Saturday, November 30, 2013

Why Can't I Just Shut Up?

You'll see a lot of articles in this site about parenting, written and researched, by me.  I even try REALLY hard to practice what I preach.  I even believe I'm exceptionally patient (on most days, of course) with my family. 

However, despite following some of the basic rules you'll soon see in this website: such as "You Don't to Yell to Get Your Kids to Listen;" "How to Improve Your Listening Skills;" and even an article on how to get kids moving the first time you tell them to; I admit I often fail.  And not just a little, but BIG time. 

My daughter described my reaction as an analogy to a popular kid's game with a hungry pig who loves hamburgers.  Kids take turn stuffing hamburgers down the pig's throat.  Five hamburgers.  Ten. Fifteen.  I'm not really sure what the maximum is, but that's the whole point of the game.  Eventually the pig's belly explodes and all the hamburgers come flying out.  It usually takes a lot of stuffing, before the major pop.  That's ME.

So, last night, I popped, EXPLODED, then popped and EXPLODED again.  In fact, I think I did this for a good hour.  

I have really great kids, really great!  (Don't we all?)  But lately, they don't hear me speak, even when I follow all the rules of the parenting articles I create,  like looking right into their eyes when I talk, having them repeat my instructions, etc.  

I must sound like the parents on Charlie Brown. Surely this is what they hear: WAH, WAH, WAH, WAH, WAH, WAH.   
(And why didn't any of those parents ever have a real voice???)

But, I digress.  Well, one wonderful daughter in particularly, a high achiever, perfectionist, etc.  really doesn't like chores. Yeah, I know, who does?  She will do anything to get out of them: procrastinating, forgetting, suddenly feeling sick, begging for  more time, misunderstanding our request, you name it.  However, she is so consistent in this matter, my husband and I own a crystal ball.  

The hamburgers went flying!  Unfortunately, instead of remaining calm and simply getting down to business with a brief explanation and a reasonable consequence.   I gave her every chore I  could think of, including cleaning her sister's room (gross), and any attitude gave her another full chore.  That consequence, hey, I'm okay with.  But unfortunately, I followed her around repeating myself, in a VERY loud voice, how angry I was.   Easily for an hour (gulp).  That's the sad part.  

That type of behavior on my half is not constructive, nor is it a positive teaching method.   So, I must try harder the next time to squeeze my lips tight before a single hamburger gets shoved into my mouth; make my request; and if it's not fulfilled grab a seat on the couch and relax, while the offender cleans up the mess.

FYI:  One of her consequences: folding all of her sister's clothes and fitting them back into the drawers.   Honestly, looking at her sister's room, that probably was punishment enough.   


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