Having to be the grown ups.
This seems to be the theme of my week. I am really not enjoying it very much. And so I blog….
As I wrote in my last post, I have a child that wants me to rescue her from (very expensive) sleepaway camp. I expect the pleas to intensify during visiting day, although I hope to be pleasantly surprised. For now, I am leaning towards making her stick it out until the end. Tough love. Very grown up. Not a lot of fun.
The teenager did a teenager thing. He broke a rule, he has to pay the price. He hates the price, and he isn’t very happy about it. It is a steep price……. it was a big rule. He would like the conversation to be about the rule itself. Of course it isn’t. It’s about the breaking of a rule, any rule, and just getting caught the 400th or bizzillionth time. Add in the trying-to-play-off-of-the-divorced-parents-that-can’t-get-along tactics that are so normal hasn’t made the situation more fun.
We have to remain consistent – and calm. We have to follow through, because, well, because we have to. We have to deflect the arguments from the other parent to reneg on the consequence and not be consistent. We may have to endure the withholding of the teenager’s time and affection as our punishment for punishing.
It was much easier when I was the teen in this spelled out scenario, and someone else had to be the grown up. Nobody told me then, in my indignation and rage, that this end of it is actually harder. The only thing worse than having to be the “bad cop” parent is being the non-custodial “bad cop” parent. At least as the stepmom I can take a lot less of the heat than DH.
Giving our children what they need instead of what they want is so hard. The challenge is daily, yet I often feel we cave less than some. We are the strict meanie parents who don’t give our kids candy, after all.
There isn’t any solution; we just have to take our medicine and do what is right, precisely as we are demonstrating to our children that they must do. So I gripe (blog), because I would much rather give in, feed them junk, let them stay up late and send them home full and happy to someone else who has to worry about their character development.
Oh wait… I get to do that (G-d willing) with their kids, right? No wonder they* say that grandparenting is the best part!
*”they” = my parents.