I have a big problem. I’ve had it for awhile. I repeat myself over and over and over again like a broken record and yet no one in my house seems to hear me! It’s like they are all plotting against me. It drives me nuts when I feel like it takes 10 times of asking before my kids will do what I’ve asked. My oldest has gotten to the point where she always claims she never even heard me. I half believe it and here is why. What do we do when we hear something over and over again? We eventually start to tone it out. It’s a survival mechanism. I have officially been TONED OUT! But not for long! I have found a new weapon. Actually several. And they seem to be working. My husband has joined in on the fun. Want a tip on how to stop screaming at your kids?
First, ask them to do something and make sure they have heard you. If necessary, stand there….and wait….and stare….and wait. It drives them nuts! Haha! Part of the reason it took so long for them to do what was asked before was because they knew you would leave the room and get distracted with another task allowing them time to stall.
If I’ve asked my children to pick something up, and they choose not to, I then get to do whatever I want with that item, throw it away, hide it, hang it on the tree outside, whatever. Almost 3 months ago, they were all leaving their toys all over the basement and not cleaning up. I boxed all the toys up, put them in my husbands trunk and left them this note:
You have very nice toys, but they were very very sad because no one was putting them away. They wrote a letter to me and asked to be sent to a new home where other children would take better care of them. I have come and taken them away to a new home. Please take care of your special toys next time. I will visit your house each night to check on your toys. If your toys are put away and happy, they can stay. If they are on the floor and sad, I will deliver them to new boys and girls.
If you are good and show me that you can pick up your stuff then maybe your toys will want to come back home.
The toy keeper
Guess what? Those toys are still in my husbands trunk. Guess my kids didn’t need those toys as much as I thought!
Okay, I think I’ve gone off the subject. So yes, I’ve been getting rid of a lot of stuff and it feels great and my kids are learning not to leave as much stuff lying around.
Here’s my favorite new part to the plot. When all else fails and I feel lik I’m gonna lose my mind..this is another way I avoid screaming at my kids: I sing like a mad woman! Ever had a stupid song stuck in your head all day and it drives you nuts because you can’t get it out of your head? That’s what gave me the idea. My kids might be able to ignore my hollering, and whining, and pleading, but my subliminal songs will be stuck in their head ALL.DAY.LONG! (Insert evil cackle)
I was waiting outside one morning with my daughter for the neighbor kids to come out so I could walk them to the bus stop. I pulled out my phone and started to play a song she was supposed to be memorizing for church. We sang it a few times while we walked around the culdesac. When she got home from school, she said, “MOM! That song has been going through my head all day long!” But guess what? She had it memorized! Light bulb! I’m really good at making up corny songs so this is going to be fun. Here’s a few of my new favorites:
Instead of “Go to time out!” I sing to the tune skip, skip, skip to my Lou :
go, go , go to your room,
go, go, go to your room,
go go, go to your room,
go to your room my darling!
And escort them with a big grin on my face.
Tonight my daughter wanted me to drop what I was doing to get her something. I was cleaning the kitchen from the tornado that hit during dinner time. I told her she would need to wait till I was done with the task at hand and then sung:
When there is a task to do,
Do it with a smile.
Do more than you are asked to do,
And go the extra mile!
(I didn’t make that one up, I learned it as a child from my mother)
The point of the songs is to calm me down ( and they do!), get their attention, and get my subliminal teaching moments STUCK in their head. Check, check, check. I’m loving this! And my favorite songs are the ones that are made up flying by the seat of my pants. Those are the funniest and stick the best. So, no planning necessary!
So, laughter may be the best medicine, but singing has got to be second best! My kids are creative enough, I give them only a couple of days, and I swear they’ll be making up their own songs and singing back. This will be their first:
Mother, I love you,
Mother, I do.
Please, when I wake up
Give me chores to do.
I’ll do them so sweetly
And then when I’m through
I’ll hug you and kiss you
And bring you breakfast in bed too!
(Haha! I can dream.)
But here’s a more realistic version:
Mother I love you,
Mother I do.
So here’s what I like to give to you:
Messes and goobers that stick to the wall,
Loud screams and cries whenever anyone calls.
Cheerios and stickers stuck to the floor,
Our latest masterpieces that we glued to the door.
We love you so much,
We couldn’t stop there,
So we drove the van through the garage door
And dumped cornstarch in our hair!
Someone peed on the couch
And poured shampoo down the vents,
Popped the screens out of the windows
And now they’re all bent.
We know that you’re tired, frazzled, and beat,
But please tuck us in bed and love us a heap!
For soon we’ll be grown, and then you will say:
I’d give anything if I could relive that day!
Best wishes in your singing efforts. Don’t forget to smile!
(apologies to those who are followers of my personal blog www.heavenandhavoc.blogspot.com as most of this post was taken from there.)