Sunday, May 2, 2010

Five Things

Happy Sunday! Today is our final day of rest before the work week begins. 
Today I am going to post five things. I'm thinking of making this a weekly thing, so let me know what you think... 

Sunday's Five Things - Five things I do that make my teenager hate me. 

1. I make my kids do chores. Yep, I said it - my kids do chores. And mean mommy that I am, they do not get monetary compensation for said chores. But, Magimom, what about rewarding good deeds? I do reward them, my kids have their own computers, Xbox game systems, televisions, and games. They have freedom to go with their friends, stay home, or explore our neighborhood. This is their reward. It is also something they don't get to do if their chores aren't done. 
2. I am teaching my kids to cook. Even with insolence and irritation at my side, one or both of my teenagers is in the kitchen with me, every night. Sometimes it's Our Girl, with the camera helping me photograph for Hopelessly In Love with Food, other times it's Our Guy learning the art of frying chicken or pork chops. Or even Little Man, when he's home - handing me spoons, getting ingredients, or doing whatever task his emotional state allows. My oldest son knows how to cook, and does so very, very well. This is something I want to instill in all my kids, a desire and love for cooking, along with a basic knowledge that allows them the freedom to experiment and learn new things. 
3. I hold my kids accountable for their actions. If they get in trouble elsewhere, at a friends house or school, for example, my kids know that when they get home, they're really in trouble. I don't go by the "one punishment is good enough" philosophy of modern parenting, because for one - schools don't have the authority they once did. Suspend my child for a day, and my child will spend that day doing "extra chores" around the house, cleaning out the litter box, scrubbing the toilets and shower, and basically doing all the "grunt work". I don't allow my kids to spend a day of suspension seated at their computer, talking on the phone, or playing games. They're being punished for an infraction at school, it should not be all fun and games at home! This makes for children who act out at school simply to get suspended and go home to play. 
4. You must be throwing up, bleeding, or running a fever to stay home from school. Headache? Here's some Advil, get ready for school. My tummy hurts! Really? I'm sorry, here's some Pepto, get ready for school. I don't feel good. No fever, no blood, no vomit, no way - get ready for school. My children have tried over the years to "fake me out" with varied illnesses from blindness (my personal favorite) to a sore throat. One thing I've learned in 26 years as a mom - children lie. I cannot tell you the number of times I have called the school to say one of my seven children would not be in attendance - to be told oh... well they have a test today that counts for 1/2 of their grade... Therefore at my house, you better be really, really sick before you even ask to stay home. 
5. I watch what my kids wear. This is a constant argument for Our Girl and I. She wants to wear cute little tank tops with no bra, or with bra straps hanging out all over, short little dresses that require shorts, tiny shorts that should really be a swimsuit, string bikinis... that sort of thing. Yeah... not happening. Our Guy? His favorite is a pair of cammo pants that he wears every day after school These pants have been known to sneak out of his room while he's at school and wash themselves they get so funky. And he's always trying to sneak out to school in them. We have had so many arguments over the years about clothing - too short, too long (you are ripping the hem our of that $40 pair of jeans!!! Relax, mom, it's the style), too tight, too loose, dirty, or generally not fit for wear. They fight, argue, and scream - but I control what clothing they wear when they leave my house. And yes I do search backpacks and purses, I also look under what Our Girl is wearing when we have a particularly nasty clothing battle. 

The point of these things is not to make my children hate me, but to instill in them the following key attributes for healthy adults: 

  • Work ethic
  • Honesty
  • Modesty
  • Self preservation skills
My kids will be able to go out into the world and accomplish much with the skills I have taught them. I will worry less, knowing that they can fend for themselves. They will go to work even when they feel "bad" because I've taught them that it's important. They know how to dress appropriately, and they know that first impressions count for a lot. 
If they hate me now? It means I'm doing my job right. It means they're learning, and it means I'm a mom. I can live with that - because at the end of the day - these smiles are all you need to show you've done well: 

Happy Sunday! 


Doreen McGettigan said...

Happy Sunday Shout Out..enjoyed your blog!!

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