I am so very angry with my children.... - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 07-17-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
AngieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My children have destroyed my house. It is a disgusting. This is not a how do I keep up, or how do I organize my house better thread. This is a how do I make my children stop being dirty, uncaring, destructive slobs? I know I sound terrible and you're all thinking " how can I say that about my children" but I'm just done with this! I am a organized person, we don't have clutter, I do my laundry regularly, my kitchen is cleaned, the house is picked up regularly , bathrooms are cleaned regularly. With all the time and energy I put into having a nice house it is still a mess and everything is destroyed. We bought a nice used couch, it looked almost new. Within 6 months the kids had destroyed it. They had broke the piping and it was poking out all over from sitting on the couch wrong, stains all over it and then to top it off someone pulled a thread and ripped a big hole in the couch and then started to pull the stuffing out. Because I don't have the money to buy a couch every 6 months I bought couch covers. Within a few weeks they had spilled finger nail polish on them. They never stay in place because the furniture is used as a jungle gym. This is just one example. We painted the little girls bedroom and it looks terrible again because they have written on all the walls, the screens on all the windows are broken because they think it's fun to climb in and out of the bedroom windows. Every door in the house is written on. Their rooms are always terrible no matter how many toys I get ride of. Carpets are destroyed, they have cut holes in the bedspreads. I can go on and on. There is dirt, wrapers, garbage and food shoved in every corner and under every piece of furniture. I've watched then open a string cheese and just drop the wrapper on the ground and walk away. And believe me they dont get away with it when i see it happen, but I can watch all 4 kids 24 hours a day. They are old enough to be helpful and know better. There ages are 13, 11, 7, and 5. They have chores and I feel like I've made it pretty clear what I want, they just don't care.

I'm not expecting a show house, I just don't want to be grossed out and I want what we have to be taken care of.
AngieB is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 07-17-2012, 04:07 PM
 
NiteNicole's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,580
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)

I'm sorry, I keep reading this and I don't know what to say.  Generally my suggestions in these situations are considered "too much" so I don't really have anything to add other than it sucks and I hate you're dealing with all that. 
 

NiteNicole is online now  
Old 07-17-2012, 04:18 PM
 
Tjej's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: a beautiful place
Posts: 1,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Wow, I'm sorry.  That sounds super frustrating.  Have you had a chance to have a sit down discussion about the issue with the kids (when you aren't boiling mad)? 

Tjej is offline  
Old 07-17-2012, 04:30 PM
 
Bokonon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: San Diego
Posts: 2,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I know how hard it is keeping a clean house with just two, so I can imagine it's at least twice as hard with four!

 

What kind of consequences have they experienced when these things happen?  Are they expected to help pay for repairs, or paint where they have drawn on doors and walls? 


A, jammin.gif mama to a boy (2005) and a girl (2009)
Bokonon is offline  
Old 07-17-2012, 07:30 PM
 
katelove's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Australia
Posts: 3,894
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 32 Post(s)
I would probably go with some fairly serious consequences at this point.

If they're drawing on the walls then all pens, pencils, crayons etc are taken away. If they need them for school work then it gets done under supervision at the dining room table (or wherever suits you best). They could also spend some time washing the marks off the walls.

Dropping food wrapper - no more treat foods which are individually wrapped. Or they have to ask you for them and eat them in a designated place.

Leaving food/plates lying around - food is only eaten at the table, under supervision.

All these restrictions can be lifted on a trial basis after a given period. If they go back to old habits then the restrictions come back.

Destruction of essential things like screens is harder. Some method of paying for the damage, either from their pocket money or by doing extra jobs for you seems reasonable. A period of time where they can't be in their rooms unsupervised except to sleep is something else you could do but it's very labour-intensive for you.

Mother of two spectacular girls, born mid-2010 and late 2012  mdcblog5.gif

katelove is online now  
Old 07-17-2012, 07:55 PM
 
CatsCradle's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: New York City
Posts: 1,945
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I know this is going to sound weird, OP, but one of the things that helped me realize that I needed to care for my environment (both in the house and the earth itself) was coming to the realization that trash matters...in a negative way.  Again, weird, but when it actually hit me was when I saw that ancient (perhaps early '70s) commercial of the Native American riding his canoe through the woods on a river and the river was filled with trash.  A tear was falling from his eye.  It must have been a powerful and relevant public service commercial because it stuck with me for the rest of my life.  The analogy being, the forest was his home, and people had trashed it.  No one cared.  

