Monday, July 19, 2010

Great Expectations?

I am learning (sloooowly) that what I expect from my kids and what they think they ought to deliver are not often on the same page.

Now, before I have tons of comments (a girl can dream can't she?) about how they are only 4, 3 and 15 months old - please know that I realize this and I am not asking them to roof our home.

Back to the title: Great Expectations...We have been training our kids to be responsible adults, who Lord willing, will one day Love and serve Him, be hard workers, loyal and respectful. We tend not to baby them, or let excessive nonsense flow from their mouths throughout the day.

They have had little chores or jobs that they do throughout the day to help keep our busy home in order. They are fully capable of doing the jobs - and frankly, I can't do it all by myself.

So, they make their beds (to the best of their little abilities), they put away their laundry, wipe up their own messes on the bathroom floor - even Liv at 15months knows how to walk her diaper to the trash and throw it away when I am done changing her. I am reasonable with them.

What I am STRUGGLING with, is giving them a job (IE; today it was picking up their junk on the floor in the kitchen) and expecting that they will go upstairs, unsupervised and get it done. I mean, it's only picking up their t-shirts and torn up pieces of paper off of the floor. Not hard. But, I expect that if i tell them to do it ,they will obey and get the job done right away.

i think i am crazy.

And then i get frustrated when they are upstairs comparing the size of boogers that they can pick out of their noses, or who can step in the sticky spots on the floor - instead of just picking their junk up so that I CAN clean the floor.

Is it too much to expect that when I tell them to pick up their cars, that they would actually do it? Right away, without me hounding them and pointing to every car on the floor that they are supposed to be picking up? I am trying to train them to be hard working adults - of which do NOT have their employers pointing out every task that needs to be completed.

i know they are little. i know that maybe i am asking more out of them then most parents with kids this age. But I respect them and know that they are capable and that's why I think it's not too much to ask for them to pick up their toys without asking over and over and that the job would be completed as best as they can.

because our kids are so close in age, perhaps i do ask more out of them since there is more going on here on a daily basis. *sigh*

so, let the litany of comments come. go ahead. tell me i am crazy. tell me that i have "great expectations" but they're not realistic. I may or may not agree with you - but I am willing to be talked off the ledge today.they sure are sweet, though!


TwoMuths said...

I don't think you are crazy, we do similar things around here. With similar results, at times. I was juuuust thinking it might be time for some positive reinforcement to help with the motivation. I was thinking along the lines of filling a jar up with marbles (one for every completed task) and then doing something fun when the jar is full. Not sure how you feel about that, but I'm planning to start this in the fall when we go more full-force with school. I have a vvvvvvvvvvery distractible child. :-)

Kelly Glupker said...

I think it's crazy when parents do everything for their kids and their kids still find something to whine and complain about. Your expectations are not any greater than mine. Don't be discouraged! You're doing a great job.

Megan said...

I don't think you're crazy, or have unrealistic goals, but keep in mind that you are still TRAINING them to be able to do this. Just like Preschool isn't so they learn all of these new, wonderful concepts but instead just get them to learn the discipline of sitting still, listening, and routine. And I couldn't agree more with requiring more from them b/c there are so many so close in age. I do it all the time. Keep on, keepin' on, Shyla! :)

Kelly Glupker said...

And if anyone DOES think you're crazy, then I'd hate to hear what they think of me. Owen is not only expected to clean up after himself, but he's also expected to look me in the eye, smile and say "Yes ma'am" when he's told to do something. :)

Christa said...

You're not crazy! Though you may second guess yourself & feel like giving up, you will only regret it someday if you do give up now. Setting timers or playing a fun song (as a time limit) can help. Keep at it, girl - sounds like you're doing a great job!

Erin Neiner said...

ha. I think you're great. I just made up a new rule in our house for the very reason of the terrible habit I allowed myself to get into of repeating and pointing out all that things that needed to be cleaned up: the new rule is....If I come into a room and there is something lying on the floor that should have been put away right away (i.e., church shirt, pj's in the hamper...not toys, necessarily...) then I get to fine the culprit a quarter. I even made a mommy bank...and I am going to do something very fun (like starbucks treat) with my earnings!!! :) Now......that is for a 6 yr. old here.....where $ is def. more of a motivating factor. Also....sometimes just the presence of momma is enough. So, next time when you have given them a task to do and you go to check on them and they are there playing and laughing....instead of coming in with all sorts of mommy-like reminders and what are you doings? try just standing there with the look...not a word....just look at them.....and see if it is not enough to get their antsy pantsy movin'!!! :)

Mary Ann said...

I've got no advice b/c I've never done what you are trying to do, but I have to say that I think you are one smart momma. You have very good & realistic goals for your children & as parents you best know what they are truly capable of. Keep up the great work!

Karen said...

I have to (constantly!) remind them that tasks which are so simple to me are a challenge to them. I try to act as though I were training a new coworker on his/her first day on the job... walking alongside, giving specific details, but especially modeling the proper way to do it. And of course plenty of positive reinforcement. We playact a lot, too. "Let's pretend you're the mommy, and this is your work to do! Can I help you clean up, Mommy?" Ridiculous, right? But that's what they're into right now.

And of course I don't do this whole elaborate thing every time. But sometimes they do require extra assistance.

You're not crazy, Shyla!
Now come down off that ledge.

Courtney said...

Boy Shyla,
At first I wasn't sure if you were talking about your kids, or me and my walk with God. A funny parallel isn't it? How many times does He tell me to do something easy and simple and fully expecting me to complete the task. I get side tracked, in my own world. I pick not only the boogers, but the tiny little hairs that attach to them. It isn't until I have a "bloody nose" from too much picking that I realize I was supposed to be doing something different.
So I am not telling you to be easier on your kids. Just standing in awe of how simple our walk with God could be and we choose to make it complicated.
Keep doing what your doing. But remember, don't pick your own boogers either.

Pepin909 said...

The definition of obedience, that my parents had us recite, is "doing exactly what you're told, when you're told to do it with the right attitude." They would make us repeat that to them when we were not performing up to that expectation. It helped us focus and stay on task or get back on task at least.

Mark and Stephanie Stonis said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Heather said...

Shyla you are not crazy at all!! My children are a little bit older than yours...7 and 6. Kevin and I began teaching our children when they were the age of your children the exact same thing. You know what? I felt the same way you did 4 years ago. Am I pushing to hard? Can a 3 year old really clean that up? Am I a mean mommy? Ha! Well 3 years later and now they do it (most of it) automatically. Beds are made first thing in the morning. Toy room is picked up at the end of the day. Chores are completed without complaining. (Usually...but we have our days. :) They know what is expected out of them. That is what I am thankful for. I was consistant and continue to be and now they just do it. Keep it up! Not only are you training them to be responsible adults but there is so much more going on in their little minds. :)

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