Sunday, April 15, 2018

Guidelines for Harmonious Living

You know how you can have a small simmer of annoyance, and every once in a while, it just bubbles over, and you wonder how you ended up living in a house where no one seems to have any consideration for anyone else, and no one listens to Mom, since what she has to say is basically just a suggestion that can be ignored, and manners and etiquette are a waste of time?

It can't just be us, right?

Anyway, most of the time I can wrangle the troops back in with some reminders, a bribe or two, maybe a threat of something, and some passive aggressive comments. This time, I had just had enough, I had a blow up, and we all had a come to Jesus meeting about getting things taken care of.

Side note: does anyone else get annoyed when they're annoyed at the whole family, but then your husband joins in on your side and then tries to usurp YOUR position? Getting on my side? Great. Turning this into the whole family is against YOU? Not cool, dude.

Really hoping that's not just me.

So now we're working on keeping it up. The first few days were pretty good. Everyone was making a big effort. But now we're starting to slide back. Here's what we're trying.

1. Morning Notes
This may sound ridiculous, but I started leaving notes in the girls' rooms once they fall asleep. It reminds them to get dressed, make their beds, and eat breakfast before they start in on their epic Harry Potter based make believe, or get sucked into a show on Netflix. I let them know what else I'm asking them to do that day, what time we're starting school, and anything else they might need to know. It's really helping.

2. Setting the Example
I'm not always great at this. When I get swamped with one thing, I let other things go. And since I've been struggling with headaches again now that the seasons are finally changing, there are some nights when I roll into bed right after the girls do, leaving the kitchen and family room looking like a train wreck. But I'm really trying to keep my things in order too.

3. Reminders of the WHY
We've really been talking about why this stuff is so important. It's not because I like making up random rules to keep them cleaning like Cinderella. It's because manners and etiquette are more than just old fashioned ideas. Treating people and things well is part of being a good person, and raising good people is important to me.

Have things been going perfectly? Of course not. But hopefully, the guidelines for harmonious living will keep this house a much happier place to be.
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