Do you ever feel like a broken record?  Like you just keep saying the same things over and over hoping that this time your kids will listen.  Only they don’t and you don’t blame them and even as you’re saying it, you’re thinking:


“This is so dumb.  

Why do I keep saying this?

Are they even listening?

Am I?

Also, am I really going to make my kids eat this for dinner?  

I don’t even want that, it looks like worms and snails.”

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That’s how I’ve been feeling after school lately.  I want to interact positively with my kids, maybe even make them a snack, or put one on the counter.  Ooh, or have an actual conversation with them, where I sit down and listen for a few minutes, but instead I keep wandering in and out of their lives nagging and being critical.


Sometime, in the middle of the month, I got the genius idea to try a chore chart, to at least combat the constant nagging that kept coming from my mouth. The idea was everyone would have a handy reference for what needed to be done after school.  The kids, not mom, could be in charge of making sure the tasks were done and I could spend less time following them around,  repeating silly phrases like “Are you really ready to be doing that?”


I tried various methods of making said chore chart in various degrees of difficulty and finally decided to put a bit of work into it.  Jury is still out on whether or not this was a productive use of my time, but I do feel a bit less burdened with their after-school chores.


This whole exercise has also got me thinking about boundaries.  I realized that some of the problem was, not only that they were not being responsible for their chores, but also, that I was not holding them accountable.

I’ve been thinking about boundaries because of the book I’ve been reading this week: Boundaries by Dr Henry Cloud and Dr James Townsend.  What I’ve realized is that a lot of time when I get grumpy with my kids, or others it’s because I’m not setting a clear boundary of what I expect or keeping to a clear boundary of what I need to do. 

After struggling every day for months, and thinking about this issue of not being clear on mine or their boundaries, the thought suddenly came to me that I could just make an announcement of when snack/relaxing time was over and say the more helpful phrase, “it’s time to do your stuff ” (this is the very descriptive term I use to refer to their daily chore, instrument practice and homework).  Amazingly, it worked, everyone went and did their “stuff ” without my nagging or critical comments.  I may not even need the chore chart I spent the morning making, but I’ll probably keep it for a bit, because of the work and it’s kind of pretty.

Now if only I could figure out what to have for dinner.

What about you,  what simple parenting hacks have you tried this month that have actually worked?

Write it down in a journal, talk it over with a friend or leave a comment on Facebook.