I’ve learned there is little I disapprove of, loathe, or angers me more than outright defiance. When someone is specifically told to do, or not do, something and they do it, or not, anyway. They do the exact opposite of what was asked of them.
In this case I speak of our rebellious little Crash. I use “rebellious” lightly. He’s not really rebelling. It’s more like “I heard you, but I don’t want to.” Defiance. For example, a few evenings ago it was time to come inside to start getting ready for bed – snack and so forth. He knows the routine. We’ve had it for years. Instead, Crash got on his bike and said he was going to ride around the house once. I told him “No, it’s time to come in.” He took off anyway. It’s not that he wasn’t allowed to ride it around. It’s not that it was dangerous or going to hurt someone. It was that I had told him not to and he did it anyway. It was that all he was trying to do was delay bedtime.
And, speaking of bedtime. Ugh. the past few morning both Crash and Bang have been waking at 5:30am. 0530. Butt crack of dawn. IT’S STILL DARK O’CLOCK!! Will they go back to sleep? HA! We can’t keep them up late because they’ll still be up oh dark thirty. You know the old adage, to bed early awake early. To bed late late, awake early. And no one wants the wrath of overtired, cranky kids.
Anyway, back to this defiance thing. Maybe it’s part of being a kid. At first, I thought he’s testing boundaries. But it’s regular. Tell him to wear a heavier coat because it’s 5 degrees (40F) outside. He puts on a spring coat anyway. Tell him to wear his boots to school because it’s raining. He puts on sneakers anyway. Tell him to go up and take a shower. He takes a bubble bath.
Of course, telling him to clean something is equivalent to telling him to cut off a hand. We’re hoping to alter this with an allowance. I told him to clean his room. All he had to do was pile his books (there’s no room on his bookshelf), make his bed, put laundry away, and put a few dirty clothes in his hamper. An hour later all he had done was put a couple books in a pile. I nagged and he at least put away his clean clothes.
Which brings me to my last exasperation. Nagging. DW and I are constantly having to nag him to get moving – to clean up his mess after a meal, to get ready for bed, to hang up his sweatshirt. Naturally, he despises our nagging as much as we despise nagging him. So I’m just going to go over to Lifehacker and reread “How I Learned to Stop Nagging My Kids and Start Motivating Them” until it sinks in and hopefully make it work.