parenting teens

My Kids Don’t Clean Up!

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Are You Raising Slobs?

I love when my house is clean and tidy.  It keeps me from feeling stressed and allows me to sit down without thinking about what I should be doing instead.

But, my family is not so concerned about how the house looks.  

It’s a constant warfare trying to get my kids to clean up their messes or pick up trash instead of step over it.  

So, for 2019, I’ve made it their personal goals to learn not to be a slob.  

Yep, this year will be the year they will learn to be more responsible and helpful.  

But guess what, they will not learn it overnight.  And, it’s going to take a lot of effort on my part.  Gasp…

However, it’s very important to me that when they are adults, their spouses do not question their slobbish tendencies.  Because guess what? That directly reflects on their parents. Yep! Guess whose responsibility it is to teach your kids how to keep things tidy and clean?  Yours!

The earlier you start the better!

But you also have to stay on top of it.  You cannot be lazy about this or they will be lazy.  Most kids are not naturally organized and tidy, unless you’ve  been working with them since they were able to clean up their first mess.  

So in the art of training, I have some tips for you.  

There is no right way to do this.  Pick what works for you and your family.  

There is a wrong way...not doing anything and just doing it all yourself.  

Here are a few things I’m going to start doing right now:

#1 They are responsible for clearing the table after supper.

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#2 The kids will alternate  washing dishes after supper while I supervise (for a little while) to ensure they are learning the correct way to do dishes.  

#3 I’m putting up signs throughout the house to remind them to :

  1. Empty the trash before it’s overflowing!

  2. Wash their dishes when they bring them to the sink!

  3. Wipe the toilet seat if they sprinkle it!

#4 I used to do this one and somehow stopped: instill a 10 minute tidy up daily before bedtime.  

#5 I also used to do this and quit (insert eyeroll): what gets left out, goes in a trash bag.  They can a) earn it back in 24 hours or b) it gets donated.

Here are some other tips from Focus on the Family.  I especially liked #1 and #6. I may import those into my plan too!  

And here are some ideas for keeping up with chores that I’ve pinned over the years!

Happy Training!!!

Dayna

P.S.

Do you also struggle with a family of slobs?  Let me know in the comments the 1 thing you want to teach your kids about tidyness.    


What If You Are The One Name Calling?

Hey friends! I haven't dropped in for a while!  Please forgive me.  I've been working on too many things.  Today I was reflecting on a theme that came up last week in my practice and had some inspiration to hop on here and share with you.

Sometimes I get questioned about what a particular word means...

A lot of time it has a negative meaning...

Children and teens often know it's negative because of the tone of voice or because of the owner of those words that are spewed.  But it's not until they ask what it means that they truly feel the effects of that nastiness.

This happened recently in my practice.

We teach our children not to name call.  "Don't be a bully!"  "Don't call people names because it's not nice."  "Try to be the bigger person", we tell them.

...........BUT WHAT IF YOU ARE THE ONE DOING THE NAME-CALLING...............

Let that sink in a second..........................

What if YOU (the one telling your child not to name call) are the one name calling?

And I'm not even talking about calling people names when you don't like that person.

Nope!  I'm talking about calling your child a negative name.

"You are lazy!"

"You are so dumb!"

"You are hateful and mean!"

"You are vindictive and spiteful!"

"You are such a loser!"

"You are annoying!"

"You are so ugly!"

Need I go on???

Friends, we cannot fill our children with these negative labels!!!  Yes your child may act lazy some days, but don't we all feel lazy sometimes?  If I was labeled as Lazy because some days I don't feel like or want to do things, I would never do anything because well "I'm Lazy, so who cares anyway?".   Self-fulfilled prophecy guys!  If you don't know what that means, google it!

Our children and teens already carry so much weight on their little shoulders and hear so many negative things at school, on the playground, on Netflix, Youtube..... Let us not fill their minds with negativity that comes from our mouths!  We are supposed to build our babies up, not tear them down!

So what if this touches your heart, but you've already done some damage by name-calling?

Put on your big girl/boy panties and apologize to that child!

Tell them mommy/daddy is sorry for saying those things and ask them to forgive you.  Tell them that some days you feel frustrated, but it's not their fault.  Let them know you love them and you are going to work on how you talk to them when you feel a certain _______ (angry, frustrated, irritable).

Build that child up!  Fill them with positive labels and help them overcome those times when you want to throw out a negative name for them.  Take responsibility as their parent to build up their character flaws (just like you do for your own flaws) and stop name-calling and putting them down.

Name calling is bad parenting.  But it's not the end all for you or your child.  Just regroup and fix it.  We all make mistakes in our parenting.  What we do with that mistake to grow as a parent is what is important.

If you feel you have really messed up, reach out.  I can give you some tips on what to say.

Leave a comment below or email me if you are too embarrassed to say it here.

Use this information to make your week great!

Talk to you soon!

Dayna

 

 

Avoidance Causes You To Miss Out!

Do you ever avoid situations or people because it’s too stressful or painful to be in that experience? Avoidance is a natural human defense mechanism, but sometimes it can be detrimental to our own growth and happiness.  

Today, I was walking through our freshly cut hay-field to get a message to my husband and father-in-law.  While talking to a family friend who was present, I said “I love the smell of fresh cut hay, but it does not love me.”  I knew for even the maybe 5 minutes I was standing there, I was going to have some discomfort. As I walked away, I noticed itching in my legs.  Then while driving away, I could feel a little discomfort in my breathing.

You see, I am a very allergic person.  But I live in the country where I am exposed to all things I am allergic too.  Now, I could move (but I’m pretty sure I’d have to leave my husband behind), but staying here is more beneficial to me than avoiding.  

 

Not to mention how BEAUTIFUL it is where I live!  

So what is an allergic country girl to do?

Be Aware…

If you know situations cause you discomfort (maybe it’s not an allergy but more depression, anxiety, post traumatic stress, panic), be aware of those triggers.  I am aware of what triggers my allergies and am prepared for the consequences of being around them.

Find the Win…

For me, I was able to see God’s beauty in this hayfield.  I took a beautiful picture of it. Being outdoors is so inspiring and calming to me.  It’s worth it to have the experience!

Have a Plan…

So let’s say you are going to be around family that triggers your depression or anxiety…  If it’s not an unhealthy relationship, and you want a connection with that person, then have a plan of how you will combat the negative reactions your body will likely experience.  

  • Know your limits and have a plan of escape.  

When I am around certain people from my past who tend to cause difficulty for me, I make sure I visit them instead of them visiting me.  This way I can leave when I’m ready instead of having them in my home wishing they would leave already and not wanting to ask them to leave.  

If your reaction is anxiety or panic, make sure you have a go-to method for calming your body and mind.  

Sometimes avoidance is good when it’s too overwhelming for you to manage.  But just remember, avoidance can become a very unhealthy way to cope, and you will miss out on some great life experiences and connections.  

Need some assistance in creating your plan?

Click Here to Download a Free Worksheet!

Then, comment below and share with me how avoidance affects your life!  

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Dayna Sykes

Licensed Child & Teen Therapist

Gordonsville Counseling & Play Therapy

 

P.S.  If you have a teen girl who struggles with avoidance and you’ve tried everything to help her break out of this, then Empowering Teen Girls Group may be just what she needs to build her confidence, boost her ability to cope with difficult situations, and learn to connect with others in the process.  

P.P.S  Do you tend to walk on eggshells around your teen and avoid her throughout the day?   Every effort you make causes her to lash out and become angry. Sign up for my free email course, “Learn to Connect Better with Your Teen”, and get 5 days of action steps you can take to better support and connect with your teen.  Just Click Here!