Sunday, June 19, 2011

Just Another Loop in the Cycle of Figuring It All Out or Don't I Go Through This Every Summer?!?

I've let the kids get away with practically murder this last week; I was tired and lazy and tired and just got back from vacation, so it was completely justified. Completely, dear reader. But when I realized that our laziness and such was beginning to cause problems such as sassiness and crudeness and whining-ness (which tends to be the case when discipline begins to wane), I decided to pull out the big guns.

There is now a new schedule hanging up. A daily routine, if you will. We begin at 8AM with scriptures and prayers and we move onto chores, School, and our daily activity. Chore charts have been updated. More have been added (what with all the "I'm bored!" time they seem to be having). I even have a list of "if-you-do-these-you-can-earn-money" chores.

I'm constantly bewildered with my brain and my attitude because the whole "changing of the chores" and "making a schedule" is a result of the same thing I keep hashing and re-hashing and over-hashing: I need to be a better mom.

In Church today I was reminded again of the stuff I'm supposed to be teaching them and, of course, areas in my life I could improve in the personal spiritual arena (which always has a profound affect (effect?) on my mothering). My patience, my voice level, my ability to handle crisis (i.e. body fluids) --they all hinge upon MY personal growth and MY desire to improve.

Sure, I could ask the kids to just stop whining forever, clean up every mess they make, speak kindly to each other and their parents, and understand how I'm giving them wonderful experiences to make their characters great. But it doesn't work like that. I ask, but they don't care, nor can they, really. I mean, they do eventually. They do clean. They do understand. They do try. Innately, however, they have to push first. Push back, test boundaries, give into the natural wo/man. What's interesting, however, is that I have complete control over how they eventually understand all of it. Sort of. I mean, of course, these kids could understand everything from why we clean toilets to why we don't use the word "poo-poo head" and then still turn out to be total jerks. There are psycho-paths, you know! And some of them had good parents. Didn't they? But I'm leaning towards optimism when I say that if I can just suck it up and put on my big girl panties (as my buddy says), then I have more control and influence than I realize.

For example, tonight we implemented this new chore system and did what I now refer to as "Evening Chores." You may have already been doing something like this for years, since it's just a basic bedtime routine, but I'm not as great as you are, dear reader! I promise you, I'm not. I forget how basic routines, such as the following, can do wonders for the children's ability to find self-reliance, self-worth, and stick to a time-line. Anyway, here it is:

*Put on pajamas
*Dirty clothes in the hamper
*Tidy room
*Brush teeth
*Tidy living room/kitchen
*Bedtime Story
*Family Prayer
*Go to the bathroom/get a drink of water
*Personal Prayers

It went well. It went fast. There are most nights when I forget to have them brush their teeth, but no more! Haha!

I'm sure I'll have to re-hash again in the future --near future --but for now, I'm happy that the kids are willing to comply with our new awesome schedule. Here's hoping it works for a while!

Do you have a routine? Does it work? Do you change it up constantly? Or do you just wing it?

Happy Father's Day to all the awesome dads out there! Especially mine. :)


Radel said...

Hi Cheryl, I just wrote a super long comment for you. But instead of posting it here I moved it over to my blog. We have a system that is working for us this summer. Glad you are getting one in place too. It really does help. :)

Cheryl said...

Ours is a "loose schedule". I feel like kids are so structured during the school year I love having more time to relax in the summer and I think they need it too. We plan together (kids and I) on Sunday nights what we will do for the week We wake up and lounge around for a bit..even watch a bit of TV. Then we get going with breakfast and morning chores. They do reading and/or summer "school" which is either learning games or workbooks. Then we either do an activity (swimming, library, field trip etc) or play with friends or just play at home. At the end of the day before Dad comes home we do afternoon chores (picking up from the mess of the day). Today may be a stay in our PJ's day and watch movies...Mom is tired!

Angie said...

It took me a while, but I finally got some structure into our limbo-like life...The girls have to do their morning "jobs" (Getting dressed; making bed; brushing teeth; tidying room; combing/fixing hair) and get to pick out one chore (that I have written on popsicle sticks...once they pull one out, no backing out, lol). After they've done that they can play or work on their BINGO cards (they get prizes for doing activities when they get Bingo and more for blackout). They seem a lot more motivated and less whiny...(One of the squares on Bingo is "no whining for a day" Nice, huh?) Anyway, that's what we've been doing lately. I LOVE your idea of bedtime jobs...I ALWAYS forget brushing teeth at night!! Check out my blog for's been fun!

Stephanie said...

I still have very small kids, aka they need help to get the shirts over their heads and such. But the one routine we do at bedtime that has been WONDERFUL for me is that Daddy reads the stories. At first, I started doing it because I couldn't stand reading Baby Dear that many times a day. But then, I realized that I could gather all the required bedtime stuff (dolly, blankets, etc) and have them sitting on the beds when the story was done. I get a small break to organize, and the girls get their Daddy. It's great!