Swimming Up-Stream {alone}

I feel like I fell off the blog world once I got back from Maine.  And I guess in a sense I did.  Not by choice, not really.  More by life….

Have you ever felt like you were swimming upstream?  Alone?  Or at least, almost alone?

Ugh.

That has defined my life for the last 2 weeks or so.  I really have felt alone in many senses – not that I do not have support, but that they are not going through what I am going through. 

So what exactly have I been battling?  Children who are disrespectful (not to others, really just to me and each other) and who do not obey.  I admit, this did not happen over night.  It has been years of sliding down this slope.  This slope of entitlement (in a sense), this slope of more and more aggression toward each other.  This slope of “WHAT!!?? you want me to do that??!!” – yeah.  This yucky, stinky slope.

And I have had enough.  I am tired of correcting one for hurting another.  I am tired of reminding to do the chores listed on the chore chart on the fridge, EVERY day.  I am tired of it all.

So, after a few days of extreme busyness, I quit.  And I am hearing that I am not alone.  Here is another mom who quit – without warning.  There was a warning here – well not a warning – more of an announcement.  Actually, I am not proud to admit I yelled it.

 

But it took a few days for me to figure out what that meant and for my kids to understand I was serious.

So, it has been 2 weeks.  Is it working?  Well, when they fail to finish their chores (again, that are listed daily) at inspection time, they earn extra chores for each unfinished one.  {One day P was up to 5 extras.}

Food?  Well I have decided that yummy food is a privilege in our home.  Bean and Rice, a right.  So my boys have been eating beans and rice since Monday (oatmeal for breakfast) for every lunch and dinner.  Robert and I are eating real food.  AG joined us on Tuesday I think, she is really not the problem in our home these days.  But the boys and eating black beans, pinto beans, white beans, etc.  Daily.

They are not loving that at all.  Is their attitude changing?  No.

So I keep wondering, is it working?  Well, they think about how they are acting so much more!!  They are apologetic when they do mess up.  They are showing more remorse than I have seen in days.  And the violence toward each other has almost stopped.  The ugly tone, not so much, but Baby Steps!

But the funny thing is, while I have been waging this war, of sorts, and feeling like a failure, I found there are SO many others in my boat too!  I have spoken with others who have kids in that 10-12 age range who are beating their heads against the wall too.  So maybe, it is not my kids so much as this age?  That makes me feel so much better!!

In the meantime, I am going to keep reading the MOAT Blog, and Kevin Leman’s book Raising Up kids without bringing them down.   This one is speaking to my heart daily right now!!  And if I have learned anything it is that we need to encourage all that they are doing well.  Not my strong point.  But I am making it a priority these days to really stop and praise when there is reason to.

Well, back to life…..

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