The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Why don’t they ever listen?

on February 12, 2014

My kids are at that lovely age where they hear nothing that I say unless I yell at them. And then they get mad because I’m yelling. I’ve seen many a parent moan about this on Facebook, so at least I know I’m not alone.

It all came to a head two weeks ago when we were thisclose to missing the bus. She was lovely enough to wait for us because she saw me in the garage. It was a typical morning where I asked them 15 times to get dressed, another 15 times to get their backpacks packed, and another 15 times to get their winter gear on. By that time we were late.

I thought for a bit on what the consequences would be, and decided that for one week they would need to get dressed immediately, socks on, backpacks packed, with no tv for the morning. I’ll be honest, the tv doesn’t really factor into whether or not they listen. They regularly play and skip tv in the mornings, and it doesn’t help them hear me at all. But, it’s a good privilege to lose and makes our mornings quieter, so I went with it.

Day one they lollygagged and didn’t get dressed so I added another week on to their consequences. We are now rounding out week two and I’m not sure where to go from here. Minimally, this has made both of them realize how often they tune me out. Delaney actually said the other day “Mom I didn’t listen to you. What did you say?” so at least they are cognizant of it. Not sure how much that helps me though.

I’m thinking no tv until they’re dressed. That hasn’t motivated them in the past, but perhaps a quiet morning makes up for a few reminders?

3 responses to “Why don’t they ever listen?

  1. Amanda says:

    We were becoming similarly distressed, and then learned that Claire’s mom has instituted a “do it yourself” rule at her house. There is an alarm on Claire’s iPad that wakes her up at 7, and another at 7:30 that tells her it’s time to get dressed. There’s something about putting her in charge of her own schedule that she really responds to. When we tried it at our house the first time, we found that she had also made her bed and put her clothes in the hamper – two things we always have to remind her to do a million times!

    We haven’t had to deal with ramifications yet, but we have been talking about no iPad time for when we do. Claire has taken to watching everything on Netflix from her iPad and ignoring the TV altogether, and she’s also become a Minecraft nut. If we need to lay down the law about something, the iPad will probably be the first to go, as it seems like the one thing she would actually miss enough to pay attention.

  2. Erin says:

    So interesting. This morning I was thinking that I wished there was something that would beep at 7:45 telling them to get dressed. Their iPods live in a drawer, but maybe we need to pull one out on school mornings for the alarms. I’m totally trying this next week – thanks!

  3. Mita says:

    I was also going to suggest giving them alarm clocks. It helped me a lot as a kid when I was responsible for getting myself up and dressed in the mornings.

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