Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Let's give this a whirl!

I don’t claim to be a certified expert. You know, the people with at least one or two acronyms behind their name, and quoted in a parent’s magazine. What I know is what worked for my husband, Pete and me. I feel I can speak primarily to the girl variety of teenager. We’ve got boys around, but none that live here.

What I’ve learned is that a toddler needs good nutrition and a lot of sleep. Well, come to think of it, so does a teenager. Toddlers need rules and consistency, and as tough as it may be, so does a teenager. The protest of a toddler can be exhausting. Tantrums at Target; struggles at bedtime; distractions when told to do something. There's a distinct parallel here.

So what works and what doesn’t?
Yelling rarely works. Don't you just love the blank look of a child who's "checked out" when you're trying to get your point across? I think we’ve had to resort to spanking one time for each of the girls and that’s been a long, long time. Nose to the wall in the corner was fairly effective too.  That, however, isn't going to fly with a 12 year old.

Consistency works (this can be exhausting). A sense of contributing to the household works. We tell the girls that yes, the chores that need to get done aren't what you actually want to be doing (us either), but it needs to get done. When they get done, we appreciate the help. It may sound patronizing but in the proper context, they feel like (and are) making a contribution to this household! Don't think that this works every time, but it does much of the time.

I've got a few other ideas to write about. Gonna get right on that after I call out for yet another reminder to get their laundry collected and sorted!

Hope you have a good day!