August 15, 2014
Sizzle Bop Mom, Cori, has had it with her daughter’s disorganized bedroom. Her frustration is apparent in her note. So take a look, then keep reading for some solutions we’ve found successful.
I have an 8 yr. old daughter who has a difficult time with performing her tasks completely & thoroughly and it makes me crazy. For example, if she goes to change clothes, the first outfit will land on the floor or bed or someplace else other than the drawer or hanging up in the closet. There are times that I will tell her to put a brush or hairclip away and it doesn’t always make it to the proper place. It may land someplace close to where it belongs, but doesn’t always get to the designated spot.
Another thing, I let her re-arrange her drawers. Upon opening one drawer I found pajamas/jeans/a shirt/skirt…all in the same drawer. All of these get me very frustrated with her and I don’t want to be. I want to be understanding of how she processes different things but I just don’t understand it.
It’s certainly difficult when a very ordered mom is parenting a very distractible child. Two people could not be less alike. So, BOTH parties need to bring much grace to the game just to survive. But along with that, I think you have to attack this from two different angles.
Angle One: Equip Your Child
There’s no doubt that your child needs to learn skills that keep chaos at bay. But the strategies that will work effectively for this kid may be very different from those that will work for others. Consider some of these.
- Ditch hangers and drawers–Many distractible folks are happier in a room with lots of shelves in the closets instead of drawers. And loads of pegs or hooks instead of hangers. All their pants are folded, on a single shelf, and they can see them all at a glance. Have them create their own organization plan, and then LABEL everything. Because sadly, even THEY will forget their own system. (Trust me on this. I actually have a drawer labeled “underwear.” Sad but true.)
- Tie it down–I grew so weary of the inability to find a hairbrush, since I knew darn well we owned about 3,000 of them. So once my kids passed the toddler stage where I had to worry about cords, I began tying down anything I could. If I ever found myself looking for the same thing over and over again, I considered tethering it to something. Here are a few.
And you should know, just in case my girls pop into the van as we head out for church on Sunday and they tell me they didn’t have time to brush their hair. . . I have a brush tethered in the van. Cha ching!
- Melinda Borings Hair Dryer Wars Solution— Two daughters, one tidy, the other one a bit, well, less so, shared a bathroom. One loved it when all things were in their place. The other, well, less so. The big item to create the war between them was the hairdryer. Read a post HERE from our good friend Melinda. of HeadsUpNow.com and learn how a simple solution ended the war.
- Pinterest ideas–We have bunches of creative ideas on the CHORES BOARD on our Pinterest page. Cori–I think you’ll especially like the Uh-Oh-Chores Pocket idea.
- MORE options can be found on our blog. Here we address the very real problem of simply forgetting to do things. Take a look at this idea packed post called “I-Forgot-My-Chores Strategies.”
Angle Two: Shift Your Thinking
- Pick your battles. Ask yourself “Is this really a crisis? Or just an annoyance.” Will this child truly be unable to go through adulthood with this behavior. And sometimes the answer is, “Well, yes. But I won’t like it.” This is a good time to remember the beloved caricature of the absent minded professor. We’ve all met one (or seven) whose filing systems involve stacks of papers and towers books on the floors, files in an order that only “a beautiful mind” could follow, and a daily disheveled appearance that denotes a particular disregard for fashion. He isn’t going to win any prizes for most Zen working space. But is he functioning? Yes. It may be worth releasing this child to be more like this professor. And, of course, step away from the area of chaos singing “Let it Go!” at the top of your lungs. 🙂
- Test It: This idea comes from Cynthia Tobias, author of “You Can’t Make Me!”. She claims that we need to constantly ask ourselves “What’s the point?” Do we want them to be organized OUR way simply because it’s OUR way? Or do we want them to be able to find things they need. Tell your child that you don’t care what their room or other spaces look like, as long as they can function. In other words, if you ask them to find object X, and they can find it within 2 minutes, then we’re good. The point is NOT was the item retrieved from a neatly stacked group of similar items on the third shelf. Rather, the point is, given their own system, can they find it. Not everything should be dismissed as “not important.” That’s not where I’m going. But it is worth putting some time and energy into deciding just what IS important, and choosing carefully where you make your stand.
