My kids are learning to respect their elders. But how do you teach them to have respect for “stuff?"
Here’s a glimpse into the afternoon that gave me a “Hulk” moment:
My two older kids, ages seven and eight, were watching TV after soccer camp. I was letting them chill because they were pooped and that allowed me to get some housework done.
The first time I checked on them, Campbell was making something out of paper for her brother. Small, cut pieces of paper littered the family room floor. I said it was nice of her, she just needed to be responsible and clean up her mess afterwards.
I came back a little later and noticed wet, small, cut pieces of paper on the floor. I was a little puzzled. I glanced at the TV and something looked strange. I turned it off and what did I find, spit wads! Several of them, stuck to the TV!
If they weren’t going to take care of the TV then they weren’t going to watch TV. Poof! Gone for one week. Told them to clean up and I’d be back in five to inspect.
I came back only to find the rest of the unspitified paper shoved under the ottoman. Upon further inspection, I found two Popsicle wrappers, still cool to the touch, under the sofa next to my son. Poof! Banished to their rooms. I could feel the seams of my shorts straining as my inner Hulk started growing.
Seconds later, I walked into my bathroom and discovered half a roll of toilet paper, shredded, on the floor. This was Campbell’s MO. I went to her room and asked her what happened in my bathroom. She replied, “I bet Halee (our dog) got the toilet paper.”
To which I replied, “who said anything about toilet paper?” Busted! She finally admitted she tried to make a cast. And Hulk grew.
As I walked back to my bathroom I hear my son hollerin’ for me from his bedroom. Said he spilled something. Hulk grew more. Got to his bedroom and found he spilled blue hand soap all over my freshly cleaned carpet.
Uh oh, look out! Here comes Hulk momma! AAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYEEEEEEEEEE! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU KIDS? YOUR DAD AND I PAID GOOD MONEY FOR THIS HOUSE AND YOU COME ALONG AND BREAK, STAIN OR DAMAGE THINGS! HAVE SOME RESPECT FOR OUR HOME!
We’ve made them clean, repair and pay for things they’ve damaged around the house, but it just doesn’t seem to work. The week of no TV seems to be working so far. Maybe I should make them sleep in a tent in the backyard for a week.
How do you teach your kids respect for your home and things?