You gotta have a New Year’s post … so even though this is my take on New Year resolving:
(…just sayin’ – and thanks FB friends for putting up with that twice :)
– welcome to my New Year post.
Thanks to my great PR gals that encouraged me to come up with a Top Ten list… here you go. If you’d rather listen than read (sometimes earphones are just the ticket to some sanity – just sayin’ again!) – check out what Jim Daly & John Fuller had to say when they were very, very nice to invite me share at Focus on the Family. Our program – Eradicating the Entitlement Attitude of our Kids airs today and tomorrow. I had no idea, but they are sending a copy of Cleaning House to anyone sends a gift of any amount to Focus – Donate today (in addition to their incredibly helpful daily radio program, these are our Plugged In – Movie Review, Thriving Family, and so much more folks!). Wow. If you’ve every thought about sharing a link to the moatblog to your friends… today’s the day. (smile)
I also was asked me to encourage any of you kind Pinning souls, to Pin the Cleaning House cover on your boards. You know I’m not big into asking things (which seems to not be ringing true about now)… but I begrudgingly do what I’m told. So I’ve added a pic of the cover at the end of this post. All with a big shout-out of “I love you guys” and “THANKS” for putting up with me… and mostly for walking the road with me (I’m serious about that last one. It would be lonely and cold out there alone…oh so cold. Those teen-dished “whatever” eye-rolls pack a sting.)
Anyway on to our
Top Ten Strategies to Tackle Entitlement in 2013
10. Be honest . . . with yourself and with your kids. The first step to change is admitting, “I have a problem.” Welcome to Enablers Anonymous. It might not be pretty, but we’ve all driven here on the road paved with good intentions.
9. Have a family meeting. Announce the plan and involve the participants. If everyone owns it, the seeds sprout and grow.
8. Gather like-minded friends. It’s lonely doing anything seemingly alone, especially when swimming upstream. So grab some friends and do it together.
7. Keep your eyes on the goal by looking back. George Washington at 16 was surveying Culpepper County, Va. – without his parents!; at age 12, Blaise Pascal worked out the first 23 propositions of Euclid by himself; at age 15 Louis Braille invented the Braille system; at age 14 my friend Jackie worked at her local dry cleaner—responsible for daily deposits and closing up the store. The point is . . . kids are more than capable.
6. Set the bar high. Kids, like all of us, thrive on high expectations. Seriously, who likes to work for someone who takes your stuff and does it over or steps in and completes it for you? Our kids don’t like it either.
5. Think Teflon. Don’t be fooled by the whines; let the “noooooo” and “why me?!” barrage hit and slide right off. Those kids are only feigning disdain. They actually crave feeling useful and needed.
4. Pack any baggage and park it outside—forever. Whatever fears buckle a parent’s knees (“my kid will be left out,” “their feelings will be hurt,” “they will never get into college,” “they will fail if I don’t – or pay someone to – do it for them”) can and should be disregarded. Kids can do so much more than we or they think. Teach them how to do a task. Train them by getting out of the way. Then watch mountains formerly seen as obstacles morph into opportunities.
3. Welcome and keep your hands off a kid’s failure. There are few prouder moments than witnessing your child fall, get up, fall, get up, stay up and capitalize on new-found strength, determination and real self-esteem.
2. Learn to use and mean the words, “I’m happy for you.” Despite our best efforts to make it a competition, parenting isn’t about one-upping each other. It’s about loving our kids and celebrating their unique gifts and talents. It’s OK to celebrate our friends’ talents and teach our kids to do the same. More than OK . . . dare we admit, liberating.
1. Get ready to catch yourself saying: “Who knew?!” “Who knew my kids could do so much?” “Who knew they could serve their sibling?” (I mean how else can you describe a boy folding his sister’s underwear, or a girl cleaning her brother’s bathroom!) “Who knew they could be so happy?” “Who knew gaming, texting and social media could take a back seat?” “Who knew they just wanted someone to believe in them . . . and that family responsibilities were just the ticket?”
There you have it… enough already :)
Thanks for tagging along… and Happy New Year!
