After my rant about my entitled kids I realized that a big part of it is my fault - for making them think that they have a choice/say/input.
Today started the first day of the rest of their lives and I have to tell you that it was quite successful.
First of all, they all got up, ate breakfast, brushed their teeth, got dressed and immediately started "summer school."
Summer school is my name for the 45 minutes of educational activity I've been making them do this week. About 25 minutes of it involves writing an essay/article/story and 20 minutes involves math. I've signed them all up for Aleks math - which is a homeschooling curriculum available online - and while I'm sure they would NEVER admit it, I think they like it.
My about to be in 4th grade son who struggles with math is reviewing 3rd grade and my about to be in 3rd grade son who LOVES math is beginning the 3rd grade curriculum. It seems to be working for both of them.
My about to be in 4th grade son spent the day in his room today for shirking some fairly basic hygiene (shampoo anyone?) and getting caught.
While my husband took the other kids to the pool, my son and I had a good conversation around initiative and mirrors.
The initiative part was that while he may love history, and may think that he wants to grow up to be Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, it's going to be hard if he's the kind of person who never gets off the couch.
We talked a lot about choices - about people who want to be successful, but don't work at it, about people who want to be thin but eat twinkies for breakfast, about people who want to be superlative - but aren't willing to put the work in. And I had to admit that there are times when I am one of those people.
There are times when I don't go for a run. There are times when I don't get up from in front of my computer to go play catch with my sons. There are times when I don't do everything I should do at work today - and let some stuff slip to tomorrow.
But when I look in the mirror I see those things. And I know in my heart I could do better. So the next day, I try harder. Not because someone is making me. Not because I'm going to get in trouble. In life, the things that make us great are very different than the things that keep us out of trouble.
I don't know if he understood. But it was helpful to remind myself.