My children are hard workers, but they’re still children. That means that sometimes chores don’t necessarily get done as quickly as they should.
Let’s talk about laundry.
For the longest time Greyden did all the laundry in our house. Then he graduated to dishes and Hewitt inherited the laundry. But a few months ago we rearranged the bedroom situation so that instead of all the children being in two bedrooms they are now spread out in four bedrooms. As a result, I changed the laundry system. Each bedroom now has a day that they are supposed to do their laundry. And Hewitt does everything else like towels (and my laundry).
Hewitt also helps Indigo and Jade switch their laundry because they can’t reach the stacked dryer. When he finishes their laundry, he puts it in my room. I then ask the girls to put it away.
Today I saw Indigo and Jade each bring a load into their bedroom. But when I told them I was coming to see if they needed help hanging anything in the closet, I heard them saying, “Hide, she’s coming!” When I went into the room I discovered they had gotten a little side tracked when it came to actually putting their clothes away:
So how did I react?
I decided to laugh about it. I could have disciplined them for not doing their job, but I was too busy telling them to hide again while I got the camera. They know that when I bring out the camera they’re pretty safe.
So I took my photos and then told them that I’d be back to check in 15 minutes, and if it wasn’t all put away they’d be getting disciplined then.
Fifteen minutes later I returned to discover that it had worked.
I have found that disciplining my children is an art form. Teaching them to work hard and to respect adults is very important. But I don’t want to raise little robots. Yes, I want to raise obedient, hard-working children. But I also want to raise children who are creative and loving and even silly from time to time. I don’t want to constantly be harping on them to be perfect. I want to have fun with them too.
So sometimes when they don’t obey, instead of resorting to immediate discipline, I laugh and I give them a second chance. At our house, laughing at their disobedience is the exception to the rule and it is very effective. There was also this incident where we laughed and yet we still disciplined. You have to judge each situation individually. But for me, I can be a good parent, and still occasionally laugh at my children’s disobedience.
What about you? Do you ever laugh at your kids when they disobey? Or do you always react with the discipline? I’d love to hear any stories from your own experience!