My kids are being so disrespectful!

That's the story I could choose to tell myself about the dishes in the sink.

I did ask both of them to please help me with the dishes before they had to hop on remote school Zoom calls for the day.

If I tell myself that story, I could justify being angry.

Yelling at them. Nagging them. Making them feel guilty about how disrespectful they are.


I could choose to take a step back.

To look at the situation as an outside observer.

My boys are still learning executive functioning evidenced my online schooling and the daily emails I receive about missing assignments.

Dishes are also NOT their top priority, but waking their bodies and brains up enough to stare at a screen all day, eating, and getting dressed are.

Dishes are not even MY top priority.

If they were, I would be working on them myself right now.

The dishes will get done by someone, or several someones, in our house eventually.

My 13 year-old assured me he is aware of them, but wasn't able to get to them before 9 am.

He didn't inform me of that in a disrespectful way.

We often expect our kids to willingly be on our timeline.

I was raised you drop everything you are focused on to do what you are asked in that moment, or you are being disrespectful and bad.

How does that play out into adulthood?

How do we learn to advocate for ourselves?

It is a fine line we walk as parents and the stories we tell ourselves are often those engrained in us as kids, but we are the adults now.

We GET to chose the stories we tell ourselves.

Taking a moment to reflect when a story or emotion comes up may feel like a luxury, but the more you practice the easier it gets!

My story is, "My kids are doing the best they can managing their time and navigating a very strange world right now. The dishes are not a sign of disrespect or a hill I am willing to die on. Having dirty dishes in my sink is only a sign that we are well-nourished."

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