Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Power of Youth ~ Raising A House Full of Preteens

Ahh...the joy of tweens and preteens. What happened to my babies who were just happy playing at the park, being close to me and listening once in awhile? In what seems like within a blink of an eye, they went from needing me on every level, to being embarrassed to have me around.

I have two tweens and two teens and they are all very different. Obviously, someone up there feels I deserve some payback for the joyous teen I was many years ago (yes, there may be a bit of sarcasm in there). The most important thing I have come to realize is that you really can't treat these wonderful young adults like the wee ones they once were. On the other hand, they also can't be treated as adults because they still have things to learn. We still have to teach them, even when all you want to do is pull all your hair out and toss them out on the front lawn with their stuff.

The key is listening, gently guiding, making sure they know you're still there and trying to use your own wisdom of teen years to help them make good choices. We simply can't make every decision for them anymore and we need to learn to let go so they can make, and own, those decisions.

That being said, they still live in your house and while they are out there on the stepping stones of life, they still need to contribute. I mean, seriously. I need full Army gear just to walk into their rooms to say good night sometimes. Anyone see that commercial where the mom is invisible, cleaning/picking up after every one else and no one notices because it's always done? Yep. That's our house.

I am very close to all of my children and have instilled in each of them the importance of them being close with each other. One tool we use to help maintain that closeness is humor. I want to share a post I made on my personal Facebook page after a week of stepping back to see if anyone would take it upon themselves to, oh I don't know, clean their rooms, put dishes in the sink, fold their laundry, etc. Don't get me wrong. There are times when they can be very helpful but most of the time, I feel as though I have better communication about chores with the couch cushions.

Today, I'm going to share the post I wrote, which I showed to all my kids. They laughed, but I still had to do stuff because I couldn't stand the disorganization anymore that they all just walk over or through. Share some of your own techniques and strategies. Enjoy!

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Dear children:
I feel that it's time to reintroduce some wonderful appliances and tools in our house that you may not be fully aware of:
First, we have machines in the basement called 'washer and dryer'. The first washes clothes, the latter dries them. Perhaps if we can make an effort to get to know them both, you won't feel the need to leave your clothes all over your room and the rest of the house.
Next, in the kitchen, we have a fridge, stove and dishwasher. I see that you have started a relationship with the stove, but it really likes to be cleaned up once in awhile. Why not wipe it off, especially pot overflowage, flung food that misses plates and various other debris? It may prevent it from becoming resentful and burning your food, which you leave on it too. I know you are very familiar with the fridge but keeping it closed rather than spending 1/2 hour staring into it waiting for a snack to pop out at you may help it stay cool and the food fresh. As for the dishwasher, as much as the sink may enjoy being filled with dirty dishes all day long, why not put them into the dishwasher for kicks and giggles? Then I don't have to hear complaints about stinky dishes and no cups in the cupboard.
As well we have these wonderful tools called a vacuum, broom and mop. Let's say we get them some exercise and clean up all that stuff you complain about sticking to your feet (mostly pet hair that piles up daily to the point we can create a new animal).
We'll tackle cleaners, and the awesome things they can do to bathrooms, kitchens, windows and other areas later this week.
Sincerely,
The Foreman of the House (MOM)

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