Friday, July 3, 2009

Can't live with 'em, can't sell 'em on Craigslist.

I've noticed a lot of my mommy friends are encountering the same stressful problem right now. Our seemingly delightful offspring are fighting more and it's bugging the snot out of us all. Summer is here and we're still trying to get everything done that we normally do, only now we've got all these little needy people in the house and no school to send them off to during the day...and they're BORED little needy people.

Planning things to keep them busy will work to cut the fighting down a lot, but I know I'm not always that on-the-ball. So when we fall asleep at the Parental Wheel and the fighting begins, what can we do to keep our cool?

There are a couple of quick and easy fixes, that I use myself, They really will work. I just need to remember them in my day.

Say this. Don't think about it, just say it.

"I charge a dollar a minute to listen to children argue. Solve it yourselves."

Then look at the clock. Those kids will skedaddle out of there faster than you can blink. If it comes to fisticuffs, so be it. They'll learn other ways of solving their disagreements without bringing you into it.

For those kids who have no sense and very few cents, toys can be easily substituted for cash. Only the most awesomely cool, most played with toys are confiscated. Then they have the opportunity to earn the toys (or money) back by replacing the energy they drained out of you in doing some extra chore(s).

One for the tweens and/or teens who need to be chauffeured everywhere is this little gem: "I'll drive you to (wherever) as soon as ____, ____ and ____ are done." If these ____s are not completed before it's time to leave, the kid doesn't go. Simple as that. Their friends' birthday parties are not a grade requirement.

Whatever you need to get done today, make your job less stressful by getting those able-bodied young'uns to help. They live there, too. Home is more than a place for them to eat and sleep and ask for sh*t.

These are actually a couple of techniques I picked up from Parenting with Love and Logic, and although I can't take credit for them, I can certainly tell you that Love and Logic really does work.

Even the toddlers can do this stuff! It keeps me ahead of the AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH Moments when I remember to use it.

I hope I've just made your day easier. If you like these, use them. If you don't, forget them. Just remember that we DON'T have to do it all. Really. Keep your cool. It's summer and it's a jungle out there.

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