Sibling competition

I can’t figure it out.

Either, there is something wrong with the way I parent these kids of mine, or there is something wrong with the children.

All I know is, both of them are constantly in competition with each other about who got more than the other. More: attention from someone, any type of food, amount of drink in a cup, ice cream scoops, chocolate chips in their cookie, sprinkles, pancakes, Pokemon cards, Minecraft time, visits at grandparents’ house, playdates, you name it, they will argue about it.

So tiresome. Continue reading

A day in the life of…household chores

Sometimes I wonder why I get nothing accomplished, especially things that are not part of the daily household chores. There are endless items that need purging and sorting in the basement, and I just can’t seem to get to it. Perhaps I let myself get distracted too easily.

For example, I get up on Saturday morning, look at the weather and the weather report, determine that there’s an at least 50% chance activities are canceled for the day, and plan on sorting tools in our renovated basement that still requires putting back together after the renovations were completed. The sooner I get that basement purged and re-organized the better mood I will be in, I tell myself.

So this is what happens with my good intentions, in order and self-dialogue: Continue reading

When children want to consume media

We are about to embark on the computer technology road with the kids.

Did I word this right? I don’t know exactly how to explain this…especially because there is all kinds of computer technology in the house already. Here’s what we adults have (and let the kids use): Continue reading

No strike in this house, but lessons abound

Sharon went on strike.

She wrote a post about how she went on strike at her house, and in turn this caused me great reflection on my own sometimes over-controlling ways of trying to parent my two imps.

What exactly is my aversion to their being more independent? Will a strike, MY strike, help them see how much is done for them, regularly? Continue reading

Pocket money for tennis balls

Well I don’t know if that’s what he will be saving for, but that is something he will be able to afford should he actually earn his pocket money in the way we introduced this topic.

incentive money jar for children

Money jar for 7 year old

A few years ago I started mentally clipping every article or blog post or opinion about allowances for kids. Should they earn it? Should they be given it? What is the amount, the limit, the purpose? How should they (or you) keep track of it? Can they spend it on anything they want, even pop and candy (which is allowed but limited in this house)?

So many questions.

Then I started the school money jar. And a few days later I started Ben’s money jar.

Ben’s money jar is tied directly to earning cash for household jobs well done. I came up with the idea without my usual planning, organizing, researching and other time-wasting activities I find myself engaged in with my technology toys. Partly because I haven’t had time to play with my technology toys (except the blackberry, what would I do without thou?)…

The idea is simple: Continue reading

Music to my ears

There is something funny going on in this house. Not funny “ha ha” but funny “weird” or “strange” or “peculiar”. But in a good way.

Ever since Ben turned 4 I have had very few issues with him. He’s been pleasant, happy, easy, responsible, independent, and very, very chatty. He needs to incessantly talk about this and that and absorbs new information like a sponge. I can barely keep up with his thirst for knowledge.

As a result, my house is even more of a disaster than usual. I have no time to get anything accomplished because he wants to learn (um, talk) about everything. Take last night. He wanted to go through chapter after chapter in his Mighty Machine encyclopedia. We read about race cars, motorbikes and finally trucks and diggers. It was past 8 pm and I really, really, REALLY wanted just a little silence, but he looked so sad, holding his huge book under his arm, unwilling to read the book himself. “But mom, if you don’t want to talk about it, then I don’t want to read this by myself”.

His behaviour is rubbing off on Sonja. Sort of. I mean, relatively speaking. She’s 17 months old and a real handful at the moment, but luckily, she likes to copy things. If she copies good things, all the better. If Ben helps me unload the dishwasher (without me asking), she comes and helps too. If Ben insists on setting the table himself, she’s there. If he hears the dog scratch at the door, he runs to let him in, and she follows him. If he folds his pjs and places them on the foot of his bed in the morning, she messes it up…oops, there you go. Toddler.

Speaking of clothes. Ben has copied MY behaviour when it comes to placing his clothes for school on the foot of the bed every night. He now insists on choosing his own clothes and getting them ready for the next day. All on his own.

How long with this last? Will it last?

I tried to explain to Sonja one time during one of her tirades how proud we are of Ben’s independence, and he told her “that’s because mommy and daddy are teaching me”.

Now THAT is just music to my ears!