In hindsight, I probably was not quite as strict a disciplinarian with my girls when they were growing up as I should have been. Certainly nothing like how my dad disciplined me. I realize now that I let my kids get off too easy. Case in point:
Me to my daughter Emily when she was ten: Hey, kiddo. Your room looks like a tornado just came through. Would you mind cleaning it up now, before you go out and play? I’d really appreciate it.
EMILY: That’s so unfair. Madison’s parents never make her clean up her room so why should I have to?
ME: Every family makes its own rules, and unfortunately for you, you’re a member of THIS family. Now, just make your bed, put away your clothes and pick up the leftover pizza, and then you can go have fun with your friends. Thanks. I love you.
EMILY: I HATE YOU! You are so mean! You can’t make me!
ME: I’m trying to be patient here. Don’t make me ask you again. Clean up your room now – or else!
EMILY: Or else what? You’ll give me another timeout?
ME: Um, actually, yes. Plus, I’ll take away your cell phone until you’ve cleaned your room.
EMILY: No, you won’t. Because you need me to remove that virus from your computer that you got from downloading that stupid Elf Bowl game.
ME: Shoot. Okay, help me with my computer when you have time, and I’ll let you clean your room later. But that room better be spotless before you leave for school tomorrow morning, you hear me?
EMILY: Sure. Whatever.
ME: Hey, listen, Em. You’ve no idea how easy I am being here. Just be grateful you didn’t have MY dad for a father…. Continue reading “At Least I’m Not My Dad” »