2013. It’s hard to believe that’s the correct year. I know people say that every year, but really? 2013? It seems like we should have Jetson cars and vending machines for meals. Regardless, it’s a new year, which means new beginnings and new resolutions (or the same resolutions, different year.)
While I always make a silent list of things I plan to do differently, this year we talked as a family about how to make changes for the better both individually and as Team Scroggins.
First, we had to define the word resolution – no, not revolution. It took a minute. We finally just started talking about goals. Secondly, we had to get the children to admit there was anything imperfect in their habits. They were a little taken aback that we would think there was anything in which they needed to improve.
Really? I guess I do sound like the Charlie Brown mom when I ask them to clean their rooms, brush their teeth, turn in their homework on time and be nice to each other. (Now I know what one of my resolutions should be.) So, after much delicate conversation about how wonderful our routine could be, we set out to make actual plans.
My oldest hoodlum plans to notice when assignments are due, use a calendar, and turn said assignments in on time. In addition, she acknowledged her definition of clean was not the same as my own. (Baby steps.)
My sensitive middle child promises to be a kinder, gentler brother and has invited the little brother to have sleepovers any time. My youngest child (through a little coercion) hopes to become a super student, super son and super brother. I promised a cape.
As for all of us, I took the lead and plan to put us on a digital diet and watch how much we are “plugged in.” I watch the kids constantly reach for an “i-something,” and sometimes I think they should just be bored and know how to deal with that.
In addition, I watched a show recently outlining how our society is gradually becoming detached from personal communication, and I’m thinking that’s no good. They weren’t too excited about that goal, but let the withdrawals begin.
It’s amazing to me to have these kinds of conversations with my kids. It seems they really are turning into real people – who knew that was the plan? I can see glimmers of how our family dynamic is changing, and it’s… well, it’s just neat.
I’m sure the growing pains of reaching these newfound goals might not be as neat – I’m no dummy. But, since my resolution was to be a more patient mommy, I’m hopeful it will all work out.
Scroggins is a Decatur resident, Decatur High School graduate, teacher and mother of three. Life is Kids Stuff is a monthly column about kids, family and life in general.