Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lightening Up

This past weekend I really suffered for being too eager, and it made me want to take a step back and lighten up. Then again, it ain't easy. It always boils down to what I perceive as looking out for everyone's best interest vs. everyone taking responsibility for their own interest. Does that make any sense? Perhaps an example might help clarify things.

We were supposed to make our way to Occom Pond this weekend for our usual Saturday excursion, and we generally get there in the late afternoon and skate until it gets dark, which is fine except that it's really cold and they take the marshmallows away by 4:30. And, we're squeezing in a trip to the library and hopefully to Coop, while my wife is at work. My reasoning is, the earlier we get there, the better, while everyone else is very laid back and won't motivate until the zero hour, and that's with us (or should I say, me?) hounding them. It boils down to my inability to lighten up, and if I weren't pushing everyone, we'd never make it out the door and get to do the things we want to do.

Now here's the problem-maybe the kids need to learn the hard way. I.e., if they don't motivate and get it together, then we can't go skiing and skating and other things. Should mom and dad be pushing them out the door to do something they love, when they should be motivated in and of themselves? Do they need to learn the consequences of the inaction? This never comes about because we enable them to have no sense of urgency by ensuring that we make it on time, but it's often like pulling teeth. What kills me is that if it came down to missing out on fun things, then we're the villains, it's our fault, but what do you expect when you're a parent?

Is it just that I need to lighten up? The truth is, there are times we'd never make it out the door if we didn't apply a little (or a lot) of pressure. On Sunday we were supposed to go skiing, and the kids were excited about it all week. Come Sunday, we were lounging around as the clock ticked away. I wanted to be there in the morning, but by late afternoon, it was looking almost as if we weren't going to pull it off. Needless to day, I was crawling up the walls, and at some point I decided that I really needed to lighten up and let the cards fall as they may.

We eventually made it to the slopes, but much later than I'd hoped. It was great day, everyone had a blast and we reached even more milestones. The kids were besides themselves and said they wanted to ski every day, and they couldn't wait until next weekend when we'd hit the slopes, but I know come Saturday, they're going to dragging their feet and if I don't push them, we're going to end up sitting around the house all day.

In the end, I guess I'll never really be able to lighten up, and I'll continue to nudge them a little to get them out the door. I'm beginning to wonder if we're suffering the negative consequence of homeschooling. Somehow, without the regular routine of being bounced out of bed and pushed out the door, kids become a bit unmotivated and soft. It makes it a challenge for everyone involved.

Until the next time, thanks for reading.

No comments: