Friday, October 28, 2011

Beware: Ranting Ahead.

What happened to the good old days where children were taught RESPECT!? As a child growing up, not SO distantly, in the 80's I was expected to show respect for other people and their property.  It seems these days that less and less children are respectful of ANYTHING.  ALL people should be expected to respect other people and their property.

As a child I was taught to respect my elders.  I called my parents respectful titles of mom, dad, or mommy and daddy.  I called my friend's parents brother or sister so-and-so or mom and dad if they were parents of my best friends.

I was expected to use respectful speech towards everyone.  I was not allowed to swear.  I was not allowed to sass.  In fact the one time I REMEMBER being spanked was because it was my FATHER who spanked me (a very rare occasion) for sassing my MOTHER.  I know I was spanked more than that one time, but that one is ingrained in my memory. 

I was expected to ask permission for things.  If I was hungry I was expected to ask for something, not just take it and go to town.  If I wanted to play on the neighbor's basketball court I was expected to knock on the door and ask their permission, and if they weren't home I didn't play.  If I wanted to go to a friend's house I was expected to ask before going.  If I LEFT a friend's house to go to another friend's house I was expected to call and let my parents know.

I was expected to respect property, my own and others'.  I did not go around trashing my home or others' homes.  I was expected to clean up after myself whether at home or at a friend's.  I was expected to play NICELY with other people's things and not to ruin them.

So...why this rant?  I sit here in my home where I am looking out at a backyard that has been trashed by children (my own and neighbors).  There is garbage ALL OVER.  The children have ripped all the foam off the trampoline net bars and tossed it all over the yard.  Some child has ripped a giant hole in the trampoline net.  There are shoes, jackets, and various other items of clothing strewn across the yard.  Now, I know that my own children are as much to blame as anyone.  Whether or not they participated in the trashing is a moot point: they allowed it to happen.  Guess who will be cleaning it all up?  My children and me, because I realize that it is as much my own fault that this has happened.

I TRY very hard to teach my children respect.  I am not perfect at teaching the concept, and I am not perfect at always enforcing the conecpt.  I'm human, so sue me.  However, teaching your children respect and expecting them to follow through is hard enough.  Add to that, being surrounded by other children who have NO concept of respect and it seems that all my hard training and teaching flies out the window in the face of peer pressure. 

At times I want to ban ALL other children from my house unless they have PROVEN themselves to be respectful and responsible.  However, I know that MY house is a GOOD place for these children to be.  Here they will not be exposed to crude language and questionable media.  Here they will be exposed to a family with values, love, and high expectations.  It feels very much like a catch 22:  If I ban the children from my home they lose the good influence my family can be for them but allowing them into my home is sometimes a tough pill to swallow as they have no respect for other people or their property.  What is a girl to do?

Thanks for allowing me to rant.  Now I can get my rear in gear and take care of the backyard.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

House Craziness

After having read the Duggar's book "The Duggars: 20 and Counting" I was inspired to try a few things in our home.  Some of my inspirations dealt with homeschool and others dealt with the layout of our home.  This post deals with the changes to our house.  The first change we made in our home was to create a clothes room in the laundry room.  We moved all of the kid's clothes downstairs and they hang in a built in organizer that was already in our laundry room.  Ben and I hope to be able to add our clothes to the mix downstairs when we have the funds to purchase something for the clothes to hang on.  This has helped us out quite a bit.  1) We no longer have the issue that laundry gets DONE but never PUT AWAY.
2) We don't have as much trouble with clean clothes getting left on the floor of the kids's rooms and then rewashed because no one knows if they're clean or dirty.
3) The girls don't change clothes 5 times a day!

The next inspiration I had was that I felt the prompting to move the kids downstairs and create one room for the kids to share and move the family room upstairs to the main level.  Eventually, when we have the money we will actually build walls and have a boys room and a girls room but for now the 3 older kids are all together.  They LOVE being in the basement and I love having the family room upstairs in our main living area.  There are many things I love about my new set up.
1) There is no reason for ANY kids to be downstairs unless they are cleaning or doing laundry.
2) With nothing much more than just beds in the kids's room the room stays very neat and clean
3) They are right by all their clothes in the laundry room so they just wake up, make their beds, and get dressed before coming upstairs.
4) We spend more time together in the family room doing things as a family.
5) With the family room on the main level it is very easy to keep tabs on what the kids are watching and what they are playing.
6) It has made my front room a room that is usually company ready.
7)I'm not so worried about questionable neighborhood kids getting them to do bad things because I'm always in the know about what's going on.
8) All the toys just SEEM to be more accessible upstairs and the kids have played more with their toys than EVER.

All in all I LOVE the new set-up of my house and I am SO glad that we swapped everything.  I am thankful for revelations and inspirations that can come from so many good sources.  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Week off school doesn't mean off work

We have hit our first scheduled week long break of our school year!!!  Yay!!  Around here we don't do 3 day weekends like the public schooled kids.  Why?  Because Ben always has to work them and they're just another day around here.  So I scheduled week long breaks about every 5-6 weeks throughout the school year.  Yesterday started the first break, but is it really a break?  This week off of school is being used for chore training.  I am working on training the kids to do the chores the way I WANT them done.  I made up check lists and everything.  Today's focus?  How to pick up a room.  All of the children participated since all of them have at least ONE room they are in charge of to pick up.  Audrey has the TV side of the family room, Marissa has the front room and toy side of the family room.  Trent has his bedroom.  Other chores on the docket are the toilet, sink, tub, sweeping, mopping, vacuuming, clearing and washing the table to name a few. 
I will not excpect the children to execute their chores perfectly without guidance and adult support yet....well Audrey will be expected to, but not the others. 
We'll see how THIS plan goes..... 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Opinions wanted

Sooo....Ben and I have been contemplating puting all of the kids downstairs in the now family room.  All the kids would bunk downstairs with a curtain to separate the boy side from the girl side.  (Eventually we plan on making 2 permanent rooms down there and a bathroom)  Then all the family room stuff (couches, toys, TV, ect.) would be moved into the current master bedroom and become the family room.  Ben and I would move back into our old room (currently Trent's room) and the girls' current room would become a guest bedroom.  WHY you ask would we want to attempt this?  Mainly because with only bedrooms downstairs kids have no reason to BE downstairs unless it's bedtime.  It would put the family room up on the main level and make it easier for me to keep tabs on the kids when certain friends are over to play. 
So, what do you think?