My Kids Won't do What They're Asked.....

At 10:00am I told my kids to brush their teeth and shower, I had a meeting with the bank at 12:30. I needed to finish up my business plan before we left, at 12:15 I called the bank and rescheduled. Not only did they not brush their teeth or have a shower they made a huge mess.

My next meeting was 3:00 and a realtor was bringing some people through to view the house. So now they had to clean up and brush their teeth and have a shower. I have to stand over them for them to do anything. I started asking them to get their shoes on at 2:30 while I ran around tidying up and cleaning whatever I could see, by 2:45 I was screaming at them to get their shoes on and get into the car. At 2:50 two crying kids buckled themselves into the car and we were off.

I was exhausted and stressed beyond my limits was I asking too much of my kids? I am very lucky because whenever I have a meeting and take them with me no matter how long the meeting is they are quiet, good, and sit still the whole time. Longest meeting this week was 3 hours long and they were good the whole time. They love each other and play together very well, they rarely fight and when they do it lasts all of 2 minutes. I am lucky and I need to remember that, even when they are not doing what I asked of them.

I do not want to have to stand over them constantly to get them to brush their teeth, shower or clean up. I want them to be responsible for themselves and their environment. So I need to change tactics. By utilizing currency to ensure they do what they have to do before they get what they want seems to work. When I say currency I don't mean money exactly, I mean what is of value to them. For my kids it's Nintendo DS, computer time, and tv. Those things of value to them that they can have access to only once they have finished what I asked them to do.

Kids are frustrating, afterall it's their job to drive their parents crazy. Creative problem solving will help parents to be less frustrated by inspiring their children to act. What tricks or tools work will depend on each child and only the parent will know which trick will work best for their child. It takes energy, time, and creative thought to find the trick and once you have figured it out, your child will change and it won't work anymore. Welcome to parenthood.


Mami said...

Wow, your kids know how to behave in professional roles and personal roles.

Maybe you want to try some behavioral charts and give them awards when they complete their tasks without being asked. One successfully completed task is one sticker, 10 or 20 stickers get them to do something they really want to do, like play video game for 30 minutes. After a while it will become their habit to do certain tasks on their own without being awarded and you can move on to something else you want them to develop a habit into. That's how I do it with my three children.

Carennedy said...

Thanks - I've tried the charts with large prizes for getting enough stickers or checks and it works for all of 1 day with my kids.

I do know kids that these charts work really well with and the fact that you are so diligent to keep it working shows your dedication to your children.

Parents have to be creative and look at lots of different tools to find what works for their children. It takes dedication and persistence to stick with what works and to move on from what doesn't. You sound like a great mother.


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