Kid Battles I Refuse to Fight

Kid Battles I Refuse to Fight

There have always been battles between parents and their kids. Sometimes as parents it seems we spend entire days, weeks, and even years battling with our kids.  Just wait for those ‘tween years if you don’t believe me.  We battle to get them to do what we want, keep them safe, and most importantly not send us running to the nearest loony bin!

Because we love our kids and we do want them to be healthy and safe we keep fighting the good fight even though we know it means suffering the wrath of hormonally charged, prepubescent, crazy people.

I’m not going to apologize for making homework mandatory, even if the teacher doesn’t grade it. No, my kid can not have a can of Coke with dinner.  They will greet grandparents and other relatives AND give hugs upon arrival and leaving.  They will do their chores if they expect to get an allowance and no, they cannot spend their allowance on junk food in the school cafeteria.

All these non-negotiable rules don’t always make me Miss Popularity in my house but oh well.

Having said all that, I have learned that sometimes you really do have to pick and choose your battles or you will be fighting with your kids from sun up to sun down. So here are a few examples of where I have thrown in the towel.

Winter Clothes

What is it with boys and winter clothes? The temperature outside might be 25 degrees.  A blizzard could be swirling around with wind gusts of up to 50 miles per hour, and my teenager will stand there and insist that there is absolutely no reason why he can’t wear a pair of shorts and a hoodie to school.  I can’t tell you how many times we fought this one out with me yelling at him that he needed to wear his boots, coat, gloves, and you get the idea.  For crying out loud, we had four polar vortexes last year.  FOUR!  His reply was always the same, “It’s not that cold, mom.  I don’t need all that stuff and it doesn’t fit in my locker anyway.”

One day something in my brain finally snapped. “You want to freeze your ass off,” I yelled, “then go right ahead.” I bit my tongue and kept the word “dumbass” to myself since I know a mom really shouldn’t call her child (at least out loud) a dumbass. (It is perfectly allowable to think it several times a day, just don’t say it.)

So that day he went to school dressed for the beach, not a cold winter day. The next day he still wore a hoodie, but I did notice he put on pair of pants since the temp dropped down to about 22 degrees.  The miracle came on the third day.  He wore his coat to school, as well as his gloves!  It turned out that freezing his ass off for a couple of days was more effective than all my preaching.

Trumpet Practice

When my oldest first joined band I used to nag him day in and day out to practice his instrument. The teacher wanted 30 minutes of practice a day.  That didn’t sound too bad, until you realized that the English teacher wanted 30 minutes of reading each night, and the math teacher sent home about 20 minutes of homework a night. On top of that, every other night there was science or social studies homework, plus he had to memorize all of his Spanish vocabulary.

When you looked at his nightly work load it didn’t take me long to figure that if he was practicing the trumpet for 45 minutes a day in school, he would be just fine if he only practiced for a half hour or so on the weekends and skipped the thirty minutes every night. Each week I signed his band practice sheet without a single moment of guilt.


I admit that I have a problem using sentence enhancers. A four letter word pops out of my mouth at least once a day, sometimes more often than that. (Hey, just be glad you can’t hear all the ones that roll through my mind all day long.) But, I tend to use the same words over and over.  Shit, crap, damn it, those really are my big bad words.  Okay, the occasional fuck is mumbled too.  Still, my teen was using a lot of cuss words and he was using them more often than I was.

I tried to keep him in check, even going so far as to censor my own mouth and cut out most of my cussing at home. He just kept letting them fly.

Then one day I was in the house while a group of five teenage boys were running around in the woods right behind my house. This moment was a revelation for me.  All five boys cussed NON-STOP.  Not only did they cuss, but that trash talked each other for over an hour.  I found myself blushing as I listened to them yell at each other and laugh hysterically.  I was never going to curb my kid’s potty mouth because I was hopelessly outnumbered.  So now the rule is no cussing in front of his baby brother.  Other than that, I give up.

So what battle of wills did you finally just said, “fuck it” too? I’d love to hear about it.
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  1. S. Watson says:

    I don’t know you but I do know I like you! Don’t stress about the small stuff, right? I might add one phrase ‘no cussing in front of your baby brother or your grandparents’.

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