After a week of justifying, rationalizing, and excusing my own behaviors as a parent, the Tiger Mom standard finally broke me. On Thursday. While I would never condone intentionally orchestrating adversity for my son to work through, I admitted that I could probably be doing a lot more to teach him responsibility and work ethic. And, like the average mother would do, I set up a rigorous schedule to account for every weekend moment with Christian: 93 minutes permitted for computer games, 47 minutes of reading, 62 minutes of working around the house, 32 minutes of outside snow play, 45 minutes of karate, 45 minutes of swimming, 29 minutes of trampoline jumping.
Or, at least I started to, and then I checked myself. How often do parents swing to extremes to improve or correct their own failures at parenting? Is it that Christian really needs to go from no schedule to every minute scheduled? Or am I overresponding to relieve my own guilt? I believe the latter is true. Ironically, parenting isn’t the only area in my life that I operate in extremes. I tend to skip and leap around life and I miss so many of the steps between.
So, I practiced moderation. We got on our snow pants, coats, and hats and went out to play in the snow. And he helped by collecting our firewood for the night, cleaning up after himself, and taking care of what he needed. That was enough movement in that direction for one weekend.