keeping me on my toes

In my oh-so-vast 12 years of parenting experience there is one thing I’ve learned for certain: nothing lasts long. I mean this in two ways.

First, the time they are just children doesn’t last long. They are newborns for a fleeting moment. Cuddly babies for a brief flash. Adorably silly toddlers for a glimpse. Children who can curl up on my lap for a story for just a short bit. And so on and so on. This gift I’ve been given – to be the mother of young children just doesn’t last very long.

But this isn’t a post about how the days are long while the years are short.

No, this is a post about how no system I create for discipline lasts long. As soon as I think I’ve got something that works well for everyone, they figure it out and ruin it. Right now the system for chores and household responsibilities is tied to privileges. If their chore and room cleaning isn’t done by Sunday night they are restricted from all screen time until they step up. This has been working fairly well for at least two of the three. But the third kid is having none of it. (though in this case I’m not referring to the third child, it’s the middle one)

She hasn’t done a chore for a month. The week of Spring Break (that would be the last week of March/first week of April) I assigned ‘clean your half of the walk in closet.’ The oldest did her half. The other half however still remains a pile of hangers, clothes, shoes and Barbie paraphernalia. Not only is it not done she has looked up at me with all the defiance she can muster and told me repeatedly she is NEVER cleaning her closet. It will NEVER be done. It would take FOREVER to do. And it is UNREASONABLE to even expect such a thing.

I’ve continued to assign weekly chores on top of that one chore so she’s now got weeks piled up. She’s cleaned her room once or twice in the past month. I’ve even given her the option of participating in a special movie night here and there if she just did one of her growing list of chores. But she is sticking to her guns on that damn closet.

And this morning that sucks for me especially. She and I had grand plans to wake up at 4:30 and watch the royal wedding. To Oooohhh and aaaahhh at the dress together. Make some chocolate chip banana muffins and watch all the fun. This child of mine lives for fancy, girly stuff and I have been looking forward to doing this with her.

But the wedding is on TV. And she’s grounded from TV time.

Sigh… I told her last night that since she has been so obstinate and completely defiant that I could no longer bend the rules for her. I made sure she knew that I was disappointed too but that it just wasn’t fair any more. I did not wake her up this morning and my only concession was to record the event and tell her that she has until Sunday night to finish all her chores. If so, she can watch the wedding then. If not, I’m deleting it forever.

Darn her and her stubborn ways!! Watching all this fanciness by myself in the pre-dawn hours hasn’t been nearly as much fun as it could have been.

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2 thoughts on “keeping me on my toes

  1. yeah….
    Violet does her daily chores, and her Sunday chores, but cleaning her room??? What????
    She’s been in there for two days. And when i go check before I go to bed and it still isn’t clean? There is going to be an unhappy teen who is down a computer and a cell phone….

  2. Awww, that’s too bad!

    I’m not looking forward to those defiant years. Munchie can give me attitude, but she’s still young enough to quash. And I am usually selfishly very careful to ensure that none of her punishments are going to affect me too negatively. 🙂

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