Parenting: Sometimes I'm kind of a dick to my kids

Parenting: Sometimes I'm kind of a dick to my kids
K: King Joffrey. This sweet dear is about to get married.

I made one of the kids cry yesterday.

I won't tell you which one; but since I have two, a boy and a girl, you have a fifty-fifty shot.

This child asked what we were having for dinner. I said, "Chicken, barley, and broccoli."

The child responded with an "I hate chicken" whine.

I responded by telling the kid I thought s/his tone was incredibly rude and I got, yes, kind of pissy about how I'm the one who makes dinner and I told s/him if s/he didn't like it, s/he wouldn't have to eat anything I ever made ever and good luck with that.

S/he answered with tears and an "I'm sorry."

I felt a little bad because generally the kids are nice, kind people who don't get snippy with me, but sometimes you have to put them in their place. This is an oligarchy not a democracy. It's not a monarchy either, where our little Joffrey Baratheons rule the roost.

I'm in charge. I am the one who knocks.

I talk to some parents who are always so worried about how their kids are going to respond to this or that. "Susie's going to be thrown off if our dinner time changes because of swimming class. I don't know how I'll get her out of the house. She'll be so upset."

Yeah, she'll be upset. Because she's a kid. Because all she wants to do (if she's anything like my children) is build Legos and watch Netflix all day. Anything outside of those activities is a day ruiner. Honestly, it's never occurred to me to be concerned about my kids' feelings regarding dinner or activities or, really, well, anything. They're seven and four. They're expected to roll with it, whatever it happens to be. And, to their credit, they do. Except when I'm cooking frickin' chicken.

My job is not to coddle them or cater to their every whim. My job is to force my values and interests upon them, in the hopes that they'll be well-rounded individuals who like all the things I like. Therefore, I signed the boy child up for piano lessons. He was very reluctant. Now he comes home from school every day and immediately gets his practice time in. Every time he's tickling the ivories, I'm like, "See? Music is fun." He told me he's not a sports guy, but I signed him up for basketball anyway because fitness and because a basic knowledge of sportsball games is never a bad thing.

But it's not all about me one hundred percent of the time. I am a benevolent ruler. Sometimes I will listen to their demands and those demands will be met. Boy child told me in the beginning of the school year that he wanted to join Cub Scouts. Scouts is not relevant to my interests. I am an indoor cat. I don't "make" things or enjoy following arbitrary rules about uniforms and whatsuch. But the boy wanted Scouts. I thought he'd forget about it, so I decided to treat it like he was trying to convert to Judaism -- if he asked me three times, I'd sign him up. He did. And now I'm a Scout mother, using sticky stuff to attach the patches to his shirt because hell if I can sew.

Never say I'm not a softy.

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