This afternoon I spent 15 minutes in a silly argument with M, my 12-year-old daughter. She is writing a sci-fi story for class, so she has to research at least two planets. She spent two hours on the internet yesterday doing research. Today when she asked for more computer time to finish her report, I went over the edge and started fussing at her for not getting all of her work done yesterday. Halfway through the argument I realized that I was being unreasonable, so I walked away to cool down and then went back and apologized to her. Unfortunately, this isn't the first time that I've done this.
Why am I picking fights with my own daughter? She was asking for something that was perfectly reasonable, and I should be happy that she is taking charge of her school project without prompting from me. Every time the kids ask me for something, though, I feel like I should say "no". Where on earth is that coming from? It's not like my kids are pampered, by any means. They have far fewer toys and privileges than most of their friends. Seeing so many of my peers who have kids that run roughshod over them has perhaps pushed me too far to the other end of the spectrum. I need to lighten up.