PUSHING THE LIMITS

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It would be hypocritical of me to call my blog truth about parenting if I only gave you a ‘rose coloured glasses’ kind of portrayal of my life.

Of course I love my kids and most of the time they make me very proud, but then there are days where I wish I could resign from being a mum. Days when my kids frustrate and anger me, leaving me questioning where I went wrong! 

I always maintain consistency with my kids about what is expected of them. They know that I expect them to do their set chores, be respectful to other people (particularly their family) and complete their homework. They also know that if they don’t comply then there are consequences for their actions and that I will always follow through with those threatened consequences. 

One of my kids in particular is intelligent, articulate and confident. These are all attributes that allow her to take on leadership roles at school and participate in the debating team. Those same traits however also mean that when at home she can be obstinate, argumentative and disobedient if she is feeling out of sorts.

Periodically the values I have tried to instill in my daughter seem to be lost as her anger boils over, usually from something simple like being reminded to do her chores. When she is in a rage, my husband and I just can’t talk sense into her. She always has some come back and refuses to comply with simple requests. If I put my foot down her anger just intensifies. The only thing that works is if she has time out to calm down, but sometimes that just isn’t viable due to a tight schedule of commitments for the rest of the family.

After a tantrum the other day she told me that I use my kids as slave labour and that it is unfair that she is expected to unpack the dishwasher twice a week when I do nothing. I then offered to swap her chore of unpacking the dishwasher twice a week in return for all that I do each week: approximately 15 loads of washing; hanging them out to dry; bringing in the clean clothes; folding and putting them away; grocery shopping; unpacking all the groceries; making school lunches; preparing dinner; walking and feeding the dog; tidying the house; helping everyone with homework whilst managing multiple sporting teams. I conceded that I would have to continue to drive all the kids to their activities on account of the fact that she is too young to drive. She sheepishly declined the offer to swap chores and agreed to stick to unpacking the dishwasher twice a week. 

I guess all kids push the limits (particularly if there are hormones racing around in their bodies) and although sometimes I feel like tearing out my hair I just try to remain consistent and hope that it is a short lived phase.

 

(Photo courtesy of stockimages, freedigitialphotos.net)

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