Wednesday, July 7, 2010
The Drill Sergeant vs. The Martyr Mom
I can't seem to find a happy medium. I don't want to be like the guy in the picture above...with my "troops" feeling demeaned and humiliated while I stand there screaming at them with spittle flying from my mouth. But I don't like what my children are becoming. It seems like there should be an in-between. A place where I can tell the kids what they need to do and they go and do it. No screaming necessary.
I don't want to walk around like a martyr either (which I do catch myself doing) with heavy sighs and pitiful woe-is-me faces.
Neither of those approaches works in child-rearing. Not for behavior or teaching responsibility.
But where is the happy medium? I feel like I'm either a total harpy or the house is a disaster. Junk everywhere. Kids running amok. No one but me doing anything. And no one but me caring. Then I get MAD. It makes me Bombaloo (that's the kind of mad that is characterized by steam coming from the ears, eyes looking like bulls-eyes, fists clenched...you get the picture).
I think the key is to have them do certain chores. Every. Single. Day. No breaks, no exceptions (other than illness). Not because they're going to get money for it. Not because I will reward them in any way. Just because they are a part of this family. And when you're part of a family you have to help keep things going. I will NOT feel guilty for this. I will realize that I am teaching them valuable lessons in responsibility. Wow. I'm a mom. For real.