This picture is of my brother and his wife. He is my only sibling. There is almost 10 years between us. My child care classes started with him.(LOL)
How do you parent the children that are giving you so much trouble? This, I was ask recently by a well meaning friend. It was a question I had ask my self recently. I have made some changes in my parenting in the last several months.
To begin with I'd like to say expectation has a lot to do with their actions, especially when they are young. Say 10 and younger. They learn what is expected of them while they are young and it just carries over in to their teen years. The oldest child I've ever adopted was 11. She is 18 now and is a really good kid. We have had our issues but hey that's a given. Some children are harder than others. I had a psychologist tell me that no matter how good a parent I was I could not change their DNA. And he was right. Love, family, home, food, shelter, education, sports, religion, and good parenting can not change the DNA. When I first heard this some 12 years ago I thought yea right. Well I've come to accept that. I've decided to move on. At around 16 to 17 (some mature faster than others) I've started to back off. I've started letting them make their own bed, so to speak. If their room is a pig sty, they have to live in it. If they don't help do laundry, they wear dirty clothes. If they are failing classes, they will not graduate. These are just a few of the things I've decided to back off on. Now let me tell you-10 years ago I did not do this. I stayed on every one to keep every thing in order, maintain B's, clean, clean, clean. It was not easy. My birth son was really a hard case. But I was determined he was going to act "right". Well, after a tough summer this year, and a failing attempt to "fix" one of my children I decided after talking to many professionals, to quit trying so hard. One therapist put it like this; A lesson in the school of hard knocks is what this kid needs. It wasn't easy for me at first. I've had to let go of the control slowly. Keith still doesn't like it. I just decided not to let my life be a living nightmare. So far so good. Curfew still has to be met, because that affects me. I have to stay up and let kids in. Of course alcohol, drugs, tobacco, and porn are still absolutley off limits. I will involve the police in that case. My life has actually been easier. I'm not worrying so much. The what if's aren't driving me crazy. I still love them. If they are lying in a ditch hurt I would help them out. I'm just not gonna stand in front of the ditch and plead, beg, and fight to keep them from going in it to start with. Hopefully at some point in their live they will realize I just wanted what was best for them. Maybe not, I can't change DNA.