Monday, February 6, 2012

"I hate my mom" ...says my kids

My kids didn't actually say that they hate me but I am sure that their thoughts were revolving around those words during one of our mornings a few weeks ago.

What was going on in our house that particular morning?  Here are a few details for you to get you up to speed...
  • Micah saved up his money and bought a DS (we paid for half for his upcoming birthday).  Sid has Chris' that he used to use.  Now the kids can play some picture thing together on Wi-Fi and some games.
  • The kids had to clean their room before they could use the DS.  Chris found Micah playing his DS while he was supposed to clean his room so he lost it for 2 hours.  Then Chris went to work and I got to deal with the torturous 2 hours of question after question of when he could get it back.  
  • After the kids played their DS they did play outside, all on their own!  This was my only time of no one staring at me with a pout or frown during our day.
  • The kids had 2 things to do before we started making lunch at 11:30am.  1)  Clean off the kitchen table from breakfast time, 2) sweep the floor.  They knew I wouldn't be starting lunch until those were done.  I was very clear about this.
  • I waited for my two big kids to clean the table and sweep the floor but instead of doing these things right away they decided to go on the computer and on a DS.  
  • I waited, and waited and waited...for 90 minutes!  I would like to think that I was a very patient momma that day and that I gave them enough time.  During this time I fed the day care kids, did the dishwasher and made supper for the night.  Not once did they ask if it was time to eat...they kept on playing.
In the end of those 90 minutes I had one son who was still playing his DS.  Just so you know...he did pass the level he was on.  Whoopdi-do.  (I say that as sarcastic as possible).  He announced this triumphant win just as everyone else in the house was finishing their lunch.  

Keep in mind that the table and the floor still have not been done.

I had a nice chat with my food loving son and explained to him that he missed lunch today.  There were tears, lots of sadness and some hatred for me I am pretty sure.  Food is everything to him.  He plans what we eat the day prior at times and loves to inform me when we are out when it is time to eat...just in case I didn't know.  I was very calm through this wonderful discussion and not a single scream was offered to my son...I was so proud (of myself).  :)  I could have screamed at both my kids but that really wouldn't have had the same effect as how I delivered the news to them that they both lost their DS for the rest of the day.  

Some parents may ask "why?".  Why did I take the DS away for the rest of the day?  Well, see I am a parent that follows through with what I say.  If I tell my kids to do something, I also expect them to do it.  If my kids don't follow through with what I ask, we have some consequences.  Example, clean the table and floor before we eat.  The kids didn't do that.  DS GONE!  Why didn't I just do those 2 jobs?  I could rant on and on about what else I have to do in the house but the fact is, I asked the kids to do those 2 things.  They do these 2 things, or their expectation is, that these 2 things be done after every meal by them.

I am not trying to be an evil mom but I have seen what kids turn into when consequences are not set in front of them and then followed through by the parents.  Parents...did you see those two words in there...FOLLOWED THROUGH!

My time with my little kids is slipping away fast.  A few years ago we had the battles of "putting toys away", "not using the potty", "not hitting our friends" and many different sleep issues with the kids.  I'm not going to say that these are little things in the world of parenting because we had some days and probably weeks where it just seemed like nothing would ever change and our kids would end up living in our basement once they dropped out of highschool because they still didn't want to use the potty.

We had months and months of a specific little boy that didn't want to sleep in his crib or bed.  Who knew that the solution would be to get a bed that was just like his brothers.  He wanted to be big too.  We also had screaming battles with Micah when he had to patch his eye.  Every day was sheer torture for me as I heard him cry and scream as he would bump into things or tear the patch off of his eye.  Did I want to torture him?  No, but I knew that if I didn't follow through with the instructions that the doctor gave us that Micah would lose the sight he had in the eye we were trying to help.  Sidney was no angel either and although she was nice and quiet most of the time, there seemed to be an evil monster inside her when she didn't get her way and she would scream and kick for 30 minutes or more (a few times even longer).

Our current issues are different than those early years and I believe that our family is adjusting, or learning to adjust, to all different types of social, school and time management applications.  Those are nice words for saying that the kids have had issues on the bus and with friends at school, homework seems to be very heavy this year and the responsibility is starting to shift from teacher to student which we are still working on and learning about.  The saying, "there isn't enough time in the day" isn't just coming from Chris and I now, I actually heard Sidney tell me this as she was getting ready for school today.

The future is up in the air.  I can't predict what we will have going on anymore than you telling me what your future will be like.  I am learning more and more about my kids' personalities though and they are truly amazing.  I am also seeing that our teenage years are not far off and that frightens me just a tad (ok, it really freaks me out!).

My hope is that our future will be representative of the values that we have shown our kids.  I know that if I follow through now with what I expect from my kids that I will have kids who will listen to me and respect me in the future.  They may not listen to me all of the time, what teenager does, but I hope that when it comes to the important things that they will know that I will have to follow through but also realize that they can always talk to me about something.

I know a lot of kids (a lot may actually be an understatement) that haven't had parents show them values or rules.  The person who made the rules in the houses they lived in was the child.  I actually have kids that have told their parents (these are bigger kids) that they didn't want to come to my day care because I wouldn't let them play video games while they were here.  Guess who made the rules in that house?  The child.  The response that the parent gave me was, "I feel so bad because I don't get to see him during the day and then he just wants to play his games.  He asks over and over if he can just go home when I pick him up from school so I can be with him and he can play his games.  Isn't it ok if he plays those until he gets picked up?"  That child no longer is at our day care.  I cringe at the thought of what is going to happen to this boy in just a few short years.

A family should work together but the parent should actually parent.  This means all times, not just when it is convenient for the parent.  I had those moments where my 3 year old daughter was screaming at the top of her lungs in Target.  This happened several times.  After a few times she learned that this was not appropriate behavior at a store because I took the time while we were at the store to discipline her.  This may have been disruptive to other customers but should I wonder if I was bothering someone else or should I show my daughter that she had consequences for throwing fits in the aisles when I wouldn't buy her a snack?  (sorry if you were ever at Target on one of those days!  She was really loud too!)

I am still in this journey of being a parent.  I have learned a lot about what to do (and some "not what to do") from my own family, which I am sure we could all say from our own backgrounds.  Another great resource is  If you have a question about parenting there is probably an answer here.  Lots of great reviews on books, movies and games as well for parents to look at before they are purchased for their kids.

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