- QUIT repeating yourself. Simply say what you mean only once in a calm voice, turn & walk away expecting your children to do as they are told.
- QUIT rewarding bad behavior!!! Simply do not go to the next fun event or let them do what they want to do next when they didn't accomplish your previous request.
- QUIT explaining the situation out to your kiddos. After all, they are kids. They don't need long, drawn out adult explanations unless they come with questions and the right attitude to hear an answer. Things are what they are. Their choices = their consequences!
- The lazy child must pay another sibling to complete the task. This worked well with our Marianna. The 1st $1 she had to issue Kaley for hanging up her bath towel seemed to be no big deal to her. Now, she is now out of a total of $6 & not liking that at all! I don't even have to remind them after every bath to do this anymore nor do I issue the same exact tasks every morning of brush your teeth, make your bed, get dressed, etc. I expect it, they are capable, & it gets done. Easy as that!
- The vehicle will STOP as soon as the chaos beings! No.fighting.in.the.car! It's distracting. What's even worse is when you begin yelling back in attempt to stop the madness, creating even more chaos. The vicious cycle continues as does the parental arm flailing. It just can't be safe! QUIT with the fussing & threats. Just QUIT! Stop driving. Pull over in a safe spot. Wait. Soon they will get the idea. Soon you will begin again. If not, calmly exit the vehicle & breathe in the fresh air. Wait a little longer. Repeat as many times as necessary. Their attempts at getting your attention as something convenient to do in the close quarters to pass the time just backfires. If they are late for something they want to go to, even better! When we tried this, both times you could hear a pin drop! The 2nd time, they took the hint & quit. It worked a pure miracle!
- Children must bathe. If not willfully, a parent will finish the task for you calmly with cold water. The other night we had church which obviously rushes our time frame for baths & supper. I made one announcement that we had church & I wanted everyone to get a bath & come to eat supper. I didn't keep repeating myself. I ignored Clay as he continued to play. I just kept on cooking. I even turned on some calming music since after a little while he laughed & said, "Mama, I'm not bathing." I've never had him actually say that before, so it took a lot of self control for me to ignore. Then, I guess thinking I had completely lost my mind by not telling him over again & that he was really going to get away with this, he got super rowdy running & playing. The rest of the kids all bathed. They even kept informing me of what Clay was doing. I kept cooking & set the table, acting as if it didn't concern me. At the announcement to come to supper, Nathan removed Clay from the table & proceeded to bathe him. He was NOT happy about this at all! His actions backfired on who? Himself! Once his cold bath was over, the rest of us were finished eating. He looked very sad as he sat at the table by himself. The next night, he was the 1st one in the tub & kept yelling, "I'm in the bathtub Mama!"
I'm learning that parenting is more about how you parent than how your kids act. In other words, the way you parent results in the way your household is run. My new moto~ TALK LESS, DO MORE! Actions are more powerful than words! For example, kids understand not being allowed to eat ice cream because of their messy room that you previously asked them to clean up. What I have witnessed in our experience of trying this out over the last few days is that this allows me to defuse & not punish them out of anger. I can calm myself & breathe & not immediately enter battle over the fact that they chose not to obey. In time, the punishment will come. The child will be sorrowful, mind, & take your expectations more seriously next time. This takes some major dedication to fulfill!
By all means, if you want a chaotic household, repeat orders while getting progressively LOUDER over & over, get angry, & dish out punishments in the heat of the moment. I choose not to do this. I choose that what I say is important enough to be headed & obeyed the very first time. I choose to be respected. This creates the right kind of Attitude, Behavior, & Character in your kiddos! My desire is to have a fun loving family that can enjoy each other! I also desire to turn out adults into this world that can make a difference!