So, I think I’m a pretty good mom. Not the best, but I think I do most things right.
So, the argument in my house is always over video games. I personally don’t see their allure, and I don’t understand how my DH and my son can spend hours on end playing them.
My son is allowed two hours on each weekend day, and sometimes, one hour during the week. Right now, it’s none during the week. It doesn’t matter how long he’s been playing, or how often, every time I ask him to get off the computer or console, he whines and throws a tantrum. My go-to punishment when he doesn’t behave is to take away his computer time, because it is frankly the only thing he seems to value (which makes me very sad).
So, last night, he did not go to bed when I asked him to, and was very obstinate and confrontational when I asked him to, so I took his time away today (knowing full well we’d be snowed in all day). My DH’s response was “I’ll make sure Mommy gives you your time back.”
Now, I admit, this morning, I did relent and let him play (which I know is part of the problem). When I told my DH, he said “Why?” I of course didn’t really have an answer, which is, of course, another problem. But then he said, “It’s just easier, he is less difficult when you give him what he wants.”
And this is when I got upset. This is the problem. Both of us, my DH more than me, are teaching him that if he whines enough, he will get what he wants. It happened the other day. I wouldn’t let him play on my phone because he had been difficult. As soon as my DH got in the car, he gave him his phone.
My son is a good kid, and with the exception of the video games, he is really very easy to deal with. He gets good grades, he is not a troublemaker, so there’s a part of me that sometimes thinks I’m being to strict when I take away his games for not going to be at 8:00 on a Friday night when he has no school the next day (and he was playing with his toys, which I’m always asking him to do). But then, I’m trying to teach him that he has to act a certain way to get what he wants, and it is only half working.
I’m not sure if I really am a bad parent, or I just want my son to be too much like me. I want him to be well-rounded, and I see him becoming more and more like my DH with a one-track mind–video games. It hurts when he says he’d rather do nothing than play a game with me, or go to a movie with me, or read a book or do anything, just because we took away his video games. My DH calls me a bad parent all the time–primarily because I let our son do things independently. I don’t hover over him. I take care of him, I watch out for him, but I don’t coddle him. My DH even intimated as much again today. My son wanted to go outside today and shovel to earn some money (his own initiative) and I said sure. I told my DH who said “No,” he needs someone to show him how to shovel. Then blamed me for not being a role model because I wasn’t going to. What about him? THat made me mad again today.
I guess in the end I’m not doing that badly. My son is 11, and he still believes in Santa, and he still wants me to tuck him in at night, and he still loves his stuffed animals. It could be worse.