Not in this House (Preventing entitlement mentality, Personal responsibility, Values)

Tonight, I got on her case about leaving her plate by the kitchen sink. My parents, in their calm, grandparent state listened from the table.

Me – “Excuse me, get up here and take care of this. Why is it left here?”

She hung her head a bit.

Me – “We are not your servants. You don’t leave the plate up here and expect someone else to do it. We are a family. Also, I had this same discussion at lunch with you during your playdate, and I’ve had it two hundred other times.”

Her – “Sorry.”

Me – “No. I’m not asking for an apology. I’m asking for a reason.”

She tried to come up with one. It was not rational. My parents, in the background, chuckled at her creative answers and commented that she should be on a debate team when she gets older. Given that I was the one repeating myself, I was not so amused.

Later, at bedtime, I circled back to it

Me – “I was firm with you about leaving the dishes out after all the times we’ve discussed it. That’s because I don’t want you to grow up being lazy and expecting others to just do things for you. I want you to grow up with a sense of personal responsibility and a strong spirit. Okay?”

Her – “Okay.”

We then read Harry potter as I scratched her back, and I sang her to sleep.

Maybe getting firm in one’s tone isn’t popular with some parenting philosophies these days, but, inside a whole lot of love, sometimes values and expectations need to be clearly articulated.


And again

And again, still…

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