Raising kids is hard work. Keeping them accountable and following through so that they do what you tell them to is hard work! Not killing them they don’t do what they were told or do things they should know better not to do, deserves an award!
I have so many people tell me my kids are good kids. A while back a single friend with no kids said to me “What is wrong with your kids?” We had had a BBQ or party the night before and the kids were home as well I was wondering what had happened that I missed, but he followed up with “Last night at the party they were good. No meltdowns, they went to bed when you told them to and stayed there. And we were loud. Now you just sent them out play and they went out to play!” I said “uh I don’t know it must be in their genes.” I took it as a compliment. My kids are pretty good kids, but like all kids they have their moments.
That was a few years ago, but my kids are still pretty good kids. They are learning ways to skate out of doing what they were told and learning ways to make it look like they did what they were told. As kids grow it is their job to figure out how to do this thing called life. And part of that is learning to survive and and learning to thrive. Part of that is sometimes how can I get what I want with as little work as possible? But it is our job as parents to teach them that life is not always about doing as little as possible to get what they want. It is about getting out of life what you put into it. If you do as little as possible when you don’t have a mom who wants you to have what is best, you won’t end up with the best of anything. One day they will figure out that they now have a really cool life because mom and dad work hard to provide that for them, but I don’t want them to learn that on the day they move out and end up bankrupt or homeless! I want them to see that they have to work for some of the cool stuff they have!
I get so frustrated doing everything and then when I ask for the dishes to be done I get “aw do I have to?” or they leave dishes on the drain board right behind the sink. Seriously do I have to say do the dishes behind the sink too?! I don’t think I should, and eventually I won’t (I hope) but until they start doing it I will have to say “those dishes are part of all the dishes”. Kids need to be taught certain things, then they need to be taught them again and againg and again. I have underestimated the amount of times I will have to teach and reteach and remind them how to do things and that to do it. My mom used to say to me “I shouldn’t have to ask” I hated that as a kid but I sometimes feel the same way and I have said it to. The Hubs and I both have to work on the teaching and reteaching and not exploding on them with “WHY DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU THIS AGAIN?!” But I don’t think we are alone in that either. We do try to have patience but there is a point when patience runs out and the explosion ensues…that’s another topic for another day today we are talking about the kids.
But the bottom line is, yes, you do have to ask them again. No, you have to tell them again. If you ask you imply they have a choice and sometimes in life you don’t get a choice. You don’t have a choice weather you pay the bills you kids shouldn’t have a choice if they ‘want’ to clean their room or wash the dishes or fold clothes (or what ever it is you are needing them to do). Kids need responsibility and accountability. When we get frstrated with our kids we really should be getting frustrated with us because what has happened is that we have slacked off on keeping them accountable. We have let it go for too long. We get busy in our own adult lives and jobs and stuff. Then we turn around and realize “hey I have kids they can help with this” then we ask (or tell) them to do something walk out of the room thinking they will do it and when we come back we expect it to be done and they are still watching the end of their favorite show. We have to be specific, we have to follow through, tell them to do it now, if they ask can I finish this show then decide but you don’t always have to do it the way the kids want to it to be done. It is okay to tell them no, do it now!
No going forward to do it yourself because it will get done faster…that just makes us more pissy and teaches them that if they don’t do it mom will anyway and that let’s them off the hook. Holding them accountable is hard! It is both mom and dad’s job! Holding myself accountable is hard enough as it is! Why can’t this be as easy as letting them cry it out when they were babies?! It just is not! So put on your big girl mommy pants and teach them to put their big kid pants on and do what they were told and/or asked to do! And don’t give in! Stay the course. No one will do it for them when you are not around so stop rewarding bad behavior by “doing it yourself because it is easier” or by bargaining “just one more minute?” NO! That is what teaches our kids to not be responsible and rely on us or in the future government assistance and I know you don’t want that for your kids!
So stop bailing out your kids. Don’t let them back talk or be lazy, hold them accountable. What sucks is you too have to be accountable too! No more letting it wait until later, be accountable now. Be reasonable folks! The house is not burning down the dishes if that is their chore, can wait until after baseball practice for them to do it but they better do it before they get to watch American Idol! Kids have a lot on their plate and those parents of those kids have even more on their plate. Start young gettting your kids to work around the house and be accountable and that will make it easier as they get older. Because remember, when they turn 16 and drive away on their own you want to know that they can follow directions and be responsible. They need to know there are consequences for bad behavior and in the real world it is not sitting on a carpet for 5 minutes, sometimes as they get older especially when they drive it can be life and death. Start young to avoid that!
Now go give your kids a hug and a kiss while they do the dishes 😉