 

I really do think that care for one's environment (and extending to a global scale) starts in the home.  People are probably going to think I'm an a-hole but when my DD was tempted to draw on the walls, I would espouse:  "Would you draw on other peoples' houses?"  I could see the little grey cells revolving in her brain and I think it stuck that "If I'm not going to do it elsewhere, why would I do it here?"  Another (and probably unattractive method to many people here that I use) is that I tell DD that if she destroys something, she's going to have to pay for it with her own money.  This is a good sell because she doesn't like parting with her coins.  

 

DH and I don't have a picture perfect house either, but we have invested in furniture and paint which we want to last in the long term, for frugality reasons more than anything.  

 

I'm not sure what advice to offer other than what has personally worked for me is instilling the idea that environment matters...and care of one's environment matters.  Nature films and the effect of waste and trash for the older kids?  I don't know.  My brother's kids are careless about their environment but their mom has always cleaned up after them.  They could care less if they throw gum wrappers or other trash on the ground because their perception has always been:  someone will clean it up (mainly their mom).  I agree with Katelove that consequences are a good route.  For us, we've always held steady to the idea that producing waste and mayhem creates cost, cost which the creator must bear.  Not saying we're perfect around here, but it works most of the time.  So sorry for your frustration with this.


"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once." Charles Lamb.
CatsCradle is offline  
Old 07-17-2012, 08:26 PM
 
One_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 4,668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
I don't know how much they help out, but it sounds like you are doing a lot for them and it frustrates you. I have only one child and I used to just do everything because I thought it was easiest and my dd couldn't clean up but I found that when I made her responsible for her clean up she started managing her messes a lot better. At first it was draining because she didn't want to be clean up and I had to listen to whining but after following through with many when /then statements it got much better. Mr. Clean magic erasers are great for getting stubborn drawings off walls easily, they are just special sponges not chemical laden so I would definitely let a child of any age use one.

With the monkeying around on furniture issue I found that she was much more careful to cut back when she lost furniture privilege after the first warning
I also get her outside a lot and she had a spinning chair in her room which helps. I have a few water bottles and some outside toys and I send her to get the neighbor kid to play, draw a picture on the sidewalk, jump a certain number of times in a row with the jump rope, etc... so she has a purpose and doesn't need to come in after ten minutes for water.
One_Girl is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 06:55 AM
 
purslaine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 6,771
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have had issues with people leaving food, including wrappers, around.  While we are still a work in progress, interupting what they are doing to make them put their food away has helped.

 

Yesterday I made my youngest get out of bed to put away a food wrapper she left on the couch.  I have made people get off the computer, tv, etc, to clean up food messes.

 

Quite frankly, I would focus on one issue at a time so you do not drive yourself insane.

 

I am not opposed to pointing out the cost of items, either, or making them pay for items they destroy.  

 

I would help them make the connection between how spending money on new screens, slip covers, etc - means less play money for the family.  Less eating out, less movies, less fun stuff.  It also means less time for fun stuff - repairing screens, buying slip covers…these all eat into family time.  

purslaine is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 07:31 AM
 
The4OfUs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 4,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I have had issues with people leaving food, including wrapper around.  while we are still a work in progress, interupting what they are doing to make them put their food away has helped.

 

Yesterday I made my youngest get out of bed to put away a food wrapper she left on the couch.  I have made people get off the computer, tv, etc, to clean up food messes.

 

Quite frankly, I would focus on one issue at a time so you do not drive yourself insane.

 

Agreed.  I cleaned up after my kids a LOT for the first 5 years of their lives..I mean, they would pick up their toys and stuff, but I was the one that was doing all the cleanup of their messy/careless stuff...one of the things I regret not starting them on sooner was taking care of those kind of messes.  So now, we all help each other, but it's no longer "mom will just get it".  So if I see a wrapper, about half the time I might get it (and if they're in the room say something like, "oop, a wrapper, that should go in thne garbage not on the floor, I'll get it there." ), but half the time I will occupy myself with something briefly (so they don't ask me why I won't just do it) and ask one of them to stop what they're doing and get it - and if they say they didn't do it, I say, "I didn't ask you if you did it, I'm asking you to please take care of it because it shouldn't be dropped there....we all need to help each other take care of the house."  We have ongoing conversations about how it's all of our jobs to keep the house running smoothly, that they are growing up and part of my job is to make sure they know how to keep a house running when they're adults.  That I'm not trying to be bossy or mean, but these are real life skills they need.

