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11.16.2010

Just Do It and Shut Up.

I got several responses to yesterday’s blog with multiple suggestions on how to get kids to their chores and keep up their basic hygiene. It always seems to come down to a combo of carrot and stick. Take away this privilege, offer a treat over there, ground ‘em, deny them, plead with them or, what the kid is hoping for all along...forget it altogether and let them got to school with caked teeth, dirty clothes and a bedroom that makes a boys locker room seem cleaner than the lobby of the Ritz Carleton in comparison.

The problem for me is that I’ve traveled this road before and I was hoping to tread new ground. As parents, we pushed and tugged Buddy around so much to get him to fit in that we were all exhausted by the end. His sister was totally unmotivated and going through the dance with her was no picnic, either. But as grampy I have a different relationship with the boys to begin with and have been hoping that we might bypass a certain amount of the usual animosity and angst that goes along with pushing kids around to do what they’re told.

Alas and alack, that hasn’t worked out so well. Thus the frustration described in yesterday’s post. They trust me and listen to what I tell them. But that doesn’t stop them from deciding which bits to ignore and which to accept. This isn’t just about brushing teeth and getting the trash out. But they aren’t capable of seeing how those things connect to earning respect to be trusted to maybe stay out later, pick their own time to do homework, have unmonitored internet time, etc.. Silly me, I tried to skip this step. However, trust and honesty don’t come easy to kids who’ve been lied to and betrayed all their lives so there’s no real surprise here.

Still, I’m not going to give up on it. I’ll just have to use the combo treatments we all employ as well as reason and logic. At least, I’ll get the garbage out on time.


NB: I changed the settings so anyone can post comments on the blog. Please feel free to participate.