Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Just When You Thought Mom Was Done Making Rules

    I admit it, I secretly want the perfect family.  Doesn't everyone?  But, being a realist, I gave up on that idea ages ago.  Plus, being a single Mom with six kids makes it really difficult to be everywhere at once.  Although my super-powers of being able to tell what every sound means and my ability to hear even the slightest of those sounds helps a lot.
    I actually thought I had been doing a pretty good job.  I raised my children in a church-going home.  Not just going to church but volunteering at church too.  I wanted them to learn how to help others so I encourage  my kids to volunteer in any ways I can think of {I can say encourage, right? I mean, it applies to moderate pushiness too, right?} like our weekly volunteering at our local thrift shop. I don't like swearing or the boys odd need to herald in bodily functions with banners, flags, marching bands and loud announcements.  But I admit I sometimes giggle when they do.  For the most part, my kids are really well-behaved and I get lots of compliments on them.
   Other factors often come into play though, don't they?  Things like friends, odd classmates - I'm talking football players here, Mom picking up on her friends cursing - aren't I too old to mimic? and differing parenting styles.  But I think I found a way to deal with this.  My gang and I decided we needed more rules.  Yes, you read that right.  My kids were involved in the decision.  We sat down together and decided what needs to be worked on to make our home a loving and peaceful {peaceful?} home.
   Here are some of the things they chose to stop saying or doing: “Moron”, “Stupid”, or any other name calling, Insults, Lying-my pet peeve, “Shut up”-my downfall, Swearing, No playing the Handicap card-William's weapon of choice. Actions: No Poking, No Hitting, No Shoving, Not following the rules, Not doing what your told by anybody in charge. No embarrassing others.
   Some may think these sound extreme and others might think my family sounds crazy but I have a houseful of teenagers {God help me} and they did help pick out these and several other issues for the list. Who am I to argue with what my kids feel needs to be fixed?

We wrote all of these areas down and Andrew hung it on the fridge for all to see.  {I even sent a copy to William's Special Ed teacher so she can help reinforce it.} I put out six jars.  {Matthew is an adult and seemingly flawless so he doesn't need to be part of this, but Mom does need to curb her occasional questionable wording.}  I do have some pretty rocks but I decided to begin with something smaller in case we have serious issues, so we are using navy beans.  For every infraction the wrong-doer puts a navy bean in their jar.  At the end of the month I will reward the best behaved one with something of their choosing {we did set a price limit to keep this fair}.

Everyone is embracing this new idea so it looks like it's going to work.....

crossing fingers.....

rubbing my shamrock necklace.....



  1. Wow. Accountability. I thought that was a thing of the past! Good job, mama!

  2. Thank You! I'm so glad we keep open communication and friendship between us all.

  3. This is great!! The Lucky Mom nailed it with her comment... Accountability! Seems to be lost on most people anymore, especially those rotten kids in supermarket stores whose parents seem to be oblivious to their bad behavior. Good on you, and especially with 6 kids! Bravo!!

    (The Dash Between)


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