Mamas. I know we are worn out, tired of repeating ourselves, and some days we feel like we’re talking to the dang walls. And we wonder what the heck happened to “our parenting plan.” The plan that we’d do things right all the time, that our kids would listen all the time, and that we’d follow through with established consequences no matter what. HA! Well mama, don’t panic. You got this, and it’s not too late to get on track. Even if you’re on track already, it’s never a bad idea to remind your kids that you mean business and you expect them to follow the rules.
So, let’s talk consequences.
Many of us (myself included) gotta do better when it comes to standing firm on our expectations. We need to make sure there are consequences for our kids when they’re not doing their part. Especially when there are clear expectations about being responsible.
Now before you start rolling your eyes and thinking I’m about to tell ya how to parent – please know that I’m right there in the trenches with you, trying to get this mama thing right.
When you tell your kids something, the expectation should be that they’re going to listen. That being said, we know that kids are learning, so they’re not always going to listen. They also won’t always make the right choice. However, once our kids are old enough to understand our expectations, we need to enforce the rules we set. Our rules and expectations will change as they grow older, but they should always know our expectations.
So if you tell your kid to be ready to be out the door at a specific time, that means they should be ready to go at that time.
If they’re not ready, then you gotta make a choice: wait for them to get ready or leave them. That’s right – leave them and let them know you’re not playing around. Of course, this consequence is meant for an older child who will survive being left at home. I’m not telling you to leave your toddlers at home alone. But let the responsibility fall on your child for not being ready. If you set CLEAR expectations, there’s no reason why you should have to wait around. Once you start the waiting around game, your kids will do this to you every time! Leave them once, and I’m sure that Sally Sue will get their act together.
This same strategy applies to day-to-day activities as well. If your kids have chores to complete, make sure there are consequences for the chores not being done. If they can’t take out the trash or load the dishwasher, well then they don’t need that cell phone you pay for. When homework assignments aren’t complete, there should be a home consequence as well. If your child knows that mama means business, they’re more likely to do their part.
Are you kids involved in sports and/or extra curricular activities? If they are and they don’t have their practice gear ready or aren’t doing their homework, chores, or anything else you’ve asked them to do, then have them go to practice and tell their coach and team that due to their lack of responsibility they have to sit out a practice. This will indeed wake up your child.
Parenting is not easy.
These consequences may seem harsh or mean, but I promise your days will be less frustrating when your children are held accountable. And the first step to holding our children accountable is outlining clear expectations for them. Sometimes, we as parents need to step back and look at what we have done to create some of the chaos. You need to inspect what you expect. So if little Johnny is allowed to be irresponsible at home, don’t be surprised if that behavior carries over to school, sports, choir, etc. However, once you set your expectations, be sure to follow through with the consequences as well. Doing so will make your children more responsible and your days a little less stressful.