Hi! I’m Amy and I’m a recovering enabler, nagger and yeller. I’ve been in recovery for about a week. I’m definitely a work in progress, and I still have a long way to go, but I’ve seen indications that this is the right way for me to go.
This morning was a perfect example.
I have decided that if I want my children to be self motivated, I need to give them the opportunity to learn how to be that way. I can’t nag them into submission. So, I have told my boys what tasks are required of them in the morning before school. I have given them a time that they are expected to be ready by so we can have our family prayer. If they are not ready before then they risk missing out on company for their walk to school and the potential for a ride.
The trick here is for me to allow them the chance to realize there are consequences for not managing their time. I have been really surprised at how difficult it is to bite my tongue and stop constantly being on top of them and what they are doing.
30 minutes before they needed to be ready both boys were still not dressed. They were upstairs and I could hear the distinctive sounds of Nerf guns being discharged. I clenched and unclenched my hands, took a deep breath and didn’t say a word. Man! That was hard!
I was sure that this morning would be the day they finally realized the error of their ways. They would endure having to be late for school and not getting a warm ride in the neighbor’s car. Secretly I was kind of hoping it would go down that way so they would finally learn.
To my surprise they were ready to go on time. It took some running around right at the end, but I didn’t have to say anything to them, they looked at the time and got moving on their own.
I guess it was me doing the learning. Maybe my way of doing things- just getting them done already- isn’t the only way. Perhaps enjoying the process is just as big a part of every day as getting things done. And maybe, just maybe, they have it down more than I give them credit for. Maybe.
This afternoon wasn’t quite as great. Lots more time wasted. But they didn’t get angry with me when friends came knocking and they couldn’t play yet because they weren’t done. So, maybe even that was a win. They knew whose responsibility it was, and it wasn’t me.
We’re definitely on the road to where we want to be.