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, still…