But being fair is so stinkin' hard. In fact, it's downright impossible at times. I thought, before I had kids, that it was going to be so simple. I thought, if they did wrong you disciplined them and if they did right you rewarded them. Simple. Right? No problemo! Until they fall into that gray area. The area that you can see where they made a mistake but they claim ignorance or that they were provoked. And do you discipline both children because one provoked the other? Or what about when you promise something fun and you want to do it with them and then they mess up (maybe even big time) and ruin it for everyone. Not just themselves but for you. You don't get the chance to bless them and be the "good guy".
And how in the world do you differentiate between good clean joking kind of fun and disrespect? I want my kids to be able to joke and have fun with us. Not be afraid. But they do need to fear us in the sense of respect. A good healthy fear. And when they're joking in a way that, to outsiders, comes off as cheeky (at best) that can't be good! But then do I want them "performing" when we're around others? No. I want it to be a real, honest relationship that looks the same no matter where we are or who is around. My children are not poodles dancing for the circus patrons. How do you draw the line between joking and "not funny". Just another gray area in my thinking.
And how do you choose between your children when they are at odds. When one child swears up and down the story goes one way and the other is vehemently claiming that that's not the way it went. Perception is a factor. And often the loudest child gets to "win". I hate that but it's true. Because in the words of Bill Cosby, "We just want quiet". Until the end of the day when all 4 of them are tucked soundly in their bed (before Haley makes her nightly trek to our bed that is) and I reflect on it and realize that I wasn't always fair. Almost makes me want to wake them up and say how sorry I am that I don't have all the answers.
And what about when Haley makes her nightly trek to our room-the one I mentioned just above. That should be counted as disobedience because she is supposed to be in her own bed. For 3 years now we've been telling her this. But she claims to be afraid. And the crying is for real. And I don't want my child laying in the other room shaking because she's afraid of whatever it is (shadows, foxes, skunks, etc etc etc) and afraid of me if she comes into my room. And no amount of
So, you see. Parenting is not as easy as I thought it was before I tried it. And I am greatly humbled in this journey of parenthood. I just hope I get it right enough to not end up on Dr Phil with my children in 15-20 years. Or worse yet, Maury Povich.