Have you ever felt like a drill sergeant in your own home? I do. All the time. My own voice gets on my nerves.
Dr. Sophia Grant: My children have done it to me. They have turned me into a nagger. They have a list of chores that they never do and I have to get on them about. Then it's done poorly or incompletely. And I do not believe in finishing up their undone tasks. Why all this? I believe that even children need to be accountable. I have run into way too many adults who make excuses for poor performance or want praise for mediocrity. I am determined to not have my children on that list.
I know some moms who say they never repeat themselves or raise their voices. Who are these people? What do their houses look like? I do not live in that Stepford world. My children need to be reminded to bathe, make their lunches, go to bed, fold the laundry. The list is endless.
I have tried motivating them with allowance, but when I found myself having to nag them to do their chores so that I could pay them -- well, I felt like an idiot. TV and Wii are only on the weekends. Sometimes I take that away. What's left to remove? School? Clothing? The great motivator in the family is Daddy. They just seem to listen to him more. He's taller and acts meaner than I do. I'm good for the tune ups and he manages the overhauls. He usually steps in when I tell him "you need to deal with your kids."
I hate being in this position, but I think it's part of parenting. I have compared notes with some other friends and found that my situation is not unique. Just when I thought I was getting on their collective last nerve, my son, who marches to his own beat, declared at Thanksgiving dinner that he was thankful for discipline. To outsiders that may have sounded like being grateful for punishment. For me and my husband, we knew that he was thankful for parents who care enough to teach responsibility.
A friend suggested I do a capitalist chore chart, where the person who does the most gets paid the most ... I might try that. They love competition.
|Dr Sophia Grant has over 15 years of experience as a pediatrician working in a variety of settings. After completion of a fellowship in Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma, she stayed on as a faculty member and is now a Clinical Assistant Professor. She is also co-author of "Visual Diagnosis of Child Abuse on CD-ROM", third edition. When not doctoring, Dr Grant spends her time being a wife and mother of three wonderful children.|