So, day 5, and I’m officially questioning my ability to parent.
This is not new. I’ve often questioned my ability to parent small humans. But never in this context; never in the context of survival, of coping, of making it through whatever the universe throws at us and working hard to keep it together.
Clearly, I’m not keeping it together very effectively. Day 5, people, and I already wish that I could go back to the office and send my kids to school.
And I’ve got great kids. They are actually not arguing with each other (very much) and they have spent a ton of time outside together without me, so they are proving self-sufficient.
But, in facing the days and weeks ahead, I’m questioning my ability to get them to focus on things like learning, school work, chores, music and soccer practice.
I know what drives this questioning voice in my head. I know what little Miss Judgmental is getting at every time she speaks up. I’m not good at putting aside gratification. I’m not good at making myself do hard things. I’m not good at staying focused.
And because I’m not good at all those things, all those skills that are required to teach and guide and encourage young minds, I’m going to fail at keeping my kids engaged during this time away from school. And my kids are going to languish. They are going to do only what they find (instantly) gratifying. They are not going to focus and use this time productively.
But what if I flip the switch? What if I trust my kids to use this time they have been given? What if we start from a place of understanding on both sides: what I want and what they want? What if, after coming to an understanding of expectations, I just lay out the day’s tasks and options each day and see what they do with that guidance?
Shall we experiment? No judgment. No nagging. No whining. Just trust and guidance.
Let’s call it experiment #1 and see where it takes us. The first day is Monday.