Posts Tagged With: parenting through divorce

Sorry, Momma don’t pay.

I do not believe in allowance, I never have. When I was growing up we didn’t have much money. My mom worked hard to be sure we had the things we wanted. Did I get every new toy I wanted? Hell no. Did I get the newest fancy clothes? Nope. But when it came to things that were good for me (activities, classes), I had them. My family owned a business and I began working from a young age. at 15 I had 2 jobs over the summer, one being full time. I was always working hard because no one was ever going to hand me anything.

My kids have always grown up being a part of the household. If I ask you to sweep, pick up someone elses’ mess, wash the dishes, anything, you do it. I have always been met with a “yes mommy” because we are a family. You eat here, have a roof over your head, toys, clothes, everything you need, so you participate. I do the majority of the work, but you must be willing to help when I need it.

Divorce sucks. When you have been the “on call” parent your children’s entire life, you have done a lot of research and come up with a pretty concise parenting plan. And then the game changes on you…. All of the sudden kids are given an allowance, not taught to save and instead buy toys that would to totally be off-limits with your parenting, and food choices seem like Halloween at all times…. ugh…

Learning to parent through this is far from easy.  I refuse to change my values, the values they are grown up with, but of course they wish I would. They are little, you can not expect them to understand “because its good for you”. So alas my helpers are harder to deal with. There is always push back, asking to be paid, expecting things that were normally held as “treats”.  Does this anger me? absolutely. I wish they could hold on to the values I have instilled in them. But, that’s not the case. Now I must learn to hold my emotions. I must learn everything will take a little longer. Nothing will be as simple as it once was.

I suppose just another episode in the saga “Divorced Parenting”

 

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Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Kindness

On the drive to school today I opened up a discussion on kindness. That word use to be huge in my home. With foster children coming and going I was constantly repeating myself, “remember sometimes people are mean because they are sad inside”. I bought every book I could find on the subject and read them to the Littles often. My favorite “Have you Filled Your Bucket Today” became a staple in the house. The children knew to not take others anger as a personal attack and instead to try to understand why someone else would behave that way. They were usually kind to each other (usually) and would work situations out among themselves. That kindness is long gone…

They now fight often. They speak rudely to each other as well as to me. They scream, take things away from each other, and overall just aren’t kind.

I remember the promise that was made to them when the divorce was first spoken of  “it’s ok, we’ll still be friends. Things aren’t really going to be that different.”

A lie.

So I asked the Littles, where has the kindness gone. “You all use to be so kind to one another”, “you used to have compassion for others”, “what happened?”

From the far back of the van Tea responds ” I think the sadness has made the kindness go away”

And with that I’m crushed. Duh that’s why they aren’t kind. Obviously, it’s what I always taught them… Being kind when you are sad in your heart is difficult. Give those people space, try to help when you can, never be mean in response. Well, again I fail. I have been punishing them for their unkindness, sadness. I don’t take them to do fun things when they are all being especially unkind. I don’t take them to the park if the day  is going terribly. I send them all to separate areas and have them read quietly. I take away toys and books. I, in response to their lack of kindness/sadness (Tea pointed out), am not kind in return.

I fail.

Now I sit here researching. Trying to remember all my old “go-to” resources so I can help my Littles. So I can help myself to understand and respect what they are going through. Amazon will be getting a lot of business today as I don’t have any of my old books. I need to remember that maybe when they are being terrible and mean, they need that bonding time. They need to do an activity together, play together, adventure together. I use to know all this… but sometimes you get lost in the chaos. Sometimes the screaming it too much. Sometimes your own kindness gets lost in the mess.

Sometimes it takes the genius of a 9-year-old to remind you, others might be struggling, kindness is always the best approach.

 

Categories: Parenting | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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