Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Latest Chapter

It occurred to me that I was both depressed and angry at the latest series of incidents involving my son and how I have been getting him to do what was needed around the house. I felt like I was backed into being his parent again. He is 38 years old. When do I get to retire from being the mommy? Am I being backed into playing a role I don't want to play anymore? How can a man almost 40 years old need a disciplinarian?

I picked up my phone and called my other son. He asked me what did I do to students in the classroom if they did not do the assigned work? Well, I said I gave them a failing grade and I sat them down for a talk and gave them a chance to get their grades back up. Then he asked me what happened if that student did not do that? I said then that student either failed the class or he was out of my class. Well, my older son said, it seems you know your answer. He knows what he has to do and you need to let him know again what the consequences are.

Sitting down with my younger son, I went over the original agreement that we had. He pays only the utilities and does $500 worth of work around the house and yard. He came up with the way we would determine it. It sounded good to me. At first my younger son wanted me to deal with his significant other but I said no. I will deal with him only. At the beginning of the month we will discuss what needs to be done and he has the month to get it done. I don't want to stand there and enforce the rules. If the work is not done, he owes me the rent. My other son agreed.

In the past, I did not lay down the law. I let their father do it. I made mistakes with my children. When they fell down, I helped them up. I cheated them out of the chance to take care of their own problems and the pride that goes with it when you do. That's how I learned. No one helped me.

I am no longer responsible for their behavior now. I can be responsible for me only. I told both of them that things have changed since I got back from Korea. When my younger son said he might move out, I said it was up to him. I know that I am leaving in a few years myself. The decision is completely up to him.

Doing things for our children is sometimes not a good thing, but when one of them told me it was my fault one of them was acting like this or that I refuse to accept it. Both of my adult children are near 40 years old. I am not responsible for their behavior anymore than my parents are responsible for mine. We have to stand on our own two feet and accept our actions as our fault so we can claim the power to change it if we want. If we think we are powerless, then so is the world and our ability to control our destiny. That is not the kind of world I want to live in, and I don't think it is reality.

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