Saturday, August 30, 2008

Kids, kids, kids

A few days ago, Tink and I were talking about public school versus homeschooling, and the rules and routines of both.

I said to her, "When your teacher gave you an assignment, you had to sit and do it without getting up or talking, right? You couldn't just get up and walk around the classroom, could you?"

And Tink said, "Well, we got one reminder."

And duh, the light bulb went off over my head. That's her modus operandi. Waiting for the one reminder. And not just her, but all three of my darlings.

What I mean is this. They disobey until I tell them to obey. They're not awful or horrible, but they know exactly how long they can misbehave - until I say something.

Clothes are left in the bathroom floor until I tell them to pick 'em up.
Dishes are in the sink until I remind someone to put 'em in the dishwasher.
Bed is unmade until I remind 'em to make it.
Shoes are in the floor until I remind 'em to put them away.
They're noisy in the car until I tell 'em to stop playing.
They say Yeah until I remind them to say Yes ma'am.
They scrape toys on the furniture until I tell them to stop.

You get the idea.

Y'all, we have rules for EVERY ONE OF THESE AREAS. And nobody follows the rules until I give them "one reminder."

And I am such a ditz that I just realized it.

I'm slow like that.

I used to think, "Hey, what's the big deal? It doesn't bother me to remind someone to do their chores. At least they do it." Yeah, I'm over that. It bothers me.

So we went to Zero Tolerance yesterday and the kiddos, they are not taking it well.

Clothes on my bathroom floor? Consequence.
Dishes in the sink? Consequence.
Bed unmade? Consequence.
Shoes in the floor? Consequence.
Noisy in the car? Consequence.
Say yeah to an adult? Consequence.
Scrape toys on the furniture? Consequence.

It's exhausting, y'all, and I ran out of consequences long ago. But then my good friend Kristin reminded me today about Chore Charts.

Now I'm a big fan of charts, but I'm NOT GOOD AT ALL at being consistent. But I think I'd better GET consistent, or things are gonna get ugly up in here.

What about you? Are you consistent or do you lose focus without realizing it? What's the method that works best for you in maintaining some order and consistency in your home?

How many more times can I say consistent?

Please. Share your wisdom with the Queen of Dirty Laundry.


Tara said...

Do you mind poking around a bit? I did a WFMW early in the summer about chore charts on my blog. I can find it for you if you want.

Oh, the list. My kids like a list of things to do. You could put a list of their chores out and make them responsible for it. Then you aren't giving them ANY reminders! My oldest is fiercly independent and loves being given that power.

I had more to comment, but I've got houseguests and a crying baby at 7;20 in the morning and better go for now. We'll chat.

TexasTanya said...

I can totally relate. My two boys are exactly the same way. And we don't even have the excuse of learning about a warning from a teacher! I've reached the "I've had enough" phase, and they're getting better - but there are days I'm pretty sure they took their brain out and put it under the bed for safe keeping...

Also, just wanted to let you know that you've won something on my blog (!

Redneck Diva said... are the charts going for you? Huh? I haven't talked to you in a few days, so I was just wondering.... update, update, woman!

TxStarr said...

Hmmm . . . think a chore chart would work for a hubby?

Jen said...

Uggghh...I always give way too many chances/reminders. I hate feeling like a nag.

Have you ever heard of Love and Logic parenting. I ran across the website one day and read up on it (but haven't read books or attended classes on the subject). One of the main points is to make the consequence directly related to the offense. It makes sense. I'm sure you could find it easily by googling it.

I need to do way better in this arena. Consistency is really key. It is also the HARD part.

Kelley said...

Book Recommendation: HAVE A NEW KID BY FRIDAY by Dr. Kevin Leman. Love his parenting advice. Always have. Cuz it WORKS! He rocks.

It's SO hard (for me) to stay consistent with the consequences and chore charts. But if I do, I can definitely tell a difference. It's way worth it.