February 06, 2007

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy?!

Our home school verse for this week is Philippians 2:14, "Do everything without complaining and arguing." (Rule 12: When we have work to do, we do it without complaining.) As I wrote the verse and rule on the white board Monday morning, I thought how appropriate it was that we're looking at this topic this week, because it seems that the complaining around here has escalated greatly. And, as any adult who has ever watched more than one child play knows, arguing is a fact of life amongst siblings and friends.

Little did I know that I'd soon be dealing with one of my children arguing with ME every time I asked him to do something! I told Ted this evening that I don't really recall this being much of an issue, but truly, the last two days, just about ANYTHING I have asked or told Tobin to do, the response is some kind of argument as to why he shouldn't do whatever it is.

"Tobin, you're my lunch helper this week. Please come help me set the table for lunch."

"Well, I just need to finish coloring this picture."
"I don't want to be lunch helper. I decided I want to be dinner helper instead." (What do you think he would say at dinner time if I asked him to help then?!)
"I'm making a house right now. I'll do it later."

And so on.

It makes no difference what the task is...it could be as simple as "Please take your dirty shoes off the counter" or "Let's get in the van and buckle up." EVERY time he has a come-back. For quite awhile he was doing a fabulous job of saying "Yes, Mommy," and obeying, if not immediately, at least somewhat in the vicinity of the time I asked.

So, I ask you: Did I bring this on by asking my children to memorize a verse and a rule against complaining and arguing?! Thank heavens I'm not having any major "issues" with Charis and Arden right now! I don't think I could handle training more than one child in more than one area at this time in my life!! Not that it will get any easier after the baby arrives, but my life is so full of distractions now as it is...I need help focusing.

Sigh. I guess no one ever said parenting would be easy...


Megan said...

Sela is full of excuses for why she can't help with certain things lately, too. And it's usually because she's "too tired" or her "legs are hurting." It doesn't help that she sees Daddy stretched out on the couch at least once a day to give his aching legs a rest. His excuse is legitimate, but maybe she thinks he's making it up, I don't know. If she complains that she can't help because she's feeling unwell, I send her to bed for a little bit. If she's too unwell to pick up toys, she's too unwell to play with them either. ;)

Sarah said...

Oh yes, I know Hannah and Kenzie both go through those phases. You KNOW they know how to obey nicely... that makes it even more frustrating when they don't!

Ski said...

Whew! It is nice to hear other moms have these issues with their children. Meghan in the last week is either arguing about doing something or is asking why about EVERYTHING even if I've explained it to her already. Thank you Sarah for giving me hope that my daughter hasn't turned into a monster but that this is a phase and it to shall pass.

Tina said...

At the beginning of your post I was thinking "Oh, that is a verse we need to start learning". By the end, I wasn't so sure. ;-) Actually, it is because I am tired of every requst being met with "Why?". I've struggled to balance the need to understand/logic with the "Obey Mommy".