Friday, January 6, 2012
I accidentally made a resolution to be a better parent
from an email entitled: hammon household schedule, beta
no tech b/w homework and bedtime 3:30 - 7:30
3:30 snack / homework
tv only after homework is done
dinner at 6 pm
home by 5. leave office at 4:30
bedtime 7:30. 20 minutes reading in bed
up at 6:30am every day.
leave house at 7:30am every day
Let me just say, I am not a fan of New Year's resolutions for many reasons. The primary being I'm not good at keeping them- and I generally reject the pendulum swing from feast for good reason (Christmas) to famine for none.
And they always seem to be about weight loss, excercize and food. I have found that the less I think about food the better it is to me. In other words, if I eat what I want when I'm hungry, my weight stays the same. Though I know that my blood sugar doesn't do well on carbs, and I try to abide by that- I don't pay much attention to the subject. And I know that I'm lucky in that regard.
So my resolution/ anti- resolution won't be about food- I know that.
I've found myself subconsciously obsessing over parenting. Much the same way one might over food. I don't know about you, but I go through seasons (ok, most of them) where I carry around the message that I am a terrible parent. My kid eats chicken nuggets (strike one), watches The Disney Channel (strike two- and maybe three) and hates to do her homework. So I think about these facts (of course exing out all the awesome stuff she does) obsessively and try to find ways to counter balance them.
If I am honest, I am terrified of homework. I didn't mind it much when it was mine, but last night my daughter brought home a study sheet for her first spelling test. She's five, by the way, and in Kindergarden. When I was in Kindergarden I was glueing macaroni to construction paper, not taking spelling tests. But nonetheless- she'll have one every Friday for the rest of the year (and probably the rest of her school career.)
After a nice walk (another part of my resolution/ anti- resolution) we tucked into dinner and then homework! Yeah!
Actually not yeah!!! Not yeah! at all. Not. at. all.
Tears, actually, squirmy, whiney, angry, sad tears. Big ones.
I don't know how to teach spelling. And I got mad. And then I got some M&M's. And that helped.
Then today I read an essay from a young poet about the influence her parents had on her- and I found myself scribbling notes in my journal,struck with terror that because I've never read A.A Milne to my 5 year old she's won't become a writer when she grows up. Heck I don't even know why I think she should, but I think she should have the chance.
My question is this: How do you bring art and culture into your children's lives in ways that it influences them positively? That they grow to love it and not roll their eyes everytime Mom says, "Let's go to the museum!" Or, "No TV, let's go for a walk!"
I can joke about my imperfections as a parent- and ask for your solidarity- we can comfort eachother in our imperfections, but the truth is we are the greatest single influence over our children's lives.
How do we not screw that up?
Posted by Cameron Dezen Hammon at 12:07 PM