My earlier journalism career took me to a worn torn area of the world – Bosnia – and introduced me to a person who left a lasting impression on me. Back in the mid 90s – I cannot believe it’s been that long – NBC’s Nightly News Anchor, Brian Williams, shared with me the following adage. He said to me, "Amy, kids today are deprived of deprivation." I had no clue what he meant by that until I became a parent and then entered the world of education.
He, Brian, was right.
It talks about the process I went through with my son in establishing family rules. After some time, I realized this list is too big for a child his age to take in at one time. So what we do now is choose two to focus on each week. He gets to pick one, I choose the other. (smile) So I get "buy in" from him and he becomes part of the process.
To me, unspoiling is about establishing consistent boundaries and keeping them. It can be such a challenge sometimes. I try to choose my battles and unfortunately when I am too tired and don’t want to give in, there are times I cave. It is this unspoken double edge sword because I know if I don’t keep the consistency now, I will pay for it later. I sometimes wonder if that is more of a challenge for me as a single mother, or if everyone does it the same.