I don’t write enough here. I always want to, and plan what I’ll write in my head, but it never happens. Maybe I’ll make it a summer goal. :D
SUMMER GOAL NUMBER 565: Write more on the blog. *giggle*
I intentionally have decided not to take classes this summer. The first week or so was a panic attack because suddenly I was bored because I had nothing urgent to accomplish! There was nothing simmering on the back burner, there was just lots and lots of time to be annoyed with my children. Eventually I found comfort in not having to do things immediately. I remembered that I enjoy being home and began to just chill and do fun kid stuff and clean things and plan renovations.
A while back we recognized that we needed to shift our perspective a bit with Noah. He’s 13 in October, you know? It began to become quite evident that he and Nora are not the same age and therefore all the rules do not apply to both equally like they did when they were younger. He was still acting younger than he should (just like Henry, who is 3) and not helping much around the house.
The first thing we did was give him the chickens as his responsibility. Completely. Like, if they die, it is his fault. (Die of starvation, obviously.) The chore consisted of letting them out of the coop in the mornings before school and making sure they had clean water and food for the day. In the afternoons, checking on them (they are ridiculously stupid) and in the evenings putting up their food and water and securing them back in the coop. It doesn’t take long it’s mostly just annoying and dirty. I was nervous at first, but he actually did well with this chore. He doesn’t mind taking care of the animals and after a bit of transition we could rely on him to do it without prodding.
We also extended his bedtime. The kids go to their rooms around 730p-8p and are expected to be going to sleep around 830p. We now let him stay up with us until 830p. This accomplished two things; it separated him and Nora on the hierarchy family scale and allowed him some free time without the Littles to watch his types of shows and spend time with us. The stickler was that he had to keep an eye on the time and go to bed at 830p on his own. We would not watch the clock for him. If he couldn’t do that, then we would go back to a 730p bedtime. He caught on pretty quickly. We stressed that he was the oldest and needed to be a good role model. He needed to volunteer to do things and help around the house without being asked.
I’ve noticed some good changes in him as a result of these choices. He’s still an adolescent, but because we treat him as older he acts more responsible more often. He is still a child and loses his temper and cries about the unfairness of it all, but he also does the dirty dishes with out complaining (which is amazing because for a time he truly believed he could get away with doing only the clean dishes forever) and accepts more readily the limits we’ve placed. We aren’t looking for perfection, only growth.
It’s been fun having him up for a little while with us. At first it was a little weird especially when we would watch something older like Grimm and he would be in the room. He heard the word “sex” and occasional cursing! AAGH! We joke about how he’d love Rick and Morty. (OMG, no.) We also got an xbox. I enjoy playing games and hoped that our family was ready for a game system. We play Ori and the Blind Forest, Gears of War, Dark Zero and Snoopy. I remember fondly when I got a NES many years ago and playing Mario like a Boss. It’s been fun and is going well so far.
Noah did well in school this year. He received the Perfect Attendance and Art award and moves on to Middle School next year. He complains about how short he is and talks constantly about anime. He loves to draw, especially chibis and still plays Legos for hours. His humor is awesome as well. His wit surprises me sometimes and I’ll burst out laughing. Mostly, he’s a fun kid, but this adolescent stage might kill me.