Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Stark Raving Lunatic

Warning Rant ahead... I feel like a stark raving lunatic, like I am slowly losing whatever little bits I have left of my mind. Why? My children are literally driving me crazy. I don't think asking for respect or asking for chores to be done correctly is asking too much. But apparantly, it is. Night after night, it's the same thing. The daughter gives attitude, the son complains, nothing gets done, I ask them to do a chore or two, they fuss, what little patience I have goes, I lose my temper, yell, etc and what gets accomplished? Nothing. I honestly don't know if I'll survive the teenage years and we haven't even reached them yet! What on earth can I do to change this? Art works nights so I'm home alone with both children, and it's not feasible for him to change shifts. So, it's all left to me and I'm at a loss. I've said before that I'm heading toward a nervous breakdown and partially it was a joke, but there is some truth to that. So, you mom's out there...do you have any advice for another mom at her wit's end?

8 comments:

Art said...

I've been telling you for years that beer is the answer. Let them drink beer and it will calm them down!

Vicki said...

Well, aside from the beer solution (wine is better! they'll sleep for hours!), just think about a few too-short years from now when you're an empty-nester. I know my kids rebelled at chores and homework, and gave me major attitudes, but now that they're 23 and nearly-26, I honestly can't remember the arguments and the groundings and the punishments...I only remember how much fun we had, and I miss having them around.

My dear MIL always reminded me, "This, too, shall pass." That wasn't much comfort at the time, but she was right.

If rewards-and-punishment don't work with your kids, then taking away privileges may. If they're playing-off each other, then find a way to separate them (much easier said than done). The only other thing I can suggest is to be stern with them about doing chores - "no ifs, ands, or buts - this must be done!" and stay with them if necessary.

Laura will remember this well, and she will advise against it, but when a bad word or bad attitude came from a mouth, that mouth got a good dose of washing out with soap (and I used liquid soap - more bubbles, harder to spit out). I think I was pretty fed up to resort to that tactic.

Stace said...

Art - don't ya think I mmight go to the big house if I get caught giving your children alcohol?

vicki - Good ideas, but unfortunately I've tried them to no avail. Right now the children are grounded from the Tv, the computer, dvds, nintendo, phones, i pods, and playing outside. There are no privileges left to take away.

Shionge said...

Oh Stace....I so know what you mean sweetie.

I've 'mastered' the art of tolerance.....I gave reverse psychology and when my elder girl is in a good mood...I talk to her telling her that she needs to do her part.

Shania although 9 this year would help to wash the dishes and Bibi will 'care-off'her mug for Shan to wash LOLz....

So YELL when you feel like it and cool down with a beer yourself :) Then, we talk 'business' with your children.

Hope I help to put a smile on your face sweetie :)

Vicki said...

Well, Stacie, the only thing left is to get drastic. This involves your time, too, unfortunately, unless you have a friend or relative who can help you out. I volunteered my kids to perform visitation at the VA nursing home where Doc worked in Texas. That was a shocker to them. (It was funny to watch them pushing the veterans around in their wheelchairs during the Easter egg hunt, too!)

Think of something they can spend their time doing for someone else. Make it useful and memorable. Is there an elderly person in your church who could use the company of a couple of "adorable" kids? Of course, it would be advisable to have an adult in the vicinity during this time...just in case.

Have you considered eBay? Someone out there might actually pay you for one of the kids, er, I mean, ipod, nintendo, dvds, etc. ;)

Stace said...

Shionge - thanks for the advice. The children are already helping with laundry, dishes, and such and I've tried reverse psychology. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. Maybe I'm not doing it right. ha!

Vicki - leaving them with an 'elderly' person is a good idea as well, but I'm to the point where I'm afraid to leave them with anyone other than our parents and very close friends. With Tad, you never know what he'll find to get into or destroy.

thanks again girls. I do appreciate your thoughts!

Art said...

Actually, I think the volunteering idea is good. Not necesarily with the elderly, but there must be some opportunities out there somewhere...

Vicki said...

Regarding the volunteering, the school system that our kids attended required 300 hours of documented community service as a graduation prerequisite. A lot of organizations (hospitals and Park & Rec depts. come to mind) have volunteer-overseers on staff and a very organized volunteer department.

This is a big commitment, but unfortunately, more for you than for the kids.