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15 November 2010


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Wow. I could totally have written so much of this post. It is so hard to distinguish between my own over attachment to order in the house and a healthy amount of fostering a love of orderliness and good habits in my children. I too could start by yelling less.

I wonder if one way of going about it might not be to set concrete goals for organizational/cleanliness habits you want your children to learn and a timetable of when you will work on those particular habits. Pick a few of the most important things and then decide to let the others slide for now. That way you are only yelling/ nagging about one thing at a time.

Of course, I find it easy to say. Not so easy to actually do. But I'm also dealing with a 4 year-old and a two year-old while your school age kids are probably in a much more trainable stage. Right? (Please humor me and tell me I'm right. They will get better and more trainable as they get older.)


I think so, Melanie. I have never gotten organized enough to give the kids regular chores (maybe partly because life changes too fast for me to be very regular about them myself) but we do all clean up the house together a couple of times a day, and I can give the 7- and 10-year-olds many jobs that do lighten my load -- they can load and unload the dishwasher, put away towels and kids' clothes, make beds, tidy up play areas and the entryway, shovel snow, make snacks, and start a loaf of bread in the bread machine. The 10yo, at least, can also be instructed to keep the 4yo occupied for an hour when necessary. So, yes, it gets better, although so far I've always had more kids by the time it got better, which tends to make the "better" not quite so noticeable. ;-)


I get tripped up on that fine line all the time - like, do I serve the kids (teaching by example) or let them serve me/others (forcing them to not be so selfish). I guess in this case it's both...so bad example. But you know what I mean. I think you are right, start by not yelling so much (talking to myself here) - act in charity, teach them to also, and things will fall into place better.

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