Friday, June 17, 2005

Realistic expectations

I was talking to Lillianna's mother-in-law,Linda,the other day and she told me that she let's Zach and Samantha watch one hour of television per day.(Zach and Lillianna were married this school year. He and his sister Samantha are 7 years old.) Uhm,well,let's just say we let Lillianna watch quite a bit more than one hour per day. (Please don't call D.S.S. on us. I grew up watching t.v. all the time so I am pretty lenient in this area.)She also said that if they don't put their dishes in the sink or they leave clothes on their floor, she deducts 15 minutes from their t.v. time. With only an hour,a 15 minute loss is a lot.

This got me thinking. Sometimes I feel like I expect too much from Lillianna. Other times I feel like I don't expect enough. Granted, my mother made my bed until I was 15 years old but I never asked her to. She just did it because she was a neat freak. I am definitely not my mother. Lillianna has been making her own bed for 3 years. Sometimes she makes it by herself,other times she asks for help. There are always clothes piled on her floor. Sometimes I hang them all up when she is at school but usually I let her put the clothes on the hangers herself and then I put them in the closet. You can bet there are underwear and countless numbers of socks scattered around her room that should've made it to the hamper in my bedroom days before. It's starting to annoy me. I don't want to raise a thoughtless slob.

On the way to school this morning,I told her I was going to write a list for her that tells her how many minutes she will lose for each violation. If you know Lillianna, you will realize that this is actually something she is looking forward to. I have decided that she will lose 15 minutes for each pair of underwear,pair of socks,pajamas,books or toys that I find on the floor. I will subtract starting at her bedtime which is 8pm on school nights. If she has 2 pair of underwear,3 pairs of socks and 2 pajamas and one book on her floor then she will stop watching t.v. at 6:00pm. This is typically what is on her floor every day unless she picks them up. I am hoping that the thought of losing t.v. will compel her to pick up after herself.Since we will have a list, Rich will have to stick to this when I am at work.

How much t.v. do your children watch per day?
Do you expect them to clean up after themselves or do you do it for them?

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