Lately, i have been burdened with a thought in the back of my mind and in my heart that my children needed to have more responsibility around the house. For the past couple years, i have stopped enforcing many of the household rules that used to be second nature to my kids. Why did i do that? I don't know. I have some ideas about why i no longer enforce chores or many rules, but it hurts my head to try to figure it out. So i have just been going on doing everything myself, and watching my dear children become less responsible and more entitled every month. Don't get my wrong, ask anybody who knows my kids and they will tell you that i have great kids. Really great kids. I wrote a whole post about how great they are. The problem is, they are so good, i didn't want to do anything to upset the apple cart. I just want my kids to be happy. If you know anything about my family's history in the last 7 years, you will know that my kids have had to go through alot. And much of that was my fault. So, after i recovered from being depressed and selfish, i vowed never to do anything that would be to the detrimant of my children. I did all that i could to make them happy and to make new memories. However, in the process, i overlooked that responsibilty and consequences for rule-breaking is a necessary evil. By keeping them from consequences and not enforcing their chores (and most times doing it for them to keep the peace) i am doing them a great disservice.
How will they learn to be responsible adults if they don't have to do anything they don't want to do while they are teens? How can they learn to have a servant's heart if they don't learn to serve their family and each other? How can they learn how to do for others if all they do is for themselves?
Well, all this has been on my heart for quite a while, but i have done nothing about it except complain to my husband and kids that nobody does what they are supposed to do anymore. What child will volunteer to do the things they don't want to do? If they are brought up knowing that i will continue to do all the things i usually do for them even if they have disobeyed me, what am i really teaching them? OF COURSE they are happy. OF COURSE they think i'm the greatest. What kid wouldn't be happy doing whatever they want.
So here is the problem. The night before last, i tucked my kids in and asked each one of the if they had done the chores i told them to do. They each said no..... I kissed them all, told them i love them, and left their rooms. The next day, my son wanted me to pick him up from school, and i decided that i was not going to go out of my way and he could walk home. Well, my husband did not want him to walk home, so he picked him up--but also gave him an earful about how he (my son) wanted us to do everything for him, but he won't even do the small chores we give him. My husband also gave the girls an earful. That was yesturday. Since then, about 24 hours have gone by and not one of my children has said a word to me. My son has been shut up in his room since he came home 24 hours ago. I don't even know if he has eaten. Now, usually, i end up going to each of my children and pulling them out of their angry shell. This time, i am just out of words. They are obviously trying to manipulate me by ingnoring me, but i honestly don't know how to react. I feel like such a failure.
I actually called my husband at work this morning in tears because my children would not speak to me. My heart is breaking for my children and i long to go talk to them, but i strongly feel that they need to come to me. This is pretty much what i have been afraid of and why I have not enforced the rules. I am such a wimp. I guess i figured if i gave them nothing to rebel against, then they would not rebel. BUT they also feel entitled. Entitled to say what they want, do what they want, eat what they want, entitled to my time, my unfailing good mood, my car, rides to and from everywhere, and any other thing they want from me. Something has to change, but i must say, i don't know how.
Steve said that tonight we are gonna have a family dinner and talk to the kids. So that is what we will do. Why am i nervous? I don't know. Change can be scary. My kids used to obey, but i don't want to go back to the way we were when they were little. There has to be some kind of compomise.
Well, this has been a long post, and i don't think i have even expressed why i am so distressed in a way that anybody other than me would understand, but this is my blog and it is what i wrote. Maybe i'll edit it later when i feel better. But no today.
The silver lining:
Although i am upset that my kids are not doing what they are supposed to--They are healthy and have the physical ability to do the things they need to do.
I know they love me.
My husband is on my side and came home early when he sensed my distress. Sweet.