Sunday Post 94: Who’s In Charge here?

It is rare that the girls and I really argue.  And when on occasion it does occur, my middle child is typically not in the mix.  She’s just so sweet and laid back.

But this week, Stephanie and I had it out.  Her piano lesson was on Monday and as of Sunday afternoon, I think she’d practiced one or two times.  Naturally, I made her tickle the ivories a bit when we got home from church.

She didn’t complain, however, she also only practiced for eight minutes before plopping into the chair closest to the television.

That wasn’t going to get it for me.

“Stephanie, those last two songs sounded rough.  Get back in there and run through each of them three or four more times.”

“I don’t want to.”

“What’s your point?  Go.”

“I’m not doing it.”

“Get your butt on that piano bench now.”

Movement began to occur.  As she neared the piano, she belted out in a not very nice tone, “I’m going upstairs!”

That was the incorrect response, and so, I lost it.

DJ was upstairs talking to a friend on the phone, “Hey, listen to this…it’s my dad screaming at my sister!”

It was true.  I was screaming.  It is also true that she went back and played each of the songs three more times.

I think that my kids and I have a really good relationship.  We laugh our butts off on an almost daily basis, and there are a lot of hugs and kisses in this house.  They are confident and certainly aren’t afraid to express their opinions – sometimes very, very strongly as was evidenced last Sunday.  And a lot of the time, they’re right and I’m wrong and I admit that to them.

But I am their father, and I am in charge.  When I say practice a little more – because I’m spending a truck load of dough on piano lessons, there will be a little more practicing.

I don’t buy into the adage “Be a parent, not a friend.”  I think part of being a parent is being a friend.  But being a parent also means setting boundaries and putting your foot down when required.

I spent the first ten years of my career working with kids, and I’ve seen many who could run circles around their parents. I just don’t get that – it’s not good for the parent, and it’s certainly not good for the kid.

In the long run, I want my kids to absolutely love spending time with me and to respect the heck out of me, all bundled up into one.

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9 Comments

  1. Being a parent is the hardest, and also the most rewarding. I remember thinking, when my son (my first) was a baby, how ready I was for him to get older, so that it would all become that much easier. Boy, was I wrong! Good for you, for being a loving father, on all counts.

    Reply
  2. CHall

     /  October 21, 2012

    From what I read on this blog, I’d say you and your kids have a “really good” relationship…probably a lot better than “really good” and certainly far better than I had with my parents. I think you’re right on to “make” her practice; otherwise, she’ll grow up without self-discipline. Heck, even in my advanced age, I still have to “make” myself do things I don’t particularly want to….but I’m better for it. I have a sister who doesn’t want to “make” her kids do anything because she doesn’t want them to hate her (her words). As a result, she has a daughter about the age of yours who has started one thing (lessons, sports, etc.) after another, become bored/disinterested and quit in midstream, so to speak. Sorry to say, her basic social skills aren’t too great either. Sounds like your girls are way ahead of my niece in many ways….as a result of your/Lisa’s parentlng skills. Hang in there.

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  October 21, 2012

      Not the fun part of being a parent – but I think, if balance with affection, it’s the healthy way to go!

      Reply
  3. BethF

     /  October 21, 2012

    A piano teacher’s dream parent….

    Reply
    • Danny Tanner

       /  October 21, 2012

      I fought my mom, who was a piano teacher, on practicing about half the time. What’s up with that? They love to play but want it to happen magically!

      Reply
  4. Aunt Susan

     /  October 23, 2012

    I don’t think you have a thing to worry about. the kids do love spending time with you.But sometimes they have to express themselves, and at her age she may not even know why. Just keep on being you and it will be good.

    Reply
  5. godcountrygolf

     /  October 23, 2012

    Boundaries are good. Sometimes kids just need to push up against them to make sure they are still there. Makes them feel secure… I hope.

    Reply
  6. Jason Fine

     /  October 24, 2012

    Right on Brother!

    Reply

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