Sometimes parenting sucks

Sep 28 2011 Published by under [Life Trajectories]

Of the many things I was relatively unprepared for when it comes to parenting is the relentlessness of Keeping The Line. Pretty much anyone who knows anything about kids will tell you that being consistent with what is okay and not okay is essential if you want to cut down on bad behavior and confusion by the child. Sounds all well and good, but staying consistent in a changing environment is like trying to drive at 30mph straight through Manhattan at midday.

Having to send the Wee One to bed early last night because she not only breaking the rules, but reveling in her defiance, sucked. Work has kept me later recently and we don't have much time between getting home and going to bed to enjoy being together as a family. Losing some of that time is as much a blow to us as going to bed early is to her, making it extremely tempting to let things just slide. And we have at times, but Here Be Dragons.

So we Keep The Line. As best we can. And hope the long-term benefits outweigh the short-term cost.

8 responses so far

  • anon says:

    I am not a parent, but I can say that I'm in the auntie business for a bunch of nephews. You pick your battles. The kids will come out fine in the end. Nobody's perfect.

  • PUI Prof says:

    Agree with you! Sometimes The Line seems to become detrimental. For example, if Boy (3) misbehaves, he gets a time out. If he misbehaves in time out, he goes to bed. Often when he gets sent to bed its becuase he's acting out becuase he's tired. OK so far. But he (I) also misses the Bedtime Routine that involves reading (an utmost priority) and singing and cuddling. I hate sending him straight to bed!

  • becca says:

    I think that "you have to be consistent" is a viscous viscous lie designed to make people feel bad about their parenting, and/or ensure that the socialization you provide to your offspring produces the most manageable type of citizen.

    I figure, the world isn't fair, and Mommy isn't either. The more honest I am, the sooner my kid learns that, and learns to understand nuance.

    Possibly, this is absolutely terrible post hoc rationalization that will scar my kid for life. But I get my damned cuddling in whether my kid "deserves" it or not.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    "Straight to bed" for us, still means that the bedtime routine happens. It also typically involves a discussion about why she is going to bed early and what we should do in the future to avoid it. The bath happens, the reading happens and the stories/snuggling happen. Just earlier.

  • JGB says:

    You need to mix pick your battles with hold the line. It is absolutely worth it. You allow the kids to develop, and keep the rules as few as possible, but enforce them completely. The art and variety lies in which rules you choose to use as important.

  • parenting the first child after the second child sucks major assage. I dont know about wee one, but monkey has started crying like a baby (literally saying Wah Wah wah and getting louder everytime). Has to climb all over me when nursing and does not fucking listen anymore.

    Just this morning, he started rocking BGs car seat when she was in it but not strapped in. For the last 2.5 month, he has been told MULTIPLE times a day not to do that.

    I have no idea what type of consequences to use anymore....

  • Katie says:

    My Mom tells the story of saving up to take all of us kids to an amusement park..looking forward to it and the family memories it would create. I had a melt down and could not be reasoned with. So my Mom took me and left -- and she remembers to this day how much effort it took to stick to the rules. She does admit that after we both took a nap, we had a very enjoyable afternoon at the hotel pool - but not the day she had planned. That story has always been a part of the "when you are a parent you have to be prepared to sacrifice to do the best for your children" speech. When I was older, my parents were more flexible on the rules -- the advantage of being the baby.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Katie, I think that is the unfortunate reality. If you are willing to use "not going to XXX" as a threat, you need to be able to follow through, regardless of home much you were excited about it. It's the nuclear option, but sometimes necessary.

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