Are You in Control of Your House?Heather Turgeon
Yikes. Momlogic posted the story yesterday “Take Charge of Your Home Court,” in which blogger Robin Sax poses the question to us: who is in control of your house? According to Sax, if it’s not you, something is wrong.
Kids want us to be in the driver’s seat, she says, even though they don’t always act like it. A family is not a democracy, and parents should preside over the house like a judge presides over a courtroom.
She lists several questions that she says will tell you if you’re in control. For example, are weekends spent at birthday parties, on soccer fields or dragging the kids from one activity or playdate to the next? My son is two and admittedly I cringe at the idea of a calendar filled with balloons and bouncy houses. But okay, go on…
Was the last vacation you had without kids your long-ago honeymoon? Do you excuse yourself to go to the “potty” when you are at a business lunch? Are you walking a dog you hate? Does your “no” usually turn into “yes”?
She has a point. In systems theory (what most family therapies are based on), there’s supposed to be a “hierarchy” in the family. The parental subsystem is separate (and higher up) than the sibling subsystem. Each has their own tasks and focus. If parents take care of the job of ruling the roost, our kids can relax and be kids. When we’re consistent, they learn that the world makes sense and it’s safe place.
But it’s not that simple, is it? Families kinda are a democracy, because everyones feelings and interests are taken into account. That’s something we want our kids to feel.
Her article seems to be more about how much our lives become about our kids–we no longer do the things we love, the things that made us tick as individual people. We’re home by 7pm on Saturday nights, we don’t read enough fiction. Raffi is playing on our car stereos.
So what do you think? Are you in charge–or better question, is it important for you to be in charge? Do we lose ourselves when we become parents?
Image: Flickr/ Hassan and Mariko
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