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Thursday, August 10, 2006

Meg,

The little smartasses have realized that I WILL pick up what they WON'T...I hate that I'm so anal, but I also hate that they are taking advantage of my compulsive behavior!

You know, kids are easy. Young ones, I mean. You can influence their behavior without even changing your own. Do whatever you usually do and don't say a word to them.

Sooner or later, they'll need you to do something for them and when they do, say this..."Oh, I would...but I'm too busy picking up these toys. It's too bad that you didn't do it yourself because if you had, I would be able to drive you to the park right now." Then, just keep on cleaning up.
It may take a while to sink in, but it's an easy way to peacefully mold their minds. I think Gandhi would have liked it.

Even if you have to do that for two years, it's a very easy way to teach them that lesson. They will ALWAYS need a favor from you sooner or later and if you don't have the time because they didn't help you out, well, sorry, maybe next time. Stick to that and they'll get it. As an adult, you have the self control to wait until they need something. That way, you can maintain a bit of pride when you pick the stuff up. You'll be able to smirk knowing that when they ask you for a ride, you won't have to do it.

This works well because most of them have to much shame to even ask you a second time...at least for the same thing. They may ask you for something different tomorrow and then you do the same thing. It helps them in two ways; they learn to think ahead and to think about someone else's feelings. Their minds are pretty easy to play with so do the best you can to make them smart little kids.

You have no idea of the power you have over kids. I always told mine certain things that I hoped would sink in and sometimes it didn't come up for 10 years but sooner or later, they do something or say something that lets me know that they were listening.

I told my kids that they, "would get a job out of the ones that they apply for so apply for really good jobs, even if you don't THINK you can get them." My daughter moved to LA and I told her to go apply for some great job where she would get to meet a lot of interesting people and she did. She called yesterday to tell me that she got a managerial position at the Beverly Hilton. She said that she wouldn't have ever thought that she could have gotten such a great job but she remembered what I told her. That made me feel really, really good.

They all have done better than I could have asked for. The one who is a parent loves his children and is a very good father. So, even at parenting, I think they learned well.

As adults, don't you ever look back and wish that you had set your sights a bit higher? Trust me, after Rick, I can certainly say that I set mine about as low as I could have. But it taught me to teach the kids not to do that. I made sure to tell them that they COULD do whatever they wanted to do. As easy as it would have been for us to have made the right decisions, it's easier just to tell your kids that they don't have to settle for less than they want.

Little monsters do grow up. But it takes 18 years and in all that time, you could be banging things into their heads that will make them set their sites higher than you ever thought about. You could teach them anything with 18 years. The first thing is usually to teach them to pick up after themselves. They have to know that they CAN pick them up. It isn't that hard and they aren't stupid.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Meg,

You are absolutely brilliant! Thanks for giving me another perspective. They always need something from me so I put your advise into action and it worked...they gave me the ole "deer caught in the headlight" stare...but once it sank in they knew they were had!!! HA HA!!

It's taken me a few days to find the time to read my favorite blog site; just figures that as soon as I find a fun way to goof off at work, they give me more work!

Anyway, Congrats to your daughter for her new job. Sounds like a keeper. I basically tell my kids the same thing..."go for it, the worst you can be told is no!"

August 15, 2006  
Blogger Meg said...

As long as you remember that they WILL always need something from you, you'll be ahead of this liitle game. Keep up the good work!

Meg

August 16, 2006  

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