Oct 5
Parenting Corner – I Feel Like a Maid!

Q: I am constantly picking up my kids stuff around the house despite how many times I ask them to pick it up themselves. I feel like a maid, what can I do?

A. Great question! This can be very frustrating. Since kids can easily “turn off” their parent’s voice it is important to create consequences for when they choose not to listen. During elementary schools years it is helpful to show them the action you expect. Ask once; if your child does not respond, go get them, hold their hand, bring them to the item, have them pick up the object, walk them to where it gets put away and have them put it where it belongs. If you do not start reinforcing standards with the little things when they are young, you will not be able to enforce more important standards when they are older. From 2nd grade to 5th grade consequence become a vital part of the lesson. One suggestion is to take away the item for one week. (I had a box in my room where items were stored and then released a week later.) For middle school and high school children it can be a challenge taking away certain items for an extended period of time, especially computers, sneakers and phone; therefore it may be helpful to provide your kids with options for getting their items back – they could be required to do a chore to earn the item back or they could buy the item back. (My kids can buy the item back immediately for *$10 OR they can wait two weeks and get it back for free.) Our job as parents is not to make life easier for our kids but to teach them lessons that will serve them as they get older.  For example, items left around a common area in college or an apartment are unintentionally picked up by others, thrown away or worse case scenario, stolen. It takes extra time in the beginning, but teaching them to pick up their stuff is a win-win for everyone in the end.

*NOTE: The payment I take from my kids go into envelopes with notes on them as a reminder of why they had to pay me – although my daughter thinks she is funding our retirement, my plan is to give them the envelopes of money along with the notes when as parents they call me complaining about picking up their kid’s stuff.

laughingLaura Treonze, serves as Chief Life Strategist with LMT Consulting, which helps executives and teams create massive success through self-awareness. Her life-changing approach has transformed individuals and families and has redefined the way non-profits and corporations “do” business.