Friday, July 10, 2009

Exasperated

I was just contemplating one of the great frustrations of being a parent. You set up what you consider to be a few simple, reasonable rules, and yet the children seem to either forget about the rules or just pretend that the rules even exist.

For example, the remote control for the TV belongs in the basket on the end table when it's not being actively used. I have told the children many, many, many times that this is the way it should be. That by following this rule, there is less confusion in life.

And yet, constantly I find the remote left on the couch, the floor, the cabinet that holds the TV. What gives?

When asked, the children admit that yes, of course, they know the rule and understand. And yet they continue to choose not to obey. I wouldn't mind so much if they were merely ignorant of the rule, any rule, really. But it's the willful disobedience, and the lack of the child's desire to do what is good and pleasing in the eye of the parent that I find so exasperating.

Do I love the child any less? No. But it brings even greater joy when the child chooses to do the right thing. When I am less exasperated, it enables me to expend more energy demonstrating my love to my children and everyone is the better for it.

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