According to the Mayans I only have 11 months and 21 days to become a better parent. So, in my quest for rapid improvement I have created a list to guide me. This is not a vague list of resolutions to become a better parent in 2012. “Be a better parent” always makes my list, but I usually manage to break my resolve by about 3:00 pm on January 1st. It got me thinking that I probably need a more concrete plan in order to accomplish my over-reaching goal of not sucking as a parent by December 21. Maybe this year I’ll make it to January 2nd.
- I resolve to just say “Thank you” when my kids do something I ask them to do and not follow that with”…but if you had just done it when I asked the first time we wouldn’t have had a fight.”
- I resolve to let the kids work out their own fights and only intervene when one of them grabs a hockey stick or heads for the baseball equipment bag.
- I resolve to not ask my 15-year-old how his test went the minute he gets in the car after school (I will wait at least 60 minutes).
- I resolve not to buy frozen Taquitos, (or chips or candy) and then complain to my 11-year-old that frozen cheese and a smattering of beans is not a sufficient snack (Then why did I buy them??!)
- I resolve to not roll my eyes when my kids launch into a discussion of the “cool kill” they had on Call of Duty (or Skyrim or Halo) although I can’t agree to stop wanting to kill myself from boredom.
- I resolve to actually pull the plug on the video game they are playing when I tell them their time is up and not just threaten to do it over and over and over again (Me: “Ok, that is really the last five minutes you can play. No, really this time I mean it.” Kids: “OK Mom” wink, wink)
- I resolve to let my 11-year-old wear sports pants or basketball shorts to school at least once a week and not tell him that he looks like a bum as he walks out the door (even though I will be cringing inside).
- I resolve to not grip the edge of my seat so tightly when my 15-year-old is driving.
- I resolve to let my children finish whatever argument they have formulated to discount my “because I said so,” response to their requests (even if I have no intention of actually giving in and buying an air soft gun, a lizard, a new car, etc.).
- I resolve to look for the good behavior, not just the bad, and, yes, I’m talking about my behavior, too.
Happy New Year!