The Passing of the Problem Child Torch
By Complex Mom on July 11, 2012
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[Editor's Note: You know how one kid will be driving you crazy as they go through a phase (not sleeping, growth spurt, mouthy, and on and on)... and just when they get it all worked out (get back to sleep, stop eating everything in sight and growing out of pants, shut their mouth), one of your other kids will enter some crazy, awful phase. Been there? Rebecca at Complex Mom believes our children do this on purpose, that they strategize this craziness. I think she might be on to something. -Jenna]
It is a little known fact that every few months siblings gather together around a table in dark basements with head lamps on to trade candy their grandparents’ have secretly bought them for coins that they have pocketed from the day they were asked to put change in a parking meter with an “out of order” sign, and to discuss a very important topic that no parent is allowed to know about:
Whose turn is it to be the problem child?
During the last cycle Middle had the job and he took it very seriously. He made sure to complain about as many things as he could, to dig his heels in when we asked him to do a chore, and to be as bad of an example as possible for his younger brother. Oh and he tried to say the phrase that makes me shiver like someone has dragged their fingernails across a chalkboard, as many times as possible:
“That sucks.” or “You suck.” or “He or she sucks.”
I hate it in any form and usually follow it up with something like “Boy that just shows that you have a limited vocabulary. You will embarrass yourself if you keep that up.” This after I have learned not to tackle the phrase directly with a consequence, because that tactic only does one thing: make it seem even sweeter. (They must discuss this at the meeting as well.)
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