One of my goals for the new year is to ACT and not REACT when my kids are acting up. Let me tell you, tonight they really put me to the test! Chip is at youth at the church and all three of my kids are screaming and yelling and fighting. Last year, I would have been right in there screaming at them. I realized about 3 months ago that it doesn’t help matters, so I’ve been sitting quietly and reminding them gently that there are consequences for their actions and if they don’t stop, they will be paying those consequences.
The task was fairly simply. Clean your room before your dad gets home if you want to play a game. The bedrooms were not that messy. It would not have taken a lot of time. But they couldn’t leave each other alone and they’ve been screaming and crying and whining. 3 minutes ago, they all came running in to me at the same time and I simply said, “That’s enough. We will NOT be playing a game when your dad gets home. Go put your pajamas on and stay in your OWN rooms until your dad gets home. If I hear anything more, you’re going to bed as soon as he gets home.” They all took off out of here, but less than 2 minutes later were back and at each other again.
I’m done. They are going to bed. I didn’t scream, I didn’t yell, I didn’t even raise my voice. I waited until they were calm enough to hear me and simply stated the fact. Now they are all back upstairs crying and whining, but at least they have a common enemy – ME! Enough is enough already and I’m done for the night. It’s time to put the kids away!
But I’m proud of myself. Screaming doesn’t do any good, it just upsets all of us even more than we already are. So, for tonight at least, I’m sticking with my goals.