Loving today’s blog for two reasons; 1) because the title question above didn’t come from my kids. It came from a follower and fellow poopie mama 2) I have thought about this often myself and am happy to know I’m not the only one who can’t answer it! This is an important conversation to have, as there is a wide range of perspectives and varying points of view. The question about expectations arose this particular morning because the other poopie mommy was trying to get her kids out of the house on time and, like so many of us can relate, it is never an easy, streamlined process. Her kids weren’t as cooperative as she would’ve liked which caused them to be late, making her wonder if it was her fault for not helping them enough to get ready or if it is their fault because they weren’t listening and doing what they should in a timely manner. So, poops, is it us? Or is it them?
I don’t think it’s as simple as a yes or no answer. Every kid is different and every household is run differently. However, I think we can all agree that there are some universal morning routine/principles. The basics of course go as follows: get up, go to the bathroom, brush teeth, get dressed (including shoes & socks!), eat breakfast, pack what you need for school, go to the bathroom again if necessary and get out the door on time. Seems simple enough, right? Wrong! If this were as simple as it sounds, then none of us would ever be late and mornings would flow a lot easier for all of us. So, what in the heck is the problem? In my house this morning, we managed to get out the door on time, but we certainly weren’t without several problems prior to our departure.
The girls managed to get up on time, get dressed and come downstairs on time to my pleasant surprise, but then when I asked them to come eat breakfast I received a ton of resistance. I don’t get this! We have breakfast every single day for five years. Five years! What don’t they understand about it at this point? Breakfast is a daily occurrence. Breakfast has always been a part of the routine. Breakfast is something they must partake in every single morning of their lives, and yet, it’s amazing how often I am met with flack over this and what a battle it still becomes. Somebody explain this phenomenon to me, please! My girls are really smart, so why is it then that they still protest half the time about something like sitting down and eating breakfast? Why can’t they grasp that this is just part of the routine and a complete non-negotiable? I’m at a loss like my fellow poopie mama, am I just asking too much of them sometimes? Or are my expectations valid? Meaning, should I just allow them not to eat breakfast on those mornings when they insist they are not hungry and really don’t want it? Or do I force them to eat it because that is what I expect and therefore they must do it?
Clearly, I have not formulated a definitive response to this. It’s hard to know where the answer lies. On the one hand, it’s important to have high expectations for your kids. If you don’t expect a certain amount from them, then how are they to become self-reliant, responsible human beings? On the other hand, I have a lot of moments throughout the day where I have to remind myself that they are still really little people just trying to make their way through the world and they still need a tremendous amount of help and guidance. So, how do you know where to draw the line? How do you know when you need to stop expecting and start helping?
I really encourage you poopies to comment on this one. Log on to the blog from your computers when you have a chance and post your thoughts and feedback. I don’t think blogger will let you post from your mobile phones. Sorry about that! Let’s get the dialogue going about this, as the other poopie mommy and me sincerely welcome your opinions and would love to know how to answer this question. I’m sure this has crossed your minds as well so let’s figure it out together! And by all means, if you have a good story to share in relation to the topic, please feel free. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!