We all have to participate in certain situations where we’d rather suck the jowls of a rabid bulldog. Throughout our lives. Whether it be going to school or going to a dinner party.
Sometimes we would just rather have a temper tantrum and hide under the covers.
Been there. Done that. Not the jowl sucking because that is gross. No, I’ve had my share of temper tantrums throughout my life, both as a kid and as an adult. I know you’re shocked, right?!
But how do you explain that to a child? That the world is bigger and includes more people than just themselves?
And life doesn’t revolve around them and what THEY want. Not all the time, anyway.
It’s no secret that my oldest son doesn’t feel comfortable with my in-laws. Due to various circumstances throughout our 7 years of in-law-ship, my son just kind of gave up. Perhaps it was a mutual thing. But sometimes we have to do things as a family. Out of respect to my husband, my son’s step father. Out of respect to my step kids, who he considers to be his siblings and clearly loves almost as much as he does his biological siblings. Sometimes he has an obligation to make an appearance at family functions. Regardless of how strong his desire is to find a jet-pack and fly the hell out of Dodge.
But, he doesn’t get that. He just gets that HE doesn’t want to go there. And why does he have to if HE doesn’t want to.
I tell him that sometimes we are all expected to do something we don’t want to do. And within reason, we should do EXACTLY that. Again, within reason.
Sometimes we need to step up to the plate and do what is expected of us instead of locking ourselves in the bathroom with an iPod and a book.
Smile. Fake it. For appearances sake.
I try to explain the concept of making the best out of a situation. You know, making good from what you consider to be bad. And maybe, just maybe, the dreaded event might become one happy memory.
Yet, he refuses.
He does this for many things.
Basically anything that, if it isn’t his idea, he doesn’t think he should have to do it. At almost 14 years old, he still crosses his arms over his chest and firmly plants his feet on the ground, and as darling and as sweet as he is, he becomes the very essence of a petulant child.
I’ve given up forcing him to be a part of the family during certain events, like birthday parties of step cousins and step grandparents.
Because I have taken the inconsistent, lazy parenting approach by not wanting to listen to his tantrums and rants.
But he is almost 14. And he needs to grow up.
So what do I do? How do I force him to partake in family events with a family that he doesn’t want to be a part of. Although really, I’m not sure how missed he is when he isn’t there, except by me.
Or should I even bother?