Saturday, March 24, 2007

Kids

Earlier this week I posted about my kids being lazy and spoiled. It sounds mean. Makes them sound like a group of miserable human beings that no one would want to be around.

This could not be further from the truth. My kids are wonderful and I love them with all my heart. Still, I would be a fool, and a bad parent, if I did not acknowledge that there are areas where we need some work.

It is so easy to spoil kids, and I've done it. So often it's just me and my three kids in Walmart, and I'm happy to give them each a candy of their choice just so we can make it through the checkout and home in one piece. Do this once or twice, and it becomes an expectation. This week at the checkout one of my kiddies had a meltdown because I said no to their request for some powdered filled, extra sour, super sized baby bottle that screamed "Please dump me all over your van where I will live for the next few years!"

Whatever happened to being happy with a pack of sugarless gum?

When hubby is gone for weeks, we go to Chuck E Cheese, ice cream shops, etc. as a treat. We've been having tears this week because we are not going back RIGHT NOW! "But Moooooooommmmmmm . . . I waaaaaannnntttt tooooooooo . . . I haven't been there in one million days . . . "

This week I have asked them to help around the house. They have chores that they do daily but with hubby out from surgery, I have wanted help with a few other things. "But Moooooommmmmmm . . . I've had to do this for one hundred years . . . "

For some reason, asking them to help seemed like a form of torture. Cleaning up after yourself was just plain mean. Forget doing something the first time I asked. It had to be repeated at least 10 times in order for you to take me seriously.

I disciplined. Hubby did as well from the couch. Finally, after a week of consistent discipline and reinforcement, I think I am starting to see signs of my children returning. And I thought the newborn stage was hard!

The other thing I fight is that it's so cheap to make kids happy. For one dollar, you can buy just about anything that will at least make it into the car where more than likely it will break because it's so cheap. There will be some tears, and then it will drop to the ground where it will lay with the other cheap toys from other trips. I can't continue to feed their greedies as well as the landfills.

"But Mooooooommmmm . . . it's only one dollar! Why can't I get it!?!? I haven't had a new toy in sooo long!"

One dollar is not much. It will buy piece and quiet. It will buy smiles and contentment at least until they are contained in the car. It may even make it home and keep everyone happy while you unload and put away the groceries.

But it will also feed a desire in a child who will come to expect and want all the time. A child who will come to forget the true meaning of a "special treat". A child that I lived with this week, and did not enjoy. One, that I pray, will not visit here again for a least a few more days! :)

5 comments:

Rach said...

Well said hon!!!

Mom2fur said...

Hi. I'm a mom of 4--3 who are adults now and one teenager. I can remember those days, LOL! I'll tell you one piece of advice I never forgot, that makes so much sense. If you are inclined to give in anyway, do it before they start whining! If they get what they want after all the "but moooommmmms," you teach them that whining is the way to get what they want! Another thing is to establish even before you go exactly what will happen. I would say something like, "We're buying X & Y today. Don't even think about asking for toys or candy, 'cause it ain't gonna happen." Or..."you can pick out one candy each today, as long it is less than a dollar. Don't be asking for any of those toy-candy things!" Or...you can make up a chart of 'extra' chores that earn money the kids can spend any way they like. A dime for a very small chore or a quarter for a bigger chore will add up, and you'll get some housework done. (This is not for regular chores, just extra ones.)
But the best idea of all? Find a friend with a similar problem and swap baby-sitting with her! She can watch yours while you shop, and another day, you can watch hers to give her some free time. I did this with a neighbor and it was the greatest thing, LOL!

Trisha said...

Sorry about all the problems on the homefront and the blog front (the anonymous comment). What kind of surgery did your husband have?

Sharon said...

Great post. :)I've been giving into my son more lately, mainly because I haven't been able to do as much with/for him physically. (snuggle, hold him, play....)
Pregnancy plus kidney stones have made that nearly impossible. So I give in. And I've created a semi-monster!
I need to be as consistent as you were in the discipline to find my sweet child again. It is HARD, though. I give in out of guilt.

I'll just keep reading this post. :) It's encouraging!

Trisha said...

Just stopping by to let you know I have tagged you. When yo get a second stop on by and join in the fun!