Monday, March 17, 2014

Which American Idol Judge Are You?

I totally American Idol Judge my kids! I do, it's true. I realized this a couple of days ago. For those of you who watch American Idol I am sure you know this and for those of you who are not viewers I will tell you. The judges say a few words to the singers after they have performed. They have become notorious for telling the contestants something they should change, the very next week the contestant complies with suggested change and the judge turns right around and tells them they don't like what the contestant did. 

This was really bad one year for one of my all time favorite girls that has competed on the show, Allison Iraheta. Every week it was the same thing, one of the four judges would say something like, "It was good but I'd really love to see you sing something a little softer maybe slow it down a bit." Next week, after singing her heart out in the form of a lovely ballad, the same judge would say, "Allison I don't understand, you are a rock star you should stick with what you know. I really wish you had done another rock song." And it went on and on every week. Poor Allison, she could not win! 

In a very similar way I coach my kids. Our oldest is very responsible and is by nature, a nurturer. Because of this I rely heavily on her. I give her tasks to do, "Help your little sister buckle. Can you go make sure Hannah stays focussed on cleaning her room? Go help Hannah pick out some clothes." Then whenever Elyse pushes it a little too far I am right there saying, "Elyse you are not the boss. I am the mom! Elyse, you don't need to do that for her, I told her she needs to it herself." I have pulled an American Idol Judge move. Poor Elyse, she cannot win! 

I do this to the boys too. As I am walking through a cluttered home in the morning trying to get us out he door on time for school I will begin barking out orders, "Boys, come take care of your breakfast dishes, Elijah your shoes are under the table, come put them on. Isaiah, your hair is a mess you need to go brush it." A few minutes later, when there are still dishes on the kitchen table I will say, in a slightly more frustrated tone, as I go in search of the offending kids, "Boys your cereal bowls are still on the table." A confused Isaiah will call out, "I'm brushing my hair like you told me to." And it is at about that moment  I find a curly head leaning over scuffed shoes, trying to make a perfect bow. Maybe slightly more frustrated I will let out a sigh, wave Elijah's hands out of the way and tie the shoes myself. Likely saying something like, "we do not have time for you to make a perfect bow buddy. You just need to be quick. Now go put away your bowl." Rewind a few days earlier to a very similar morning. I am walking through a cluttered house, I pass a cute curly head and look down to smile. I notice shoelaces trailing along behind size 12 shoes and I say, "Elijah you have got to start tying your shoes better you can't just slop through it!" Poor boys, they cannot win! 

We must be careful with our words. I am always in a rush, I often joke that my kids will grow up and say, "I remember always being in a hurry. I don't really remember us actually going places. I just remember we were always in a hurry to get there." But in our rush, in our aggravation we must not spew out rules that are forever changing. We must have very clear expectations of our children in our own minds, and then make those same expectations clear to our kids. If we are forever changing our minds, changing our plans, changing the rules, we will never be able to expect our kids to take us seriously. We will create an atmosphere of confusion and frustration. They will be forever trying to please but often coming up short - and this will be through no fault of their own. Slow down moms, think your words through. Remember the rules and expectations you have for your children and begin to create a place and a way for them to follow those rules to meet your expectations! I know I certainly need to do this. 
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  1. Oh Sarah, can I relate to this so much even at the workplace. I was just telling someone, I feel like I can't win and honestly it's made me so frustrated and ready to stop trying. It's incredibly brave and insightful of you to be able to see how we do this in our day to day lives and how it could change - because we all do it, especially when we're in a rush. Thanks for always sharing your wise words.

  2. Kim, my husband and I were just talking about something tonight and I said "you know you can really relate my post today to how women are with their husbands." You know we women are beyond moody and somehow we expect our husbands to roll with the moods and guess what we are expecting of them at each moment. Half the time I don't think I even know what my expectations are of people. But they darn well should have it figured out! Ha!


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