Let’s Be Honest… Let’s Be Real…
How often do you find yourself in your child(rens) room, cleaning up after their messes? For me, it was becoming a daily occurrence. No amount of pleading or threatening did the trick. In fact, it seemed to have the complete opposite effect. I would find that I spent more time yelling and checking up on them, then anything else. They would find that, that time was the perfect time, to destroy and throw even more toys on the floor.
I would get so sick of seeing and walking through the sea of toys that were strewn about on their floor, that I would just finally break down and clean it. Only by the next evening, it would be right back to the previous disastrous state that it was. I don’t know any mom, or person for that matter, that can maintain their sanity, after having your work undone time and time again. It’s one thing that crawls right underneath my skin.
I had talked to other mom’s on this subject many of times. I swore that I would be that mom, that would teach her kids to be respectful and mindful of the home they lived in. That they would naturally pick up their items after playing, without batting an eye. Obviously we can see how well that turned out for me. I was desperate to find something that would teach them a valuable lesson.
I think that with anything, we find our breaking moment, where we just become unglued. Where we cannot take one more ounce of feeling the way we do. This moment had come to me this morning, while I was scrubbing the floors in the kitchen, listening to my boys jump & shout on their floor above my head. The steam was literally radiating out of me. Why can’t they just listen? Why do they not ever take me seriously?
I stomped up the stairs angrily, and threw open their door. I sternly told them they had 20 minutes to clean up the mess they had created, or I was boxing up every single toy in their room for good. I went back downstairs and set my timer. I continued working on the floors, only to hear them doing the same stuff they had been before.
That was it for me. They pushed this mama over the edge, and I was determined to change this broken cycle. I grabbed TWO five gallon totes, and proceeded to their room, where I threw every single toy of theirs in. As I watched how quickly those five gallon bins filled up, I became even more disgusted. (Mind you, we have all three of our boys in the same room…) However, I just sat and stared at the mounds of toys that it all accumulated to, and just shook my head in disbelief.
Maybe after all of this time, I was my own worst enemy with this particular situation? How many fricken toys do my kids really need? Because to me, that seemed like far too many! That didn’t even include their tool bench or train table that was left behind in their room. I thought long and hard on what I had created for my own kids, without even thinking about it in that way before.
It got me spinning ideas, on how I can hopefully change all of this around. Something that I have always wanted to teach my children, but have always made excuses for. I decided the best way to teach my children discipline, respect, and gratitude for their things in life, is by showing them through actual experience.
I have already been thinking long and hard about Christmas. After all, its only a few months away! What more do they need? They clearly have far too much. So, in the midst of my anger, came a clear calling. My solution to this mess: I vow to find service projects for my children, that will teach them about the less fortunate, about giving unselfishly to others, about finding gratitude and thankfulness in what they are fortunate to have, that others are not.
In the world that we are facing today as parents, I think it’s more important than ever, to start walking the walk, instead of just talking the talk. I’ll be honest, I’ll be real… I am guilty as ever in not taking my responsibility as a parent more seriously. Our children and the world of tomorrow, depend on us to teach and show them the way. If we are constantly making excuses, turning our cheeks because it’s too much of a burden, or not physically making a positive change, how is anything going to get better? It’s not…
It’s time for us all to start thinking more deeply on how we can make a positive impact, by investing into the futures of our children. I know that it’s hard to break the cycle. The cycle that we so often stick to, because it is how we grew up or were taught. But the beauty and glory of this world & life, and becoming our own parents, is that we have the choice to make a CHANGE. A change that can make the world of a difference…. even from a mess of toys.
It starts with us.
~ Life With Twins Plus 2