The Great Parenting Experiement
It had been a little rough at our house.
We had Captain Drama, who shouted answers to all questions, ricocheted into defensive when you batted your eyelashes at him, and could, willfully and with malice aforethought, summon tears on command.
And then we had a preteen. Moody and uncooperative, and he kinda smelled funky at the end of the day. His organizational method for his room could be summed up in one word “Floor.” He responded to all requests with an indignant “Whaaaat!?”
Please feed the dog. “Whaaat?!”
Please clear your dishes off the table. “Whaaat?!”
Please do not wipe toothpaste on your church clothes “Whaaat?!”
Please do not leave your dirty socks on the dining room table. “Whaaat?!”
You get the picture.
So Gabe and I came up with the brilliant plan to turn the tables. At 4:30pm one Sunday afternoon, we announced to the children that we would be trading places for the next two and a half hours. We provided them with a list of all that needed to be accomplished by the “parents” during that time including preparing and cleaning up dinner, feeding all pets, cleaning up the toys, getting ready for school the next day, etc. etc.
As the “parents” they were responsible for getting the “kids” (Gabe and I) to help out so that all could be accomplished in said time frame.
First, they told us to clean up all the LEGOs in the family room. Gabe turned and went outside the play with the dog, I sat down next to a LEGO box and began assemblihg a space ship.
They tried again. Gabe was told to come inside. I was ordered to put the LEGOs IN the box. So Gabe and I began throwing LEGOs at each other.
They started yelling. I began rolling around on the floor. Gabe kept playing with the dog.
They yelled some more. I started crying and told them I can’t DEAL with this and went running back to my room and slammed the door. Gabe lay spread-eagle on the carpet, singing a song from “Frozen” and starting up at the ceiling.
At this point, about 15 minutes into our experiment, they both started crying. “I can’t do this! It’s too hard!”
Game. Set. Match.
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