Where Do You Draw the Line, Mom?

Monday May 17, 2010

Here’s where I draw the line. If you're school age...

I don’t check pants pockets. If you don't want something washed, don't leave it there! If you send pens through the wash, we'll work together to get the ink out of the clothes -- the first time. Then you'll know how to do it if it ever happens again.

I will not wash dirty, sweaty athletic clothes. If you're big enough to play the game and make those clothes smell like that, you're big enough to wash them! Of course, I'll show you how it's done.

Are your clothes on the floor? Pick them up yourself. I’ll call you into the room, point them out, and watch you pick them up and deposit them where they need to be.

Pack your own backpack in the morning – or better yet, the night before. Put in everything you need -- pens, pencils, gym clothes -- so there's not a mad dash back into the house from the car.

I will not hold a conversation through the bathroom door. Yes or no, but not a prolonged conversation. Save it for later.

I draw these lines because I love you! I want you to learn to take responsibility for yourself and to value me and other members of the family.

P.S. When you start early, it's so much easier later!

What about you? Where do you draw the line? Feel free to share what works for you and your family -- we'd love to hear!


Bina said...

I love you...can't help it...cuz I have the same rules, with a few extras.

You have a father. Utilize his knowledge on this subject as I, right now, am in the tub.

Stupid & ShutUp. The "other" s-words...don't use them

Can't find something? Well the last time I used it, I put it where it belongs. If it isn't there, I wasn't the last one to use it. Buh-Bye.

:) Thanks for this...made me smile!

Karen Hossink said...

I'm with Bina on the 'can't find it' problem. "Buh-bye." LOVE IT!

And I'll wash all the clothes, but the kids need to bring them downstairs to where I'm sorting laundry. If they aren't there - they won't get washed.

Honestly, as I read through the lines you draw, I began to wonder if I need to draw more. (My kids wouldn't agree! LOL) They have jobs and responsibilities, but I am willing to make exceptions. Trying to determine the line between being flexible and inconsistant. THAT's a hard line to draw!

alicia said...

Wow, great list! I love it! So true, and I feel so much better knowing someone else draws those lines with me! Turns out I'm not the world's meanest mom after all!
I love that you have them do the laundry... that's the only one I don't have, I will be giving lessons.

Other lines I have: No hating- ever. Its not necessary.

And of course, I agree with Bina, you lost it, you found it. Had you put it where it belonged, you wouldn't have this problem.

Thanks for stopping by my blog! It was nice to 'meet' you!!

Kindred Heart Writers said...

Great advice this week. If I had to do it again (raise a boy) I would teach him to do laundry. I think my son's wife had a few lessons to teach him. One is to fix her breakfast (which he is doing as I write this); Because she works also. Laura, your advice is always so sensible. Thanks Clella

Laura@OutnumberedMom said...

Hmmm..some of you gave me an idea for a future post. Where to draw the line between flexible and inconsistent! I'll ponder that.

Also about laundry -- I started teaching laundry with the sweaty athletic clothes. I did the rest of their laundry, but they learned how to do the gross junk and I didn't have to touch it. Then, at least they had a frame of reference if I was sick, Dad wasn't there, and someone had to throw stuff in the laundry.

Anonymous said...

I only clean out the front pants pockets, and only because tissues stuffed in there would shred all over the laundry. I could have made them come in and pick it all off -- but they weren't usually home when I did laundry, and I didn't want to rearrange my schedule just to wash when they were home. But back pockets where wallets and such are kept and the multitudes of cargo pants pockets -- uh uh.

Also, most of the time during summers and Saturdays, they get their own breakfast and lunch. That started when they began to value sleeping in (as opposed to when they're very young and get up long before we want them to) and would all get up different times of day. I decided I was not going to be a short order cook, in the kitchen preparing food all day long whenever they drifted in. Plus I felt it would be good for them to learn to be handy in the kitchen both for themselves and if their future wives ever got sick, had babies etc. I've know men who lived on cheeseburgers while their wife was in the hospital after having a baby!

Heather said...

I don't help spell; "Where is your dictionary?", is a common refrain.

I will not turn dirty socks right side out before laundering~ I am sooo over that (now that they have big boy feet:) Hubby, are you listening??? haha.

Great post, Laura. Thanks for stopping by myeverydaygraces and commenting on my laundry post... you are so right, it has everything to do with task completion.

Anonymous said...

Oh -- we also had the rule that if laundry is not in the hampers, it doesn't get washed.

And I love that about not having conversations through the bathroom door!

Donnetta said...

I'm in the process of teaching my daughter to do her laundry, and my oldest son already knows how to do his.

We did have to revisit some expectations and consequences just this weekend in another area though.

We had our meeting and had it all typed up so there were no questions or confusion.

I distinctly remember our conversation ending with... you know we're doing this because we love you and are teaching you responsibility, right?

Hmmm, now that sounds familiar. :-)

I have to say I know this process is what's best, but it's not always easy. *sigh*

alexis nicole said...

Yes!! Loved this. These are some of the most important lessons to learn. Independence is the key to life! I love how you said, " I will show you how it's done."

Karen said...

lol....haven't we ALL been there! Good rules.

Susannah said...

Loved this! I had to draw the same line with my DH when we were first married. :~D

Victoria said...

Some of these sound awfully familiar. Are you sure you're not my mom?
I've got similar rules with my husband (the chemicals he works in tears my skin up) and I probably will with my daughter when she gets bigger. They're good rules and a good start for teaching responsibility.

MommyTopics.com said...

You have a lovely blog... and I love this post about drawing the line!

I'm glad we've found each other!

Rachymommy - MommyTopics.com

Just A Work In Progress said...

Oh this one is great!!! You completely made me laugh out loud! I was not only thinking of my children, but of...other family members...Ahem....

keLi said...

this is a good list ... i honestly think the teenagers i teach and the toddler i raise are so incredibly similar ... they NEED to know where the boundaries are (otherwise, how would they push them?) :)

Unknown said...

I will confess that I do not do fantastic at drawing lines...I DO make them put their own clothes away and they MUST clear their dishes from the table, but even these lines get blurred sometimes. Thanks for the encouragement to do better!! :D

Elizabeth Dianne said...

Hi Laura, thanks so much for visiting my blog.

You have a very welcoming, charming and amusing blog and I really identify with what I've read so far.

Yes, I lived to tell about raising those three boys--and they have provided me with 7 grandchildren--6 of those are granddaughters. Who would have ever thunk it? smile

Look forward to knowing you better.

God bless! Dianne

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