Often, when my desire to homeschool comes up, I am asked if I feel like I could teach my boys everything they need to know. And honestly? The math and the science and the grammar don't bother me a bit- all that can be found in books and I've got a library card. But dependability? Self-Control? Compassion? Generosity? Honesty? Patience?

There are a lot of things I feel utterly at a loss to teach my sons.

It is not a new struggle. I am often reminded of my very first ventures into this balancing act that is discipline, that very fateful habit of sticking his fingers up my nose that Zeke had. I've come some way since then, but not far. I am still no gymnast.

Right now, Malachi loves to pinch me with his little fingers- particularly when he nurses. He also bites me when he's frustrated or his teeth hurt; or more commonly right now when he's frustrated and his teeth hurt. Yet these struggles seem blessedly easy.

Because Zeke and I are having issues with respect.
It started with a very annoying habit of, when asked to do something, saying "Momma do it." I suppose a whole host of shortcomings could be blamed- laziness comes to mind, arrogance that his time is more important then mine. But at the heart if it, I think it's a respect issue.

Since then he has taken to telling me "no", to "go away" or "go into a different room", or that I am a "boogie head".

Ezekiel, at the ripe age of 2 and a half, has decided that he is the man of the house.

And the thing with respect is, that no amount of example-leading is going to teach this. I just plain don't have many people in authority over me for him to see. And while I try to show him respect (I don't call him boogie head after all) I do have the right to tell him "no" or to "go into a different room" if I feel its necessary. He just doesn't have the right to do the same to me. Authority is a pain, son, your dad could probably write a book about it.

So the question remains, how does one teach respect? Josh isn't always home after all (and I have noticed the boogie head comments are much less when he's around).

I suppose I will either figure it out or raise convicts.

Wish me luck.


ivymae said...

I actually asked Tom tonight how to define respect, because we are dealing with the same stuff from Ella (and of course Alice...) and I want a easy definition to give them, so they understand we are on the same page. patience is waiting without complaining, kindness is putting others needs above our own... but respect is a hard one. We are making progress, by having very firm boundaries/consequences, but it is hard to balance the AP mindset with the "Because i said so!" doctrine. I want my kids to trust and mind me, but i want them to do it the first time, without whining...

Adria said...

You can still be an authority and a mommy. Firm boundaries and consequences indeed!

Kari Marchelli said...

Good luck! Respect is so important and something that I feel lacks in a lot of young children and teens today.

Sheena said...

A struggle we are always fighting with too.
I was a bit inspired by a phrase "show your love for me by doing what you are told."
It kind of helps. but not really.
I wish you luck in this long battle.