Monday, September 24, 2012

The Problem's Source

I had a not-so-great weekend.  Sure I didn't have to work and it had moments of fun and relaxation which are the main two goals I strive for.  But much of the experience was punctuated with frustrations, unmet expectations, whining and bickering children, and an uncomfortable tension.  To get more specific the frustrations and unmet expectations are mostly mine.  My wife shares some of this but I am by far the disappointed dad.  Between some lessons yet to be learned on the sports field and twin six year olds that still think whining, crying, and a tantrum here and there is still the best way to well...get their way...I met my quota. 

The whining and bickering belong to my kiddos which induced the frustrations and unmet expectations, which all made for the soupy ingredients that caused the uncomfortable tension.  The general rule that if Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy does apply in my house.  But when Daddy ain't happy, the home isn't exactly firing on all cylinders either.  My kids don't enjoy being lectured, sent to their rooms, or knowing that they've let me down.  My wife doesn't enjoy my brooding and edginess even though she shares many of the same concerns.

Where I am challenged with all this and where I would love some advice from you, my trusty readership is this:  Where is the line between being a dad that just lets his kids be who they are with reasonable expectations and being the dad that holds them to unreasonable standards and then pouts himself when failures occur?  I know I am at fault for much of what went down in my home this weekend.  But every time I reexamine my expectations, I cannot seem to find any area where the standard is unreasonable.  My reaction is definitely in need of refinement but the bar doesn't seem to be.

So let's assume I manage to change my attitude/reaction to these let-downs. The challenge for me is how to do that without swinging the pendulum too far the other way and let the kids believe I am completely fine with bad behavior and failures?

Your thoughts...


Mike Messerli said...

Sounds like you need one simple rule- no whining allowed. That would fix all the rest as well.