We had a family meeting tonite. It was long overdue. The kids, sensing something is amiss, have been using it to their advantage. Neither my husband nor I have really been "on our game" lately.
So we sat everyone down around the dining room table and made a few announcements. Some new rules are being implemented and some old ones are being enforced with renewed purpose.
No one was thrilled with the new rules. The seventeen year old managed to sound belligerent and insulted all on one fell swoop. The fifteen year old sat there stoically glaring at me through his hair. Our tweens (10 and 12) alternated between whining and looking for all the world like they'd just been told they had to give up their tongue. I'm not sure the 9 and 7 year old truly grasped the concept. But it's a starting point.
I seem to be at the beginning of a lot of things these days. I always thought that as my kids grew up I'd figure it all out making the second set easier than the first set. Oh how wrong I was. Each day is a new beginning and a step further on a journey. Each kid brings with them a new set of issues into every stage of their lives.
The world is a different place than it was when I was a kid. Or maybe I was naive and sheltered or just oblivious to anything beyond my own little reality. I don't know. But I don't remember it being THIS hard to be a kid and a teenager. I don't remember school shootings and bullying taken to the extreme and then broadcast for the whole world to see on YouTube. I do remember a few bomb threats and the occasional fist fight that never got to out of control before an adult stepped in.
I watch the news or read an on line article outlining some new way kids have discovered to torment one another and have to ask myself, 'What the HELL are we doing to our kids?????" Someone, somewhere, is screwing up. Big time." There can be no other explanation. Children come into the world as a blank slate. It's supposed to be our job to ensure they grow up into happy, healthy, productive members of society.
Um.. correct me if I'm wrong but... I don't think we're doing such a bang up job.