Parenting Help: Evaluate Your Anger

clean boy's bedroom

We’ve had rather an interesting conversation in the comments of my most recent post on parental anger. If you haven’t been following it, do pop over and take a read. Essentially, I wrote that I was angry with the boys. Beat said that he almost never gets angry with kids and doesn’t understand it in general. I get that, but I think he’s in the minority of parents on this planet. Most of us get mad. His point is extremely important and should be kept in mind. His way of parenting is something I aspire to.

Debbie said that she evaluated the situation before getting angry. If it wasn’t something that would matter in 6 weeks, it wasn’t worth getting upset.

I wholeheartedly agree.

Corinne reminded me that children are forgiving in general, and that boys in particular have their challenges.

Yup. If I understood even a tiny percentage of boy, life would be easier for all of us here.

After more than 2 weeks of not being angry…of being peaceful and happy and patient, I’ve gotten upset twice and today makes three I think. Ugh.

I’ve blown past Beat’s don’t get mad and am now evaluating the situation with Debbie’s criteria. Will this matter in 6 weeks?

Let me tell you what I’m upset about: messy rooms.

Yes, I can see where that may seem like a minor issue in life. But here’s what I’m thinking: a messy room is the result of a boy who is not taking responsibility nor exercising self-discipline.

Teaching responsibility and self-discipline is my job. Learning and implementing those skills is theirs. They’re not doing their job. Will this matter in 6 weeks? YES. Given that I’ve been fighting this battle for over a decade with the older boys, I think being upset with them is reasonable.

I started the older boys doing their own laundry last year sometime, and after several missteps we worked out a reasonable system and they kept up with things for the most part. As a New Year’s gift, I offered to wash everyone’s clothes this past weekend. 5 gigantic loads of laundry later, I asked both The Mercenary and TechnoBoy to take an armload of clean clothes and put them away. Mind you, I’d washed, dried, smoothed, and hung them on hangers. All they had to do was walk 58 feet and hang the clothes on the rod in the closet.

I even said to one boy, “Please hang these ON the rod in your closet.” To which he replied somewhat scornfully, “I know, Mom,” and I answered, “Knowing and doing are two different things.”

Sure enough, when I entered their room later both boys had dropped their armload of clothes on the floor.

Seriously???

That’s how they roll. Everything on the floor. (I shudder to think what their college rooms will look like. Scary.)

If we weren’t about to put our house up for sale, I could be much more forgiving. But we’re in the final weeks of preparation, and they HAVE to start keeping their rooms clean. Also? They’re going to be adult-type humans someday, and they HAVE to know how to be responsible and exercise self-discipline.

So yea. They need to step up a bit and cooperate. I don’t expect perfection. Heck, that’d scare me! But I do expect to see SOME kind of effort.

Ugh. Boys.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who are frustrated about boys.

Image courtesy of alexperuso via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.

The editor-in-chief of Earnest Parenting, Amy is the mother of two sets of twin boys. Yes, they drive her crazy, but they also make her laugh occasionally. Amy enjoys writing, quilting, reading, and working on her burgeoning cyber empire.

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  • Debbie @ Happy Maker January 4, 2012, 3:14 pm

    Thank you Amy for the link and mention.

    As for the boy not picking up the room. Having your house up for sell what I would do is: Say that is fine if you don’want to put your clothes where they belong. When someone is coming to look at the house this bag is for all you clothes laying on the floor. I will put them in the bag and if you want them back you will have to do something for me to get them back. When they have only a few clothes to wear they will learn quick!

    I had this problem with one of my girls. I left the door closed and didn’t worry about her clothes. When she ran out of things to wear, she learned real quick.

    Good luck and remember you as the parent have to think quicker and always stay one step ahead of them. You can do this! I know you can.

    By the way if you have to leave the door closed because you don’t even know how they made it out of the room alive (it is that bad)and you are having people over you might want to unscrew the light bulb just incase someone decides to open the door. LOL
    Thanks again and blessing and hugs to you.
    Debbie
    Debbie @ Happy Maker´s last blog post ..How to Take Charge of Your World in 2012!

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge January 4, 2012, 7:17 pm

      Debbie I’ve taken away their stuff before and they didn’t care! Can you believe it? Honestly I wouldn’t care nearly as much if it weren’t for the sale thing. The only other issue I have with messy rooms is safe passage. In the event of a night-time emergency, I need to be able to get to them safely and they need to be able to get out safely. But none of them take me seriously on that one. It’s going to take an injury (hopefully not mine) to get that message through.

      Hopefully the home sale issue will clear up quickly and I can retire from the argument and close the door.

      Reply
  • Mary January 10, 2012, 8:16 am

    Oh, I love the comment on the light bulb! I too left a teenage girls door closed…ummm she never really did clean it though. Now, though, her house is much cleaner than mine will ever be! I still remember the day she lost the car keys in her room 🙂
    I’m trying the same thing with my boys…but the oldest is about to go to college and have 3 roomates in an apartment….so I am working on him a bit more. He’s the easy one though. If I tell him to pick up his room he does…..the other one is a diferent story…..when he’s done there is basically just a clean spot between his bed and the door. For years my way of keeping him from shoving everything under the bed was to get him a captains bed! He still managed to get stuff up and behind the bed but it was an improvement over stuff being shoved under a double bed! Selling houses is very difficult but really the minimizing might not be a bad thing. If you have the money, renting a storage space and storing all the extras gets it out of the way and out of view….of course I didn’t have a basement with an extra room to use as storeage so maybe you don’t need to go to that expense. Here’s hoping you sell quickly and can have one less area of friction!

    Reply
    • Amy LeForge January 11, 2012, 7:42 am

      Mary I’ve been thinking about the storage option, but that would give me another place for clutter so I’m just doing my best to clear it out. CraigsList is definitely my friend! And Freecycle. Did I say that I had 20 totes of books just sitting in the basement? I culled it down to about 10. I still have a bookshelf to go through, and a bunch of school books to be dealt with. But it feels good to have gotten at least that much gone. Plus now I have 10 totes that I can use for other things, like clothes waiting for the younger boys. 🙂

      Reply