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Thursday, November 18, 2010

Take a step back mom!

Hello blog world! I've been spending much of my free time working through some inner issues lately and this morning I had a silly little A-ha moment. As much as I pride myself for thinking things through and thinking outside of the box I was a bit humbled that I hadn't gone down this thought path years ago.

I get frustrated with my children. I get frustrated with them a lot. We have four children, 2 with unique needs, and add on teenager, pre-teen girl, and toddler to boot on that list...it's made for a challenging position for the job title of parent.

My kids all have chores, and rotate responsibilities so that each one has to do the same chores. Some of these include unloading or loading the dishwasher, setting the table for dinner, and laundry.

As I put away the dishes today I caught myself grumbling under my breath. I've been sick off-and-on for 10 days. Not only has no one picked up slack...they all seem to be slacking along with mom. *sigh*

As I put away the plates and cups I thought about my 8 year old. I am constantly reprimanding him for standing on the inside of the base cabinets to reach the plates and cups. He has broken cabinet doors, and chipped off the melamine front of the cabinets as well.

I asked myself today "Why does he do it when I tell him over and over again to not do this?

The answer is quite simple, you dummy! He cannot reach the plates and cups to set the table, or when putting away the dishes. He has to grab a cup 3 times a day to get water to wash down his meds! How did I not think about this sooner?!?

Now, don't think I am absolutely horrible. We have step stools. Several of them. He chooses not to take on the hassle of getting the stool out, opening it up, and then closing it and putting it back up where it belongs. So....he climbs.

I am going to rearrange the cabinets today that hold the plates, bowls, and cups that the kids use. I will move them all to the bottom shelf and am going to get one of those kiddie one-step stools that can be left in the kitchen.

I will be interested to see how this experiment goes. Will he use the stool? Will he insist, as he oftentimes does, on doing it the hard/dangerous/damaging way? We'll see!

The next time I am having a challenge with one of the kids repeatedly doing something they have been told NOT to do I will take a step back and ask myself "Why is he/she doing this?" and then I will speak to my child and come up with a solution/compromise together.

In the words of a friend I recently met "Parenting isn't for sissies!"


  1. Good for you!

    I took a trick from my mom- I have kid friendly dishes in the same down low cabinet where we keep our kid friendly anytime snack bin. I have cups and bowls there that they can access anytime. My mom went so far that she uses that entire cabinet for family dishes- I'll try to snag a pic when I'm there for Thanksgiving. She has the wire basket things and that's where plates and bowls go. We're to a point now that glasses go up high but she does still keep some small kid friendly cups down there for when my kids come.

  2. This is great! I have all the kid dishes in the same cabinet as my plastic storage containers. One shelf for kid silverware, cups, bowls, etc. It makes life so much easier! I am going to do the same thing you suggested though- when they do things I've asked them not to I'm going to stop and think about why it happens instead of just being irritated that it is happening again!