Yesterday, I learned a lesson. Well, really not a lesson that I should have learned. I already knew this I just had it confirmed by my boys.
A daily struggle in our house is keeping rooms cleaned. I admit, even my room gets messy but I do clean it up, well my mess at least. The Hubster has learned to clean his stuff. Anyway, I'm more referring the boys. Man oh man, is it a knocked down and dragged out kinda fight!. Really, I sound like a broken record every single day!
On Saturday, I let them relax and play all day since it was Kid 2 birthday. They all enjoyed a chore free day. I did warn them, however, that they would have to clean up their room on Sunday. Kid 1 and Kid 2 share a room.
Sunday arrived. I was ready for the battle that was sure to ensue. I asked them nicely and patiently to clean up their room. I told them specifically what I needed them to get done. I didn't lose my cool or patience (remember I talked, in a previous blog post, about tethering that patience balloon to me? Well, I had it right by my side.) and I was surprised at the results. They did everything I asked in record time. I also did tell them that if they finished quickly, they were able to go and watch TV or play video games. When they were finished, I asked them if they did everything I asked and went over the mental list. Sure enough, they did it. I didn't even have to threaten them with the "if I go in there and see x, y, z not done...". Everything that I asked for was done.
I don't know if it was my being calm, cool and patient that motivated them to clean their room efficiently or if it was their reward that did it but I'll take what I can get. Granted, the room wasn't perfect but it was good enough and WAY better than before. For some reason, I expect perfection on certain things but let's save that for another time.
Well, the lesson that was confirmed is that I get results with the kids when I clearly specify what I want them to do AND when I am being calm and patient. I can't expect them to do something when I sound like I am being mean. The thing is, I've always known this. I worked in daycare for about 10 years. I know this but why couldn't I always apply to my kids. I have applied it before and it has worked but somewhere along the way, I lost it. Now it is time for me to regain that. I know that I will falter (hopefully not too much) but I have to remember to get back on track. That's the point of this blog, to hold myself accountable when I am putting my journey out there for my peers to see. Yikes!