Lately I have been thinking about my boys and their role in manners and routines throughout our home. I’ve been so consistent, with both boys, about the basics: please, thank you, don’t be a complete and utter slob. Yet there are times when one of them (typically the 10 year old) will do something so the complete and utter opposite of me teaching him, for ten years, and I’m just like I CAN’T EVEN UNDERSTAND YOU RIGHT NOW. Take coming into the home, for instance. Logan will tumble into the mudroom door remove his shoes and leave them DIRECTLY in front of the entrance so that the next person to come in the home will basically fall into it. I think I have told him 7,698 times to remove his shoes and put them under the mudroom bench because THAT IS WHAT IT’S FOR but alas, boys.
And I do strongly believe that boys are a different animals than girls. I think manners and the basic how to be a functioning human sticks stronger to girls so, bless our hearts boy moms, we are going to have to try harder and be consistent way more often. Boys brains do not register to move their shoes out of the way for the next person. Girl brains do. I recently had a lovely girl sleepover at my home (what at treat!) and when I went into the guest room the bed was made, the light was turned off, the blinds were up. I almost fell over in shock.
One of my main goals in making sure my boys are not complete disasters is so that when they go to another home they have the tools needed to be able to function without me. Remove your coat, hang it up, put your shoes away – etc. All basics they should know and have been taught over and over and over in our home.
I’ve broken down our house ‘routines’ by different areas of them home. This is a guideline, and by no means are my boys perfect! Take the 10 year old and the shoes in front of the door. There are days they nail it and I’m all like ‘I so rock as a mother’ and then days they walk through the entire home with muddy shoes on and I’m back at square one questioning why no one on earth ever listens to me ever.
So let’s take a jaunt through our home, shall we? These are what I’m trying to get my boys to master. Wish me luck.
Actually remove their shoes. (You think this would be easy, but it is not).
Do not walk through my home, the neighbors home, ANYONES home with muddy shoes
Place said shoes under the mudroom bench. (That is what it is for).
Hang up said coat. (Do not throw onto the floor)
Hang up backpack, hats, anything else that is apart of them that is being removed.
Turn on fan, if needed
Put up the lid
Pee into the toilet. (Boy moms, you feel me).
Close the lid
Flush the toilet (Another serious challenge for boys for some reason).
Dry hands with towel
Do not throw said towel onto the floor, leave it nicely on the counter or hang it back up
Turn off the light, leave on the fan if needed
Actually sit on a chair
Stay sitting on said chair
Chew with your mouth closed
Eat over your plate (I have, no doubt, said this 17,453 times in my life to my boys)
Use a napkin to wipe your hands. Not your shirt. Not the table cloth. Not the cloth on the chair.
Bring in your plate and empty into the garbage
Remove dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket
Tidy up toys and books
Keep their desk space organized and clean
Turn off lights when appropriate
(I don’t have them make their beds, because I am too anal about how it turns out. This is a chore I’m happy to do).
This is a room that tests my patience greatly. There is no point in having it perfectly clean daily, because it’s most likely going to be a disaster again the next day. So, my goal is once a week (Mondays) to have the kids spend time organizing it, cleaning it, and getting it back in order. Sometimes I break down and do this but I’m really trying to put this one on the boys. My biggest tip for playrooms is having a system. It’s going to be hard for kids to clean up a massive mess when there is no logic to it. We have baskets for legos, baskets for trios, bins for balls, bins for stuffed animals, etc. This has made the process of cleaning up that much smoother for them. And me.
Especially in summer, this space can get messier than the playroom! I’m not sure why the entire contents of our garage need to end up scattered about outdoors daily but that always seems to be the case. Boys are responsible for putting it back together nightly so bikes don’t get run over and landscapers don’t break their lawn mowers on idle balls. (whoops).
Sp, what do you think? Too much? Too little? I’d love to hear what you try to encourage at home. