say it ONCE . . .

Happy New Year's Day everyone!  Last night for the fourth year in a row we took our crew to a little restaurant in NE Portland on Williams Street called Lincoln.  We had a nice time and the kiddos love the royal treatment.  I am not hungover so I am going to write about my favorite topic . . . KIDS.  This topic in particular also goes for spouses. I am really trying to work on this, just saying things ONCE and letting natural consequences do the punishing for me.  Here is what I am talking about.  Teddy our four year old kinda has some traits of an 88 year old.  When I say it's time to get ready to go (which I say 15 minutes before it's actually time to leave) my kids know they need to grab their shoes, jackets, hats etc.  Murphy gets all her stuff and is always the first ready.  Harvey grabs his crocs and runs around screaming "CROCS" wanting someone to put them on.  Ian, obviously has mastered this program and when he's around he helps out a ton!  And Teddy begins a LONG program of discussions.  He gets his shoes and then takes a minute or two telling Murphy how great she looks, giving us 13 minutes to get in the car.  And then he will move onto Harvey (while he is holding his shoes, but no socks) and discusses with him what jacket he is going to wear while Harvey is SCREAMING at him, "crocs, crocs, crocs!"  The countdown to get in the car is 10 minutes.  Yes, they are all cute and funny, but I need to leave.  And I look at Teddy trying to follow my rule of not asking him to put his shoes on and I squint my eyes thinking he will know I just want him to put his fn' shoes on, but no he says, 'Mama I love your hair today!'  We are seven minutes in and Murphy is ready and waiting at the door, Harvey has screamed his last 'croc' because I jammed them on his feet.  5 minutes.  I have my coat on, my purse on and my shoes on and I am unlocking the car.  3 minutes.  Teddy is looking out the window telling me about the neighbor walking his dog and that it looks like he got a new leash.  1 minutes, I can barely hear him because I am buckling Murphy and Harvey in the car.  And Teddy looks at us, looks at his bare feet and says I don't have any socks.

Here's the thing, if I nagged at Teddy the entire time begging, asking, pleading with him to put his shoes on OR for that matter put his shoes on for him.  It would make that whole situation negative.  Yes, I get super irritated with him wondering around chit-chatting with everyone, observing the world, etc, etc . . . but there is NO harm in it.  I think that if I spent that whole time bitching at him to put his shoes on it takes that calm moment and turns into something it doesn't need to be.  And when he finally got in the car holding his shoes and socks, he said to me I should have gotten my stuff on inside.  Trust me mom's and dad's their brains work, it all sinks in, so just say it once and let the natural consequences occur because they will LEARN!

Here are some ways to just say things once with natural consequences . . .

  • You tell your kiddo they can't hang out with their friends until their homework is done.  This happen to me last weekend.  Ian invited a friend over, his friend was on his way and they were going to a movie.  I said is your homework done, he said no.  I said, "I'm sorry, like we discussed this morning you can't go to the movie or hangout with your friend until your homework is done."  Although, I made the rule.  He made the choice to screw around all day and not get his stuff done.  He was PISSED!  PISSED!  But, guess who ended up sending me this text later that night."  Trust me, they get it!                                                                           Screen shot 2014-01-01 at 6.25.39 AM
  • You tell your kiddo no dessert until you clean your plate, or try everything on your plate or whatever your rule is.  Don't spend your entire dinner nagging your kid to eat.  Your kids no matter their age know the rules at your dinner table!  Think about how many times you have whispered or yelled them?!  Instead at the very end of dinner before you ask them to clear their plate simply say this, "it looks like you don't want dessert tonight because you didn't eat your dinner."  If they say I don't like this before they have even tried it, just take their plate and walk away.  And say, I am sorry YOU made that choice.  Yep, they will scream their head off, grab yourself a drink and smile because if you stick to your guns, this ritual will last for about two more nights and then they will eat their dinner.  So zip up your lips folks!
  • This works for husbands too!  If I write a story about David he will kill me, but i'll do it anyway.  The other day I asked him to take up the laundry (I hurt my back so I shouldn't be lifting anything).  Anyway, he said sure in a bit.  I wanted to get my stuff done, so I just took the basket up myself.  He saw me bringing the empty basket downstairs and said, "I would have done that."  I said it's OK, it's done.  I wasn't pissed, I didn't nag.  I was happy I got my stuff done before we went out.  He really is going to kill me for writing that.  So I'll fix it . . . yesterday I asked him to take the tree down and he said, "no."  So I did it myself, I hurt my back worse!!  Just kidding, he saw me taking the ornaments off, he got on the ladder, took off the angel and the ornaments and we carried the tree out together and cleaned it all up together, laughing the whole time.  XO Weetie
  • In closing I will say this.  If you want your kiddos to do something say it ONCE.  And then DO NOT LET THEM DO ANYTHING ELSE until they do what you asked them.  Just go about your business.  If you want them to clean their room, tell them to clean their room before they do anything else.  So if they flip on the TV, simply turn it off.  If they ask why, tell them.  If they ask to go outside, say politely when your room is clean.  If they want a snack, say you can have one when your room is clean.  ALL ARE NATURAL CONSEQUENCES and you don't have nag or bitch at them.

Have a great NEW YEAR'S DAY everyone!  XO