Saturday, May 17, 2008

Chosing your battles

By 8am Frost and I had already had two major arguments. At the end of one I threw the box of cereal on the floor. I am not proud of this and it surely shows that it is time to take a deep breath, reread some of my parenting books (Positive Discipline comes to mind) and meditate but ARGH! its hard. Sometimes I think the kid comes from planet TV Dinner!

Our major arguments are about screen time and sugar. Here are his wistful yearnings after our argument in which I refused to allow him to watch a SECOND TV show in the morning. He wanted to use an hour of his screen time allocation before school and I objected to this on many levels including wanting to eat with him, him not being dressed, wanting to eat standing up, fighting when his carpool comes and just "what the hell, why do you need screen-time before school??"

The Conversation:
I wish we had two TV's. We could have one of those small ones. It would be SO cool.
Me: What would be cool about that?
F: Then you could put the small TV on top of the big TV and watch TWO SHOWS AT ONCE.
Me: Uh huh?
F: And we could put it on the table so I could eat breakfast with you AND watch TV. And we could watch TV in bed!! I could put it in th closet and watch while I am playing in my room.

I bought some sweetened Whole Grain cereals yesterday, thinking that at least he would eat some breakfast with these options. Indeed he does. He ate 2 bowls after dinner a snack bowl in the afternoon and two bowls for Breakfast. At 10g of sugar per bowl he has eaten at least 50grams of sugar in cereal since 4pm yesterday.

When he reached for the 3rd breakfast bowl and started feeding it to Wren (whom I was feeding omelette) when I had just told him NOT to, I lost it. I threatened to throw out the cereal if he couldn't listen to the rules.

Then we had an argument about rules.

Frost claims I should make a rule and stick to it. If I change my mind it is "a broken promise." According to Frost one should only be allowed 3 broken promises a day.

I countered that a promise is not the same as an instruction. If I say he can watch TV and then something happens that is not a broken promise. Its a change in plans.

Nope. According to Frost I am the Queen of Broken promises (aka mixed messages).

I conceded this point and then made a very clear promise that he could not watch more than one show in the morning.

I am exhausted.

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