Friday, October 31, 2014

Common Kid Complaints

     Every day it's the same thing. It seems like the same complaints over and over, repeated daily. Here are some of my kids favorites. 

"I'm Tired" said in the morning when they do not want to get up for school. The weekends though, that's a different story. Then they are up at the crack of dawn.

"Why?" said to question the rules or the reason they need to do chores, homework or go to bed. "Because I said so that's why!"

"I don't want to...." do my homework, go to bed, feed the cats, take out the garbage..... the list goes on and on.

"My life is horrible" said mostly by my 12 yr old when he has to do things he doesn't want to like practice sax, homework, chores, or when I take away devices. Oh the horror of being a kid!

"I'm Hungry" said right after dinner or right before bed. Maybe they should have eaten when food was offered. 

"This is yucky" about any food that isn't candy or junk. I tell them "eat it or starve, you decide."

"Can I have pop?" This question is repeated daily even though they know pop is only for movie nights on the weekends. But a kids gotta try right?

"You are the meanest mom ever" said whenever they don't get their way, about anything!

"I'm not tired" said at bedtime. "That's funny, you sure were tired this morning and you didn't take a nap so...."

"I'm thirsty" said only at bedtime. I know this is just a stalling technique since at every meal drinks sit untouched and now suddenly they are thirsty? Yeah right!

I don't know if there will ever ever be a day I do not hear all of the above! Maybe the same day I win the lottery! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Redefining Beauty In Motherhood

 When we become mothers the definition of beauty changes. It is no longer youth, fashion, the size of our clothes or the numbers on the scale that define us as beautiful.

Beauty is......

the softness of and stretchmarks on your tummy where your little miracles grew,

the strength of your arms from pacing the floor with your baby and rocking your baby,

the volume gone from your breasts used for nourishing and comforting your infant,

the pain in your neck from gazing at your sleeping beauties,

the curve of your hip where your toddlers bottom rests,

the ache in your feet and back from chasing around your little adventurers,

the bags under your eyes from losing sleep taking care of sick littles,

the extra pounds from enjoying family meals together,

the lines on your face from smiling at and laughing with your precious kiddos,

and a few grey hairs from constantly worrying if your loves will be okay.

This is true beauty....Relish it!!!   

Friday, October 24, 2014

10 Types of Halloween Costumes Kids Love (parents not so much)

Creepy Costumes: Zombie, Corpse Bride etc.
     These will require copious amounts of makeup, cutting and designing. 

Superheros: Batman, Spiderman etc.
     These will have a mask that always has eye holes that are too small or else it doesn't fit properly. The child will end up wearing the costume without it and it will be hard to tell what he even is considering he will probably be wearing a jacket.

Princesses: Elsa, Cinderella etc.
     Pray it isn't Elsa they want or you will never find your child amongst the sea of other Elsa's at the school party/parade. You will then take a picture of all the Elsa's and delete the ones that are not your child later. Try to talk her into Snow White or Jasmine which will not be as popular.

Disney Characters: Mickey, Minnie, Toy Story, Monster's Inc. etc.
     Everyone loves classic Disney costumes. No qualms about these.

Animal Costumes: Ladybug, Monkey etc.
     The hood will either be too small or large, covering the child's eyes so you can't use it. Then no one will know what your child is. The will just look like they are wearing a sleeper or a sweatsuit.

Food Costumes: Pizza, Banana etc.
     I do not understand the allure but whatevs!

Something too skimpy/not age appropriate: french maid, adult TV characters etc.
     The kid will freeze to death or people will judge you for letting them be Heisenberg from Breaking Bad. Parent of the year!

Something you have no idea what it is: Finn, Beast Boy, Rigby etc.
     HUH? These guys are on the shows you don't watch with your kids because they are super annoying, plus isn't TV supposed to babysit your kid while you make dinner and do housework? (Don't judge me, you know you do it too!) Now you need to spend aaaaaalllll night googling these guys to find out who they are and where the hell you are supposed to find this costume!

Some Crappy Annoying Character: Spongebob, Caillou, etc.
     HELL to the NO!!!

Something with a Buttload of Accessories: Wand, Sword, Jewelry,  etc.
     Seconds after you leave down the street you will be asked to carry said accessories and if you have more than one child it will not be pretty. Either you do it or you listen to whining the entire time about how "it's tooooo hard" or "I can't carry it AND my bag"! UGH!

Good luck parents getting your kids to be what you want them to be (for Halloween that is). I despise trick-or-treating so I get costumes on clearance sales after Halloween each year when they are not with me and then they have to be whatever I say! MUUUUUHHAAAAHH!


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Kids Are Alright:Raising Kids Without Entitlement

     How does a parent raise self sufficient children without entitlement in the world today when instant gratification is the norm? This is my goal. I have found it has been very hard to accomplish but I am doing my best at it every day despite it's challenges.

What I  See:
     Everywhere I look I see children with brand name clothing, the newest available devices and phones in elementary school. This generation of kids is being raised to expect things to be handed to them without any work being involved. Parents overindulge their children. They give them spending money not tied to chores, they wait on them and meet their every request. They cart them around to anywhere their little hearts desire. Their children call all the shots. This NEEDS to stop if we ever expect them to succeed in the world as adults. I see parents placing more importance on popularity, looks, sports, the latest and greatest brand names and devices than on education. How can we change this phenomenon?

What I Do:
     I am teaching my kids that everything they have beyond basic needs has to be earned. I expect hard work at school and at home, practicing instruments, homework and chores completed before they will receive any privilege. They are allowed one extracurricular activity at a time. It is to be seen as a privilege, not a given. If they sign up they are expected to complete the term or season, meaning doing their best and going to all practices, meetings and games. I expect them to take good care of their own belonging and bodies. All devices we own are shared between at least 2 family members since these are not to bee seen as needs but extras. No one NEEDS their own devices. They are for fun during spare time. They need to work out between them how they are to be shared and if they cannot I will remove the device until they do. This teaches problem solving. They must show respect for me and all authority figures. Now, up to this point I may sound very strict, but I assure you, they are given many freedoms and also shown my respect. I listen to their concerns, freely give praise, and encouragement. I apologize when I make mistakes, which I do quite often. I spend a lot of time doing family activities with them which they have input on. I also allow them to choose whatever they would like to do with their free time.

What I Don't Do:
     I don't buy them anything that is not a basic need unless it is their birthday or Christmas. I don't give them spending money, or pay them for grades or chores. I will not get them phones, ever. When they are 16 they can have one if they pay for it themselves. I don't buy them brand name clothing unless it is from a garage sale or on clearance. I don't look for their misplaced items, pick up their things or wait on them. I don't listen to whining or tantrums. I don't carry their belongings into the house from the car. I don't hover over them during homework, I only help if they get stuck. I also respect their space so I do not make them clean their rooms. My only rule about it is nothing is to be left on the floor and dirty clothes go in the hamper. I don't limit screen time at all if all their responsibilities have been met. I do not care one bit about grades on their report cards. As long as I see them doing their best work, I do not say a thing about it. (They are all A/B students by the way). 

     My goal is to raise self sufficient responsible children that will carry into adulthood. I want them to equate the things they have with the work they have done. More things cannot take the place of spending time and care on their development. If I invest time and teaching in them now, that is how they will become self reliant. We are only given so much time to form them into the adults we want them to become. Even if I had the means I still would not buy them whatever they want. That teaches absolutely nothing except entitlement. I want them to always work hard to earn what they have. Am I on the right track to make that happen? Only time will tell.