a cry for help!!

Some days parenting is more than a battle…it’s a full-blown war. Today was one of those days. I’m exhausted!


At 10:30 this morning, the 10 year old made a somewhat innocent comment “Mom, I don’t have any long sleeve shirts”. Hmmm…. seems to me I remember purchasing several just a few weeks ago…where did they go? I wonder if all of those shirts were lost in the same abyss that the glasses disappeared to last week. Definitely time for an investigation….

In short time the investigation became a war. A battle of wills that escalated. Had I been wise, I would have sent for the reserves but no…I simply decided that today we would battle until there was no more war. The battle raged all day! I kid you not, it was an 8 1/2 hour battle!!! However, I am pleased to announce that we found the glasses, enough long-sleeve shirts to last the winter, missing Nintendo DS games, missing school books, and enough pens and pencils to outfit the military (we also found the floor to her room!).

Here is my cry for help! I need to hear from moms who battle this war in their homes. I have 3 children. Two of these are more like me and are not pack rats. When I send them to clean their rooms, they usually can accomplish the task. When I send them to find things in their rooms, they often can find the object quickly. It is with the other child, my 10 year old daughter that I need help. She is so much like her father (whom I love dearly). She saves EVERYTHING and puts NOTHING away (just today, we took 6 large trash bags of trash out of her room and 4 large trash bags of donations out). If this were a once-in-a-life time battle, I would chalk it up to parental experience and move on. However, this battle rages 2-3 and sometimes 4 times a year!!

If there is anyone out there who has experienced this war zone and has advice, I would love to hear it. When I’ve asked for advice, before, I usually get “You need to be firm.” (yeah-one can only spank so many times), “Make her stay in her room until it’s clean” (ok-today took 8 1/2 hours and a missed art lesson), or “Take away everything in her room and make her earn it back” (lovely idea-where exactly do I put this bed, dresser, desk, etc?). Most of those willing to dish out such thought provoking advice have never had this particular battle with their kids.

So, I am appealing to those who have been in this war… what do you do?

One thought on “a cry for help!!

  1. My son Cade(7) is like that. Once I have his room clean, I try to have him pick it up every night before bed. I have made specific places for certain things and I have to be there to supervise and help almost every time. I did give him a space where he can be "pack raty" as much as he wants – his bed. He loves blankets and stuffed animals. Currently he has 7 to 10 blankets and too many animals to count. Once a week we "tackle" the bed but it is his to enjoy (mess up) during the week. I have been doing this about two months and it is working so much better. I do have to stay on him and really supervise and do one task at a time, but we get through it and we can see the floor and his desk. It is not easy and really a daily task for him(us) but it only takes a few minutes a day compared to an all day battle. He is beginning to take pride in his room. Oh, and he can't have friends over if it is messy or out of control. That seems to help, too. Let me know if this helps.

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