Personal goals for my kids this summer

Huh… the summer is over and apparently I never posted this.  Let’s see how they did.

This summer I would like:

  • DC1 to learn to notice and do chores (like emptying the dishwasher) without being asked at all.  (Currently:  must be asked at least 3 times)  DC1 has NOT learned to notice without being asked.  We have added the rule that if zie has to be asked more than once, then zie has to also LOAD the dishwasher after.
  • DC1 to learn some more cooking and to cook at least once a week without complaint.  DC1 has learned more cooking and does cook once a week sans any but the most perfunctory complaint.
  • DC2 to flush the toilet after use EVERY TIME.  This still needs work.
  • DC2 to stop whining.  Full stop.  Just no more whining.  This has gotten better, but there’s still whining on occasion.  I have gotten better about just telling DC2 that I can’t work when zie is whining and zie needs to go to hir room to whine.
  • DC2 to be polite with goodbyes rather than just abruptly saying goodbye and leaving without preamble (both in person and on zoom).  DC2 thinks this is something of a game now.  Zie is a little better but now just does it this way to annoy me, somewhat similar to DC1’s complaining about cooking.
  • Both kids to pick up their dirty laundry from the floor without being asked.  This seems to have gotten better.  We’ve also ceded laundry control to the kids for their laundry and DC1 recently learned that if zie puts it off too long then they run out of towels.  I’m not sure if this lesson will stick. 

I have some preferences as well, like it would be nice for them to use soap when washing their hair This seems to have happened, or for DC1 to keep hir nails clipped to violin-length Still requires nagging.  But I feel like we shouldn’t ask for too much.

The whining though, that has to stop.  Seriously.  How am I going to make it through the semester?

Posted in Uncategorized. Tags: , . 25 Comments »

25 Responses to “Personal goals for my kids this summer”

  1. Jenny F. Scientist Says:

    Our public schools are probably about to go online and I’m really looking forward to the children arguing in the back of all my class video meetings. and the whining. The 8 yo is tailing off but the 5 yo is just getting started.

  2. Foscavista Says:

    “How am I going to make it through the semester?” Funny, that’s my current whine, and I’m the professor.

  3. Harriet Says:

    If you have a way to stop whining, let me know!

    Also not wanting to go anywhere, even really fun places like the playground or beach. They will have a great time digging! Why always complaining about it!

  4. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    JB’s whining is incredibly annoying (though is anyone’s whining NOT annoying?) but we have finally established that if they whine about wanting things, they would absolutely NOT get them, period.

    They’ve decided the better decision is to stop the whining for that much with the understanding that it gives me the brain space to consider. But whining about boredom or whatever gets them banishment to their room.

  5. CG Says:

    Sounds like your small people are doing pretty well! I think ours have become much more responsible and self-sufficient during this time, but there is still much room for improvement. The whining, though, of the youngest…it’s tough. I still use the approach of saying that I can’t understand anything said in whiny-language, but even that isn’t necessarily effective. Based on her brothers’ trajectory, I think she’ll eventually grow out of it, but I can’t be sure. In answer to your possibly rhetorical question about getting through the semester, we’ll all get through it any way we reasonably can. In our cases, it will be with the help of way more screen time than we’d normally allow.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      This week is a Spanish week so DH can’t help DC2 efficiently… We may have to alternate weeks rather than times. (Though I may not survive that… while I was trying to watch the video instructions, DC2 got bored and started skipping around the instructions even though I told hir to stop. I gave up and left and supposedly zie figured it out hirself. I keep telling myself grades don’t matter in 4th grade, so zie can turn in things that are wrong and have the teacher deal with it instead of me.)

      • Jenny F. Scientist Says:

        My philosophy is largely that grades don’t matter for elementary or middle school so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it’s gonna suck

      • CG Says:

        I understand why we aren’t doing this, but a big part of me wishes we could all just hit pause for this year, on both college and k-12 schooling. It’s not going to be great for anyone under these circumstances.

  6. Debbie M Says:

    This made me laugh: “sans any but the most perfunctory complaint.” So sorry about the whining though. Anyway to make it policy not to ‘hear’ anything that has been whined? Hmm, well, at least for an hour after the last whine or something?

    Or maybe like one of those anti-smoking treatments (you have to smoke continuously and run your hands through the cigarette ashes and butts) where they are not allowed to speak in anything but a whine for one day. Or they have to listen to you speak in nothing for a whine for one day. It might kill your sanity, though.

  7. Lisa Says:

    I love this, thanks for posting! When I saw the title of the post, I was prepared to feel bad about myself because I had just been thinking this morning about the ways in which our summer has been squandered. But these are all very sensible, manageable goals, and it sounds like you’ve made progress! I had a bunch of ambitious but poorly conceived goals for the summer, and now have hindsight goals of regret (the kids could have really buckled down on their piano and made great strides this summer…). Looking at things differently, though, I think we’ve made some progress. My bigger kids have learned to cook a few things and my littlest can get snacks on their own. They have all learned a lot of tricks in Minecraft! They actually have made progress in piano, and DC2 has read the entire Harry Potter series and is starting over again, which is quite a bit of unprompted reading. We’ve had a lot of nice picnics in the park. Perhaps the thing I’m most happy about is taking time to do a hike with them every week or so, now they can all hike ~5 miles with only modest whining and complaining. If only I could get them off their screens with only a modest amount of whining. Seriously, whining (and constant wails of Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom) are the worst. Solidarity, indeed.

  8. Sarah Says:

    I am simultaneously relieved that my 6 year old is not the only child who cannot manage to flush the toilet regularly and horrified that this may continue for years. He flushed just fine when it was new and exciting but has regressed over the past year.

  9. accm Says:

    Whining, whining. And for some reason, their stuffed animals whine, too. It’s too much! Lots of Minecraft skills developed here, too. Also not a goal.

  10. K Says:

    Not wanting to be triggering to anyone but reading this definitely reminds me of the meme that says:

    Fun parent drinking game.

    Take a shot every time your child whines.

    Lol, don’t do this. You will die.

    And while my 18 year old isn’t exactly whining…..things have been-….hard.
    I feel all of you with the whining. It can really bring on some Rage-y thoughts and feelings about our children that we love.
    Anon in mass

  11. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    We just had to revoke all weeknight video game privileges because DC2 kept saying zie was done but then I’d find something that hadn’t been turned in or had been turned in English (it’s a Spanish week) AND not following the assignment. Zie would wail, “But I didn’t now what to DOOOOOO” so zie didn’t do anything. Or just ignored the instructions that I took 20 min out of my work time making sure zie understood today.

  12. minneswiss Says:

    The flushing comment made me smile; we are in a drought (with one efficient toilet and one circa-1978 toilet in the kid/guest bath), so there is a little more nuance to our flushing rules (yellow/mellow…). Plus training that house rules are different than everywhere else. Always flush outside our house!!!


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