Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Looking Back

Hindsight is 20/20. Looking back now I would do things differently.

I would NOT explain to my kids why a rule is a rule in more than six words. It's all fine and dandy that mommy feels super good explaining the why's of the world - but I wasn't raising an Aware of Others child. I was raising the next professional debater. She can find a loophole quicker than anyone I know. She knows what my problems will be and have an answer to bypass it every single time. To be honest, sometimes the answer really is, "Because I said so, that's why."

I would give my kids chores "because I expect you to help." Every day. Yes. Every single day. If a kid can grab their shoes and put them on to beg you to take them to the park they are certainly capable of grabbing those same shoes and putting them in a closet. I'd start young with little tasks... I'd go so far as to ask the kid bagging my groceries to put the fruit roll-ups in a separate bag so I could hand it to my child so they could bring it inside. I have a child who is fourteen years old and whines and stomps feet every single time I ask her to do something. And why wouldn't she? It's not expected of her, so it feels like a punishment.

And I would never, ever, EVER pay my kid to do a chore. I would never pay fifty cents to pick up toys off the living room floor. I would never pay two dollars to clean the bathroom. I would never pay five dollars to was the dog. Ever. Because no one pays me when I clean it up. That's because it's expected of me. The way it should be expected of anyone who co-resides in a home.

See how that works? All kind of full-circle like.

Usually the oldest child grows up and complains about how rough life was because they had all this responsibility and the youngest skates through with none of the same rules that the oldest had. Poor Cletus. He's not even five months yet and last night I'm taking him around the living room with me making him pick up chew toys and burp rags, telling him how it's his responsibility to pick up after himself... it's never too late to start over.

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