Are You Not Entertained?
This week I'm cutting to the chase.
I'm done entertaining Mino.
He's currently bored. To the point of literal tears, and I'll tell you why.
It's very easy in this generation to raise a grade A, "me" centered, bonafied A**hole.
We're so politically correct. So bent on letting our children "be themselves," and so afraid of having a far left or right opinion, that children are slipping right past us into the blatant obnoxious territory that's fostered by free ranging.
How do I know this, you ask?
Because, I'm trying to reverse the world class mess I've made of my oldest son. If you haven't, you can check out how this all came to my awareness, and how we've been dealing here and here.
I could blame it all on him.
You know the classic mom's "that's just his personality."
But the reality is, in hindsight, no matter how ingrained in his nature, I should have and could have, begun to check this behavior, a long time ago.
Now I have a first grader who cries when he doesn't get his way.
And we did try what we would consider in my professional line of work, "conservative treatment."
I tried positive reinforcement. Worked for about two weeks.
We tried talks. Long winded, "Boy Meets World," "Full House," types of talks.
We designated a naughty chair.
We've threatened to the high heavens.
We tried counseling.
Even had him psychologically assessed. The only thing wrong with the child is he is TOO smart, they said.
And I've been on more internet forums and read more articles than I care to admit.
One of them had a comment left on it by a woman who said the writer's use of the word "brat" when describing children offended her. That it actually reminded her of a children's version of the word "bitch."
Yeah, that's the climate now. Calling a spade a spade is off limits.
Well I hope she doesn't come across this post, because I've concluded that my husband and I have done nothing more than raise a genuine brat, and we're now reaping the karma of our seeming inability to curb his desires up to this point.
I thought I was a tough mom, but I wasn't.
You know how I know?
Because NOW I am forced to be a tough mom to reverse the damage I have done.
At the first sign of recurring shenanigans at his brand new school, my husband and I have stripped Mino of everything except his bed. He has lost all of his television and electronic privileges.
I now own a Nintendo DS, PlayStation, and no longer have joint custody of the iPad.
That means not only is he on punishment, but I feel a little like I'm on punishment, because I'm policing a six year old.
We fill his time with school work and reading, because if you play on the school's time, your free time is now school time, my friend.
He's been crying tears of boredom.
He actually professed that he would "Just rather die!" in church, than to listen to his grandfather preach another moment without his blessed iPad.
But this is a proud moment for me.
Damn what the internet says about "not wanting to break your child's strong spirit."
Or not to hurt your child's feelings by telling them they're a first class pain in the you know what.
If you would rather die than sit idly in church, or read "The Cat In The Hat Comes Back," one more time, then eventually you'll straighten up and fly right, my son.
As his boredom escalates at home, I'm seeing a correlating improvement in his at-school behavior. So eat that mushy parenting magazines the world over.
I'm learning that just as important as it is for my child not to want for the necessities, it's also important for him to understand disappointment, and not melt into oblivion. He has to understand boundaries, and not monopolize the attention of any adult he encounters, or siphon the energy out of my husband and I, leaving his brother with scraps.
So I pose the question now as I did to the oh-so-bored Mino: Are you not entertained?