Simple living tip

April 12, 2007

Let things go.  That is right, let things go. 

A friend just called frantic on how to get her children to clean their rooms.  My friend has sunk into the pit of despair because her 4 children now expect her to pick up after them constantly.  For years she would ask them to clean their rooms, put away toys, etc. etc…. when it wasn’t being done fast enough or good enough, she would step in and take over.  Until she was on the verge of a nervous breakdown because she realized she was doing everything, including the kids projects.  You know the drill.   I can’t find my shoes, mom I can’t do this project will you help me do it (which inevitably leads to her doing it without them), mom, mom, mom.   This would go along until she was at her limit and then she would impose arbitrary punishment.  The kids have her down pat.  They do what they want and mom does all the work.  Occassionally  mom yells or grounds or spanks but it doesn’t last long until they are back to doing what they want. 

I am a huge fan of natural consequences.  My advice was….don’t.  Eventually, they will not be able to find something necessary for school, a play-date or something else.  Don’t offer to help them find it.  Leave them to their suffering, even if it means they have to go to school without shoes (it might help to call the school ahead of time and let them know what you are doing).    Look at them helplessly, commiserate at their situation and say “I am so sorry honey, but you are responsible for this and if you don’t have it, x is what happens.”  and walk away.

There is only so much you can do in life.  Simplify your life by letting go and letting the kids or the husband do their share of the work in the house.  

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