How Many Times Do I Have To Say It?

My sister said something to me the other day which made me think. FIrst of all she said we over think things when it comes to our children. I totally agree. But without that over thinking, over analyzing, obsessing and worrying I wouldn’t have this lovely blog to entertain all of you out there. The other thing she said was that I expect my children to have super powers.

The context was this: I was saying S (who is 10) lost some of the freedom that he was granted this summer because he was consistently late coming home. In fact it was a nightmare getting him home. It was phone call after phone call and begging and ignoring and nagging. So if I wanted him to leave where he was at 10 for example it would end up being an hour later till he is home because of all the delays. (I missed 25 minutes of a Beyonce concert on the phone trying to get him to get in the car and go home! True indication of my stage in life right now!)

Side note: his freedom entailed him being dropped off to his cousins house and being able to spend the day with him without a nanny but with plenty of adult supervision. We would set a time for him to come home, remind him of it and make sure someone was there to pick him up at the end of the day when it was time. This is when the phone calls would happen. Now I know if that ‘someone’ was me, his father or the nanny he would have just left but that person was not the nanny or a parent so then running around, ignoring and delaying tactics would ensue.

The consequence for this was that he had to go out with his sister and the nanny all the time after that. They would still go to his cousins, or do something in a big group of kids but he was no longer left to go with the boys on his own. The fist place they went was to the ballet! It was not planned but it worked out that way and I was happy about it.

Since my sister told me she thinks I am expecting too much of them (my 10 year old and my 7 year old) I have been watching myself and wondering if I am setting them up for failure?

The last two days of the summer my two eldest children and I were in London while the rest of our mini tribe went home. The on going refrain from the second we were left together is ‘why don’t you do what I say the first time I say it?! why do I have to repeat myself 5 times before you move?!’. Every day, no in fact every hour it was the same thing. I expect that when I say ‘Come on kids we’re leaving’ that the TV would be turned off and they would be getting on their feet. I expect that when I say ‘please stop touching that’ that they would immediately stop touching it. I expect that when I say ‘no we can’t buy a dog’ that they would get that in fact no we cannot decide to buy a dog 2 days before we head home and that they would stop asking about it. Ok, replace dog with candy they only asked about the dog once but the candy oh my God they didn’t stop asking!

I expect certain behaviors of them at this point because I feel like it’s about time it sticks! If only because they must be sick and tired of hearing me say it honestly. I’m tired of it. And then after my outburst comes my rationalizing it to them and explaining exactly why I want them to act how I want them to act and why I think they are old enough to do this. Poor things I mean sometimes I talk it to death. I think, no in fact I am sure, that is because I want to make myself feel better about getting so annoyed at them being loud in an airplane when everyone is sleeping (This just happened by the way) after I told them consistently and repeatedly to lower their voices. But lets say they are doing something, anything, and I ask them to stop they are incapable of stopping immediately. They have to do it at least once more!

Is this all the time? I’m not sure… maybe it’s just summer time when rules are looser, they are watching more TV and eating more candy. I feel like they need a detox. Maybe it’s a personality thing. One does it more than the other.

So tell me, what do you think. Is it fair of me to expect my 10 year old to come straight home when he is told that it is time to leave? Is it reasonable for me to feel like saying something to my 7 year old one time is enough for her to respond immediately? Or am I setting my children up for failure?

12 thoughts on “How Many Times Do I Have To Say It?

  1. Umjas says:

    Choose ur battles…
    I think coming back home on time is important but being loud on a plane not so much unless a passenger is complaining about it ( if pple were sleeping then maybe they wrnt that loud ;)
    What i am trying to say is that some things r worth repeating others not so much….
    The thing is this i dont think that kids will ever willingly do instantly exactly what their parents tell them to, now not ever…
    Heres something i tried once and found was effective. Out of all the things u repeat a million times a day, chose 3 per day and drop all the others.
    Hope this helps,

  2. djdfr says:

    My opinion is that you should be firm. After you have said something, that’s it, they need not ask again, the reply will always be the same. With your 10-year-old, it is like a contract. If he does not uphold his end, then there are consequences.

    • Mama B says:

      Exactly! but something’s got to change because they’re not listening! And yes yes yes it is a contract and he’s old enough to uphold his end of it! Thanks for the comment. Will rethink and figure something out. I do feel u need to detox them lol.

    • Mama B says:

      No his siblings have one. But when he’s in LA wanting to go to laser tag with his friends he obviously needs to have an adult with him. Love the way that’s the only thing u commented on lol. 10 is old enough to be responsible, get ready for school, do his homework etc but not yet, in my personal opinion, ready to go out and about without an adult supervision. Especially when we live in a big city or are travelling in a foreign city. And as I said in the post he had to have he nanny with him as a consequence to not coming home on time. Do you have kids? How old are they? And do they need adult supervision? Just curious

  3. Um Eliana says:

    If my mom didn’t stay strict or repeat herself like a broken record I wouldn’t be where I am now, as happy, safe, or healthy. I commend my parents for being strict, now. It’s hard! But you have to keep it up. It’s not YOU who will suffer in the end, it’s them. Failure is not knowing what is right and wrong, understanding responsibility, or knowing that actions have consequences. You can’t let them get away with things even ‘sometimes’, consistency is key! If you let them slack they will not take you or the situation seriously, and that’s something I saw with my little brother.My mom and dad were SO strict with attendance at school with me that I never missed a day, with my brother they let him skip and didn’t discipline when he did and he didn’t finish school… lol. Point made! Keep it up. Being a disciplinary is not fun but it’s a role that we parents MUST take seriously. Don’t let what anyone says to you make you change what you think you’re doing right. Be kind, show love, and be tough and you’ll have wonderful adults calling you mom one day!!

    • Mama B says:

      Thank you. And no it’s not fun!!! at all!! but I agree it has to be done. That’s the thing with all this if we don’t keep it up it won’t stick. But when will it stick? lol Thanks for your comment!

  4. Om Lujain says:

    This parenting thing is really hard! You are either second guessing yourself, or someone else is doing it for you. With the curfew thing, just be firm, and maybe introduce some sort of punishment, like no going out the next day- especially if it’s something they reallly want. I remember my mom making it clear to us,,,, she used the good old 3in el hamra! lol

    BTW.. it is perfectly normal to expect our kids to act a certain way… having them actually listen to us, is a whole new story :D lol I have had days when I want to distance myself from my kids, and just make a comment about THOSE crazy monkeys… but alas, they are mine.. through good and bad days…. This is what our parents went through… and now it’s our turn for this rite of passage into Successful Parenthood :) lol

  5. Reem Philby says:

    I set very high expectations from my 5 year old! Now I feel kind of guilty if you’re questioning whether you should have those expectations from a 10 year old :s hmmmm I honestly think every mother knows her kids capabilities and subconsciously sets her expectations accordingly & finds them fair for that particular kid .. It’s not necessarily age related but more like personality related. Does that put stress on both parent & child? I think definitely yes but it takes constant focus and modification of techniques to get things right for both.

    • Mama B says:

      The thing is if he turns out to be horrible it’s very much, AT LEAST 80% his parents fault. Living in this world that is ever changing I feel an even higher pressure to prepare them as much as possible. Allah i3een. I guess expecting too much is better than not expecting anything

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