•A few days ago I triggered after I asked my kid to help out in the morning, clean up, move into action, we all needed her help. She basically said "no, I only go at one speed." This is the letter I wrote her later. She still said she only had one speed, I said that didn't sound like she had much choice, no freedom there. I wonder where she learned that?
Darn it it Zoe, I feel angry! After I dropped off RG I realized I was feeling angry about how the morning went, asking you for kitchen help and how I felt you blew me off. In the kitchen, after you said you were only going to move at one pace, after I had asked you for the 2nd time, I closed down and withdrew from being in relationship with you.
That’s not what I want. I want to be connected with you and feel like we are a team together, you and me, and also all of us as family in the house. If it were me, as a kid, when a parent asked for help & support, asked me to jump in and do the chores that were mine to do, I’d move into action and double time it to get the jobs done. Why?, to show my support for others, because I could do that, and because I know it would be good for everyone. That’s me. I do that with your mom, when she asks, I jump in and support her. I know how to be proactive and ask her what’s the best way I can support her now – she loves that. She feels supported and that’s important for her, maybe the most important thing. For her it shows that she is loved. I didn’t feel supported by you this morning.
You came back into the kitchen with a “dad help dishwasher card.” You said you would do the sink and top, you I could do the dishwashers. You gave me more work than you, AND you left without doing anything, saying there wasn’t time. You’re mom’s class was coming in, house cleaners coming later, I then did all the dishes. I want to live in a house where everyone puts good energy into the family, into supporting the inner workings of the house so that everyone feels supported and connected.
I invite you, to be more proactive. I encourage you to be able to move at several different paces when you need to. I want to be better at expressing my anger, not at you, just express it as me, as your dad, as a parent when it’s appropriate. We could talk negative sanctions - forfeit your allowance, take away listening to books, reading books, TV, computer - for a week or until your are ready to contribute house work wise?
Still love you, you are a great kid, and come on…. There are things to fight me on but not this one. What did it serve you this morning? Did you get what you wanted?