The 32’s

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Well it’s been 48 hours since instigating the “family bucks” program, and all is well, all is calm. The best part is, I haven’t argued, fought or bickered with the kids these past two days. (Well, they still bicker with each other.) But most importantly, I haven’t argued with Andy. I wasn’t sure if it was his age, or my lack of parenting know-how, but our horns used to lock on a daily basis.

Now, once again, I see what a pleasant boy he really is. His teachers always gush about him and until we started this new system, I didn’t know what they were all talking about.

“Really? My boy? My boy is a joy to have in your class?” or “He’s very quite and soft spoken during his lessons? This is Andy we’re talking about, right?”

But now I’m seeing it. Now that I am no longer the one always cracking the whip, just the one passing out the bucks, our relationship has changed. Instead of exhaling threats all day long, I offer to give him a family buck if he does____ and that’s all it takes.  He is pleasant. He is helpful. He has a genuinely nice sense of humor. I feel like I have my boy back! I used to have to admire his handsome face when he was asleep and think of yesteryear. But tonight, while reading Junie B. Jones out loud to the gang, he looked so handsome and grown up and so fun to be with. For the first time in a long time, I am looking forward to the teen years instead of dreading them.

The kicker is: it was me! I was the problem all along!! I’m sure he’s thinking, “Gee, mom has sure mellowed out these last couple of days. I was starting to think she’d never outgrow the ‘terrible 32’s'”

I hope I have.

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