It has become increasingly obvious to me that Mariah and I are going to have to sit down to reformulate our plan of attack with regards to the kids. The kids are all great and nobody is giving us any problems…as of now, but it is our goal to keep it that way.
The kids are all getting older and Mariah and I (unfortunately) continue to age as well…(I am even beginning to shrink!!) We want what is best for all of the kids and want them to grow, learn and conduct themselves in an age appropriate manner. Now the difficult part in this balancing act is that every child is different. Just because one 12 year old acts a certain way…doesn’t mean that every 12 year old should.
We try to push the kids to be ‘individual’ and to follow their instincts. We want them to feel comfortable being who they are…to a point. I do want our 10 year old to stop the baby talk, whining, going EVERYWHERE with the 4 stuffed animals and two little ‘blankies’ and drinking from a baby bottle…and I want our 18 year old to call to check in after school and ask before inviting 15 friends over at 9PM for a back yard party.
Now, with 6 kids ranging from 5 to 18, we have run into a sort of conundrum. House Rules. I am big on rules and consistency, while Mariah is big on individuality and reflection on her childhood. Both aspects are very important in operating a well-oiled family machine.
We have found it hard to have (and enforce) just one set of household rules. It would be ridiculous to have our 18 year old following the same rules as a 5 year old …or even 12 year old, yet where are the lines drawn? Do rules drop off as you get older?
I have thought that having House Rules that everyone abides by and a set of ‘Guidelines’ that drop off or get more flexible as a kid gets older. I, by no means, want to raise kids that are not allowed to make mistakes or make their own decisions…that would be just plain stupid…but at the same time the younger kids watch the elders and …want to act like them and have the freedom that they have.
We do not spy on the kids, nor do we overstep the bounds and get overly involved with the kids’ social lives…but we do have one or two kids in each of our children’s circle of friends that we know we can pry the truth from…our own little spy ring.
As I stated above, the kids are all great. They are honest, polite and are all doing exceptional in school. They all have great little groups of friends and have proven that they know right from wrong. BUT….they all seem to, from time to time, forget that we have rules….and they’ve completely forgotten what chores are.
With a 12 year old that ask to do or for something 500 times (instead of taking our first answer as ‘the ruling’), a 14 year old that ‘plays it by ear’ on a daily basis and ‘tells’ us what he is doing instead of asking…and an 18 year old that comes and goes, has boys sleep over and ‘forgets’ to check in on a regular basis….is making me think that we may all need to go back to family boot camp.
I feel as though I’ve been rambling in circles here so I am going to stop…the last thing that I am going to say is that I 100% endorse the notion that all children, no matter how old, need to know that they are not the boss…parents are and their rules and decisions need to be respected and not questioned or broken. I believe that it sends the message of security, strength and authority… and continues to teach them respect.
The Boy and the Pine Forest - One day, his parents drove him several hours outside of the city and the place that he knew as home. They passed by meadows, farms and forests on the way t...