Is there a trick to this? Is there something I'm missing?
Let me paint you a little picture here....elementary school-aged son comes home has a cookie (I made a few extra from those we'll have for FHE last night), he eats a string cheese, a yogurt, a whole bagel and was headed for the pickle jar. UGH!
They are NOT starving, I'm SURE of it. They eat breakfast. They eat lunch, and they eat dinner. I provide a snack for them in the afternoon when they get home from school. They just eat because it's there, and when it's not there, they sit and complain. Ugh! This is NOT good.
So, here's the next chapter....I blew up (it's been coming for a long time), went for a drive, and ended up in my husband's office. It was so nice to have a place to go to vent. He listened calmly and patiently (oh, how I love that man!). When he left for home, so did I. Oh, while I was there, my daughter called him and it sounded like they were looking for the missing ingredients for dinner--that's what sparked all of this....I now have a very specific menu for the week, and if they eat the main ingredients, we don't have dinner. Thankfully, he knew where the ingredients were--not in the place they should have been. SURPRISE!
Anyway, we got home, and the house was spotless. They had obviously worked hard, and I felt foolish. I love these kids and hate it when I come unglued about dumb things, but really, they need to be a little more courteous.
When I returned home, I started right in making dinner, after I exclaimed over and thanked them for cleaning the house. They each jumped in asking what they could do to help. During dinner they oohed and aahed over what they were eating (it wasn't over the top. Just nice little comments: "Oh, this is so good," etc.). After dinner, they each thanked me.
After dinner jobs were done without complaint--even though my husband, while he read to our youngest would insert things into the story like: "And when she went into the cafeteria, she saw that that TABLE WAS CLEARED and the dishes were PUT IN THE DISHWASHER" as a reminder for kids sitting in the room who hadn't jumped up to do their jobs yet. This really wasn't part of the story, but the three-year-old didn't mind. The 17-year-old, however, told him "that isn't creative, Dad."
During Family Home Evening, I asked for a few minutes at the end. I apologized and told them that I'd been trying to come up with a solution, so I asked them three things....Would they:
2. Tell me when they use the last of something.
3. Throw empty containers away.
They agreed that they would.
After making my requests, I asked the kids if there was one thing they would like to snack on that I could attempt to keep a larger supply of, what would it be. The answer....fruit and veggies.
Not a problem. Actually, our fridge is practically overflowing with them right now. So, we're set.
So, for now, things are good. A little reminder about courtesy and gratitude, and we're back on the right track.
I'm not one to blow up very often--"reproving betimes" (D&C 121:43)--but maybe that's why it seems to go a little farther when I do. I'm hoping this trend stays for awhile or even becomes a habit. Boy, that'd be nice.