Battle of Wills

While I was trying to force encourage Crash and Bang to help me clean up their toys this evening I had an epiphany. An enlightenment. Or at the very least an interesting thought.

I’m the one who wanted it clean.

Why am I getting angry at the kids for something I want.

They clearly don’t want a clean room as much as I do. Really, I’m nearly convinced they’d be okay with a mess like Dresden in February of ’45.

Dresden After the Bombing

Is it possible that he doesn’t even see the mess? He looks at the basement area and there are toys everywhere, but to him it’s not a mess. It’s just toys all over. That can’t be, right. Because after we clean it he says, “Wow, look at the space. That’s a lot better.”

I’m the one who wants it clean, so why do I lose my patience when they won’t clean it?

It comes down to a battle of wills. I can lead him to the mess, but I can’t make them clean it.

If Crash isn’t around, Bang will normally help DW and I clean. He’ll vacuum the floor. He’ll vacuum the doormats. He’ll put some toys away. He’ll put the cushions back on the couch. He’ll help load/unload the dishwasher. If Crash is around, he assumes his big brother’s attitude.

What a bunch of chaches.

So it’s time for some lessons in being less selfish and more selfless. Just this morning, I told him it was time to pack his backpack for school and reminded him to fill his water bottle. I kindly asked him to fill his brother’s as well while I ran upstairs to get dressed. He whined about it! “UGH, you’re always making do stuff and I have no time for anything!”

Anyway, that’s for another time.

Consideration goes a long way. If you make a mess you clean it up. If you turn the light on, turn it off. If you open the fridge, you close the fridge. If you backtalk and get saucy, you get a swift reminder to watch your tone and what you say.

So, I want them to clean it because I want it clean. I want them to respect their belongings. I want them to respect me. Thus far, he’s only like this at home.

He’s been asking to start a YouTube channel so he can show people how to build some of the Lego stuff he creates. He loves to watch others build so now he wants to do that, too. Not that I want him on YouTube at the age of 8, but I suppose there are safe ways to do it. Some of his stuff is pretty neat – like the dog he made. Plus it would be his creative outlet. Maybe we can do a bit of negotiating. If he keeps areas clean and helps, I’ll help him make his videos. He wants to do stop motion videos with his Lego people, too. Should be interesting.

Sorry for writing  more about the frustrations in cleaning. I’ll have something different for ya tomorrow.

There, that’s 517 words.