Respect. I take it seriously. I feel that respecting others will get you respect in return. I believe that without respect, you won’t get very far in life. It’s a big deal to me. So when my kids don’t respect me, their dad or each other, it really bothers me. That’s where I’ve been for the past week. Bothered. Disappointed. Worried. Unsure of my next move.
I don’t know if it is because of the move or their new schools or new friends… or is it just their ages? It has sounded like WWIII in our house every single night. Whether it is a tantrum over not getting to play Star Wars Legos on the Wii or the fact that I have asked them to clean up their toys for the third time, there is yelling. I hate yelling. I hate my kids yelling at me, and I hate yelling at my kids. We’re not perfect. And I realize that by yelling at my kids, I’m not respecting them either. So to say it has been a very trying week is an understatement.
Honestly, I started this post out of anger. After an incredibly rough night where certain privileges were taken away from the kids for disrespecting me, I sat down at the computer and started writing. The post started the same, but went a different direction. It felt good to get it out, but there was no way I was going to publish it. Now, after some serious conversations with my mom and my kids, I’m in a different place. I’m not angry, but I am still disappointed and worried.
As a parent, you want your kids to be the best they can be. For me, it is more about how they treat themselves and others that is the most important. It’s not about being the best soccer player or getting straight A’s (although I would be extremely proud), it’s about being the type of person that others want to be around. And I want that for my kids. I don’t want to be worried about my kids disrespecting others. I don’t want to be disappointed by their actions (although I’m sure there will be some of that no matter what!) I just want to be proud of how they carry themselves and how they treat others. I have a quote hanging in our kitchen that expresses exactly what I want from my kids.
Remember when you go into the world to keep your eyes and ears wide open. And be kind. Love one another. Take care of each other. Tell the truth. Always do your best. Listen to the big people and the little people. Explore new paths and have fun. Know that you are loved like crazy. Give thanks for all your blessings. Above all else, love and you will do wonderful things in this world. – Rebecca Puig
Everything in that quote is about respect to me. I want my kids to be reminded of this every single day. I want to remind myself of this as well. I am their role model after all. So we’re turning a new leaf this week. It’s yet another leaf after many before it. (When at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Or, as parents, try the next strategy.) We’re trying a new strategy of peace. No yelling is allowed. If one of us yells, the others hold us accountable. It’s difficult to not raise my voice when Cooper is throwing yet another tantrum and throwing toys and trying to hit me, but I’m sticking to my guns. I don’t want to go back to the yelling all the time.
We’ve been through a lot the past few months. We’ve moved away from our beloved house, our wonderful friends and family, and we’re forging new ground here in Rhode Island. It’s not easy. While we have grown closer over the months, we’ve also grown tired of each other. We need other outlets. We need other friends. That will come, but it will take time. In the meantime, we still need to support each other and love another. We need to ‘take care of each other.’ And that begins with respect. Wish us luck!