My kids have a lot on their plates. I try to teach them to be responsible and get their chores done, and it seems like I’m always getting on them for not speaking in a nice voice, not remembering to put away their clothes, not rinsing their dish, etc. etc. etc. But this week I tried to be not so hard on my kids.
We all deserve a little grace here and there. Life is hard. I often forget how hard it was (is) to be a teenager, but they have it rough too and sometimes they need a little slack.
So I was not so hard on my kids this week.
One of my kids is supposed to load the dishwasher everyday. That’s their “job.” And while I’m always reminding them to do it (because they’re always forgetting), this week, Hubby and I took turns doing the job. Not because we’re pushovers, or because we don’t want our kids to learn responsibility, but because, as Hubby put it, we “didn’t have the heart” to make them do it when they were having such a hard week.
This child suffers from pretty severe anxiety, and pretty much always has. From toddlerhood this child has struggled with ridiculous levels of stress and guilt and worry that no child should ever have to endure. This is one of the reasons I feel so strongly about mental illness often being a chemical imbalance that only medication can help. But that’s a whole other discussion.
The bottom line is, sometimes our kids need our help.
They don’t just need our help when they’re little and they can’t help themselves. They also need our help when they are big and they can do most things on their own. Sometimes they need us to pick up the slack for them because they’ve had a bad week and they Just. Can’t. Even.
I know I have weeks like that.
And I haven’t been left alone in those times either. I’ve had friends bring me a treat or a meal or pay me a visit when I’ve been in need. I have people babysit for me when I have too much on my plate or I need a break. We all need people to cut us a little slack and not be so hard on us. Why would it be any different for our kids?
Most of the time I teach my kids to be responsible and do things even when they don’t want to. But on occasion, I teach them that it’s OK to need a little help.
While we’ve been trying to get back into the groove of school and schedules, I’m trying to cut my kids a little slack in the hopes that we’ll all be able to make it through this school year without too much trauma. Wish us luck.