B days: Am I too strict??

Hey there, so wanted to bounce wp-image-1046492507something off of you all. What would you consider to be too strict in a home when raising children? Every time I lay down the law in our home by making and enforcing rules I ask myself, am I too strict…

Example:

Once school started back up our son isn’t allowed on his devices during the school week, so no iPod apps, no Nintendo DS, or video game console[for the record I think it sounds pretty fair.] The reason that came about was because he’s so engrossed that nothing gets done or he rushes to get things done (i.e. chores and homework) in order to get to his device of choice. It would drive us nuts his homework was sloppy he didn’t check his work, at times he “missed” assignments, his chores were done half-assed (example of that he was supposed to fold and put away his clothes I found them all shoved under his bed-yup I saw red that day). My point is that in my head I’m doing what I think is best for him to be the best he can be without those distractions so he can stay focused…or that’s what I tell myself.

Yesterday I made an exception because it was his birthday. After he completed his homework I handed him his iPhone (just an old phone that isn’t activated but he can get and play apps-we will save phone convo for another post no time soon) but when I tell you he wouldn’t put it down he barely looked up to give the waitress his order (drives me nuts more than anything), then it died “thank God” I said to myself now he can come up for air and join us at his birthday dinner. As soon as we got to the car he charged it and was glued and when we got home somewhere between I can’t take this anymore and I have go be rigid I told him “alright night’s over you have school tomorrow turn over your device and off to bed.”

Then, I go on my iPad and an app is opened it’s one of the games he’s been begging to use my laptop to play, to play with his friends…I have no clue when it was downloaded and when he’s been sneaking on it but I’m fuming a little bit but then I wonder…is it me?..am I too strict? Are these rules unfair? Am I the Fun Police? I always thought I would be the cool mom and sometimes I am but most times I’m the enforcer. But the rules are put in place to keep him focused and because I tried the laxed approach and it just got me a kid glued to the screen, not paying attention to a damn thing, whose response to everything was “oops, I forgot”

So my readers any suggestions? What works in your home? Should I stay my course and if he doesn’t like it tough shit??? I truly don’t want to create an environment where our kids are sneaking all the time.

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Threenage Chronicles: going to school

Our threenager went off to preschool this week…

[The] backstory

After what can only be described as an emotional rollercoaster of a summer with this little one I discussed with my husband putting her in school on a part-time basis. Citing that in order for her to be safe and me to stay from behind bars, it would be for the best. Naturally with these things you are to first unlock your phone, open the app that is most frequented[banking app], login and yup you guessed it check the numbers. After careful consideration (none at all) I started my search for part-time preschool programs in our immediate area. I narrowed it down to 4 and after calling then narrowed it down to 2. We went to take a tour of both, spoke with admin, reached out to our village[grandparents] and decided on a nearby academy within the week. I know what you are thinking sheesh she’s decisive (picture behind the scenes me giving a bag lady on the corner $20 and saying just take her and teach her ABCs) I kid…there is no bag lady in the area that I know of. [What my mouth says] I figured it was time for her to branch out and go into a structured environment to work on the things I don’t have the patience to teach as well as socialize and see what’s behind the four walls she lives in. [My inner voice] most importantly GIVE ME A DAMN BREAK!

{The}Day

Hubs decided to go into work late and that just made my whole morning because that meant I could get straight to work, enjoy not having to scramble around, wake a baby and get out the door– beautiful. Our threenager was up and ready. I took the obligatory first day of school picture and video and just like that she was off to school with her daddy.

No tears, no fight, she was ready!!

Too many times I’ve seen and heard horror stories of parents having to take their kids to daycare/preschool and it being horrible separating usually tears, kicking and screaming from either the parent or the child, but not here, nope. So as Crush said “you never really know, but when they know, you know” and I must say it made for a great, effortless, transition from a child who for over 3 years has never been out of my care to being a part-time Pre-K student out of the house 8 hours a week. One can only hope the whole year will go as smoothly but with these threenage tot we just never know.

