Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Over the past few weeks one phrase has become very popular at our house. My nearly 6-year old son believes that he is now equipped to make all decisions for himself. He thinks that the end to all arguments is to say, "I make my own decisions!" and storm off in a sulky huff (with the recent addition of firmly shutting his bedroom door behind him). I thought I would have at least another 6 or 7 years before this became a serious concern in my daily life.

On top of this, my son and 2 3/4-year old daughter just can't seem to give each other a break. Lately, we've been in a power struggle, particularly over property rights, and I'm starting to get worried about witnessing Cain & Abel take place on my Cheerio-covered living room floor.

Everything is "Mine! Mine! No, mine!" all day long, it seems. What makes it worse is that now my son yells out (at the peak of every argument), "It's mine! I make my own decisions!" To which my response is "Actually, it's mine! And I make ALL the decisions." Today, that caused both kids to storm off in a huff to their own rooms which turned out to be fine because I got some quality Facebook time in peace.

Anyway, I know this response isn't helpful (unless I want to spend all day on Facebook, of course). My only defense is that I'm driven to it. I don't really think I do make all the decisions. Not only that, but I don't want to make them. Decisions = work. And I have enough of that already.

Not only that, but this puts me, as a parent, in a very tricky spot. After all, the consequences of dealing with this situation could affect whether or not I have a 35-year old, jobless, son living at home with me. I do want him to make his own decisions. And, yes, I even want to give him room to make some bad ones. After all, one day I won't be there to make all his decisions for him. But, I don't think I'm ready for that yet. Even if he is.



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