I am proud to say that something I have been trying to teach my boys is finally sinking in.
I give my boys everything they want, not material things, but I allow them to do most of what they want to do. However, I don't give them everything just because. They have to "earn" it. Whatever it is. I expect them to be good listeners, good children, kind to each other, considerate, respectful and responsible.
My boys have all these traits. The one thing, however, that they are lacking in, is the responsibility in taking care of their chores. I realize that with time and continuity, they will get it.
Their room (I'm referring to my oldest two now) often resembles as if a herd of elephants just finished their yearly migration. It is chaotic! And you can forget what their playroom looks like, it's worse at times.
Every so often, I go through their room and playroom and model/show them how to organize their toys and clean it up. It seems they need this reminder from time to time. They're kids. They are not concerned with keeping their room or playroom cleaned. They have more important things to do, right.
Several weeks ago, I'd gotten fed up with their room and playroom. I gave them a talking to and said that I allow them to do everything they want to do. I only expect for them to be responsible with their room and playroom and keep it cleaned and organized. I told them: You give to me and I give to you. If we can help each other out that way, we won't have any problems. For days I would reiterate this.
Their bedroom has been looking way better than it has in the past. They are not allowed to do anything else until their room is organized. We're still working on the playroom. It's a work in progress.
Now that this long winded back story is over, I can now share how do I know that the lesson is sinking in. I think. They are home from school today due to the weather. Their room was cleaned fine but their playroom was beyond a mess, not to mention the TV room. And they were beyond wild. I mean just wild! After lunch, I told them they needed to relax their bodies in their room either reading or drawing. Fine. 15 minutes later they asked if they could play on my Nexus 7. I told them no because I needed for them to relax for just a bit without technology and that my N7 needed charging.
Five minutes later, my oldest comes to me and says "But Mommy, what happened to the "I give you, you give me" rule (I assume that my oldest two talked about this). What could I say. He got me there. They gave me 15 minutes of silence, the least I could do was allow them to play with my N7, right. I did explain to him that my N7 did need to charge good before I allowed them to play with it. He understood.
The point is that they are getting it. You can't expect to get something in return when you don't put the work in. Whatever it may be. I hope I'm doing the right thing in guiding my children in the right path and teaching them values and traits that will make them wonderful adults and a great contribution to our society. That is my goal as a mother.