Friday, May 20, 2011

Parenting issues

It’s a beautiful day outside.  The sun is shining, there’s a gentle breeze, the humidity is under control... and the kids are out there screaming, fighting and just generally trying to cripple each other’s self-esteem.  Soooo glad it was only a half day of school!  (Sarcasm is ugly.)  
Truth be told, they have been owley since the moment their beautiful blue eyes opened this morning.  Previously very excited to participate in “Bike to School Day”, the older two kids wouldn’t eat, get dressed, or clean themselves up this morning, except in slow motion.  They fought me at every turn, and finally, I ended up driving them to school, and we were still almost late.  Seeing all the other families biking in together made me actually cry as I dropped them off.  I have no control over this family!  The puppy, too.  She decided that 20 minutes alone in the car was offensive enough  that she should punish me by destroying the cables for our portable DVD player.  Since I’m driving cross-country in two weeks, this is just about all I can handle.  It adds up to a pounding headache and a very poor attitude on  my part.  This is a huge shame, since I had planned to take them all on a picnic when I picked them up.  No more of that.  Rewarding bad behavior is just dumb, but...
Whoever dreamed up the idea that taking away privileges was a great deterrent for bad behavior was dreaming.  I’ve tried taking away actual things, then privileges, and tacked on chores as “punishment”.  None of these worked, and unfortunately, I don’t have a better idea.  I am feeling very inadequate, and wondering how I am ever going to manage a week-long trip in June, with 3 kids and a dog in the car.  I think I may be having to re-think that.
Sorry to be such a Debby Downer today.  I’m feeling kind of at my wit’s end.  If anyone has some words of advice and/or inspiration, I’d be glad to hear them.  
Next time will be much brighter, I promise!  

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