Parenting Vivian | 05 Dec 2010 06:13 am

Parenting Madness – Are You Being Set Up To Fail?

I’ve just finished reading an article on compassionate connection and I’m so excited. I stand corrected because now I know that every aspect of my parenting day should include a respectful discussion of each other’s needs, wants and desires. And to think that I was just about to make the cardinal error of asking my son to clean up his room!

So now that I know better, I am thinking the conversation with my son should go something like this. “Oh Alex, on the floor of your room I see towels, paper, pens, electrical equipment and something that looks like yesterday’s dinner.” This would not be a judgment, simply an observation. Wow, I’m doing well! Then Alex will of course look up at me and say “Yes mother, you’re quite right. There are all those things on the floor.” Terrific, we’re agreeing. Now giving no hint that we might diverge in opinion and still hopeful that I’m going to get at least some of the cutlery back in the kitchen, I am going to say “Alex, would you be willing to understand that I have a need for order in this house.”

Now that I’ve explained my needs, I know I can expect my son to dutifully leave what he’s doing. He’ll get up, look me in the eye, recognize my need for order and bend happily over to clean up his room in it’s entirety, both immediately and without complaint. Right on! Then I can gleefully move on to the next order of the day, which is of course, to instruct my nine year old in sushi making, my sixteen year old in quantum physics, the dog in paper retrieval and all the while, make a wholesome dinner of filet mignon with sauce bearnaise. To think I never had the time for this before!

Ok, so my sarcasm is getting the better of me. The joke is that my son does clean up his room when asked. It’s not always perfect and it’s often done with grudging acceptance but at least I don’t need to spend half the day ‘communicating my needs’ to him. No doubt he’s pleased because communicating on that level would have to be gloriously tiring, apart from anything else. No, I’m happy to report that our family is entirely normal but what is it with these totally ridiculous requirements? Do any of the proponents of these methods live in the real world or at least have more than one child?

No doubt society is more complex today that in earlier years but it doesn’t mean we need to go crazy. Let’s use some common sense here and have expectations that are at least, obtainable.

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