Monday, November 24, 2008

Really Awful? Or Really Brilliant?

Some days, you just don't know what you are going to get.
Genea pees on herself. She does it deliberately. The way I handle it, is you get one free. Anyone can have the occasional little squirt surprise them. After that, you are on your own. I hand her the cleaning supplies, and clean pants, and she is responsible for all the work she created. After a few more "accidents", I have her clean the toilet. I tell her, she obviously needs to spend her time closer to the potty because she is not making it there in time. So, while you are in there you may as well clean something. This has 2 effects. First of course, we all get a reasonably clean potty. I only let her use non-toxic cleansers, so it is only that clean. The other effect is it generally works to stop her in her tracks so to speak. Corks her back up. Stops the leak.
She has done this since she came to us. Peeing that is. It goes in cycles and if left unchecked a cycle can be 4-6 weeks long. If I use the natural consequences it will stop after about one week. The thing is all of this becomes quite the scene. There is much crying and howling and wailing. Teena cannot stand that she is not part of the action. So when Genea goes to school, once in awhile Teena will ask to clean the toilet. I try to tell her no, you are too little, you don't have to cuz you use the potty, stuff like that. But then she gets upset. And I am thinking, what the hell. Why would I try to stop someone who wants to clean the toilet. Why.
I think I feel a little guilty. I don't want to make my little girls do a nasty chore like that! But on the other hand, if it is good enough for her sister to do, as a consequence, why shouldn't she? And for crying-out-loud, she actually WANTS to do it!
I believe that the idea of a care-free childhood is doing no favors for any kid. I hear people say, our children should not have responsibilities, our children should be children! That's their job, to be kids! And I feel that pull. I want my kids to be happy and content. But to think that we should be raising our children to believe the sun rises and sets with their mere existence, I cannot get there. That they should get an award just for showing up, I think takes away the significance of all awards. I firmly believe that whole concept is resulting in a group of people coming in to adulthood with no life skills whatsoever. They learned about life skills in school. They have never had to use them. So who does that help and who does it hurt?
Back to my original point, is this unintended result really awful? Or is it really effing brilliant that now I have a child who asks to clean the toilet? Somewhere in the middle, that is what I hope for.


  1. I appreciate your honesty. Ihope the potty thing gets better with time.

  2. You are so right! i am totally with you, we are raising child to be come responsible adults, not care free adults that can't tie their own shoe laces! Here in Taiwan parents do everything for there kids as if they aren't able to understand simple things thus they are really shocked to see Sarah putting things back when she is told to. Then again here they expect the kids to study and study some more (2year olds at kindergarden, and 5 year old go to school all day and return at 7-8 night from extra classes!) there is a flip side.
    Kids should be kids but they should also clean up after themselves when they can, and doing some house work never hurt me..i still got to play often enough, and to be honest under 5s will think it is play. Sarah loves to sweep...not good at it but still she loves it. So i say let her clean if she wants to! (as long as it doesn't make even more mess!)

  3. Thanks for the comment! Yeah, that's the thing, right now she thinks it is fun to clean so why on earth would I want to stop that! It feels weird to let her do it, I just don't know why.


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