Tuesday Tips: This One Is For the Kids

Yes, today’s tips are directed at the kiddos. All will not apply to all children due to age and ability, of course, but the sooner you get them started, the better off you and your children will be. (Note: Many of these things are completely forgotten when the teenage years hit. Not sure when they remember them again. I’ll let you know.)

Hello! I’m here today to share some things with you that – if you do them – will make your mom and dad happy. And they’ll be proud of you. Making your parents happy and proud should be one of your life’s goals. Just saying. 🙂 Some of these you think you can’t do. Some of them you don’t want to do. But, trust me. Doing them will make life easier for your parents, and that will make life easier for you. True story.

1. Make your bed when you get out of it in the morning.

Yes, when your little (or big) feet hit the floor in the morning, make your bed. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but we moms do appreciate a neatly-made bed. Especially if we aren’t the ones who have to make it. Your room automatically looks neater to us if the bed is made. Neat rooms make moms smile. This is a good thing.

2. Your dirty clothes go in the hamper or laundry basket.

Your dirty clothes do not belong on the bathroom floor. Or your bedroom floor. Or in the hallway. Or even near the hamper. They go IN the hamper. This is not hard. If you can get them near it, you can get them in it. If it’s not in the hamper, it might not get washed. Then on Monday morning when you absolutely have to wear your favorite jeans, you find them under the bed instead of nice and clean-smelling and folded in your drawer. So you either have to wear dirty smelly jeans – which is NOT a good thing – or you have to wear something else.

3. Your clean clothes go in the dresser drawers or in the closet.

Your clean clothes do not belong on the bed. Or on yours desk. Or on top of the dresser. Or in the closet floor. Or your bedroom floor. When your mom is kind enough to do your laundry, the least you can do is put it away. Takes less than 5 minutes. Makes mom happy. If your cleans clothes end up in the floor, they also end up dirty. See #1 above about what happens when your favorite jeans are dirty and you want to wear them.

4. Help mom in the kitchen – even if she doesn’t ask first.

Wow! This one will put a big smile on mom’s face! Ask your mom how you can help her in the kitchen. It might be setting the table for dinner. Or loading or unloading the dishwasher. It might be helping make dinner. Usually, any and all help in the kitchen is appreciated. It means we moms don’t have to spend as much time there. This also makes us happy. Happy is always good. Always.

5. If you ask for and get a pet, it is YOUR responsibility. Not Mom’s. Not Dad’s. YOURS.

Have you ever said, “Can I please have a puppy? I promise that I will feed him, walk him, play with him, clean up after him!”? If you have and you got that puppy (kitten, bird, lizard, etc.), then it is yours. YOURS. And the responsibility for taking care of him or her is YOURS. It’s not always convenient. It’s not always fun. But neither is taking care of you – especially when you were a baby – so do it anyway. YOU asked for it. YOU take care of it. Okay?

6. Get ready for the next day the night before.

The night before school, church, sports, etc., go ahead and do what you can to get ready. Make sure your homework is done and is IN your book bag. Make sure any permission slips, notes from the teacher, and things like that have been seen by Mom or Dad and signed if needed. And put IN your book bag. Help Mom by fixing (or helping fix) your lunch for the next day. Lay out the clothes you’re going to wear. Anything you can do the night before will make the morning easier. A bad, stressful morning isn’t good for anyone. Don’t be a stress-causer who makes everyone late for school because you can’t find her favorite shoes or  lost your field trip permission slip.

7. Don’t be a whiner.

No one likes a whiner. If Mom or Dad says “no,” keep quiet! Whining and begging will only make your parents irritated. This will also make them more likely to say “no” more regularly. Don’t whine because you don’t want to do your homework. Don’t whine because you can’t go somewhere all of your friends are going (They’re not all going anyway, by the way. Some of their parents will also say “no.”). Don’t whine because you have to turn the TV off and go to bed. This is life. You have to do things you don’t want. That’s how it works. Whining won’t get you very far. Sorry.

8. Get up when you are supposed to.

The earlier you learn to set your own alarm clock and get up when it goes off, the better off you will be. If Mom or Dad says it’s time to get up, it’s time to get up. I can assure you, they’d probably rather sleep in, too. Don’t make your mom have to come in and yank the covers off.  Or throw a glass of cold water in your face. Don’t make things harder for everyone. Don’t make everyone late because of you. Just get up. I’d hate to think that you didn’t get up on time and your mom has to make you go to school in your footie pajamas because you didn’t have time to get dressed. Just know that that’s what I’d do. 🙂

9. If you have homework, do it as soon as possible after you get home.

Teachers give you homework. It’s a fact. Just do it. The sooner you do it – and do it properly and to the best of your ability – the sooner you can move on to other stuff. Make this a habit. It’s a good one! It’s important to do your homework to the best of your ability. If you have questions, ask your parents. Don’t NOT do your homework because you don’t understand the directions. Mom or Dad are pretty smart. They can usually read directions and help you with your homework. They really were once the same age as you. But remember, it’s yours. Don’t expect Mom, Dad, or your big sister to do it for you. Also, do NOT wait until Sunday night to begin work on your science fair project (or any other big project or paper) that is due on Monday. When you get an assignment for something ‘big,” start work on it right away and do a little at a time. Trust me; this will be much easier for you.

10. When your parents tell you or ask you to do something, just do it. If they tell you to stop doing something, stop.

Often, these things you are told to do called chores. Parents generally ask you or tell you to do something because they need you to do it. We’re parents. That doesn’t mean we don’t need help now and again. If we ask you to do something and you do it right away without whining or asking 4,327 times why you have to do it, it makes us happy. Happy is good. If we tell you to stop doing something, it’s usually for your own good. As in, stop jumping on the bed before you break the bed and break your arm. These things actually happen. That’s why we tell you to stop before they do. Again, not being mean. Just trying to keep you safe and protect you. Yes, teenagers. This does apply to you as well.

You do chores because you are part of the family and sharing in the chores makes the house and family run more smoothly. Think about it. Is it fair for Mom to work, do the laundry, cook the meals, walk YOUR dog, and clean YOUR room while you sit and watch TV? No. It definitely is not fair. Think about this. What if Mom and Dad sat and watched TV while you had to go to school, do the laundry, cook the meals, walk the dog, do your homework, and pack everyone’s lunches? How would that make you feel? Exactly. You are part of a family. Do your part. Sit down with Mom and Dad and decide together what you are able to do to help out around the house. Then go forth and do it. Without having to be told. Or reminded a bazillion times. I doubt you have to remind Mom a bazillion times to fix dinner. You probably don’t remind Dad a bazillion times to go to work. So don’t make them have to ask you a bazillion times to take out the trash or put your laundry away.

We parents give you chores and have things that we expect you to do. Not because we’re mean, but because one day you will have your own house (we hope!) and will need to know how to do stuff. Really. That’s why we ask. That’s why it’s important to learn to do things around the house for yourself and to be responsible for your own work (homework right now; a job later on). We want you to be kind, respectful kids. We love to hear how well-behaved you were at church or how much work you are putting into your school work or sports.

Do your best. Be your best. Your parents will thank you. And there will be lots of smiles.

~ Miss Lynne


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