Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Definition of spoiled

Whenever I hear the term 'spoiled child', I think of a child that gets whatever it wants.  Whether it's toys, food, or behavior, the kid gets what the kid wants and the parents bow down and practically worship the child.  There is no discipline, no rules, no structure of any kind.

That to me is spoiled.

But yesterday someone told Bo that it sounds like Bailey is spoiled and we both were like WTF, because we have never ever done any of that with our kids.  How can our child be spoiled if he has rules, he is disciplined consistently, and does not get his way all the time?

Two of the people he works with are former teachers, and they both said the same thing.  He's spoiled, but not in the sense that we think.  When he's home, he does what he wants.  Whether its playing with his cars, reading, playing games or whatever, he just does what he wants.  Even though we don't allow him to run over us and we discipline him consistently, the fact that he has free rein over his activities at home could mean he's spoiled by that and wants that all the time.

Well fuck me sideways.

For both of us, growing up there was no structure or routine at home. AT ALL.  In fact my parents always told me to go play by myself whenever I asked them to play with me.  I always got 'I played by myself when I was little, you can too,".  They were so worn out from working all day, that my mom would do things around the house then sit down and watch tv, while dad, well he just watched tv and dosed every evening.  Family fun time was once or twice a year.  Bo's childhood wasn't that different.  He would go outside and play, and the only rule he had was he had to be home by dark.  That's it.  Although his family did go on family vacations and do things like play music and cards together, there wasn't a routine either.  It's what we do now as adults.  We just do our own thing, it's what we knew growing up and it hasn't changed.  And we do the same with the kids, they do their own thing most of the time. 

When Bo asked their help on what to do about how Bailey has been behaving, they said we should set up a routine and limit his free time.  Limit his ability to choose and dictate what he gets to do at home, will help him get into that routine of doing what's asked of him.  That because he's been able to come and go and do as he pleases, he's spoiled by it and he doesn't know how to handle being asked to do things. 

Which makes sense, except we didn't have that and we didn't question being asked to do things at school.  We knew at school we had work to do, and we could play and do what we wanted at home.  It never bothered us and the idea that he is having this issue blows our minds.  Mainly because we don't know what to do.

More that I don't know what to do as it will be me that does it.  I am allergic to routines, I really really am, and knowing that I have to add on to what I do now, that I force myself to do every single day, frightens the piss out of me.  And confuses me because I don't know where to start. 

I've never witnessed a set routine with kids at home, ever in my entire life.  I don't know how it works, how to do it, how to even create it.  And that makes me feel really stupid.  It's a totally different lifestyle than I've ever known, it's like asking me to breath underwater.  But others do it, hell Super Nanny recommends it, so I know it's done and I know it works and it helps many people.  I just don't know how to do it when I struggle at keeping myself on a routine. 


But I do know, I don't want to get a call in the middle of the day by his teacher again telling me he's being horrible by telling everyone no and fighting everything they ask of him.  I don't want her to walk him to the car again and say "well today Bailey did ____".  I don't want to see he didn't get a happy face for the day.  I do not want to fight with him anymore and have him laugh at every punishment we give him and act as if it's nothing.

Last week we set up a chart like the one he has at school.  If he's good at school he gets a reward, same for at home.  But if he gets a straight across face he loses something and won't be staying with my parents that weekend.  He thinks this is a joke, he gets a warning like always and he misbehaves then acts as if its out of no where that he doesn't get to do these things.  It's not like him at all to act this way and I'm hoping that this chart will eventually work.

On top of somehow coming up with a routine at home for him.

It's not fair that they are the ones to be punished for their behavior but it's the parents that end up doing all the damn work.....son of a bitch three times.

1 comment:

Draft Queen said...

That's the way I was raised as well. And never would I have acted out at school. At home, sure, there were times I pushed buttons, but school was "work time".

I'm not denying routines work, but I don't think I'd call Bailey spoiled because you aren't overscheduling his days, either.