Choosing my battles unwisely.

Fathers, don’t exasperate your children by coming down hard on them. Take them by the hand and lead them in the way of the Master (Ephesians 6:4, The Message).

Last night at dinner Ruthie asked for a straw to drink her milk with. I said no. This triggered a chain of events that eventually landed her in her bedroom for a lengthy time out.

In the aftermath of the whirlwind, but while she was still in her room, I looked at Bryan and said, “Why didn’t I just let her have the damn straw?”

Bryan shrugged his shoulders.

It was a classic case of my arbitrary assertion of control, mixed in with a dose of laziness at not wanting to get up from the table again.

Solution for next time? Get my ass out of the chair and lovingly serve my daughter, OR put the straws where Ruthie can reach them.

Now it’s your turn: what are your parenting stories of epic fail?

4 thoughts on “Choosing my battles unwisely.”

  1. I’m sure I’ve committed numerous parenting fails over the past 14 (!) years. Just the other night, my son was so excited about finding some new glitches and hacks, and wanted to tell me all about them. He was smiling from ear to ear. There was an extra sparkle in his eyes. His voice cracked in spots but he kept talking. Would it have killed me to just paid attention for a few more minutes? Sure, my eyes tend to glaze over after 10 minutes of his gamer/programmer/tester talks, but couldn’t I have been better about sharing his excitement? I felt bad after he said good night and went upstairs. I’m still kicking myself for missing an opportunity to strengthen my connection with him. At his age, every one of these opportunities are crucial and I totally dropped the ball. Next week, during my stay-cation, I will educate myself more on the topics that make him tick. I’ll learn the lingo. He’ll be surprised. 🙂

  2. I make the same lame arbitrary decisions based on laziness which also end in huge tantrums (mine and my childs) and make me wonder why I didn’t just say yes in the first place. But this is my favorite bad parenting moment: When Jake was 3 he stepped on some glass while I was trying to clean up a very big mess he made and wasn’t happy about it at all. He was complaining that his foot hurt but I basically threw him out of the way and made him walk up to his room. When I finanlly went upstairs and discovered that there was glass in his foot I had to have a neighbor come and hold him down while I tried to get it out. I never saw it come out but couldn’t feel it anymore so concluded that it was out. He limped around the house for 3 DAYS before I decided to look at it again and discovered a major infected foot. I got into the doctor right away and she sent us to Children’s the next day to have the glass surgically removed. And while I felt terrible for my son I somehow managed to focus on the large deductable we had on our insurance and convinced the doctor to do it under local rather than geneal anestesia which meant that 3 nurses were laying on top of him while the doctor tried to get a hold of the glass and out of a wiggling little boys foot. He managed to do it fairly quickly but I have often wondered if the savings was really worth tramatizing my child.

  3. My three year old has given up napping, and one day this week I was determined that she would take one (I knew she was so tired, and we were going to be out late that evening). I put her baby sister down, and the battle began (she has NEVER been an easy sleeper), but I thought that I’d take the easy route and lay with her until she fell asleep . . . three hours, many tears, and no sleep later her sister woke-up and I conceded, feeling like a complete failure and wasting an entire afternoon. (But what to do? She needed to sleep, dang-it!)

    BTW, thanks for the comment in your next post about babywearing and the power of mom bloggers. Such a great point.

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