Tell me… I am not the only one who has done this.
Let me be very honest. Occasionally I have these moments when I realize I have been doing my children’s chores, picking up after my kids, and taking on more than I should when it comes to my children. Rather than communicating to my children that indeed they are responsible for their own dishes, recycles, picking up their towels in the bathroom…(my list goes on and on), I take on these responsibilities because they aren’t getting done. Rather than reminding my kids for the 10,000th time, I decide it is easier just to do it myself.
Julia, my oldest, sweet daughter, with the gentlest disposition this week (I am being sarcastic), is studying constantly for her AP exams. Her stress level is over the limit. The other night it was her turn to do dishes.
“But Mom, I have to study. I have to get this done. Can someone else do the dishes?”
While I have compassion and empathy for my daughter (she seriously has spent the week in her studies) her chores are not getting done. My response was,
“Julia, if you don’t do the dishes, I won’t let you finish your homework.”
Ok…please read that last statement again. Seriously folks, this is what it has come down to? Seriously? I won’t let her finish her homework?
She laughed, and did the dishes.
I have realized that as my children get busy, become tired, I take on their stuff. The problem is nobody is taking on my stuff…and I simply can’t do it all.
So last night, in my final moments after I cooked dinner, after I had cleaned the house, and run my kids all over town dropping off and picking up, I flipped!
I flipped when the dog needed food. The dog was carrying around his food bowl looking for help.
“GIRLS! FEED YOUR DOG!”
As I looked at the kitchen and saw that the girls only had partially cleaned it and then abandoned their post, I flipped out once again.
“GIRLS, GET BACK DOWN HERE RIGHT NOW AND CLEAN THIS KITCHEN!”
Stephen was sitting at the dining room table with me (he just got home from travel), looked at me with wide eyes. He knew I was over the top by the tone in my voice.
RED ALERT RED ALERT….MAMA GONE PSYCHO!
After a nice loooooong discussion, my kids realized that it’s time. It’s time to “get er done” cause MOM can’t do it all.
What is easiest with the kids is not always the best. My kids need to do their chores and learn to balance time…just like me.
What makes them happy doesn’t always make them good. Chores are good because chores are for FAMILY and family is a priority!
I have got to remember this the next time I am tempted to pick up their dirty towels. Ya know what I mean?
How do your kids respond to chores?
Specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy
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