This morning we worked on cleaning up the living room. When it’s overwhelming, I usually assign the children a job one item at a time (Put away this; throw away that, etc.). I’ve tried to do games, but they don’t get it. I’ve tried to do races, and it doesn’t affect their speed in the slightest. What helps the most is giving them something to do afterward.
Today that wasn’t even working! So, with happy music blaring, I had David and Bethel putting things away, in tears (they were putting things away). It was really quite pathetic. Laurel was in the exersaucer, enjoying the scene. I will say that cleaning with them (instead of working in another room, or folding clothes on the couch, or, gulp, playing on the computer) really does help. Bethel needed me to follow-through with her, making sure she completed each task. When the living room was mostly clean, we left to run errands. I figure they’ll do better coming home to a clean[er] house, and I needed a break. I think that worked.
Questions I have: Is it okay to ignore the crying, as long as they are working? How about screams of rage? I have been allowing the former, but not the latter. Are my kids soft? Am I expecting too little, and then when I need them to work they’re falling apart?
All is now quiet, and I need to spend some time in my Bible. God has promised to give me wisdom when I ask and seek for it. Now is a good time.