Limits

Or maybe we aren’t going to the pumpkin patch. My darling youngest daughter thought that it was a good idea to start off the day refusing to do any chores and yelling at me. Well, that’s fine. I’ll do the work. But then I’m not taking you to play with your friends.

I have trouble with this because I feel like I am letting down the other home schoolers who would like to see us. The thing is: I’m really tired of the back talk. I have a limited number of ways I can respond. The thing that feels least punitive is I just don’t go through extra labor for people who are refusing to do their share. I didn’t scream, threaten, or yell. I just said (very calmly for me) “If you refuse to do your work that is fine. I will do it. But then I will not be interested in taking you out to play with your friends for most of the day.” She screeched in response. Ok. That’s fine. You can stay home today.

If I felt more confident about doing this more often I think it would be a solid technique that dealt with a fair bit of *my* issues. But I frequently feel like it isn’t ok to flake on the people who saw our name on the RSVP list. So I go and feel bitter and angry and hateful. Today I’m not really in the mood to suck it up so that other people can have what they want regardless of how I feel.

We will leave the house because we have to go grocery shopping. But I don’t need to entertain people who are screaming at me. Nope, nope, nope.

In other news: Shanna spent the morning copying Eloise books because she wants the reading/writing practice. She asked me what she would be doing in school to learn more about writing. I said “practice”. As much time as you can spend looking at written words is best. Lots of time. Practice practice practice. If it turns out you aren’t picking it up in a year or so we will do an evaluation for dyslexia just because boy she reverses a lot of letters. But it is totally normal at this age so I’m not panicking yet. (Dyslexia is very common in my family.)

No matter what kind of facilitation she needs to help her make progress, I believe I am capable of giving it. That’s why I trained all those years. It’s just up to her to want it. I can’t make you want something.

And I can’t make you do your chores. But I can say, “If I do more than my share I will be tired and I will want to rest.”

This is what I mean. People are already sending me text messages to let me know they are upset we aren’t coming today. They mean well. They want me to feel loved.

I … I feel pressured. I feel like my exhaustion doesn’t matter. I feel like I don’t matter.

2 thoughts on “Limits

  1. K

    An RSVP to a group event is very different from telling a friend you’re coming over for a visit, IMO.

    I have no problem canceling on one, but the other I do.

    You need effective consequences. So far, this is it.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      Semi-effective. Mostly they were happy about having a day at home. It doesn’t really feel like much of a restriction. We’ve been out a lot lately.

Comments are closed.