parenting fail

Definitions

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It’s 10:20 on a Monday morning and the kids have just gone off to school. 2 hour delay means a more relaxed (and far later) morning than usual. The trees are gorgeous all coated in fast-melting ice.

Much going through my head this morning. My friend Walker posted a thoughtful blog about labels that echoes much of what I’m wrestling with (and wrote about here.) Despite any posturing on my end, I still struggle with what I want to define myself as – and how to be proud and confident in that definition. It’s so much easier when someone else tells me who I am. Sigh.

Our 14-year-old son got up to check out the weather and the roads this morning and then decided he wanted to help us out by scraping ice off the cars. Not just the windshield, but the car itself. You might imagine how that went. We still can’t tell if he used the plastic scraper (bad enough) or a shovel (OMG terrible) on the hood, but there is no denying the fact that there are at least three big scrapes in the red paint.

It’s hard to know exactly what happened. Trying to figure out the right response is also tough.

Compounding the issue is the general feeling that we have failed as parents in some basic way. Our son shows very little respect for possessions. He thinks nothing of “borrowing” tools and not putting them back, only admitting to borrowing them when we go to use them and find them gone. His response to something being broken is “I’ll pay for it” when he has no concept of what that might mean, nor any real way to earn the money to do such a thing. He’s in the throes of the teenager “I know better than you do” life, so he dismisses any notion that he might learn something from us. How do we turn this around? What can we do to teach him the value in respecting himself, others, and their things?

My definition of myself as “Mom” isn’t making me very proud or confident this morning.