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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How do you do it?<br><br>
A note on my philosophies : I largely try to avoid punishment unless agression or deliberate destructiveness is involved. I am not at all averse to positive re-inforcment or even infrequent, judiciously used, bribery ( I can be bribed- not to do something that goes against my values, but to take on unpleasant tasks. Just dangle some chocolate in front of me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> )<br><br>
I have three kids- DS, 9, DD, 7 and DS 4. All are in at least one activity and are homeschooled. I work PT at my church and sometimes take the kids with me, but leave with DH when I can. I try to plan activities when DH can keep the uninvolved kids or shopping when I can go by myself. This doesn't always happen though.<br><br>
A typical week for us:<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Monday</span> Get up and try to do some schoolwork before leaving at 10 to do yoga at the house of another homeschooling mom. The kids get ready quickly as they adore her kids. The problem had been getting them to leave but when I explained I would rather not go than struggle to get them to the car they got ready to leave more co-operatively.<br><br>
DD has ballet at 4. If she has a "watch day" (first class of month now, but in Jan-Mar she will be doing RAD exam prep and every class will be watch class) I need to get all the kids out the door by 3:15 so I can drop them off at DH's work and get her to class on time. If I am not staying to class we leave at 3:40.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Tuesday</span> No activities so far, but I will be joining a Tues afternoon Bible study soon. They will have a playroom at the host mom's pace to be entertained in. I work 1-3 Tues eve a month.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Weds</span> I work three Weds a month. Two I do childcare for the MOPS group. DS1 goes to stay with a hs'd friend those days and the other two go with. They are in a different class from me.The other is church staff meeting and they go to a sitter. I work Weds evening, usually taking only one kid with. During exam practice DH will take DD to extra practice classes while I'm at work, so I will have to take both boys with me.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Thurs</span>Nothing during the day. I work in the eve, usually taking 1-2 kids with. I admit, I will judge that on "Did this kid drive me nuts today?". At least they serve supper at church so I get out of that duty for the day.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Friday</span> Library at 11 ( leave at 10:30) and right to homeschool potluck. They usually do pretty well but 4 yo DS does not always want to get dressed when asked. I usually get angry about that.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> He also has periodic tantrums at the library. Again with the potluck I usually have tho threaten not to go next time to get them to leave.<br>
In the evening I shop by myself or if I'm lucky, get to go out with my best friend.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Saturday</span> DS2 has ballet at 10 and DS 1 has guitar at 10:30. I spend an hour and a half just driving between the two places! At home I try to catch up on housework.<br><br><span style="color:#FF0000;">Sunday</span> Church. I open the nursery at 8:15. DS1 and DD go to choir at 9 but that 45 minutes is really hard on DS1. We had to write up a Sunday morning contract. He frequently has the chance to go home from church woth his best friend but must earn it. All go to SS at 9:45 then church at 11. Ds1 is ok at the service b/c I let him read, and that always makes him happy. DD is pretty squirrely and DS2 can be outright uncontrollable. ( Nursery cut-off is 4th birthday, and believe me, if I had the power to raise that age I could). He can earn toys ( not new ones, ones that have gone to the "penalty box") or Tootsie Rolls for not having to be taken out of the service. The church stuff, of all the stuff in our week, is the most non-negotiable. If I could afford not to work Sunday AM I'd shorten the day for us but we I can't afford to give up any hours.<br><br>
Important note- DH isn't at all on board with GD. We call the half hour after he gets home "time out time" because he constantly has them in the corner for things that he believes "they deserve to be spanked for". TOs may not be the ideal, but they are a HUGE concession for DH. I have to take what I can get.<br><br>
Whew. I need help here. Unfortunately, I don't think reducing our schedule will work. It's not just my schedule here, it's all my kids, and I have to make it all work. I NEED my kids to co-operate, and I prefer us all to be pleasant about it ( myself as much as them, if not more so)
 

