Wednesday, March 16, 2011

There is a new sheriff in town

I have actually put a lot of effort into being super nice to my kids lately.  I don't like fighting with them, and they were so busy and doing so well at school that I wanted them to enjoy things.  I found myself saying "yes" way more than I probably should have.  If they asked for cookies, I would make them right away.  If they asked for playdates, I bent over backward to arrange them.  Snacks from the "school-only" bin?  Sure.  Stay up late?  I guess so.  We were having dessert for dinner almost every night.  We even had two visits from the Mommy Fairy, who left toys on the beds of kids who went to bed nicely.  I got them out of school for a boring fun day with their Aunt.   I was doing all the cleaning during the day, so that they could just play and relax when they got home.  I know it sounds crazy when I write it all out, but it developed slowly, bit by bit.

All of this accomodation made the kids so sweet.  They were gentle with each other, they were cooperative with me, and our house was filled with joy and love.


All of the spoiling ended up... guess what.... spoiling them!  I cannot believe how demanding they became so quickly!  They would scream and cry and throw fits over pretty much every little thing.  The cookies I made weren't the right kind, so they would cry for 45 min.  The dessert we had for dinner wasn't what they had in mind, so they would scream at me at the top of their lungs.  Playdates became an excuse to break every house rule we ever had. 

I know that crying, screaming, rule breaking and kids telling me "I hate you" is par for the course with 3 kids.  I like to think I have a pretty tough skin.  But the frequency and intensity and duration was at a new level.

It was time for something new.

Something different.

There is a new sheriff in town.  \

We will call the town "Mean Mommy-ville".  And I am the sheriff.

We started in the Bible....  When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden they didn't have to do any work- ever.  Then they got kicked out.   Now the rule is "By the sweat of your brow shalt thou eat bread".

We have a new after school schedule:

Homework, cleaning, 45 min to play, then dinner and bed.  If they accomplish each of the red star items WITHOUT throwing a fit/crying/screaming, then they can put a star on their chart.  Once they have 25 stars (yes, 25- this ain't gonna be easy for them), they can choose a reward.

You want a playdate now?  Better work for it.  You want me to make cookies for dessert?  I wanna see your brow sweat. 

We skipped our music class yesterday to fully implement the new schedule.  They actually did everything on the list with a minimum of trouble!  We did have 2 separate tantrums (hey, perfection doesn't happen overnight), which resulted in loss of stars, but all the homework and cleaning projects got done.  Abigail cleaned out the car, Jack picked up all the sticks in the front yard, and Aidan scrubbed all the chalk off our bricks.  Also included in this is zero tolerance for disobedience.  If I ask them to do (or not do) something, and they disobey, they immediately get a punishment (an extra job or time out, depending on the crime). 

It isn't really how I want to parent, but it is what needs to be done.  I'm sure I will lighten up after a little while, but for now we need a reset button.  Welcome To Mean Mommyville.


Stephanie said...

Sounds like a great plan-I just wrote down a similar version for us:)

erika said...

I love it! You are a great parent Shanna!

Camille said...

You should be the next Super Nanny

ali said...

I'm behind you 100%

the Villamor's said...

why not parent like this? sounds good to me! you are just preparing them for life:)