The other day I was talking with my friend about how our beautiful girls were growing up. I told her that she was entering the calm before the storm age. The wonderful age where one day they want to have a pretend tea party with you and their favorite teddy bear and then the next day when they plant their hands on their hips defiantly demanding to know why they can’t do what they want to do. Ahh, the perfect storm. Hormones are starting up, maturity is still at age 8 but attitude currently thinks it is 18. I’ve lived through this age twice before and that gives me hope that I will pass through it again, and survive!
Our conversation some how started down a rabbit trail on how to deal with certain scenarios. DISCLAIMER: Just because I’ve present you with a scenario does not mean any of my older children put me through this once.
….. most likely they put me through it dozens of times! LOL
- Words that annoy parents and how to curb their use. In our house if you use certain “bad” words you get to bless our family with specific chores. So, if something sucks, then you get to practice using the vacuum cleaner on all the carpets. If c**p comes out of your mouth then you are just asking to clean every toilette in the house. You can come up with any word that annoys you and establish a job that has to be completed for saying that word. It’s so much nicer than eating soap, which is what I would have had to do as a kid. The bonus is they learn two new skills, how to keep their words pure and how to help clean a house. Both wonderful skills for future adults to have.
- Sounds that annoy parents and how to curb their use. Have you ever had a child slam a door because they were angry? I discovered that I could stop the door slamming by making the child have to wash every door knob in the house every time they slam one door. We have 17 sets of door knobs, not counting kitchen and bathroom cupboards. The best time to start this training is just as the cold and flu season hits. You can get all your door knobs cleaned every day or two until they finally break the habit.
- Phrases that annoy parents and how to curb their use. Ok, this is similar to #1 but these phrases tend to multiply faster than rabbits when used in a group of children. For example: “I’m bored!” I stopped hearing that phrase when I created the “I’m bored” activity list. I have never intended to stifle my children’s ability to be creative, I wanted them to learn at a young age how to amuse themselves. The “I’m bored” activity list helped them to learn early on how to entertain themselves.The “I’m bored” activity list consists of a list of 10 dirty cleaning jobs that once started, they must complete. Items on that list can consist of cleaning out under the stairs, scrubbing garbage cans, wiping down the shoes closet and matching up all the shoes, scrubbing grout for 30 minutes (this one is actually fun if you buy all new toothbrushes for everyone in the house but don’t tell the kids right away. Then let them use their brother’s toothbrush!) Once the word’s “I’m bored” cross their lips the child has immediately activated the “I’m board” activity game. It is hilarious when your child’s friends come over and declare that they are bored and your child scrambles to hush them up quickly by covering their mouth, while screaming at the top of their lungs that there are no bored people in this house and why don’t we go outside to play, RIGHT NOW!
There is such a sense of accomplishment for you as a parent when you realize that you can train your child to break bad habits just by teaching them to clean a house. The bonus for you is, you’ll have more time to read your favorite blogs! Hope the start of your winter season is festive and you have plenty of time to chase your kids, snowflake gaze and read under a sparkling Christmas tree.