Posts Tagged ‘Teach your kids’

As the mother of two teenage girls there are times when I find myself thinking, “Where did I go wrong”? Haha, I kid…but really, there are definitely times when I say to myself, “Didn’t I teach them that”? Now, don’t get me wrong…my girls are amazing. And they are polite and they are respectful at school and to others. I have more than enough times been told by teachers or their friend’s parents how sweet and well mannered my girls are. They know not to talk to strangers and never get in a car with someone they don’t know. They know you don’t drink and you don’t do drugs and please, please, please don’t get pregnant! But what I’m talking about are the things that you don’t realize are important to teach your kids until they’re grown and you realize it’s now too late. Things like, this is a trash can…the place you put your trash! See, didn’t know you had to teach them that…did you?

So this is for all you new moms out there. These are the little things that you may not really know are taught skills and don’t just come naturally to these little buggers. Hell, if I can spare one mom from having to flush the toilet after sniffing her way through the house trying to figure out what that smell is, then I’ve done my job! So here it goes!

1. Like I’ve already mentioned, putting your own trash in the trash can is not an instinct…it is a learned skill. And believe me…it is one of the hardest skills to teach. Heck, algebraic equations are nothing compared to, “This is trash. This is a trash can. This is how you put your own trash in the trash can”. See, even sounds hard doesn’t it. I’ve often thought I needed a neon flashing light TRASH CAN sign with an arrow pointing down however, more than enough times I’ve seen them carry their trash into the kitchen. Only to later find it sitting on the counter, right above the trash can. I’m sure that last 6 inches would have killed them.

2. A closet. Nope they don’t automatically know what a closet is either. So repeat this many times in those first couple of years so that it sticks with them when they’re teens…”This is a closet. This is the kitchen floor. Closet…Kitchen Floor…Closet…Kitchen Floor…Closet…Kitchen Floor”. I’m sure you get the picture!

3. Flushing the toilet! If you think potty training is hard, just wait until you go flush the toilet one day because it hasn’t been flushed in, I don’t know, maybe 4 or 5 uses. And then when you flush it, the extreme load of toilet paper clogs it up and then you find yourself plunging the toilet as yucky toilet water splashes all over your feet. Yup…important thing to note…you will never, ever be able to teach them how to use the plunger…so make sure you introduce them to that little thing on the side of the toilet called the “flusher”!!

4. Rinsing a dish. Yep, a very easy task that we moms know to just do. Why do we know it? Because we do the dishes. And when we’ve been scrubbing hardened, melted cheese off a plate for 25 minutes, we realize we are the only ones that must know this. I always say to my girls, “If you had to do the dishes, you would remember to rinse your plate before you put it in the sink”. Wait, I have a thought…can you teach your kids to do the dishes? Haha, I dream!

Am I scaring you new moms yet? And you thought Please and Thank You were the hard ones!

5. The Hamper. Yep, the Hamper. I’m not sure my teenagers know what a Hamper is. I mean they know how to use cell phones and iPods and dvd players and record shows on the dvr (I’m exaggerating a little here because we don’t even have cable at home, much less a dvr, but not important). They can use computers and Google stuff that I wouldn’t even think about Googling, (Was googling even a word when I was a kid?). They know how to put outfits together that would make Tyra Banks proud and they know how to straighten (or curl) their hair like a pro. BUT THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A HAMPER IS!!!!! H.A.M.P.E.R, kids! It’s that thing in your room, in the hallway, in my room, and in the laundry room that holds dirty clothes. And yes, I said “dirty” clothes, so please stop throwing the clean ones in there just because you don’t know where the “closet” is yet!!!

6. Teaching them to walk. Yes, I know, you parents of one year olds right now are saying…I’m teaching that now…how can this be an issue when they’re 13 and 16. Oh it is. Believe me. When is it an issue? Here’s an example…We are all sitting in the living room enjoying a good episode of Glee or maybe American Idol, and one of the kids will say, “Can you get me a drink”? Uh, didn’t I teach you to walk when you were one? Did you forget? What’s that song, “Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking cross the floor”. Or more importantly, maybe I should sing them the next line, “Put one foot in front of the other, and soon you’ll be walking out the door“! Yeah, you heard me!!

7. The definition of a parent. Yes, Webster’s says something simple like “a father or a mother”. But it leaves out important things like, “person who gets to make all the rules, what they say goes and is the final decision maker in everything”! Make sure your kids learn this part of the definition. Also important to note, that you should never let them believe the definition of parent is, the one who pays for everything, picks up everything, cooks everything and never gets a break!

8. There is no such thing as a Money Tree! Believe me…they believe in the money tree as strongly as they believe there is a fat man in a red suit that somehow gets into the house even when you don’t have a chimney! But as hard as I’ll defend that a frickin Bunny comes round once a year (seriously, a bunny, WTF, how did we ever believe this when we were kids, I mean man in the red suit I can sort of defend, but bunny, ugh, seriously) I will strongly defend that there is no money tree…for anything. Because believe me…teens…they figure if you don’t have money for rent, you might still be able to be able to raid “The Tree” to pay for quitar lessons from that guy who tried out to be the backup to the backup guitarist of some band that I’ve never heard of!! And hey, if any of you have some secret insight to this “Money Tree” thing that I’m not aware of…real friends share. That’s all I’m saying!

9. Adult Time Out. Okay, listen up…teach this early. That Adults get time out too! This is really, really an important lesson to teach them. I remember the first time I made my oldest mad and she told me I needed a time out. I was like, really? OMG, you are right. Mommy has been very bad. I better go to my room for a couple hours by myself and think about what I’ve done. And I better take this bottle of wine…and maybe this shrimp cocktail to help me think. Fish is good for your brain you know, so I’ll think better! So, right from the start make them aware of “Adult Time Out”…because it may be your only chance for a break some days. And you better quickly learn how to break the rules!!

10. Teach them that no matter how many times they forget to put their trash in the trash can…or however many times we find clean clothes with the dirty clothes on the floor instead of the HAMPER…or however many times we try to break the rules, but they still never put us in time out…that we love them anyways. Because a Mom’s love is unconditional. And that’s definitely not a lesson you can teach…but they will eventually learn. And hopefully they’ll learn it while they’re across the country going to college because you didn’t work this hard to pay for school close to home now did you!!!! ­čÖé

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