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.