I know the importance of not getting involved in power struggles. I don't have to be reminded of the way getting involved in power struggles is damaging. And yet, lately, I am finding myself getting involved. I'm usually pretty good at staying out. But lately I can't seem to help myself. DS (15) will say something that just grates on my nerves, and I'll just dive right in.
Example conversation from this morning (believe me, I realize all my many mistakes here):
I get the keys to unlock the garage (locked for foster care licensing reasons) where our washer and dryer is. "Let's do your laundry." (doing laundry is critical to keep the house sanitary and smell-free with DS for a few reasons...if my child was another child, I probably wouldn't pick this battle)
"I'm not doing laundry."
"You know you have to do laundry. You're just being silly."
"No, I'm being serious. I'm not doing laundry."
"I think you're just feeling mad because of what I had to talk to you about a few minutes ago" (I had to talk to him about not respecting the dog's space when she clearly wanted it).
"Maybe. But how am I supposed to know what's going on with you if all you say is you're just not going to do your laundry."
"You can't make me."
"No. But I can punish you for not doing it."
"I'm not doing any f***ing laundry." (please note that DS is very tired right now because of staying up way too late last night due to being in a play, which I think is a large part of why he was being such a jerk)
"Watch your mouth! You're going to be losing some serious priveleges here!"
Okay, I am so much better than this. I do have parenting resources and tools. For whatever reason I am just too tired or impatient or whatever to use them. I also find power struggles to be a slippery slope. If I get engaged in one, I usually find myself getting engaged in more and more for weeks. Anyone else? Not really looking for advice here so much as commiseration.
Oh, and is this a safe place to say that my son was being a total jerk~? I mean really, talking to me the way he did. Urgh!