Spring Instrumental Concerts are to parents what cleaning toilets after mystery meat taco lunch is to janitors… 

But gotta do it…

When my son told me he wanted to play the drums I dreaded the idea, thinking he would be banging on a drum every day and it would get to the point that it seemed like he was banging on my skull. BUT…little did I know the layover to playing a drum would be much worse 》》》 xylophone. Bman has wanted to play the drums for years now and jumped at the chance when he realized he could leave Strings and Make the Band(ha, see what I did there) he’s now in Band no longer in orchestra. I enjoyed orchestra such sweet sounds! But this band gig when I tell ya I struggled…that wasn’t even the word. While he and his band of fellas, all grinning through the gateway instrument, hit their keys with precision each time it felt like a cat scratching my ear drums…coupled with some wind instruments not quite registering as music to me (perhaps that’s why the Band director plays background tracks during the performance) I don’t know but this was extremely difficult however they tackled a few threenager faves like Twinkle Twinkle and Jingle Bells and the always popular Hot Cross Buns!

As we are walking to the car my son asks the dreaded question, “Mom, what was your favorite? ” and I immediately start humming ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ citing that as my favorite song they played…my son straight face said “we didn’t play that song”…oh, well I like that rock song where it was just the percussions [he told me the name, I forgot it again, oops]. 

I know, I know I’ve got to do better if he’s going to stick with the band I’ve got to put on my big momma pants (usually leggings or jeggings) and get into it. But orchestra was so pretty their songs so whimsical and delightful to the ear –someone may say a tad boring– but most of the tunes played are on my relaxation playlist. 

So word of advice…when your kid, in elementary school says he wants to play the drum think long and hard and consider this a warning…say no to the gateway instrument or prepare to hear keys that could summon Apollo (Greek God of Music) or wake a mummy in the deepest tomb. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Gearing up for back to school

 

how many parents are like us and give your kid a break during the summer ? {laxed on bedtime and wake time, laxed on screen time and don’t push school work} Well in our home our son has free range… he is free to enjoy his summer only thing we ask is take showers on a regular basis [ which you would be surprised how much push back we get], handle all your chores and read a book of your choice for 1 hour a day and once you have completed a book give mom{me} a paragraph or two about what the book was about. Well about a month before it’s time to head back to school we slowly adjust the bedtime and wake time so that he doesn’t end up in shock.

So… Starting starting this month his bedtime started at 10:30pm  and will work its way down to his school day bedtime of 8:30pm. And his wake time starts at 10:00am and will work its way down to his AM wake time for school of 7:00am. That’s not all though, he has also started his bridge workbooks for school. image We purchased these books from http://www.amazon.com and paid no more than $18.00 for the both of them. Our soon-to-be 10 year old will be entering 4th grade {birthday cut-off, he always says he’s supposed to be a grade up every year} so these books are refreshers of what was covered in his previous year as well as gives him some idea of what to expect for the upcoming school year. Subjects covered are Math and English (vocab, spelling, reading comprehension).

Gotta’ keep the mind sharp! It’s not a lot of work …usually a page in each book front to back daily. It’s not meant to stress them or have them sitting for hours but to get the mind working again <focus>. Our son is easily distracted when in class so here he has numerous distractions such as his 2 year old sister biting the erasers off all his pencils, smacking him in his head, coloring in his books and just being a whole handful so he sure will be all set to take on classroom distractions. <If you can handle tot screams you can handle classroom chatter >

I highly recommend these books for a parent that isn’t home school teacher material but wants to keep their child’s mind active by sprinkling in a little painless school work.

I’m interested in hearing from other parents, caregivers and teachers…what do you do to prepare your child[children] for back to school? Any tips or tricks for a smooth transition? I would love to get some fresh ideas that we can keep in the parenting guidebook for later use.