Surprisingly the words “I’m on Strike” came out of my mouth early this week while talking to my two daughters at the dinner table. To be honest, I’m tired of constantly reminding my children what they need to do on a daily basis. I get that it’s part of parenting. I am willing to perform these duties while the kids are in school since they are busy.
Mom on Strike for the Summer and What I Want My Kids to Learn
But during summer, I easily loose my patience and reach my limit. My kids don’t have a busy schedule and are capable of remembering their chores and appointments on their own. I’m trying to teach my kids to be more responsible and want to instill these traits in them. I personally think summer is a great time to mold them since their schedule isn’t as busy as during the school year. Summer is a great time to make mistakes, work out the kinks, learn to improve, and create a system that works for them.
Quite frankly I’m tired of constantly repeating myself. I’m like a broken record. I sometimes feel like if I don’t remind them, they will never get things done. And like my previous post on parenting teens with love and logic, I want my daughters to know that their actions have consequences.
I’m mainly doing this for my 14 year old daughter since I find that she constantly chooses to ignore her chores and her appointments although she knows what she is supposed to do. Her chores are written on Google Tasks and all her appointments are listed in her Google Calendar. All she needs to do is check her phone or the computer to know what she needs to work on.
Unfortunately for my 8 year old daughter, she’s being a sport and taking on the challenges as best as she can. At least I know that by the time she is a teenager, she’ll have everything dialed down and should be on top of her chores and appointments.
These past couple of weeks, made me realize that my kids kind of take advantage of me. They have it way too easy during the school year with me reminding them what activity they need to prepare for and the chores they need to accomplish. I tend to worry for them and make sure they are prepared. Since my kids don’t have anything to worry about, I feel like I’m doing them a disservice. Is it too much to ask my kids to be more motivated on their own?
I Don’t Want to Compare
Yes, I’m not supposed to compare myself to my kids at their age. But I definitely had a Type A personality and was more motivated than both my kids. So I struggle parenting them since they are not like me. My parents were always busy working or were out of the country so I learned early how to rely on myself. All I want is for my kids to feel motivated on their own without me nagging. Is that so much to ask?
Seeing Some Changes
Since I am the mom on strike, I basically let my kids do what they want to do. I also don’t do what I normally do, which is keeping the house in tip top shape.
When my husband came home from work the house was a mess. He asked my kids if they did their chores and pointed out all the issues he saw in the house. My kids said that they didn’t do their chores. My husband made a comment that they didn’t do anything the entire day but goof around so he laid down the law.
My kids tend to listen to my husband more when he gets upset since he’s more of the disciplinarian in the family. I’m also strict as well but tend to be more compassionate than him. So I let the scenario play out between my husband and my kids.
And so today was a completely different day than yesterday. By the time I woke up, the kids did most of their chores and were completing each task without me reminding them. Now I have to see how long that will last 🙂 .
Time to Delegate
I’m also teaching the kids how to do laundry, fold laundry, and put it away because it’s summer time. I’ve shown them before but I want them to start doing it more consistently. I can pick up the slack when school starts up again. I’ll be happy 🙂 knowing that my kids are capable of doing their chores and tasks on their own without me nagging them.
I learned how to do laundry in college from my best guy friend. So I don’t want that to happen to my daughters. I want them to know how to do a lot of things (like cook, take care of a garden, clean, paint a room, etc) before they go off to college. I don’t want them to be helpless.
I grew up differently from my kids. I was very motivated in my studies but never had any chores. I didn’t know how to cook or clean. I guess that’s why I’m how I am with my kids today. I’m hoping this summer they will learn a lot of stuff on home care as well as other practical things I want them to learn.
For now, my kids seem to be serious about getting their chores done. Again, I’m not sure how long that will last. How long does “mom on strike” need to last? I’ll have to keep improvising my methods until something works that makes it “stick” with the kids. I guess that is what parenting / life is all about—going through trials and tribulations until you find success.
The process of teaching my children how to do things, instead of doing it myself is actually more time consuming and wears down my patience. But I’m hanging in there since I think these life skills are important for my kids to have.
What motivation techniques THAT ACTUALLY WORK do you use with your kids?