I neglect my kid all the time.
Take the picture below for example. I neglect to purchase brand new, special, outdoor toys for him. Instead I force him to make do with what he can find. He spent the better part of a Saturday morning making and using this complex putting course. He had a ball because of my neglect.
I neglect to buy him something every time he accompanies me to the store. That’s right…he often goes grocery shopping with me and doesn’t leave with a pack of stickers, or a snack or a piece of CPJ*. Does he sometimes get grumpy about it? Sure, but he doesn’t need any of those things and he also doesn’t need to think that his presence alone is worthy of a prize. I know, I know, I’m mean.
*Cheap Plastic Junk
I neglect to entertain him a lot. Often times he’s forced to use make-believe to create worlds with Legos and Kinex and various pieces of Bakugan. He spends hours in those worlds and I’m not there…and I’m OK with that. Don’t get me wrong, we spend our time together. We get enough of each other, but he’s able to entertain himself when he feels like it.
The poor, neglected child even has a messy room as I speak. Why? Because I neglect to clean up after him. Don’t get me wrong, it will get cleaned on Saturday, like it usually does. And he’s the one who will clean it. I’ll sit on the bed, reading or painting my toenails while I direct him on what to clean up next. We’ve graduated from other practices and found that this works best. If I’m on the other floor of the house doing my own thing the messiness overwhelms him and it takes three times as long to straighten up. I’ll point to the dirty clothes and point to the hamper. Then I’ll point to the Hot Wheels and point to the bin the belong in. He does the dirty work. Poor thing!
I ignore him, also. Believe it or not! If I’m on the phone with someone I make him wait until I hang up before I speak to him. Exception being if there is blood involved. Or bruises. I make a lot of calls during the day when he is at school and don’t answer the phone if we are doing flashcards, homework, reading, etc. However, if I’m on the phone and he wants to chat he’s gotta be patient and wait. He’s 8 now so it works a whole lot better than when he was 3, but you know what? I ignored him then also….maybe that’s why it’s better?
If you choose to not neglect your kids I can totally understand why. I’m not in any way saying that my way of raising Fuzzy is superior in any way, shape or form. I mean that. This blog isn’t to proclaim how wonderful my ideas or practices are. Didn’t you see yesterdays about the pukey colored pancakes?!? I fail at times…a lot. Raising Fuzzy is a learning process. Do whatever works for you and do not feel guilty about it.
Do I feel guilty about the way I do things? Heck yeah. But, I have learned that I’m raising an adult and guilt comes with the territory. Hand in hand. I know lots of parents. I don’t, however, know a parent that has never once felt guilt. Every parent I have ever talked in-depth about parenting with has claimed to fear they are raising a bad kid or doing things in a bad way. Like I said, I know lots of parents, but I don’t know one single bad kid. We all do what we have to do to feel good about ourselves and our children. Whatever works.
I want Fuzzy to be a wonderful, appreciative, mature, grounded, mindful, caring, confident, and prepared adult.
As an adult you have to pick up after yourself, you have to tie up your loose ends, you have to do what you say you are going to do. Usually no one is going to give you something just because you showed up, you have to earn what you get.
If you are a parent, how do you neglect your kid?
As a kid, how were you neglected by your parents?
I’d love to hear your horror stories!