we did. Can someone please remind me of this often!?