Another School Day

Today was the day that mom started to lose her cool. Another homeschooling day. I’ve been tired and have way too much to do. The house is a mess and the kids aren’t listening. This does not make for a good homeschooling day. It’s still not a bad day. The kids did do their work, all of it. I’m proud of them for doing it. It’s the stuff that goes undone because of their not cooperating when their school work is done. So what have I done to make things hopefully move smoother tomorrow? Ah, the joys of being a mom. My eldest has so many things she wants to do, so many places she wants to go, but, oh my!, she needs me to get her there. The power, the joy! She has no reason to listen to me. She’s bigger than me and stronger than me. I can’t “make” her do anything. So, tomorrow, she’s not going anywhere without her work being done. That’s not really a surprise, the part that’s potentially difficult is that I’m not going to try to “make” her do anything. When it’s time to go, we just won’t go if she’s not done. She will have to choose to get up on her own. She will have to choose when she starts her school, and to make sure she has time to finish it all. We’ll see if this works or not. The biggest problem is that if she doesn’t do her work, I’ll have to follow through and not let her go anywhere. Parenting isn’t always fun or easy.
Years ago the kids and I were going to go to McDonald’s with some friends. They were taking their time and not cooperating. So I told them all to go back inside or get along and get in the car. They immediately quieted down and we were able to have an enjoyable lunch. My friend commented, “how did I get them all to behave so quickly?” “Easy,” I said. “All you have to do is follow through on your threats once in a while.” Honesty helps kids so much. If they believe you’ll do what you say you’ll do then they know what to expect. There have been so many times when I’ve cringed and prayed I didn’t have to follow through on one of my threats. I’ve learned that I better be careful not to threaten something I’m not willing or not able to do. I have left the grocery store right after entering because they weren’t behaving. I have pulled over and turned around to go back home a few times. I have pulled over and just stopped several times. (This one is fun to do.) Just pull over, pull out a good book and start reading. Eventually the kids start to wonder why they aren’t going anywhere and then, if they’re smart, start to behave again. One time I was able to read almost a whole chapter before they even realized we weren’t going anywhere. Now when I pull over the kids quiet down almost instantly.
What will tomorrow bring? Who knows. At least the kids will know that I love them. That’s the most important thing of all.

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