Friday, August 15, 2008

Perfect children, yelling parents, and accidents that may or may not happen

I remember as kid thinking that my parents were all powerful (if not all-knowing). They told me to do something, and I think I pretty much did it. (My mom probably will laugh when she reads that last line as it may not be very, you know, true.) When we started having the kiddos I just sorta assumed that my superior size and intelligence would have the little people doing whatever I asked. As those of you with kids (who are now rolling your eyes at my naivety) know, it's easier to tell clouds where to go than to get perfect obedience from kids. I know that now . . . or maybe it's just my kids. Occasionally the Mrs HTF and I will find ourselves actually yelling. We're not yellers. And experience has taught us that yelling is only effective if the kids are a few hundred yards away from your mouth. But for some reason we still do it as we get increasingly frustrated at the lump under the bed spread who needs to leave for school in the next 30 seconds.
Oh I know that we should just have clear, consistent consequences (the Utopian Cs!), which will let the kids make the decisions without us getting so riled up. Does that work perfectly in your house? We have a 9-year-old who seems to love to push our buttons. Lately when he does something wrong, he always does it "accidentally." (i.e. "Dad, I accidentally stole my brother's Pokemon cards and tore them up into ant-sized pieces.") Not sure why he thinks this works, but he keeps using it. There's some odd idea in there that if we "accidentally" do something there won't be consequences. Ironically I hear adults use the similar "oops-logic" sometimes. (insert the name of your favorite scandalized celebrity/politician/sports-star here)
This parenting thing . . . harder than it looks when you're a kid.
Sorry Mom & Dad, for all the stuff I did wrong . . . it was all an accident for sure!

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