Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the big fake

It's 1:00 pm and by now I've usually had one or more medium-sized twinges of regret about how the morning went. As in, Why did I yell at the kids so much this morning?

I've tried many strategies to combat the morning stress. Charts, preparing more the night before, NOT yelling (not reminding or hounding anyone until it's time to get in the car--letting Natural Consequences occur), etc. And yet most days I have to nag and remind and then, eventually, yell a bit. I mostly know that this is how it is probably going to be until the boys are much older. I'm going to have to prod them in some way or another to get out the door on time. If I wasn't such an unreasonable stickler for things like clean clothes or brushed teeth we wouldn't have this problem.

My new strategy, very recently formulated, is entitled "Fake It Till You Make It (and you might not ever actually make it.)" (Of course it has a parenthetical caveat there because I am the world champion user of parentheses.) My plan is to deliver every nagging reminder in a sweety-sweet or jokey sort of voice. (I have tried this before with limited success: one time my voice got so high and so sweet it turned into some sort of hysterical tweeting sound, causing the boys to freeze, mid-quarrel, and stare at me. Which was a victory of sorts.) The plan is loosely based on a friend who is able to keep a calm tone of voice in nearly any situation with her kids. I admire this very much.

So tomorrow Fake It Till Make It will commence. Here's hoping we make it out the door on time, shoes on feet, smiles on faces, and familial relationships intact. We shall see.


Queen Scarlett said...

This sentence made me laugh and *snort* "one time my voice got so high and so sweet it turned into some sort of hysterical tweeting sound, causing the boys to freeze, mid-quarrel, and stare at me."

Fake it till you make it was my motto in college in the confidence dept. It worked. ;-)

Patty O. said...

I love it! You'll have to let us know how it goes. My philosophy of parenting is to always keep them guessing, and if I can make them worry about my grip on sanity, so much the better. Definitely a victory.

Good luck! I may have to try this one. It would definitely be a departure from my normal yelling habit during homework time.

prism said...

Thankfully, we're at the point where the kids pretty much do everything themselves... true, I don't worry quite as much if the clothes are a tad wrinkled and I sometimes forget to ask if they brushed their teeth... but, they get out the door on time without any yelling and rarely nagging. (Setting a 5-minute "warning" alarm on my phone has helped ensure they get out on time.) Bed time is a different story -- heh.

Hang in there -- it will get better.

Tiffany said...

I relate a little too well to the twinges of regret. Most mornings involve me nagging about eating faster, or getting dressed already, or finding shoes, backpacks, homework, etc. And there's more often than not some under-the-breath swearing (and occasionally not under-the-breath). A little more preparation the night before would probably help, but I'm not so great at that. Maybe I'll try the fake it till you make it philosophy for awhile and see if it helps. I don't want to be a crazy-mom memory in my little boys' brain when he grows up.