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Well it seems to me that you do use a lot of punishment. Not harsh punishment, but punishment none the less.<br><br>
Like having to "earn" going home early for your d.s.. That means that if he does not do something (not sure of what) he is punished by not going home early.<br><br>
Or toys in the penalty box. Or being threatened with not getting to go somewhere.<br><br>
I don't use that kind of punishment. I am not a "consensual parenting" parent but I don't punish. I make the rules, I expect them to be followed. And that's it.<br><br>
My kids can't "pay" for their misbehavior by trading something. They have to live with the unrelenting knowledge that they have not met my expectations.<br><br>
I think it is hard to effectively manage a family by offering options that you don't really want, like not going someplace. And that is what you do when you operate with this type of punishment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree! You're right, and that's why I'm asking for advice.<br>
I'm trying to break the cycle, but not in a way that has one person "ruining" the plans of another. (DS1 has a lifelong habit of trying to control his sister's schedule negatively-example, not wanting to get in the car when she has to get to class.)<br><br>
I'm looking for less punishment, less anger, more honest and genuine co-operation. I <i>want</i> my kids- at least the older ones- to "get" that if they do their part when their sibling has something to do, hopefully, their sib will do the same for them. Not to mention that these things that are so important to them won't get paid for if I don't work. (DH will not pay for extras, and has a pretty crappy job he refuses to leave, which adds to my anger, when I don't really want to be at work and the kids are not getting ready)<br>
Yes, I don'ty want to puish myself by not going places I want to go, and that my kids love. The issue is that when they are playing with friends and I try to round them up to leave they hide from me ( or did in the past). I see myself in that classic trap of stying home because I am afraid of how my kids behave and with the possible exception of the 4 yo I should not have to do that anymore.<br><br>
The difference in DH's and my parenting styles makes it worse. They can go all day with no time outs, anything, and within minutes of him being home both younger kids will be in the corner, he'll have grounded the eldest, and put 5 toys in the penalty box for "being left out" (I only put a toy in the penalty box if it has been used as a club). Then I overcompensate by being too lenient, he comes hiome and feels he has to crack down- vicious cycle.
 

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I know from first hand experience how hard it is to feel calm and organized when you are constantly on the run! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"><br><br>
I know you said you can't cut anything out of your schedule, but I would encourage you to take a hard look at that and see if there isn't *something* that can give. (Are there some weekly activities that could become bi-weekly, for example?)<br><br>
Personally, I find that with homeschooling and household responsibilities, I need to make a committment to being *home* for good chunks of time during the week. Otherwise our whole life starts to feel out of control, and I have much more trouble being the kind of parent I want to be. Don't get me wrong -- we do our share of running around and extra curriculars! But I try to pack most of that into a couple of days so that we have at least 2 days that we don't have to be anywhere. (Except for ds going to preschool, but that affords me some one-on-one time with dd for homeschooling, so it kind of "pays for itself" in efficiency, kwim?) Sometimes we go somewhere on those free days, anyway, but we don't feel pressured to get somewhere. It's nice to be able to say, "Hey, let's go to the museum today -- we haven't been there for a while!"<br><br>
I don't have any advice for how to stay on an even keel with a very busy schedule. I haven't figured that out yet! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"> I think it's just not in my nature. I do know some families who manage it and seem to have fun with it, so I think it just depends on your style. Try to find some time to sit quietly and discern what is truely best for your family in the long run. How do you want them to look back on their childhoods? Then go from there! Good luck!
 

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I just recently started consistently having quiet centering time for myself every morning. (I've always done it here and there but never faithfully.) During that time I do some combo of prayer/meditation, reading, jouraling, yoga/breathing, drawing. I also just started writing out my intentions for the day. (This morning: Today will be a calm, joy-filled day.)<br><br>
It has made SUCH a huge difference in how our days go. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those are both good ideas. I could switch off yoga and Bible study maybe, and try to get dh to help more with Saturday AM.<br><br>
One thing *I* need to do is get up earlier and do some meditative yoga before kids are up. Read- no running the coffee maker first. I also KNOW that I need better nutrition, less sugar and caffiene so I can be more patient and think or more creative solutions that more people more happy.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug"> No advice...just a hug <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Teamwork-you and your dh need to be a united front! Sorry, I've got nothing as far as how to make that happen but I know how much of a huge difference that makes on my own household.
 

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our rule, after much hair pulling (my own!), is school in the morning, and then either an activity in the afternoon or in the evening. We have three kids and homeschool and I am heavily involved in church, play bridge weekly w/ MIL, and lead two monthly book groups. I decline all activities that can't fit into that schedule. Sometimes the kids can't do something, sometimes its me that has to forgo that great opportunity. It is worth it to me not to be crazed. I feel stressed if we do too much, and that transmits to the kids. If it were me, (and this is just me) I would ditch yoga, the bible study and the library (maybe DH could take them some evening?) Maybe invite the yoga mom's kids to your house on Wed. or Thurs.? Sorry I can't help to make your schedule work, I honestly couldn't do it either<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> !
 

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Oh no! Funny in a definetely not funny kinda way. I am going through the same situation right now. I homeschool a 10, 6 and 3 year old and Ive found myself compromising my discipline beliefs more and more because of stress induced either by my busy schedule or by my darling DS #3 who seems to have one mission in life right now: antagonize, torture, destroy and scare the nightmares out of me.<br><br>
I keep going back and forth in my brain, trying to recall my greatest years of GD and try to bring myself back on track, but I keep slipping. My heart holds hope for the day that my DS3 grows a bit and stops turning our family upside down.<br><br>
Hugs to you mama, <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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Mama...I've been thinking about your post and just wanted to pass along that I just started reading "Don't sweat the small stuff with your family" and I'm really getting a lot out of it. He talks a lot about reducing stress in the family. Each "chapter" or essay is about a page and a half so it's really easy to read a little here and there! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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