Tag Archives: discipline

Time for Re-establishing

After lots of traveling over Christmas and New Year’s, we had our first quiet week at home this week. Our co-op did meet on Monday, so that day was full, and Tuesday the girls had music lessons, but that was all we had on the calendar. And, for a few days our car was in the shop, so I couldn’t have gone anywhere anyway. I had anticipated getting a lot done, including unpacking from our trips, putting away the Christmas decorations, and cleaning the house.

But the house is still a mess and the Christmas tree is still up. Instead, this was the week of re-establishment.

First, we had to re-establish our school hours, and it took a couple of days before the routine was set again. Some of that time was also spent looking for workbooks that somehow disappeared. One math book is still on the loose.

Then we re-established the daily chore plans, including the “before breakfast” and “after school” lists. After several weeks of letting daily chores slip by, it’s nice to have some helping hands with the housework again.

Because adjusting to school and chores again can be tough, we had to re-established the “No Whining Rule.” That one was a little harder and involved a few more tears, but it’s coming along too.

We also re-established the “Video and Computer Games May Only be Played on Saturdays” rule. We set up this rule about a year ago when I felt the boys were spending too much time at the games, and it works well for our family. During holidays, however, it’s an easy one to bend, especially if they get a new one for Christmas.

Looking at the state of our house this week, one (especially my husband) might wonder what we did at home all day. But we did work at some hard things, and the year is off to a good start, even if the house isn’t. 🙂

Photo by Grafixar

Stop the Whining!

cohdra100_1411Remember in the ‘90s, when exercise guru Susan Powter used to appear on a television infomerical shouting, “Stop the insanity!” Well, some days I feel as stressed as she looked, and I just want to clench my fists over my head and shout, “Stop the whining!”

Whining has been a big struggle for us over the past year. We’re finishing up our school year this month; we’re a little behind, in part because of family issues, in part because of whiney children that just don’t want to do their school work. Often when I give them assignments they will moan, groan, and complain until I give in and shorten it. If I remain tough and keep the assignments as they are, the complaining continues until my patience wears out and my anger takes over. I just want to shout at them (and sometimes I do): “Stop the whining!”

But maybe it’s actually me who needs to “stop the whining.” Maybe I need to stop fussing about their attitudes and just deal with them instead. After all, a good work ethic doesn’t always come naturally – but I believe it’s something that can be learned, or rather, taught. Instead of getting angry, I could come up with ways to motivate them to get their work done – perhaps by taking away privileges, perhaps by adding extra assignments, perhaps by rewarding those who work hard without complaining. A little creative discipline could go a long way in teaching them to do their schoolwork, completely, well, and in a timely manner – skills that they’ll need for college and beyond.   

So, “Stop the whining!” might just be our catchphrase for this next school year. I’ll let the children know just what is required in regards to their attitudes and performance. And as I follow through and become more consistent with the consequences, I believe we’ll all whine a lot less and accomplish a lot more.