I love my children tremendously. I have lots and lots of things I could say to brag about them. I have many examples of how wonderful they are each and every day. However, today I will not be talking about the good things - no, I will not. My children are, afterall, human and they do not always behave 100%.
So my 7 year old. My 7 year old is struggling with a huge concept IMO. She as issues with respect. I am sometimes embarrassed by her lack of respect and I scratch my head and wonder how this happened? She really does sometimes believe and behave like she is the adult in the situation, which I think leads to some of her disrespectful behavior - not being disrespectful just to do it, but doing it because instead of acting like a child she is trying to act like an adult, and therefore failing at both. I cringe sometimes when she speaks to other adults. Granted, this does not happen all the time, not even half the time, but often enough that I am extremely concerned about it. When I feel she is being disrespectful, I pull her aside, I tell her she is not speaking respectfully and we discuss other ways she could have handled the situation, and punishments are handed out.
Unfortunately, I do not see any of this making a difference in our day-to-day life. Maybe I am not giving her enough time. Maybe she is not old enough to really get it. Maybe it's something she will outgrow. I am not sure I agree with any of those statements. And I'm not willing to sit back and wait for her to "get it" or "outgrow it" or just do nothing.
So, I've made a decision I've been thinking about for a while. I have told my children that they can not watch any television. It's not that television is the problem per se, but dh and I talked last night and in many of their favorite shows, the adults somehow usually end up as the idiots and the kids are the smart ones who save the day. I really feel that this is affecting my 7 year old a lot (on the other hand, I do not believe it is affecting my 4 year old at all). I remember when my oldest was younger there were shows I had to stop her from watching as she was repeating what she saw on them and somewhere along the way I stopped doing that and thought she was old enough to watch shows (however, I want to be very clear that I don't let her have free reign of what she watches nor do I let her watch adult shows or adult movies, etc, etc.) I guess my poing it is that I had some restrictions on the tv, but for her, not enough.
She wasn't oh-so-happy when she heard the news. In fact, she was down-right mad and upset.
Basically anything they watch on tv has to be approved 100% by dh or myself.
I told them they could still watch the diy shows they like to watch with me. However, a lot of their kids shows are now off limits.
I feel bad truth-be-told. I feel like I shouldn't have to tell them they can't watch children's shows! It's crazy really. But I do really think this is something that needs to be done for my oldest child and for our family.
I also need to figure out some ways to also help her understand and learn about respect - that I'm still not sure what to do. I do know what I am doing is not cutting it and not making an impact on her.
I surely hope we can figure this out and come out stronger on the other side.