April 22, 2014
This was one of those parenting epiphanies.
One of those life changing “Ah ha” moments.
One of those moments when a light bulb is switched on in my head providing me with illumination, of understanding, that previously had been totally invisible to me. And it all started with a simple request from my three year old son.
“Mommy, please, turn back time.”
His reasoning was quite simple. He wanted to replay an event and change the outcome.
I will admit that I have since rethought the possible error in such early and intense exposure to Star Trek. But nonetheless . . . there it was. A request for Mom, all powerful, all knowing Mom, to please turn back time.
I assumed I could simply explain that time cannot be turned back, by me or anyone. And with this new and reasonable information, and all would be well with my child.
Feel the power of logic.
Are you guessing at what came next? It would be a gross understatement to say that he did not believe me. I tried again to explain the impossibility of complying with such a request. And with each additional statement I made, he grew more and more agitated. Frankly, it’s a gross understatement to use the word “agitated”. Washing machines agitate. This was more like a food processor…on steroids. Read the rest of this entry »
February 15, 2014
Something amazing happened in our house recently. The challenging process of learning our letters and sounding out each one is long behind us. My youngest child is thirteen, and she’s a strong reader. My other children are twenty and twenty-four. So it’s been quite some time since I read aloud to my children.
Shared Reading Time
Read the rest of this entry »
April 10, 2013
This is a GUEST POST by Leslie Crane, aka Classical Mom, our resident representative of linear minded, non-Sizzling moms who share a life with those of us who are Sizzlers.
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Silly Putty. Just what is so silly about it?
Silly Putty is a big deal in our house. It is a Very Important Thing. Like many of your children, my oldest son has a serious case of “fiddle fingers” and he loves – no, needs – to have something in his hands much of the time. For him, a wad of Silly Putty does the job pretty well.
Allow me to pause for a moment and tell you…
Five Random Facts About Silly Putty:
1) It takes exactly 3 hours and one bamboo skewer to remove Silly Putty from the keys of a TV remote control.
2) No amount of bamboo skewers will remove it from a fuzzy white bathrobe.
3) Silly Putty also sticks to hair. Shampoo and a fine-toothed comb will remove Silly Putty from hair.
4) Silly Putty can be removed easily from shiny sweat pants.
5) It is the most addictive thing in the world.
So what have I learned about Silly Putty? Read the rest of this entry »
February 11, 2013
“Here’s your breakfast!” said Mom, as she cheerfully placed in front of her awakening children a plate covered with smooth refried beans and a little dollop of molasses.
The children went suddenly silent. This was new. However, they had been taught not to complain, so they dutifully ate what was put before them. Yet, each secretly looked forward to lunch.
At noon the children eagerly waited to see what tasty treat Mom would produce. Once again there appeared another plate of refried beans and molasses. Lunch was a rather quiet affair, except for Mom, who burbled quite happily about giving only the best to her family.
Dinner … same story.
Three days and nine meals later, Dad finally spoke up. Read the rest of this entry »
January 2, 2013
So often I post semi-snarky comments about life with Sizzlers. It’s always tongue-in-cheek. And it’s a good let-off-valve for all the stress that these intense kids can bring into our lives.
But this evening, I’m struck by how much I adore this child. How her unique and quirky ways add so many layers of wonderful to my life. Life would be so much LESS. . .less of everything, if she’d never been in this family. And what’s more, I wouldn’t even have known what I was missing.
I love that when she has those million-and-one thoughts in her head, I’m the one she wants to share them with.
I love that when she opens her mouth, it will seem Read the rest of this entry »