By: Tiesha M. Brunson
The past year and a half has been crazy. This pandemic has been a shock to our systems. Kids who used to be extroverts, became introverts. Those who were introverts were lovin' the fact that they didn't have to be around a lot of people.
Personally, my kids, who were all high/honor roll students, slipped. Only one kept up her grades. It was like a downward spiral. And everything was moving too fast and I felt like I could only pause things for moments at a time. It took everything from friends who would help out tutoring, to me checking behind them, to their own sisters holding them accountable, to their father coaching them through various subjects, just to get them to PASS. And, I've never been ok with just "passing;" but they were FAILING—and failing was not an option.
So when summer began, the kids felt like they could breathe.
Yes, I still sent them to daycare because I have to work during the day and cannot accomplish things, effectively, with them around. I just prayed that they would stay safe in their "pods."
And I let go, a little, and gave them a pass on doing their chores, of going to bed on time... I gave them more screentime...
Little by little, I noticed changes, but ignored them because I needed time to work or do other things around the house and I needed them out of my hair.
They would stay up later.
Not want to do anything else.
Get angry easily.
Constantly fight with each other.
Now, come August, I feel like that was the worst decision I ever made. I just wanted them to have a break from this really challenging year. However, the change I see in them... it's not good. They are addicted to their devices. They haven't picked up one book (except the one child who loves to read). They stay up late and don't want to get up in the morning.
Mind you, we have done a few sports this summer—softball and track in May, cheer in July/August. But that was only a few kids. Other kids aren't doing anything.
And I bust my butt to maintain the house. And they just WATCH me. They don't care that I'm tired. They don't care that I've had health issues since this vaccine (i.e. constant headaches). They don't have vested interest in their baby sister being potty-trained. They just want to know that I'm going to cook for them and give them what they need.
THEY ARE IN FOR A RUDE AWAKENING.
I don't want them to be lazy women. Only two do laundry (and not the two that you think do it). Only two have done the dishes. Only two have taken out the garbage. Not necessarily the same twos. I need us to work more collectively. I need for it not to be a struggle to want clean up even if it's not their mess. That's all I hear: I didn't do this, why should I have to clean it? or They mess it up right after I clean, so what's the point?
WELCOME TO MY WORLD.
Only one has done her summer school work. No one else has begun. So now it's crunch time. These are about to be some really motivated kids.
My friend was just telling me that she took her kid's phone for the rest of the summer so that her kid will be motivated to do other things. You pass an overflowing garbage can? Take out the garbage. You have laundry piling up? Do it.
QUESTION OF THE DAY
How do you motivate your kids to do things they don't want to do while still keeping your sanity while you do the things you need to do? Share your story on FB or Insta @allmommyissues.