 

Mine were treating the couch like a jungle gym a couple years ago and we had tons of spills starting to happen too, and I went pretty hardcore on them and had a 1-time warning, then you have to sit on the floor the rest of the day thing.  They had plenty of other places they could bounce (their beds, the mini tramp) and climb (our swingset with several climbing features) so this was one place that just wasn't OK. 

 

Two phrases I make use of are:  The world is not your playground, and The world is not your garbage can.   This of course is all preceeded by and followed by more extensive, kind discussions about responsibility, but in the moment a blunt sentence is more effective.

 

With kids your age, I would sit them down and tell them that this has gone on long enough and that changes need to be made, pick a date, let them help you come up with the consequences, etc. and then you just have to DO it.  This is just as much about follow through as it is about getting them to care about it.  I know what I would personally do with regard to individual issues, but those details are really better left to you and your kids to sort out.  They are DEFINITELY old enough to participate in the discussion.

 

My parents were very tidy people.  I am a slob, by nature.  We had a kind of unspoken, casual agreement that when I was in mutual living spaces in the house I was expected to pick up after myself, but my room they wouldn't bug me about much - however, no food in the bedroom was a rule for everyone.  So I could have clothes and papers and toys all over the place and so long as they could close my door it was all good.  Maybe you can designate one "slob room" that has a door...or all bedrooms can be their realm, but mutual living spaces require more attention.


Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
The4OfUs is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 07:55 AM
 
rightkindofme's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 4,604
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)

Mostly I dont' have advice but I have told my four year old that she and her sister will be helping me paint the house when they are teenagers to deal with all the drawing on the walls.

 

Other than that.. rough. I don't know.


My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.

rightkindofme is online now  
Old 07-18-2012, 08:23 AM
 
MrsGregory's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: The 'burbs of Central Texas.
Posts: 1,030
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

AngieB, big encouragement from me!  I'm currently staring at a dark, dingy spot on my white office wall.  It's where my husband put his feet up while he was contracting and working from home.  Yep.

 

irked.gif

 

It seems like you're facing an uphill battle with your darlings, but in my humble opinion, it is a battle worth fighting.  Respecting your own environment and taking pride in your home is one way to demonstrate self-love and self-worth.  Also, it's just flat our nicer to live in a clean, tidy house.  I'm right there with you on the hair-pulling going-crazyness.  Nothing quite compares to finding a candy wrapper two feet from a garbage bin.  You can do it!

 

 
 


lovestory.gif   And on 09/23/2011, we were three;  husband, daughter, and me!

MrsGregory is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 08:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
AngieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thanks ladies for the replies. Not only has it confirmed that this is not normal behavior, it has made it very clear that I need to get tough and set some firm rules around here. I guess I've always been worried that it would be to mean to do things like make them sit on the floor if they jump on the couch and the power struggle that will occur if I try and make them wash the walls or pick up the garbage seems overwhelming. But I can do it, this is important.
AngieB is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 09:08 AM
 
The4OfUs's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Upstate NY
Posts: 4,897
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)

I think the key is having them work with you to come up with what happens if they *don't* pick up their garbage, or if they *do* wdraw on the walls......then it's not a power struggle - it's all written up on a snazzy reminder sheet, applies to everyone, and it isn't mean, "mom said", it's "we agreed to" or "the house rules". 


Heather, WAHM to DS (01/04)DD (06/06). Wed to DH(09/97)
The4OfUs is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 10:04 AM
 
MamaAcorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 658
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

I would probably go with some fairly serious consequences at this point.
If they're drawing on the walls then all pens, pencils, crayons etc are taken away. If they need them for school work then it gets done under supervision at the dining room table (or wherever suits you best). They could also spend some time washing the marks off the walls.
Dropping food wrapper - no more treat foods which are individually wrapped. Or they have to ask you for them and eat them in a designated place.
Leaving food/plates lying around - food is only eaten at the table, under supervision.
All these restrictions can be lifted on a trial basis after a given period. If they go back to old habits then the restrictions come back.
Destruction of essential things like screens is harder. Some method of paying for the damage, either from their pocket money or by doing extra jobs for you seems reasonable. A period of time where they can't be in their rooms unsupervised except to sleep is something else you could do but it's very labour-intensive for you.

