When is enough - enough?
My children don't blatantly misbehave - while looking at you.
My children don't do things they KNOW they are not supposed to do - just because I'm not watching.
My children don't beat the crap out of each other all the time - just because things don't go their way.
My children don't act like total fools at my dinner table - after being sent away twice to get it together.
The Coach and I have been addressing it.
In fact, there are currently so many toys in "time out" in my room that I can't get up to pee without putting my foot in a millennium falcon ship or tripping over a laundry basket full of dolls. My TV hasn't been on for any length of time in three days. My hallway has been occupied by a kid in time out more often than not. Little people have been going to bed early.
We loaded up to head out to church tonight and the behaviors only got worse on the way. We did a u-turn halfway to church - and came back home.
The Coach and I agreed that we did not have their attention. The children were not listening.
Enough is enough.
We drove straight back home and sat down at the dinner table for a family meeting. If you don't have family meetings - I highly recommend it!
Family meetings out our house are very simple - we have them to set new goals for our family or to address issues that have arisen. Ours are very basic:
- we meet at the dining room table
- I take notes - keep record of what is decided upon (very official sounding isn't it?)
- everyone gets to comment on each topic - one at a time
- at the end of the meeting, the kids can share if they have anything they think that the Coach and I should be doing a better job at - or wishes they have for our family
Tonight we talked about being selfish. We talked about being respectful. We talked about how our family is at our best when we work together.
We talked about how life is going to be very different around here until everyone is not selfish and respectful.
Then (because I have learned that talking is never enough, there must be actions), I removed prized possessions from both rooms with big laundry baskets.
Now, I have their attention.
They too know that enough is enough.
Being a member of our family requires making choices based on make choices and decisions based on: trust, honesty, obedience, service, kindness, and commitment.
With those lofty but attainable goals comes many privileges.
Until children in my home can prove to me that they make good choices, we are going to be short on privileges.
What do you do when your children make poor choices?