Apparently today is your lucky day! It's a two-post-in-one-day, kind of day. Yay!
I would guess that most parents of spoiled kids don't think of them as being spoiled. If they do, they think it's cute. A comment like "oh, he's just so spoiled" is followed by a chuckle and a grin.
I'm sure there are those who are a bit more realistic. Unfortunately, a lot of the time it seems as though they're resigned to the *fact* that that's just how their child is going to be. You may hear a comment made in frustration like "he's so spoiled, but there's nothing we can do about it now!"
Of course, there are different kinds of spoiled. There are the kids who have every possession they ask for. There are the kids who get every waking moment of their parents' time. There are the kids who's parents do everything for them. But no spoiled kid is fun to be around.
I just realized as I wrote my post earlier today that I've been spoiling my kids by doing everything for them (or at least doing more for them than I should). This is quite a disservice to them. It ultimately robs them of having the chance become independent.
I will tell anyone who will listen that neither of my kids is mellow. I totally recognize it's a personality trait that will some day be an asset to them--IF The Hubby and I capitalize on its positive aspects now.
I find it's easy (especially on days when I'm emotionally down) to just do something myself rather than "fight" my kids over it. Almost every request I make of Bug and A is met with resistance (partly, I'm sure, because I've inadvertently trained them that it works). I get so tired of hearing them whine about picking up their toys, or clearing the table, or putting their dirty clothes in the laundry, that I'd just rather do it myself.
The other trap I fall into?
Bug and A have been playing together and getting along For An Hour.
Anyone who knows my kids knows that they spend more of their time together bickering than getting along (at least that's how it feels to me).
What parent wants to interrupt something that seems so rare? Really, who wants to interrupt kids playing happily? In my house that's something that falls into the "let sleeping babies lie" category of wisdom. What's more--who wants to interrupt a moment of peace in order to introduce basically guaranteed chaos (enter: the whining of not wanting to pick up/do whatever is asked)?
Not this momma!
There are also the times that the kids are outside, happily entertaining themselves by exploring and playing . Who wants to interrupt that?
Or there are the times when A and Bug are each playing their own thing, but they're quiet, happy, and letting me be productive. Who wants to mess up that peace?
You guessed it: I don't.
Here's where a comment my bestie made the other day comes in to play. "It's not our job as parents to keep our kids happy all of the time."
Eh? Come again?
I didn't realize what I was doing, but I have been totally guilty of adopting the idea that A and Bug need to be happy all the time. I don't feel that my kids are generally happy, so when I see them being happy, I hate to ruin it.
However, my bigger motive seems to be purely selfish.
I don't want to be told "no."
I don't want to give up the quiet atmosphere.
I don't want to have to spend 30 minutes cleaning up something, redirecting the kids the entire time, when it would only have taken me 10 minutes to do it on my own.
See a theme here (I highlighted it, in case ya missed it)?
It's kind of an ugly one when you're in my shoes.
So, while it is a fight and it can be exhausting, I realize that I've got to push through all of that in order to help my kids grown into adults whom other people want to be around. Adults who have good work ethic. Adults who have respect for possessions. Adults who have respect for superiors in the work force.
And, while I feel that I have a pretty good perspective on this (in that about 97% of the time my requests are met with loud resistance), there are those times when A voluntarily cleans up her mess and Bug's mess. Or when I make a request and it's met with a slightly reluctant "ok."
So, I'm going to try hard to work on this. My patience will be tested. There will be days when my nerves are shot.
BUT there will also be days when the house is tidier. Days when the kids realize they are going to be accountable for what they do/don't do. Days when my requests will be met with a simple "yes ma'am."
For now, I'll keep my sights set on those days.