Sunday, June 7, 2009

Boundaries

Ok, my last post was about how annoyed I was at people disrespecting the time and hard work I do, and this one, I'm afraid, is about not respecting my boundaries! And yes, the culprit once again is Hannah! I came into my bathroom tonight to get ready for bed and this is what I find (now, mind you, my bathroom is DISGUSTING right now, so it's not that I'm such a clean freak that I notice one little thing out of place): THREE dripping wet washcloths, partially covered with facial mask products, and draped over my sink spigot, two facial mask products lying on their sides on the counter (and covered with goop), and my face scrub that normally resides in my shower (but frequently goes missing) on the counter. Now, I ask you, WHY? Hannah has all of these products of her own, and if she doesn't, or she's run out, why can't she just ask to use them? And then take them into her OWN bathroom to use them, then return them? This is not just an isolated incident - I often can't find my makeup or other personal items because the girls seem to think that anything that is IN this house is up for grabs. And no one takes care of their own stuff. Case in point - each child has an envelope with their money in it that we affectionately call "Bank of Mom". Normally, I keep these envelopes in the office closet and the kids are free to get some money out of them (but understand that there is a card in there on which to write the balance, like a real bank account). Well, first it was grabbing a dollar here or a five there and being careless and finally, yesterday Harrison couldn't even find his Bank of Mom, and then remembered he was PLAYING with it in a game (duh, it's REAL money!). We finally found it, and I promptly put all of the kids' Bank of Mom envelopes in the safe (which only Jeff and I know the combination to), but shortly after that I found TWO twenty dollar bills in Harrison's room which he casually remarked that oh yeah, those were from his Bank of Mom. I mean, this is money! Recently I cleaned the kids' bathroom thoroughly (it took an ENTIRE weekend). I found no less than 30 partially used deodorants! This was because, on many different occasions, the kids had asked me to buy them new deodorant because (I foolishly assumed) they were "out". Now, with four kids, I certainly don't have time to check the inventory or monitor their use of personal products, so I took these requests at face value. But the real reason? They had simply misplaced their deodorant and were too lazy to look for it! This is just one example of how they don't take care of their things. As though we have unlimited resources. I just wish they would learn to respect boundaries - both personal ones and those that limit the resources of our already strained budget. Short of getting a lock and key on my bedroom and bathroom doors, I don't know how else to make them understand to leave my stuff alone! And to ask first if they want to borrow something. It's just crazy out of control..........not turning off their lights, leaving stuff all over the place, "borrowing" things, not being able to "find" things because they are too lazy to just pick up the clothes all over their bedroom floors to see it. They KNOW the right way to do things.........they have extensive chores so it's not like they are just "allowed" to do anything they want..........I don't know the answer. But I do know that I live in fear of the summer months when, for the first time, I will be working during the day three times a week (as opposed to being home which I've always been because I worked for the school district and had summers off). When I'm not home, they absolutely destroy the house, eat at all hours, leave wrappers and dishes all over the place and never clean up after themselves. And coming home to that every workday will put me over the edge. I lay down the law, but the follow up is like another full time job. I can only "police" their activities so much and if I went around behind them all the time, making sure they did everything the way they were told, I'd be spinning in circles. I don't know what the answer is, but it's draining............

4 comments:

chemrulz said...

I know it sounds childish and your kids would definately not like it, but it worked superbly for us, even the older ones. Sentences...you'd be amazed how much they hate to sit down for an extended period of time and write the same sentence over & over again...but they get the point if every time they do something that is wrong they are going to have to write and the repetitiveness of the act ingrains in their minds what they are doing...we would start small, like 20X then increase it each time they repeated the offense. Now you can often find them trolling through the house turning the lights or tv off behind their mom, as we couldn't make her write sentences so at least the kids learned the lesson. A few weeks ago my neice decided she wanted some chocolate and had found my stash in my room on my nightstand while we were out of town and proceeded to eat the whole bag...she had extra chores and had to replace with her own money. It's hard with teenager cuz timeout just doesn't work and they really are too big to spank regardless of how big we think we are.

Mimi/Papa said...

Cages. Yes, cages. Have a neighbor come over and let them out to go potty, eat a snack, then it's back to the CAGE! Not to be too cruel, you could put them in front of the tv with the History Channel the only thing they could watch. Might as well get some education along with punishment! LOL Just my opinion, of course......but one more thing...'been there; done that'

Pitchin Princess said...

I have a friend who actually put a key lock on her bedroom door to keep her kids out while they weren't home. Alyssa also has a key lock on her bedroom door in her apartment because she was getting tired of her roommate borrowing clothes and makeup.

CheyAnn doesn't have a tv in her room anymore because she never turned it off when she left. I've even thought of taking the light bulbs out of their lights if they don't turn them off. I haven't threatened or followed through with that one yet.

Hayley said...

I'm happy I'm not in this post. :)