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How To Ruin Your Kids’ Summer in One Easy Step

If you asked my kids yesterday afternoon, they’d say I’m a mean mom. Their evidence?

  • I made them all fold laundry when they got home from their last day of school. Oh the humanity.
    clean unfolded laundry
  • I informed them that they will be doing so all summer, in fact.
  • I made the youngest turn off the Power Rangers after just one episode.
  • They have to earn time on the Wii or watching movies by reading and getting their chores done.
  • Each child has a bin in their room and they have to fill it up with stuff to move out of the room.

As I thought about my parenting yesterday, as they cried and moaned how their day was ruined by folding clothes, I realized that I have actually been a mean mom.

  • I haven’t taught them how to do laundry or fold clothes, and I haven’t been consistent about making them put their clothes away. That’s mean. They need these skills.
  • I haven’t taught them how to do dishes or cook (I don’t count the toaster). Do I plan to have them live on their own one day? Yes, so why haven’t I prepared them?
  • I’ve let the screen time (Wii, computer, and movies) get way out of hand. It’s mean to allow my laziness to inform my better judgment.
  • We haven’t purged in months. See above.
  • I have failed to require them to put things away after they get them out. Uh, yeah. See above again.

I’m turning over a new leaf. This summer is the perfect time to do it. My plan is simple. I’m going to teach them how to do laundry, clean bathrooms, wash dishes, load and empty the dishwasher, and vacuum. We’re going to purge, donating toys and clothes, pitching trash, and storing things so we can rotate the toys. By getting more stuff out of the bedrooms, the room will be easier to get clean and keep clean. We’re going to read together. It’s going to be awful great.

Are you a mean parent? Are you the healthy kind or the sick kind of mean? Do you have any great suggestions for how to make all this fun, and ultimately successful?


Life: unmasked buttonOn Wednesdays, I host a link-up for anyone willing to take off their “everything is fine” mask and write naked. You can keep it simple and just share a photo, you can get artistic and write a poem or create something, or you can go deep. The goal is to be real.

The instructions are simple: include a link back to this post in your post (you can use this short link: ). Copy the direct link to your post into the linky below. Then visit a couple others and let them know you stopped by! (I’ll do my best to visit a few of you too, but with all this laundry and purging we’re doing, it’ll be hit or miss.)


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