A lesson in parenting for me, that is. I don’t know when it happened, but there seems to be a shift in the dynamic in my house and I’m not real happy about the change. The boys are growing up, yet there remains a real
chasm gap between their sense of self and their sense of responsibility. And that needs to be addressed.
I am totally ok with my boys growing up, that’s actually the goal, but it is time for them to accept some of the less appealing aspects of being teenagers. You know, like becoming more responsible for their daily lives and organizing their personal calendars.
The line between helping them and annoying them, isn’t always easy to identify because as they get older it becomes more challenging to know what they need. No longer is it a case of food, sleep or a diaper change. It’s more complicated now and I sometimes can’t determine whether they need more guidance and structure from me or an opportunity to do it on their own and potentially fail.
I find myself, with greater frequency than I ever imagined, saying that I am doing my best, that I need them to start thinking and talking about what they need from me. And I explain that I am always open to constructive criticism. You see, I’ve got the hypercritical reflection part down already and honestly don’t require any assistance at all in that area.
Someone recently said that I view myself through some sort of fun house of mirrors and I maybe I do. I am very self-critical. I know I am hard on myself and sometimes think I can also be quick to focus on the boys’ errors or flaws rather than on their achievements. Of course, they return the favor and there are days, really, really long days, when I can’t seem to do anything right.
One of the best parts, though, of having three children is that they never seem to all unite against me with bad moods and attitudes. Somehow, one of them, in a rotation whose pattern I’ve not be able to determine, remains sweet and indulgent of a mom who loves them dearly. Even when none of us are perfect.