Making them mind…..

Posted: October 10, 2012 in Family
Tags: , , , , ,

I have been stuggling with my kids lately. Mom’s everywhere should be able to relate with that!  I’ve done a great deal of soul searching to try and find out why, I was not happy with what I came up with.  It’s my fault!

Yes….I am taking responsibility for my childrens behavior.  Shocking, I know!

My kids were the ones that everyone wanted to watch, have over night, take out in public with them.  They were well behaved and polite.  I was very proud of the job I had done.  But after my mom passed away in June of 2010, well, I lost it.  I stopped cleaning, cooking, smiling, laughing, everything!  I just existed.  Which has brought me to bring back the basics. 

I am living again, and my CDO is in overdrive because for 2 years my brain did not register the clutter pile up and lack of respect for our home that was happening from all parts of our family.  I guess it is true, a mom is the heart of a family, and when it’s gone…..

But now I am faced with the task of not only whipping the house back into a home, myself back into a human being, but retraining guiding my boys back to who they were as well.  I’m not saying they are out of control or anything, they have just lost touch with thier manners and self worth. 

The things that aggrivate me the most:

  1. Garbage – they have decided that they no longer need to walk to a garbage can to throw anything away.  They just leave it where ever.  (they picked this up from thier dad!)  So the fruit roll up wrappers, cheese stick wrappers, paper plates, napkins, kleenex (eewww) all stay where ever they hit a surface.  This never used to be an issue.
  2. Hygiene – I have to fight with Ethan (my 9 year old) to get him to shower! It is literally an argument every single night…some nights he goes in kicking a screaming and fully dressed!  Jacob just has to be reminded every single night…I never had to be reminded as a kid! And brushing thier teeth…..why is it such a big deal?  Just brush them, really!?!
  3. Their Bedrooms – They want to have these really cool hang out rooms so they can hang with thier friends, but I can’t remember the last time a vacuum would fit in the door of either room!  If they would just put it away when they were done, it would always be clean!
  4. Attitude – for some reason the oldest thinks that he’s not good enough, and likes to make his younger brother feel the same way.  And he is always making a point to mention faults with others.  The youngest, he thinks that the world revolves around him. If he doesn’t like whats for dinner, he complains until we are miserable. If he doesn’t like the show we are watching as a family, he complains until we are all miserable.  If we don’t do what he wants to do during an outing, well, I think you get the idea.

I just want to make them mind….I want them to mind that their rooms are dirty, and that garbage on the floor in the living room upsets me.  I want them to mind when they smell funny or thier breath stinks.  I want them to mind when they say things that hurt other people or themselves.

So earlier this spring, I made changes, added rules, enforced them, tried all kinds of discipline, made chore charts, etc.. You name it, I tried it.  Nothing worked.  That’s when I realized the problem was me.  I was not a good example for my children any more.  So….I decided to make me mind again! Wow!

I still need to change the rules in the house to turn manners into habits again. But the tip below, is my life saver.  It is the only thing that has worked with my boys.  Remember, it only takes 7 times to turn a change into a habit!


If you want to receive the desired results, you can NOT make several changes all at once.  Nanny 911 makes it look easy, but that is T.V.!  This is real life.  Make 1 change at a time.  It’s easier for you to keep track of too!  Make 1 rule with 1 consequence.  My first rule is throw away your garbage!  The consequence, if it continues, I won’t buy those items any more.  When they are gone, that’s it!  They are kids, they will find something else to snack on if the fruit roll ups and cheese sticks aren’t available.  Be consistent with this rule, give reminders until you notice them doing it without being reminded.  At that point, give praise for remembering to do it all on thier own.  Yes, my 12 year old, tells me I’m silly, but he is always smiling when I praise him. Once the rule becomes habit, add a new one. 

Bonus tip….I had a conversation about the new rules with the kids.  I listed 5 “expectations” and then the rules that I was putting into effect.  But I only focus on 1 at a time.  I didn’t tell them that.  I remind them of the expectations daily.  The rules are enforcers to the expectations. 

5 expectations (not rules):

  1. Personal hygiene, you must shower everyday and brush your teeth 2ce a day. No exceptions.
  2. You must pick up after yourself
  3. You are responsible for your own room
  4. You must get good grades, an education is the most important thing for them right now.  A’s and B’s are the only acceptable grades.  If you are falling behind, let us know and we will take the appropriate steps to assist you.
  5. Go to bed on time!

I am already seeing improvement. It does my heart good to see glimmers of the kids I had before I screwed them up!

  1. Your BFF says:

    You are doing a great job. And any decent teacher will tell you, limit things to 5 rules/expectations/etc. so the kids can remember and apply….

    Love ya!

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