I know I speak for many parents when I say how frustrating it is to tell your kids the same things, over and over, and they STILL don’t get it. There are the standards, like:
- Wash your hands
- Wipe your feet
- Clean your room
- Turn lights off when you leave a room
- Do your homework before you go out and play
- Don’t fart in the car
My children fail at these standards 70 percent of the time, or it seems that way. Grrrrr! But there are other concepts they refuse to learn, too, the ones that you think are common sense but find, in many unfortunate ways, that they are not common sense to your (apparently) deaf children. For instance, I actually had this conversation the other day:
Me: OK, I just picked up four towels off the floor of your bathroom. If a towel falls down, PICK IT UP.
Jack: But what if it’s Katie’s towel?
Me, incredulous and through clenched teeth: YES, even then.
Since it seems my kids still haven’t learned the things I’ve repeatedly tried to teach them, I’d like to suggest a possible solution.
LET’S TRADE KIDS.
I’m not being Lazy Momma; I’m simply out of ideas after my gazillionth effort to get my kids to follow some really basic rules. Maybe they’ll listen to someone else. It takes a village, right? So, just for a couple hours one day, maybe we could teach each other’s children how to be decent human beings. Perhaps hearing it from someone else’s mouth can make the difference? Besides the ones listed above, here are a few of the ideas I want my children to grasp:
- Clean clothes belong in your dresser and/or closet; dirty clothes go in a hamper. There is absolutely no debate on this issue.
- Garbage goes in a trash receptacle, not on the ground and not on your bedroom floor.
- If you spill something, clean it up. If you don’t know how to clean it up, ask.
- Food in your bedroom = ants in the whole house.
- If you’ve washed your hands thoroughly, the hand towel should not be filthy.
- You can’t wear the same [article of clothing] five days in a row. Two is probably pushing it.
- Do not leave the house without having brushed your teeth. This is another “no debate” thing. Bonus: you’ll make friends!
- You may “hate” your sibling, but you still need to treat him/her decently.
- A glob of toothpaste in the sink turns to cement if you don’t clean it up immediately. And it’s really easy to clean up immediately…. so… clean it up immediately.
- Would it kill you to offer to help out with household chores?
- Your toys (iDevices, video game consoles, sports gear) are expensive. Treat them with care.
- Seriously, stop farting in the car.
I’m ready to draw up a chart to schedule all our children to rotate houses until we’re not embarrassed to release them to the general public. Yes?