I feel like I am fighting a losing battle to get Piero to treat us with respect. I wish I could say it was just us but that is just not the truth. Even his report cards are coming home saying that he is arguing with the teacher. I have seen him tell his mother to shut up. What do you do with a child that has no respect for his elders?
And then someone told me yesterday I was trying to control my child by making him do chores around the house. I made a comment that Piero only wants to play and doesn’t want to help out. This statement is not entirely true but is mostly true. The person told me that children were not mini adults and I shouldn’t be treating them as such. I responded back saying that I didn’t think I was treating them as adults nor was I overburdening them with chores. When I had the nerve to say his 4 year old sister was capable of doing ‘X’, I was told I shouldn’t be comparing them. I wasn’t comparing them. My thought was that if a 3 year old (she just turned 4) was capable of say… putting the dishes on the table – and WANTED to… then a 6 year old was certainly capable of performing the same chore. It wasn’t asking too much of him. Sometimes I am uncertain about the capabilities of children and don’t want to give them more than they can handle. So basically I was told that asking a 6 year old to put dishes on the table was asking too much of him. I felt suitably chastened as a parent and it really got me to thinking about whether or not I was the control freak and pressuring mother that she essentially stated that I was. Am I really being a control freak when I ask them to help me put away groceries, set the table, put their empty dishes in the sink or clean up their toys before they go back to their mother’s house? These are pretty much their only chores in our house – outside of homework. Am I a control freak when I tell them that they can’t bring their toys to Kelly’s? I prevent this because early on there was always a toy exodus from our house to her house and the kids would continally tell us how bored they were when they stayed with us. Well you wouldn’t be bored if you didn’t keep taking all your toys home. And I am not going to continually purchase new toys every week so they can take them home to Kelly’s.
I wish I had of thought of this while I was talking to that friend…. If we eat outside, the kids and Eduardo know that they need to help me get the stuff from the kitchen to the picnic table. As soon as I suggest that it is nice enough to eat outside, both of those kids are right there in the kitchen to get the dishes and plates to put outside. That actually happened that very morning. When it is in Piero’s best interest to help out… help out he does. Most of the time, Piero just doesn’t think it is in his best interest and would prefer to play.
I truly don’t think I am trying to overcontrol the children. Maybe I am and I don’t know it?