Wednesday 4 January 2012

The Spoilt Brats Are Back to School - Yippie!

OK, before you shout at me, I don't really think my kids are brats (not much anyway) but I do worry about them being spoilt and I was completely thrilled that they went back to school today.  I was at work and the time apart really does make it easier when we come back together.  By 3.15pm today I was ready to pick them up and chat about their day before doing some craft with the girls and helping JJ to sort his room.

The last week of the holidays has been pretty intense.  Whilst I have learnt the value of down time - PJ days and time just with the family my kids do not seem to, I have massively intense and high energy kids.  They are super demanding and I am not always on top form to be able to deal with that in the best manner. I do question what we can do to help them be more chilled. I am pretty sure some of it will come as they mature and grow up.  JJ is easy to be around now, at age 8 and he used to be like the girls; a timebomb waiting to explode basically.  He is now responsible and will do as he is told, he enjoys playing alone as well as having some parent time too.  The girls are a different matter, at age 4 and with a partner in crime they can reap havoc in our house - stickers everywhere, toys just thrown together in piles, book pages drawn on, wallpaper borders ripped and so many more things. The word respect comes to mind!

On Monday they trashed Miss M's bedroom together and to some extent I can live with that as they are young and have to play. We expected them to stay in the whole day and to chill, so tidy up time comes with that expectation.  What I do not expect is them to then not want to help clear up or to keep doing other things whilst I am helping and directing the clearing up.  I got so fed up that I threatened to put everything left on the floor in a bin bag and to put it in the shed for a month. 'Don't care' was Miss M's response.  Ohh red rag to a bull, off I went and got the bin bag and started to pack it all in.  Poor Miss Ewas crying as she had been helping to clear and some of her stuff was in Miss M's room but I did feel it was important to follow through.  As I did it Miss M handed me Cookie, her new dog toy that she got for Xmas and told me 'give him to a child who has nothing, I don't want him'.   Boy did we have a chat about being grateful for the things we had and how we do not use the phrase 'don't care' in this house. Lesson for Mummy, less toys for Christmas next year - too many just creates apathy.

Since about age 6 months Miss M has been my hardest child to look after.  Always demanding and wanting her own way.  Nothing seems to bother her, you could empty her room and she would not be outwardly worried, she is not particularly attached to anything.  When she was younger the only thing I could find that she might get upset about if it was taken away was my bedtime cuddle and obviously this was not something I wanted to do often. This child takes me to my wits end and then in the next hour can have me so in love with her again. She can be loving, helpful and gorgeous too, all rolled up with her minxy behaviour.

The one thing that I do always find has a positive effect now the kids are older is using sticker charts. Dangling the carrot to ensure that they get the stickers which then means they can have daily and/or weekly small treats. It baffles me as to why I do not keep with the sticker charts on an ongoing basis.  Why is it I learn a parenting lesson and then promptly forget it again?

At the end of August I had come to the end of my tether with the kids and I sat down with them and drew up a sheet with what good behaviour included.  We were using a sticker chart also and their behaviour improved (well what I should say is that Miss M's behaviour improved and that positively impacts the other two). Then I found myself here again early this week, sitting down with the kids and explaining that I was absolutely fed up of not being listened to and that they needed to show more respect.  Then we made a sticker chart again and it is working, in a fashion.  Take tonight at tea, Miss E had got herself 2 spoons for her yoghurt.  Miss M promptly decided this was the best idea ever and she would also get 2.  I was able to say 'ohh Miss E is being silly, I thought Miss M was listening today, I'd love to give her a sticker for her nice behaviour at dinner'.  You visibly see her realise and she turns around 'Ok Mummy, I am your good girl' and sits back down. So it has the desired effect but I do wonder why I have to keep resorting back to this.

I have always thought of myself as a tough mummy.  Firm but fair and I carry through when I make a threat but do not pick on every tiny bit of poor behaviour, picking my battles wisely but I have to say that I am starting to wonder where I am going wrong  as surely my kids should be able to sit down nicely for short periods of time when we are out in pubic. They just do not seem to get it.

Do you ever sometimes just feel a bit 'I'm a Mum get me out of here!'?  because I certainly do.  If you have any good tips for me then please do share.

I was over at Jane's place the other day and read a hilarious post there about the drama of the kids still being home once Christmas is over and school has not yet started.  She feels my pain!  Go and have a read, you won't be disappointed.

I have joined up on Saturday 7th January for TheBoyandMe's Saturday Show Off Show Case - the one that shoudl have doen better!

ShowOff Showcase
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