Monday, May 23, 2011

just now.

I just walked in on the boys demolishing my craft supplies. All over my bed.

I was pretty proud of myself for not screaming and stomping my feet. But then I caught myself making them feel pretty bad through the employment of (very subtle) fake-crying. How do you teach your kids to be considerate, respectful people without a. scaring the poop out of them or b. guilt trips???

When I caught myself I just calmly made them pick everything up and put them down for a nap so that I could sit here by myself and eat an ice-cream sandwich.

Duke, when are you coming home for the day? I hope soon. When are you taking a vacation? I hope soon. When can we spend every second for the rest of our lives together? I hope soon. OK, maybe that's not a good idea. But I need you.

Everything they do is funnier when you're home to joke about it with me. (Like how in the top picture, if you look really close, you can see the black cat hiding in the grass about to jump out and scare the boys. It was great.) Come home and let's sit on the couch and laugh until we feel like we had a good work-out, okay?


Megan Marie said...

just now i went back in the room and they had spread baby powder everywhere, right after our conversation about respecting other people's things. i yelled. a lot. being a mom is really hard today. how does anyone do this well consistently?

Bridget said...

I'm sorry today was so hard! Days like that make me think of the women we tend to idolize - Eve, Mary, etc. Did they do this well consistently? Did Jesus ever run out in the street when a horse was coming, or poke his younger siblings in the eye, etc?

What do you do when round two comes right after round one like that? Would it have been better to just sit down and cry, for real? I, perhaps unfortunately, tickle my son when he does something that drives me nuts. It starts out as an angry attack-the-kid tickle, but once he starts laughing I do too. That way we both start by laughing, and then I give him a succinct, stern lecture and make him fix the problem. He's too young to tell if it's effective for him, but it's effective for me.

Maybe you can spend the next week or two watching for instances when the boys have something of their own messed up - whether it's legos or a puzzle or somebody touched their stuff. When that happens, ask the victim to think about how he feels then remind him about this day. Not in a guilty you-need-to-apologize-again way, just an oh-that's-how-mommy-felt way. You could even role-play it if that's easier. Who knows, perhaps some empathy can be cultivated.

Natalie said...

Wine. That's how we do it. Or rum on those exceptionally bad days.

Brieanna said...

Ii think the key is honesty. It's okay for kids to know that you're angry (angry at the behavior not at them), as long as it is controlled. Also, I think it's really important to look at things from their perspective. I'm sure they weren't being malicious, they're just being kids. The ideal would be to try to teach them at that moment about respecting other people's things. Also, I think setting a boundary with a consequence to deter them from doing it again would be helpful. It's definitely a hard one. Ella ruins my stuff all the time, sometimes I get frustrated but most of the time I just kind of shrug it off and say, it can be replaced and then join in. I would hate for her to feel bad about something when she didn't know it was wrong to begin with. They learn respect as much from consequences as they do from watching their parents.

I don't know the answer really, this is just how I try to look at it.