No More Picking up After the Kiddos – I’m Over It!
What’s it like teaching your kiddos to do something on their own? It’s great to teach independence. As the kiddos become more independent I have less on my multitasking plate. However, teaching something new– correctly - takes time, patience and a little bit of my sanity. But, if I have any hope of reducing my multi-tasking load, I will have to learn not to say ‘Just, let me do it. I have this problem when it comes to the kiddos cleaning up after themselves. Having a Just let me do it attitude has created children who turn a blind eye to messes. It all started because I was tired of yelling, over it in fact. Every week (that’s 52 times 13+ years to be exact) I have had to yell to remind one kiddo or another to put up shoes left abandoned by feet so willing to be the first to the remote or for someone to come back and pick up towels or clothes thrown all about their bedroom. I was tired of yelling, “WHO LEFT THIS MESS?!”, only to get the same old responses: ‘Not me.’ And ‘I don’t know who did it.’ I was over calling for all three to come to the scene of the ‘crime’ and spend the next five to ten minutes trying to sort out ‘Who done it’. I no longer found it beneficial to my blood pressure to play detective - trying to remember who was the last person that I saw in the room with the mess, then having to stand over the kiddos with evidence in hand asking: ‘Whose markers or crayons are all over my bedroom floor? Who was the last one to actually touch the scissors or glue stick? It’s enough some days to make me want to run away. The yelling and pointless interrogations wore me down. Over the years, instead of opening my mouth and readying my diaphragm full of air to yell, I have resorted to fixing the messes myself. No more! More than fussing I am tired of cleaning up after people. Now, I am tired of spending thirty to forty five minutes of my life picking up remnants of a project the kiddos started, or blankets and pillows they morphed into a pallet to watch TV or a movie. Only to return to the same room five minutes later to see that my children have decided to re-create the same mess. I’ve decided to make a change, to work through the aggravation and frustration of cleaning reminders until the kiddos finally learn how to pick up after themselves. Training starts this summer. It will require plenty of nagging and extra fussing (if that’s even possible). And great restraint on my part to take the words ‘Just let me do it’ out of my vocabulary. It’s either that…or run away.