Kay I loved your book! I agree that today we as parents love to pick up the slack for our kids out of “love” and “helpfulness” for them, but instead are doing them a huge disservice. I’ve been trying with my 9 & 11 year old boys for the past few years to help them discover that yes, they can do things they thought otherwise, like their own laundry (which is where we started in the task department). My question for you, though, is how to motivate our kids to get them to the point where they do it for themselves without having to be reminded, nagged, or create a battle zone between parents and kids. Help!
Heard your radio broadcast yesterday! Loved it! Was encouraged and challenged by the things you had to say. Excited to read your book!
I am almost done reading your book just started it today……LOVE IT!!!
I also suffer from the same enabler, controller and procrastination issues as you.
Your book really hit home for me. Thank you!!
Jen … first of all, thanks (!) for sweet words about Cleaning House. And I think, but could be wrong, but one of the operative words in you note is “boys”. I’ve noticed with my guys there’s lots more reminding. They tend to do a great job once they get going, but my word. And I have one that consistently throws in some whining for good measure. I had one shoot me a good-measure glare today just to make sure I knew he was unhappy. But with them, it usually doesn’t last long (and sure gets shorter and shorter – mostly b/c I don’t listen – and excess whining doesn’t end well for them … just sayin’ :) I often think of sweet Jody Capehart’s (one of our great guest bloggers and Ironing Board member) encouragement to “not engage”. But I’m in the trenches with you, girl … so happy to not be going it alone! I will say, that the most motivating thing for all my kids is a job well done. Just last night Jon & I walked in from a night out with our kids as sitters – the kitchen was clean, dishes unloaded & loaded and even clothes in the washer (GET OUT!) What motivated them? I think a conversation earlier in the day that involved words like, “You can do this” and “have you forgotten how amazing you are at folding the clothes” – Sometimes I think they do forget how good it feels to add their skills and talents to the pot. Seems silly, those positive reminders consistently produce … To offer a little more help, let’s put the question out there and hopefully get a post out of it to help all of us.
Kerry & Dorie – Thanks SO much! You guys put some major wind in my sails.
And HUGE Thank You to ALL of you that have been so sweet to share the book and blog with friends. I’m humbled to say the least and so thankful to be walking it with y’all.
I got a call, while at work, from my daughter’s school saying she had ripped the crotch of her gym pants and needed a change of clothes. I hopped in my car wondering why this was happening to me – and wondering what my daughter did to receive that kind of trauma to her sweats. I listened to the local Christian station and heard this broadcast – completely by surprise, I ran inside the house, grabbed the sweats, took them to school, got her dressed (she’s 6) and headed back to the parking lot where I finished the broadcast. Everything you said hit home to me. The story about the microwave popcorn is my mother-in-law to a T. She won’t even let my child (who just turned 7) buckle her own seat belt. I struggle with parenting. Really struggle. But I can go to other moms homes and figure their kids out, just not my own. I have worked with 2 of my friends on their sons autistic behaviors and have begun teaching one of them sign language because he gets so frustrated with his emotions that I thought it might help for him to SHOW them and it works great. Everyone can communicate with him now. And yet, reading an 8 page book and writing 2 sentences takes my daughter 2 hours! I’ve tried threatening, timing, taking things away – nothing works.
I ordered your book from B&N and I’m hoping it gets here soon. I could sure use some help.
Oh, and we had a massive snowstorm and my husband went to Walmart and bought her a shovel so she wouldn’t pummel him with snowballs while he shoveled out our drive and the elderly neighbor next door. She didn’t do a great job (as she was more playing than anything) but she loved the value of “helping” and they went on to do both neighbors beside us and 2 houses across the street.
I just finished reading your book, and followed the link to your blog…. Earlier this year I was feeling very overwhelmed with everyday tasks and realized that I was still doing stuff for my kids that they could do for themselves. At 10 and 12, I really didn’t need to pick out their clothes or pack their lunches anymore, but I did. It all started simply enough, and then it was just easier to do it myself. I started on this journey about a year ago, and what a difference a year makes. I love the book, and there are a few things you did I am going to try, but mostly, I love not being alone on this journey.
Read your book and I love it!!! I started jan 1st doing the money in the jar thing. I must say my 11 year old son has done great picking up his things and keeping his bathroom clean. He doesn’t want to see a dollar leave his jar. I wish I had read your book sooner.