Sometimes it is the smaller misbehaviours that wear me down. They are constant, they are relentless. Some days I chose to ignore them for the sake of my sanity.
The shoes in the kitchen is a small example. Michelle was given a new pair of dress shoes. I told her not to wear them out playing in the backyard. She has plenty of shoes for playing in. Well, the first day she wears them out without me noticing. I didn't say anything so the shoes ended up in the kitchen for me to notice. Shoes don't normally end up in the kitchen. Since we added the family room to the house the kitchen is in the middle of the house. Shoes tend to congregate by the back and front doors.
Well, these dress shoes end up in the kitchen where I noticed that they were dirty and had obviously been worn out to play. I have Michelle come and get them and remind her not to play outdoors in them because I will not replace them.
The next day I stop her from wearing them outdoors. However, I am not always there to see what shoes she is wearing. I don't always look at what she is wearing. Later they once again end up in the kitchen looking more ragged than before. The toes are looking torn and they are dirtier. Once again I tell Michelle to stop wearing them out to play.
Over the next few weeks I keep finding those shoes in the kitchen looking worse and worse. Finally one day I find them in the kitchen and they are destroyed. I put them in the trash.
Sunday Michelle comes down in a pretty dress for church and she has no dress shoes. She is wearing bright yellow crocs. Even my husband recognized that it looked bad and he told her to go find something else. She comes down in shorts. We are having our first weekend of cold weather so I tell her to put on some jeans. Naturally that calls for yelling and crying. I am now the bad one because she has no dress shoes. We are not providing for her and she is willing to tell anyone who will listen.
She wants me to go out and buy her some. I will not. Well, that isn't true, I found some at Goodwill but I will not give them to her yet. She may find them under the tree for Christmas.
The shoes in the kitchen are just a small example of the smaller behavior issues that we deal with on a daily basis, with more than one child. To me the shoes are a simple issue, natural consequence once they are ruined. Other behaviors aren't so clear cut. Some I just let go. Some I can't.
Sometimes the issue becomes bigger when the kids go to others and talk about how deprived they are, how awful their parents are, how strict their parents are. These people have a tendency to judge when they don't know the whole truth. We have had problems when friends, acquaintances, even churches judge us and turn from us.
After getting hurt by friends, I let very few people into my inner circle. Over time I have gotten stronger although it still hurts to get the look of judgement from adults. I have worked hard on changing my attitude and recognizing that they are just clueless. I have also worked hard on how I look at parents who are struggling out in public. I work at offering compassion and understanding when they are dealing with a difficult child in public. Because sometimes it is easy to say to others, "don't judge me" then turn around and judge others in the same way.
Anyone else struggling with small misbehaviors that never end. Are they getting worse because Christmas is coming?
What about dealing with people who judge your parenting? How do you deal with it?