Saturday, July 08, 2006

30 minutes goes a long way

After fighting with my son about cleaning his room, he finally saw my point about the whole thing. He is twelve. He needs to help out more around the house because of the following reasons:

  • I do the laundry. He seldom has to do more than fold his socks and underware, and put his clothes away.
  • I do nearly all of the cooking. He occassionally helps. I don't force him to help with this because I want him to enjoy it.
  • I make sure he has what he needs.
  • I make sure that he occassionally gets things he wants as well.
  • I spent an entire week at Boy Scout Camp with him, so that the kids were able to go.
  • I agreed to do the Scoutmaster job when it was offered. I still can't believe I did that. We'll see how that goes.
  • I took you to the movies last night. We had to stand in line a long time.

And a whole list of other things that a parent normally does. I ended with this thought:

You are not a baby anymore. You are twelve. You have to pay full price at the movie theatre. You can't eat from the kids' menu any more. You've started puberty. If you want to be treated with the respect due to a person your age, you need to accept responsibility. If you want to be treated like a little kid, then continue to act like you are acting right now. Little kids don't get to use computers, gameboys, gamecubes, fire...

About this time he wised up and started cooperating. We bonded during that 30 minutes of cleanup. That's all it took to go from disaster to decent.

And all it took for a kid to stop feeling sorry for himself, and apologize. :)

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