Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Feral children

E. (in a much more flattering picture) with L. (in purple) and G. (in pink).

Did I mention how little I did at the end of this pregnancy? I was really not exaggerating about just sitting in a chair. This included actually parenting my children. Oh, I did the basic things. They were fed, clothed, and a modicum of reasonable behavior was expected. But, I gave a lot of passes to other behavior. I just didn't have the energy to be as on top of things as I usually am. Now that I am coming out of the pregnancy fog (it's feels a bit like Dorothy suddenly finding herself in Oz), I am looking around at my younger children and wondering how things have reached the state they have. I am reaping the effects of a lack of schedule and minimum expectations.
So, we are going back to basics. There have been a lot more 'do-overs' around here. The younger ones evidently all need to practice responding and obeying in an appropriate manner and everyone has fallen off the chore wagon. We are slowly climbing back on. Today, the clean-your-room-before-playing rule has been re-implemented. This will be followed by other routines until we are back on top of our game. I need this as much as the children. Appropriate behavior and follow through on chores takes a parent who is consistently monitoring both during the day. 'Consistent' is not a word that I would use to describe my parenting recently and I will also need practice to follow through on my duties to check that what needs to be done is done and done well. It's far more work than actually doing the jobs myself, but that would teach my children nothing except to expect other to do things for them.
I jokingly call the youngers 'feral', but perhaps it's not as bad as all that. No one burned the house down while I was pregnant...A. put a stop to that. And my older children really showed how competent they are. M., B., and A. did the bulk of the cooking and laundry during the last three months and M. even took over the meal planning and grocery shopping the last few weeks. (She hitched a ride to the store with a friend who was already going and I sent her with cash.) Also, while I was in the hospital, M., B., and a friend of theirs completely cleaned the house from top to bottom. It was so nice to come home with the babies to a clean house. The maturity shown by my older children really highlighted for me how important it is to continue with the consistent training of my younger children. I'm sure we all know of families where the younger children were raised very differently from the older children and not always to the younger one's benefit. I pray that God grants me the grace and strength to help all my children grow into competent, mature adults.

1 comment:

Stevens Family said...

Being out of schedule is just so disruptive. This move for us has turned us upside down and we're now having very similar sentiments (back to basics, back to better discipline, etc). They'll all appreciate getting back to basics too I'm sure.

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