Mama really does know best…

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We have our Summer Bucket-list going strong… We’ve made a fair amount of progress already, considering school has only been out for one full week. What began as a countdown until days of sleeping in and low expectations, aside from our sixteen year old’s part-time job that is, too roughly a week to spur immense negativity and complaints about nothing to do.

Here’s the reality, this sweet girl of ours has a small collection of chores. While we know kids who have a lot more, she boasts of kids who have a lot less. It’s pretty much neither here nor there because either she does them (well) and maintains a level of kindness and decent attitude while taking responsibility for her choices or she doesn’t. One path results in privileges, the other one results in none. It’s pretty simple. It’s pretty old school. She loves to get off on a tangent about how other kids down have to deal with that, to which I’ll simply reply “right, but do they make the same choices you’re making as often as you’re making them that led to the necessity of this plan in the first place?” Sometimes I’ll get a mouthy but I’m sixteen… And I’ll sadly sigh and say “My point exactly kiddo, you should know better. {Parenting can be so fun!}

Last week our major issue was that she constantly interrupted me during my work (at home) hours to entertain her. Would I play a game with her. Would I watch a movie with her. Would I take her shopping. Would I ________…She knew that I had time carved out EVERY DAY for those things, unless she had something else planned. This is not her first school break. She was just bored and wanted to be entertained. When this wouldn’t pan out for her and we would both wind up frustrated, she would retreat to bed where she would want to spend the rest of the day sleeping, reading or looking incessantly at her yearbook. We, her parents, saw many issues with this plan but decided to see if she’d iron it out herself, though one big issue was come ten at night she was full of energy and wanting to stay up and be active for the next several hours.

Yesterday, as we settled back into the routine after a weekend away, this cycle started again and I told her to go find something constructive to do. Sure enough, a few minutes later, I walked by her bedroom and she’s once again gone to bed, with her yearbook. I went in and walked to her about the beautiful gift she’s been given, of a brain that functions brilliantly and a strong body that works. I told her she has the whole summer ahead of her and we won’t allow her to waste it. That if she ends up worn out or exhausted, that warrants a nap, but every day laziness from boredom isn’t a reason. I also explained to her that I work so that she can have and do things, and she needs to respect that as much as I respect her school and work time. I pointed out that her needing me, or a friend to entertain her isn’t any different from lying around. This was not a discussion she was thrilled with. If you have a teen girl like mine, extremes were run to and before I know it she’s telling me that I’ve forbidden her from reading over the summer. My daughter is a BOOK WORM. I would never… But I did tell her she would not be going to bed to read anymore. She could read on the floor, in a chair, on the couch, in the yard, under a tree, on the deck, in the hammock, at the park, in the car, in the tub. Anywhere but bed.

I’m such a horrible mother…

Today she motivated herself to do some yard work, she laid on a quilt in the yard and did some fashion sketching and then she read. This afternoon we played the WiiU for a couple of hours and then she offered to help her dad with some more yard work. After her shower she said “I am exhausted, I will sleep good tonight!” And I smiled. Not only does she feel better going to bed tonight, but she likely feels better about herself too…

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3 thoughts on “Mama really does know best…

  1. Oh my gosh….you’re doing such a great job. I can see it is frustrating and you’re not giving into that….you are much too smart. Hopefully she will get into a healthier rhythm with her chores and keeping busy. It’s hard when they first have so much time; I kinda remember that. I had to have a list of daily chores for my girls because it drove me bonkers to see them laying around doing nothing. :9 Wishing you all the best.
    ps. Thank you for your kind words regarding my Mom. All the best to your Mama now as well.

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