These are all rules at our house.  It doesn't prevent everything, but it makes it manageable when an incident happens.  


Mama to ds 11, ds 7, dd 5, dd 2, and dd born on 6/17/12!

MamaAcorn is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 10:25 AM
A&A
 
A&A's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 16,186
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bokonon View Post

I know how hard it is keeping a clean house with just two, so I can imagine it's at least twice as hard with four!

 

What kind of consequences have they experienced when these things happen?  Are they expected to help pay for repairs, or paint where they have drawn on doors and walls? 

 

Exactly.  There need to be consequences.  My kids would be grounded from all electronic devices (TV, Wii, etc.) if they treated our house this way!  All of your kids are old enough to know better.

Maya Angelou said, "We teach people how to treat us."  You're teaching your kids that it's ok to treat you and the house this way.

 

And I agree...you deal with one issue at a time.  Tell kids to come back and take their dishes off the table and to the dishwasher, etc.  And do your kids have outside room to play?  It sounds like they are making the couch into a trampoline. 


"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
A&A is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:12 AM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngieB View Post

Not only has it confirmed that this is not normal behavior, it has made it very clear that I need to get tough and set some firm rules around here. 

Actually this IS normal behaviour. In a house full of kids. 

 

your kids sound boistrous. the jungle gym. the climbing in and out of windows. that is adventure right there for  you. i would have taught them how to take off the screens carefully so they dont damage it. 

 

now spilling nailpolish. that is normal. even i have done it. i expect the 7 year old and older to try and clean it up. i'd expect the 5 year old to tell me. 

 

their rooms are terrible - normal. even my 9 year old hates cleaning up her room. she had a sleepover and its a mess today. 

 

writing on the walls and doors. to me this too is a v. normal thing to do. the reason why they now have glass pens. i am waiting for them to come up with 'paint/wood surface pen'. but your kids should be over this now. if not make an easel for them. so they DO have some place to draw big. i know for my dd when seh was younger it was easier for her to draw from the shoulder rather than the wrist. her easel was a giant table top 4 feet by 6 feet and she mainly used her shoulder to do that. 

 

i am sorry mama - i will have to say the problem is not your kids. its you. you may have said it, but u didnt insist on it. there is no way on earth my 9 year old would throw her wrapper on the floor and not clean it up within a few hours if not immediately. boy she would never DARE to drop the wrapper with me in the room. she would on her own and then pick it up shortly. how can you let them destroy the carpet. 

 

why did they cut holes in the bedsheets?

 

there is a two fold problem here. one is you will have to get tougher, but on the other hand too you have to make sure you dont get too strict. the jungle gym. are they getting out a lot? do they have a space for physical expression. 

 

do your children have responsibilities? not chores. chores are different. responsibilities they usually love. you see what they are good at and have them do it - to get a feeling they matter in the family. for instance dd loves cooking. she has been making me breakfast since she was 5 and dinner with actual chopping and cooking since she was 6. as she grows older it gets more elabourate. she gets a sense of self. it meets her intellectual, emotional and psychological needs. 

 

i would look at your 5 and 7 year olds through different eyes than your 11 and 13 year olds. while you draw the line and build up boundaries, make sure you are meeting all their needs and giving them choices. 

 

if you can afford sports it seems like a good outlet for your kids. or even family wrestling matches. 

 

have you ever given your kids the chance to be responsible. like you and your dh go out for an hour with your 13 year old in charge? you will be VERY surprised at what they do - maybe not the first or the second time. 

 

you are not alone. i have a few friends whose house sounds just like yours. they have both had special needs issue the reason why they couldnt pay much attention to the rest of the kids and the kids had to learn the hard way when they were older. 


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 11:37 AM
 
mamazee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: US midwest
Posts: 7,246
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Hmm well my older dd, who likes nail painting, is only allowed to do it in the bathroom, and HAS to clean up any sign of nail polish afterward. At one point I made her do any nail polishing outside due to problems. It's too hard to clean up after nail polish.

