Different types for different reasons

Sometimes I’m a fun mom. Sometimes I’m a crabby mom. Always I’m a mom who loves her kids enough to step into the hard to help them become the adults they were designed to be.


One such instance occurred lately. One of our children has a habit of leaving a rabbit trail behind … giving me clues to what this child has been doing from the evidence. This isn’t a case of deliberate disobedience … it’s a case of “mind elsewhere” that still needs to be trained, but should be done with grace and humor, not strict consequences.


I let our child know the importance of picking up after oneself. I explained that it’s respectful to the whole family and is necessary for learning how to take care of oneself. And I said I was going to help (him or her) learn this lesson in a fun and creative way. (Whether or not the child thought this was a fun way – well, I guess you’ll have to ask my child.)

I said that every time I find something of this child’s laying around the house, they will owe me some form of physical exercise: pushups, sit ups, wall sits, jumping jacks, or running the stairs. Not as a form of punishment, per se, but a “fun” and creative way of instilling in our child the importance of picking up after oneself.


My goal is that as the child learns to pay attention to what is being left behind, the physical exercise will get less and less and the house will be cleaner and cleaner.


Sometimes parenting requires a firmer hand when dealing with disrespect, deliberate disobedience, or defiance … and other times it requires creativity to get the point across without creating tension or stress.


© Cheri Swalwell 2020

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