They don’t call it the f***ing fours for nothing, my friends. I am inside-out worn down from the constant struggle to raise my children. The constant begging and pleading for good behaviour. The constant threatening of irrational consequences. The constant giving in.
The ache of wanting my four-year old twins to just be consistently good for a day.
But they’re four. They have the attention span of a gnat when in comes to adult lifestyle, and the memory of an elephant when it comes to everything I don’t want them to know.
They have no concept of age other than little vs old. So, when I do something, they see it as a demonstration of how to live as a human being. It can range from the innocuous (leaving my bed unmade) to the explosive (losing my temper instead of dealing calmly). Then, when I ask them to do the opposite (make your bed, use your words…), it’s confusing.
Monkeys see, monkeys do.
I am my own worst parenting enemy.
It’s absolutely a case of watching Mommy (and Daddy) act like a spoiled, undisciplined brat day in and day out.
Let’s face it: I do what I want, when I want. I lack schedule and structure. I fly freely. But I’ve learned to do what I need to do, when I need to do it. I’m an adult, and I learned life skills as a child. Unfortunately, I demonstrating my chosen adult skills to my children now. They aren’t learning and then choosing. They’re only seeing one thing, and being told another.
Problem discovered: I need to start raising adults, instead of children. I need to provide them with structure and examples that will help them thrive in life. And I need to start by demonstrating that myself.
I need to start being the adult parent, instead of just the egocentric woman living in the house. I need to be the change I want to see in my children They spend the majority of their time with me, even more than they do with their dad. In 14 months, I’ll turn them over to the school system, and my influence will be greatly diminished.
I owe it to my kids to start showing them how a responsible, mature adult acts so that they have a hope of growing into responsible, mature adults themselves. I’ll be honest: the thought frightens me. More so than sticking to their consequences, I have to stick to my word. I have to stand by my threats of leaving/not going/taking this privilege away, even if it means that I can’t do something I want.
I have to catch myself before I speak or react. I have to gauge the situation and be aware of the consequences of my own actions.
I have to parent myself the way I want my kids to be parented. It won’t be easy…but I hope (and know) it will be worth it.
Wish me luck!