Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Our summer has been fun, but full and busy. We have travelled to Minnesota, had LOTS of guests (and now my dad is coming today), and have been under constant construction since April. The backyard has been unusuable this summer, the toy room has been overtaken by a teenager with a large amplifier and big shoes (that are left all over) and even bedtime is often later due to summer outdoor activities.

None of this is good for a boy who thrives on routine and structure.

Harry has been struggling, behavior-wise, for the last three weeks or so. He is emotional, annoyingly mischievious and has become a terrible dinner companion (his manners are atrocious...again). After disciplining him last night about something, I suddenly hit the wall. The camel's back broke. Call it what you will - I was done. I calmly told him to go to his room and said that he had just lost the privelage to go to the family bowling outing with Ella and Dad. I would be staying home with him.

Consequences. Why are they so hard to give? I pride myself on offering solid parenting advice to the families I've worked with for the last 15 years in my profession. I have read books on parenting and have even attended parent groups and the occasional evening seminar. I know what to do. I know how to set boundaries, offer consistency, focus on the positive, and the importance of follow-through.

However...it is ALL easier said than done.

Last night Harrison and I, after he calmed down enough to have a discussion, talked through the missteps he took which caused his demise. He was able to tell me that the hurried and disheveled life we lead is causing him stress. (It wasn't that coherent, but I got the point.)

This is when I struggle with parenting. This is when I wonder if his behavior is my fault. And this is when I usually back down and wonder later which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Today we have to ready the house for the arrival of my dad tonight. I'll try to provide three solid meals, on time. We'll have a quiet time after lunch and we'll draw and read books at some point. No outings, no pool, no nothing. Hopefully this will quell whatever goes on in his little head. It's all I can do - control this one day.
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4 comments:

mamalife said...

Like you, I give advice, read books, and know the "right" things to do. Yet when, after being up for 16 hours and knowing I still have another couple hours of work ahead of me before I can crawl into bed, my daughter fights sleep for an hour, I lose my patience and yell at her. I don't like yelling. Especially at my beautiful precious loving girl. But there you go. We all have those moments.

Kbreints said...

It is so much easier to say what to do than to follow through - Don't be so hard on yourself, You seem to be a great mother. He knows that he is loved and can depend on you to be there as best as you possibly can. Just another stage.

Sitting said...

you know, we just moved, and now I'm home full time with my 3 yo. I KNOW a structured day would do her some good. Sometimes she naps, sometimes not. Lunch may fall anywhere between 11 and 2. Some days we get out to do something fun, and sometimes she helps me clean the house.

But putting structure on a day in which I'm not even sure what I should be doing feels almost impossible.

All that to say: I hear you, sister.

D. Combs said...

Woah...he looks exactly like my ex-husband when he was young, but especially this picture.