Sometimes I am flooded with so many ideas and beliefs about parenting I can hardly wait to put fingertips to keyboard, and other days (like today) I am at a loss for it all. I don’t feel fit to put another word to Dadlands, and I am pretty confident that I am failing as a parent. My four-year-old (almost five) does not seem to respect or obey me.
I have come to two conclusions: 1) You cannot force someone to respect you. 2) It is impossible to be a good parent if your children do not respect you. In short, if not number one you are screwed on number two. That’s a Dadlands Catch 22.
It is very frustrating when your children do not comply with your wishes and talk to you as if they were Manny Machado and you’re the umpire. Reasoning doesn’t work. Time outs don’t work. Taking away toys does not work. There are times when it is just hopeless.
As I reflect on it now that my boys are asleep, and more closely resemble the gifts from God that they are rather than the hellions they personified earlier, I know my boys respect me. They love me, try to imitate me and vie for my attention. But there are times the hierarchical system begins to fail, a bolt comes undone or one of the joists becomes loose, and the respect is replaced with a sinister smile and defiant tone.
This sends an otherwise compassionate father spiraling towards the ceiling. Were it not for the roof on the house I would have hitched a ride on a 757 bound for Hawaii. There are excuses I can come up with; the boys were over-tired (the most frequent of excuses), they did not get enough playtime together, too much TV, they sat in the car too long, Venus is in Jupiter’s fifth moon, SpongeBob was a two-parter, we ran out of their favorite flavor yogurt…
But now that they are asleep it was any one of these or perhaps all of them. When they wake up in the morning, they will be the sweet boys from yesterday not the hobgoblins from tonight. It was all just an aberration; it was probably the full moon. Yeah, that’s it the full moon. I feel better already. On to another blog.