Thank you friends for your input and advice! Last night the boys told me that there were things that I was doing that were making them upset. They were, in this order:
1. Not letting them go onto You Tube
2. Telling Iain “no” when he asks to go to GameStop
3. Not buying them toys.
My parents would have been offended if I’d had the nerve to tell them they made them mad about something like any of those things. Once, as an adult, I defended my mom when I felt my dad was saying things that hurt her feelings and he went off on me about it. “Even the President of the United States can’t tell me how to talk to your mother!” O-kay…So anyway, since the kids were opening up about their feelings minus being hysterical about it, it was time to have a conversation about You Tube. It was really great! We aren’t any closer to a resolution that will work for everyone but the kids finally believe that we aren’t taking it away and they know we want to let them have access to it. Progress! We’re all working together and knowing that means we’re doing all right. They are a part of the process and not mindless kids who have to do something because we say so. I think that’s very important.
Issue number two was telling Iain “no” when he wants to go to GameStop. He would go every day so I HAVE to say no sometimes. But, is HAS been a while since we took him up there so we agreed that today would be a good time to go but Iain must spend his own money. Enter issue number three…not buying them toys.
I explained to Iain that dad and I have not been very smart with our money and part of that has been buying the boys toys anytime they asked. It’s hard to tell them no when they want something. Now though, we really have to watch how we spend our money so in order to help with this, the boys get an allowance. Initially Iain was getting more than Ryan but after discussing it with Sean, we decided they should get the same amount. If we were out somewhere together I would let them spend an equal amount on a toy and it seemed to promote ageism to have the older getting more than the younger. Now they will both get $25 a month. Ryan will be excited because this wasn’t the scenario when he went to bed last night! This is their money to spend however they wish but that is all they get for the whole month. Dad and I cannot buy toys left and right like we used to and this way with an allowance they can get whatever they want when they want. If they want something off the internet I will pay the shipping though. They’ve heard all this before but for some reason it seemed like good news to them last night. By the way they do not have objectives they have to meet to get their allowance. I believe they should have some spending money so they can understand how far (or not) it goes. It is not tied to anything else.
When all was said and done, it really felt like the kids and I had struck an accord and we were a team. That felt really, really good.