Spoiled rotten and more

I have spoiled the kids way too much. I tend to throw Jon under the bus with me and tell him that he is a culprit, too, but he is not half as bad as me.

This realization has been out there for a while but continues to get pounded in me at times like this afternoon when Maria called me. She sweetly said “hi mommy, how are you?” when I answered the phone. Then she plunged right into her question.

“Mom, can I skip reading today?”

“No, Maria, you have not read all week. You only have to read for 30 minutes and then you are done.”

“But mom, I will do it tonight. I promise.”

“No, Ri. We say that and then something comes up. Just do it now.”

“Mom, please, later.”

“No, Ri. Now. Love you. Bye.”

One minute later – text from David: “Maria is throwing a fit because she doesn’t want to read.”

I call her back. I tell her she cannot act this way. She bawls.

Seriously, over a book? Over 30 minutes where she has to do something we are imposing on her? Give me a break. She engaged in this same behavior over my demand that she clean her room and the basement after her friend and her destroyed them both.

To her credit, she has succeeded in getting her way in the past via this behavior. But it’s a new day for mama. I need to follow through and make her appreciate the sense of accomplishment in following through on a task and having a clean room.

The New Yorker article earlier this month was awakening for me. I was embarrassed as I read it because I fit the mold of a few of the LA parents referenced in it. I do not want spoiled kids. I do not want lazy kids. I do want appreciative kids. I do want driven kids.

I have resolved to wake up every morning to hand-written notes on my mirror that say things like “Let them learn by making them do things – you stay back!” and “Once you say no, stick with it!” and “Set a chore for the day that they have to do.”

I could probably make the notes up real pretty and sell them to a lot of LA moms and dads.


They don’t look spoiled, do they?!

3 thoughts on “Spoiled rotten and more

  1. Laura Kathryn says:

    Jane had a list on the counter every morning of summer break that we had to get done before we did anything special. The list was age appropriate and usually containing some “every day” things like making our bed and then items that changed everyday.
    Lists had things including, but not limited to: wash breakfast dishes, read 30mins, dust living room, put toys away in basement, water flowers, 15mins of math flashcard/worksheets, read a book to Cy, walk the dog.
    Only after the list was done could we invite a friend over or go to the pool or try and get permission to walk to the candy store or take a trip on the bike trial or go to the library.
    Mom didn’t have to nag to get it done, I mean she did some days, but we woke up ate cereal while we read our lists. Mainly we got them done quickly so we could head to the pool.

    Want me to help you write lists? You wrote really good ones when I cleaned your house… and I say that still thinking that wiping down walls is silly!

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