“Why do I have to do everything?” He asked.
It was a typical Thursday morning, but this morning he made me remind him to do every single morning task. Part of it, I am sure of, is because it was day one of transition. (For you step-parents you know what I mean/if you’re not a step-parent just ignore that word) Things are done quite different in the mornings at the other house, and that is ok, because ultimately he is just learning to cater to his audience and be flexible. It is making him stronger. This morning was tough because not only did my stepson need more encouragement, but the littlest one wanted to stay on my hip.
After reminding him about the third or fourth thing on his list of regular to-dos in the morning, he began to give me a little bit of attitude. At one point he ended up in the kitchen next to me and asked….
“Why do I have to do everything?”
Now I have answered this one before, but I have also been prepared for it since I started assigning him age appropriate tasks:
… “Because, my son, I am your parent and my job in life is to teach you how to successfully take care of yourself. Each thing I have asked you to do this morning you have done many times. I know you are a smart, capable boy and can do them. I do not give you things to do I do not think you can handle.”
In my head, however, I muttered … ‘Trust me I would love to just do it all for you. It would be so much easier, less arguments, less mess, less anger and frustrations. But life is not about what is easiest.’
I believe my job as a parent is to teach; to teach my children how to do things, and make choices to live their best lives. My child will have plenty of friends in his or her life, but I believe that I am not one of them. I will take them to do fun things, and hangout with them as long as they will let me, but I will also make sure I am leading them to live their best, responsible life. I will teach them to be capable, self-aware, and strong individuals.
I remember when he was four we would battle over tying his shoes. I was determined for him to learn because I knew how smart and capable he was, but ohhhh did it take patience! I would prep to spend almost 20 minutes at the door on our way out in order to get him to tie his shoes. Day after day, I would tell him “Ok let’s get our shoes, and it’s time to tie them.” He would sit and pout, cry, and whine- but ultimately 99% of the time he would end up tying those shoes! It may have taken a month or two to master, but once he knew he knew!! He used to think I did it out of spite, but the truth was it was out of LOVE! It was just a small task in his life that he needed to know to be successful. Some of you may laugh, but he ran into plenty of kids over the years that had no idea how to tie their shoes that were very capable and he was befuddled.
I get it some parents don’t have the time, but I did and I do.
Parenting is hard. It is very time- and patience-consuming, but all we can do is try our best. Try our best to help our children grow up to be successful, strong individuals.
Jade San Nicolas
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