I think really you just need to have some boundaries. No doing anything on the couch except sitting. If you do anything but sit, you'll have to sit on the floor to save the couch. No writing on the walls. You wrote on the walls? Here's how you clean it. Cleaning up after themselves at those ages isn't a punishment. It's showing them how to be responsible.

I have said this in other threads but I'm a big fan of having all messy things and things full of pieces put into containers and put up, and only allowing one out at a time. I would include nail polish in that if you're having trouble with that. Scissors for SURE if they're cutting holes in things. I keep scissors up.

I am not a punitive mom but I think my kids would be afraid to climb out the windows. They know I'd be angry, and though I don't flip out or punish, I don't hide my anger either. I can't even imagine that coming up. How did that start? Also, I don't allow food outside of the kitchen, dining room, and sometimes the living room.
mamazee is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 02:02 PM
 
Evan&Anna's_Mom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: So. CA
Posts: 4,388
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't have any advice but it is SOOOO nice to know that I'm not the only one with this issue!
 

Evan&Anna's_Mom is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 03:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
AngieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We live on 5 acres out in the middle of no where, so yes they have lots of outdoor space. They all play sports and we do lots of outdoor things like camping, hiking and canoeing as a family. It's not boredom that is causing this, it's just lack of caring on their part which is my fault because I haven't made it a priority. When they were little the messes were little and it didn't seem like a problem, but now a they get bigger the messes and destruction is getting bigger also. We do leave the 13 year old in charge and they do pretty well, of course I have no way of knowing what goes on while I'm gone.
AngieB is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 04:39 PM
 
GoBecGo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 3,405
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

I would probably go with some fairly serious consequences at this point.
If they're drawing on the walls then all pens, pencils, crayons etc are taken away. If they need them for school work then it gets done under supervision at the dining room table (or wherever suits you best). They could also spend some time washing the marks off the walls.
Dropping food wrapper - no more treat foods which are individually wrapped. Or they have to ask you for them and eat them in a designated place.
Leaving food/plates lying around - food is only eaten at the table, under supervision.
All these restrictions can be lifted on a trial basis after a given period. If they go back to old habits then the restrictions come back.
Destruction of essential things like screens is harder. Some method of paying for the damage, either from their pocket money or by doing extra jobs for you seems reasonable. A period of time where they can't be in their rooms unsupervised except to sleep is something else you could do but it's very labour-intensive for you.

This is how we live sometimes...

 

We tend to have an incident, a crackdown, a respite, an incident....and so on.

 

My eldest was terrible for drawing on walls until she was 4 (she's 6 now) which was when we removed ALL of her art supplies and only allowed her to use them with constant supervision at the kitchen table.  It worked.  The 2yo isn't much into that sort of thing, on the few occasions she's done it i have told her it's NOT allowed and made her help with clear up (we used a pencil-eraser to rub crayon off, she helped).  They are only allowed to eat downstairs, if they spill they have to help clear up.  They are NOT allowed nail polish! lol (imagining the carnage that might spell!).  We have a leather suite which repels and wipes clean better than fabric, they are not allowed to jump on it.

 

It's tough when i have to get tough, but it does end up making life nicer in the long-term.

 

Good luck mama!

GoBecGo is offline  
Old 07-18-2012, 04:50 PM
 
captain optimism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Good Ship Lollipop
Posts: 6,855
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 21 Post(s)

I have thought of some advice, but I have a few caveats about it. I have one child, we live in a city, our house is tiny like a shoebox and he has never tried to do anything as exciting as climbing out of a window. 

 

In fact I'm kind of envious that you have four lively children who are so rambunctious and active. 

 

 

My thought is this. When you live with a group of adults, the space gets messy when there isn't buy-in from the whole group on keeping it nice. If there is a critical mass of uncaring housemates, everyone sinks to the lowest common denominator.  

 

Perhaps one way to address this is to assign the children the task of repairing or cleaning the things they break or mar. That way, they will have an investment in how it looks. For example, the writing on the wall may come off with a few of those magic sponges, but it might take paint. If you get them together, put the question to them, tell them you will bankroll the materials and give practical advice but that it's their project, they might rise to the occasion. Then they might also feel a level of ownership of the niceness of the house. 

