Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tuesday Parenting Tips--New weekly posts

I sometimes find myself in the throws of a certain parenting dilemma and wonder, what would someone, anyone, other than this frustrated, overworked, tired, impatient mom to six kids do.  And I think how nice it would be if I had a handful of moms right here beside me giving me tips on what has worked for them.  And, hello blog topic.

So today my topic is not listening.  Not you.  Or me.  Them.  The little midgets (is that pc if referring to children?) that live in my house.

I repeat the same instructions, to the same children, multiple times a day.  So as not to embarrass said midget I won't be mentioning any names.  Kori. Cough. Cough.  No, just kidding.  It's all of them. 

Here is an example.  We have a wet kitchen at the back of house.  Evidently this is pretty normal for Asia where people don't really cook in their dry (?) kitchens but outside so as not to smell up the rest of the house with food scents.  Yea, I know.  The door that leads to the area where the wet kitchen is is an inner door.  However, it leads into a room where one could potentially forget that really it's an outer door.  Meaning if you leave it open the air will go outside and cool Singapore instead of our house. Not good. 

So every day, at least once, but it has actually happened that within the span of five minutes, I have to remind certain midgets to CLOSE THE DOOR, were you raised in a bar?  (I just typed bar but meant barn but since I thought it was so funny I left it.  What?)  I don't really say that.  Actually, I sweetly remind said midget to remember to close the door because the air is getting out. AGAIN.  For the seventh time this week, or hour or minute. EVERY DAY.

Now in thinking about this post I realized that I could just close the door myself.  I could.  But how will they ever learn if I don't teach them? 

And it's not just the door.  Oh, how I wish it was just the door.

What do you do?  Do you remind and remind and remind? Do you just do it yourself? Or maybe you have something really good to share with us? Please do.

Also, if you have a parenting dilemma, please share it.  I'll post it soon and we can all offer our advice on it.

No children were hurt in the making of this post.


Milburns' said...

honestly... I yell at them about it. :-( I am struggling hard core as a mommy right now. Trying to be gentler... SOOO hard!!!!!!!

My poor kids dont deserve such a mad mommy... but DARNIT if I just cant kick it!!!!

Yara said...

I have a dilemma. Apparently, my kids think they live in a barn. Or a pig sty. Or a dump. How do I get them to stop being so messy? Without yelling... cuz the neighbors can hear and that's just embarrassing.
As for the door... I have the same problem! Except, it's not air getting out. It's flies getting in. Ah! I hate flies.

Andrea said...

Oh! I think I might actually have an idea for this one! haha. :) I'm not sure if it works or not yet, since I'm still in the process of trying it out myself - but it SEEMS to be working...for the moment. The idea gives me hope though...so here's what it is: (and nope, I didn't come up with this on my own - I read it in a book on forming good habits in your kids)...ok, here it is:
Normally we'd say something like: "CLOSE THE DOOR!!!" and "THIS IS 100TH TIME I TOLD YOU, CAN'T YOU JUST REMEMBER ALREADY?!?" Well, it gets them to close the door, but it does NOT get them in the habit of closing the door without you reminding them...because apparently when you tell someone exactly what to do their neurons (or something like that) in their minds do not go through the right process to form a habit. SO, instead what we are supposed to do is ask them a question of some sort that make them think "Oh, I should close the door!" on their own. So, something like, "What are you supposed to do when you come in from the wet kitchen?" Or for other not-listening things, I often use questions like "How do you say that?" "What are we supposed to do with our toys?" (share, clean up, etc.) or "What do you say?" (I often use this after meals to get them to say "thank you for lunch")Now, this may not help if your child ignores you and pays no attention to your well-timed questions - but if they do listen and just "forget" all the time then this might work to form good habits in your kids? Just an idea. :) Apparently it takes a couple months to form a good habit...but I figured it was worth a try! I think we've maybe been trying it for 3-4 weeks and so far so good. :)

Wow. that was long. Time to go get my baby who just woke up!

Mrs. Stam said...

I have one! bedtime, for the last 5 months and maybe for upcoming 2 more I do the single parent thing, (Hubby is helping a friend renovate his house so he could sell it, so after his work day is done it goes there and works until 11pm each night, can't wait to have him back with us in ht evening)

So I have 3 little goose to bath kiss hug put down to bed and I'm one of those crazy mom that believe that bed time should be at the same time each night!

My dilemma is that our 5 months old is not happy in ht evening while I'm trying to put the oldest in bed and read a story she will scream bloody murder all the time!

and because she is stubborn she will stay awake and be miss cranky pants until she crash at around 1 am!!!

Beside having 2 of me and one of me putting the oldest to bed and the other me rocking miss cranky pants what would you suggest????

Michelle G said...

okay ---left field--- Jerusha is 10 months? Malachi is 10 months old too. 1/13
Your evil twin

Anonymous said...

I think Bill Cosby did a comedy routine on this in the 80s...he called it Brain Damage! good luck! having same trouble out of CJ but at school rather than home...I am now making her take notes on everything the teacher says in an effort to make her pay attention adn listen...prob more of a habit thing than not listening though! I think once you remind them enough they will make a habit!!! Good luck!


Nicole said...

When I want to yell, I whisper. It makes us all so much happier. And the kids think it's something SUPER DUPER important, so they stop, and LISTEN!!!!! It's so exciting.

Kim said...

Thanks Michelle!

One thought on the door...(though I can't help with much else).

When I was 16 I went on a mission trip to Europe. Our training camp was in a big field in Illinois. Anyway, we had to use port-a-potties (a.k.a. portos) while we were there. If you just walk out of a porto then the door will slam. Loudly. Now, normally this wouldn't be a big deal except that all the tents were close to the portos (lovely smell). If you slammed a door in the middle of the night then you would wake everyone up! So they had to train hundreds of teenagers to gently close the door instead of letting it slam shut. How did they do this? If you let it slam then you had to stand there an open and shut it 10 times. Or more. It got the idea across and there were no door slamming within a couple of days of arrival.

Michelle said...

Thanks for all the awesome tips. Keep 'em coming. and I'll get the other dilemmas up in the next few weeks.

The very next thing going up is POTTY TRAINING!!!

Unknown said...

I've heard that it takes telling a child something like 100 times before they can/will remember it. With my little one, yelling makes him do it again and again to see how I will react so I try to not yell (HA!) I'll let you know how it works out in a few more years.