Posted by: amica | April 6, 2009

Fresh Start

For 5 years I have been raising my kids wrong.  Not bad, just wrong for their particular needs.  Now that I have more knowledge and still don’t know what the hell I am doing, I am going to attempt to implement some changes. Many things I have read don’t sit well with me or at least, aren’t the right approach for our family.  I am ok with that; there are still many more books to read and people to speak with that all have differing ideas.  I believe somewhere in all that lies the answer.

H is sick today – for real.  She turned down shopping yesterday so I took her seriously this morning when she complained.  I am taking this opportunity to shift some things around in the house.  First, the kids get 10 outfits – they can choose them  – and downsizing will help simplify things greatly. There are some issues with M hiding dirty boxers in his room, and this way I know exactly how many articles of clothing should be in the laundry.  Next their TVs, PlayStation, excess toys, and all clutter are being removed from their rooms.  They have too much and are overwhelmed by the upkeep.  The less the kids have, the better they can maintain.  Books, art supplies, puzzles, etc will remain in their rooms and there will be one TV in the playroom for them to watch on SOME days.  The TV in the living room will remain off until they go to bed unless there is a family show that we can all watch together. TVs and video games are seen as senseless barriers between the children and the mom.  I have to agree but it sure has been nice having the TV watch my kids for me…it’s true, I will admit it.  

I will also be preparing all the food from now on…I don’t like this one.  Don’t get me wrong, I like to cook but honestly I feel there is so little time during the week to prepare meals.  Also, having the kids make their own breakfast is really helpful to me on those crazy mornings (I don’t have to get up extra early).  But they need to see me as the leader and someone that is taking care of them.  If they are heating their own leftovers or making their cereal everyday, that can be viewed by them, and correctly so, that they are taking care of themselves.  So I get up earlier and some chores will have to wait so I can cook dinner. And I don’t have to deal with them “forgetting” to put things back up or the milk still sitting on the table when we get home in the afternoons. I went grocery shopping over the weekend and found pork roast, brisket, stew, and several other items that are pre-cooked.  I just have to heat, fix a couple of sides, and serve!  Happy girl here!

I also need to buy some door alarms.  At first, I didn’t think this idea applied to my kids because I don’t fear them hurting anyone.  But after more reading, I understand that they are also used to make the kids feel safer in the night; they know exactly who is coming in and out of their space. 

Off to make these changes…I realize that they are not going to like some of them.  I know they won’t understand and will probably think I am punishing them.  Hopefully after we begin to have more fun as a family, they will not miss the TV and games so much.

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Responses

  1. I am so proud of you

  2. Excellent!

  3. When we added our newest two children, that took me up to parenting five kids. Throw in the fact I needed to be providing all the food and … ugh!!

    Yet now it is routine and normal. Hang in there. I have them doing their own dishes, etc., so I have found other ways they can help me out so I don’t flip my lid. 🙂

    • It hasn’t been so bad, at least not as bad as I had thought – I am SO not a morning person. Thanks for the support!

  4. The alarm cut down on my daughter’s nightmares tremendously. I made it all about her safety and it worked for her. She was also my late night wanderer. I cannot stress how much removing videogames and TV helped both of my oldest kids. Too much stimulus and opportunity for disassociation for mine. We do movies as a treat and only family TV shows (or HGTV) but we mute the commercials or tape them. I am working on a theory that those commercials are part of the problem. We also bought “slower paced” DVD boxed sets of shows and cartoons they could enjoy for those times I really needed a “break”. Not sure if it will work for you but it is a thought.

    Best,
    Nelda (aka Dia)

    • I like the DVD box set idea. The one problem I see coming is that they will have to share a TV and have I mentioned they can’t stand to be in the same room??? I guess they won’t get to watch if they can’t get along, right?

      • You do have my kids! It’s funny. mine fight, sneer, make faces, grunt when in same room and yo be fair the issue is more on my son’s part. BUT, the rule for tv watching is simple…one noise, sneer, etc. you step out and tap or practice patience(strong sit) for a few minutes. If they can’t they “rest” for the duration of movie. if they can they return. i rarely have to send anyone out anymore. It’s a big treat to watch dvds/movies. It’s an adjustment but even though they are 8 and 10 I have to think of them as preschoolers in the social/emotional realm. Don’t get me wrong cognitively they are a bit higher so I choose dvds they can handle in terms of dialogue and in a weird way it works. Right now they love Land of the Lost, scooby doo, and brady bunch. There’s a lot less action but it’s the right speed. Now ask me if I like those shows…:)


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