 

It also occurs to me that you can share some photos of nice-looking  rooms online or in a magazine. "Could our house look like this?" Sometimes the problem is that they are oblivious to their space.  Enlist them in developing a solution to the problem. 


Divorced mom of one awesome boy born 2-3-2003.
captain optimism is online now  
Old 07-18-2012, 10:58 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

wow 5 acres in the middle of nowhere. how lucky you guys are. of course even i would try to climb out of the windows.

 

now mama i have a question for you. 

 

you have two sets of ages 11 and 13 ; and 7 and 5.

 

are you talking about both groups or one particular group? 

 

are your 11 and 13 year old also writing on the walls and doors in the house? 

 

i have no idea how to introduce caring to the kids. 

 

do you have a farm? do they also have outside duty to do?


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 07-19-2012, 08:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
AngieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post

wow 5 acres in the middle of nowhere. how lucky you guys are. of course even i would try to climb out of the windows.

now mama i have a question for you. 

you have two sets of ages 11 and 13 ; and 7 and 5.

are you talking about both groups or one particular group? 

are your 11 and 13 year old also writing on the walls and doors in the house? 

i have no idea how to introduce caring to the kids. 

do you have a farm? do they also have outside duty to do?

That's a good point and I would say that my 13 year old dd is not a problem anymore. She is pretty helpful and her energy level has mellowed out. The other 3 are the ones now casuing most of the mess. My 11 year old ds is not writing on walls or things like that, but he is still very high energy and messy.

We don't have a farm, just chickens, a goat ( for weed eating), sometimes a pig and a garden. They don't have any daily jobs outside but if things start getting to messy out side I send them out with a garbage bag to clean up.

I have been being tougher on them the last few days and it has been helping. I just have to keep doing it and not give up in a few days. I have be making them only eat at the table or kitchen bar, before bed last night everyone had to help clean up and we got ds out of bed when we noticed he hadn't finished his job. He also was grumpy about having to help in the first place and mouthed of so I took his computer time away for today and I wrote it down on our message board so I wouldn't forget.

We joke about the fact that we raise feral children. In general we have a very laid back house where we don't have a lot of rules and the kids are given a lot of freedom and I want to keep it that way. I just have to find the balance before I loss my mind.
AngieB is offline  
Old 07-19-2012, 12:14 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AngieB View Post


That's a good point and I would say that my 13 year old dd is not a problem anymore. She is pretty helpful and her energy level has mellowed out. The other 3 are the ones now casuing most of the mess. My 11 year old ds is not writing on walls or things like that, but he is still very high energy and messy.
hey that's good news. you dont need to teach caring. it seems perhaps they just need to grow up :)

We don't have a farm, just chickens, a goat ( for weed eating), sometimes a pig and a garden. They don't have any daily jobs outside but if things start getting to messy out side I send them out with a garbage bag to clean up.
hey i call that a farm :) ok (not that i want to tell you what to do) but you need to involve them in chores outside. not just cleaning up. not sure what you actually have them do - but they should be collecting the eggs, tilling the soil, and help harvesting. this is what i miss living in the city. its an important lesson for anyone to have a connection with food.

I have been being tougher on them the last few days and it has been helping. I just have to keep doing it and not give up in a few days. I have be making them only eat at the table or kitchen bar, before bed last night everyone had to help clean up and we got ds out of bed when we noticed he hadn't finished his job. He also was grumpy about having to help in the first place and mouthed of so I took his computer time away for today and I wrote it down on our message board so I wouldn't forget.
nod.gif
We joke about the fact that we raise feral children. In general we have a very laid back house where we don't have a lot of rules and the kids are given a lot of freedom and I want to keep it that way. I just have to find the balance before I loss my mind.

yes i totally agree with you. absolutely. you have the opportunity that many people dont have in their life and absolutely make big on it.

 

i tell you mama while you have them do chores find things that give them a feeling of contribution. for instance (i have no clue how well your kids work together) you and ur dh be outside doing outside work. have the kids all work together to make dinner/lunch. give each one hte task you feel they can handle to do. like a sharp knife not to ur 5 and 7 year old.

 

another thing - chores are NEVER done willingly. so your kids not doing them is v. v. normal. you insisting that they keep up to their agreement is the key. 

