Last week I shared a post I wrote a few years ago about how I developed a system for the kids to consistently help out around the house.
I want to write a follow up to that now that I’ve been divorced for two years, I moved, our schedule is totally different, I was diagnosed with ADHD and I’ve learned a few more things.
But I’m running short on time today, so this is going to be quick.
I just want to give you something to think about if your kids aren’t helping out consistently.
Or at all.
I want to give you something to think about if their bedrooms are total shit holes.
I want to give you something to think about if you are losing it on them because they know what they’re supposed to do.
Knowing what you’re supposed to do and being able to do it are two completely different things.
Wanting to have a certain result doesn’t equal knowing how to do it.
I have wanted my bedroom and my house and my car and every area of my life to be neat and clutter-free for my whole life.
But I don’t know how to do this stuff on my own. Not easily anyway. And not without massive amounts of brain calories burned to figure it out .
My bedroom was a total disaster when I was a kid and I hated it but I just couldn’t figure out how to keep it clean.
I wasn’t lazy. My brain didn’t work that way.
It has taken me years to figure out how to consistently keep my car relatively clean. And it’s still a seriously conscious effort every day.
If your kids are struggling to keep their rooms clean, they most likely aren’t being lazy assholes who just don’t give a crap.
There is a good chance they need help. They need someone to help them come up with systems that work for them.
And then they need guidance and support and repetition.
They need to start really small. They need to practice doing one small thing every day. And they need to consistently do that for TWO MONTHS. It takes 66 days on average to create a new habit.
(That means for some people it takes longer than that!)
Before you lose your shit on your kids because they know what they are supposed to be doing but they aren’t doing it, ask yourself this…
Are you doing everything you are supposed to be doing?
I mean, you know what you’re supposed to do every day, too, right?
But do you do it?
Do you go to bed at a healthy time every day?
Do you limit your time on social media?
Do you make your bed?
Do you eat 5 servings of veggies every day and drink at least 64 ounces of water?
Do you pay all your bills on time and only spend money on things you can actually afford?
Do you own your mistakes and apologize to people when you’ve messed up?
Do you put your keys in the same place every day and put your stuff in its designated spot?
Do you exercise 150 minutes a week?
Do you get at least 6,000 steps a day? (you don’t actually need 10,000 – I’ll tell you about that another day).
Do you brush and floss your teeth twice a day?
Do you go to the dentist every six months?
Do you get an annual physical every year?
Have you had a mammogram and colonoscopy and and all the other tests you should have had at your age?
Do you stretch every day and meditate and read for 30 minutes and keep your weight in a healthy range?
Do you keep your phone out of your bedroom and sleep in your bed and put all your clothes away as soon as they are washed?
DO YOU DO ALL THE SHIT YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO DO EVERY DAY?
Even though I know I’m supposed to.
So maybe start remembering that your kids are human.
Just like you.
They are doing their best.
They don’t wake up every morning thinking, I’m going to try and set a world record for how quickly I can get Mom to totally lose her shit.
If your kids are not helping out consistently, if they aren’t doing the stuff they know they are supposed to do every day, then maybe they don’t need you to go off on them.
Maybe what they need is some guidance, some consistency, some realistic expecations, some patience, and a mom and dad who remember that just because you know you’re supposed to do something, doesn’t mean you’re automatically going to do it.