 

here is something i do with my dd. i really like something like this because i have never wanted to do a sticker chart. i want her to do it, not because i am the bigger person and so you have to obey me. i want her to do it coz she realizes how much it affects my life if she doesnt. ever since i've been kinda making requests this way life has really gotten easy. instead of telling dd what to do - i make a request explaining why i want her to do it. however if she HAS to do it then i tell her its a command she has to do it (that is rare in our house, usually involves something done urgently). perhaps this is easier done with an only child - i dont know. but i feel v. strongly that they are people too and should be heard and respected. not saying others dont want that too - but in the realm of parenting we can so easily become the police. its so easy to allow power to get to our head (ugh i do it so often its disgusting. thankfully i have a dd who calls me on it every single time)

 

http://www.nycnvc.org/nvcquiz_requests.htm

 

since we've been practising this for so long, dd protests and drags her feet about her chores, and takes her own sweet time but rarely disobeys me. it has been helpful to her that i share how i hate doing certain chores myself. but i enjoy an organized house so i have to do it. it helps her see even mama has unpleasant tasks to do and she does not have a choice. she has to do them.


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 07-22-2012, 06:15 AM
 
proudMoMmy2634's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 154
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

That is really frustrating, I thought you were referring at toddlers. But 13, 11, 7, and 5 they can be discipline in cleanliness already( but not that much for the age 5).


Living is great but being a MOM is even better

proudMoMmy2634 is offline  
Old 07-22-2012, 11:10 AM
 
nwatt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 121
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

I would probably go with some fairly serious consequences at this point.
If they're drawing on the walls then all pens, pencils, crayons etc are taken away. If they need them for school work then it gets done under supervision at the dining room table (or wherever suits you best). They could also spend some time washing the marks off the walls.
Dropping food wrapper - no more treat foods which are individually wrapped. Or they have to ask you for them and eat them in a designated place.
Leaving food/plates lying around - food is only eaten at the table, under supervision.
All these restrictions can be lifted on a trial basis after a given period. If they go back to old habits then the restrictions come back.
Destruction of essential things like screens is harder. Some method of paying for the damage, either from their pocket money or by doing extra jobs for you seems reasonable. A period of time where they can't be in their rooms unsupervised except to sleep is something else you could do but it's very labour-intensive for you.


I totally agree with this.  Sit them down, and explain the expectations and consequences, then start taking things away immediately when they cannot respect or properly use them. Whatever item is causing a problem, in whatever manner, is simply GONE until they shape up. 

 

For the window opening, you can buy lock that are super easy to install, and very cheap, that will prevent them from opening the windows. 

 

If your kids end up with no clothes but jeans and white t-shirts, no toys, no craft supplies, no fun snacks, whatever, you are NOT BEING MEAN.  You are teaching them.  Severe problem behaviors take severe measures to fix.


Natalie ~ DH 8/04 ~ DD 8/09 ~ Identical Twin Boys Arrived at 34w5d on March 2, 2011

nwatt is offline  
Old 07-24-2012, 11:40 AM
 
ilovemygirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Posts: 532
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)

The only thing I can think to add is to talk to them about how you are feeling. Not just the consequences of their actions as far as punishment but that they are making you feel sad and frustrated and disappointed. Even a five year old can and should understand that they are making someone upset. Explain to them why it is important to you to have a clean home and then discuss ways you can keep it that way together. I'm sure you will be very pleasantly surprised with how much they care about your feelings. That won't guarantee they will remember to do everything you want all the time but will hopefully start a path of helpfulness and cooperation. 


mama to three little ladies
ilovemygirl is offline  
Old 07-24-2012, 12:13 PM
 
meemee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Norther California
Posts: 12,623
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)

how are things going mama?

 

how are YOU doing?


 treehugger.gif Co-parent, joy.gifcold.gifbrand new homeschooling middle schoolerjoy.gif, and an attackcat.gif 
meemee is offline  
Old 07-24-2012, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
AngieB's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Northern California
Posts: 1,526
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Things are better. I made a house rule that all eating must be done at the kitchen table or breakfast bar which is helping and the kids are not whining to much about it. I added a few more chores and most important I've started making them pick up their own stuff a lot more. I even got ds out of bed the other night because he hadn't done something I asked.
AngieB is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off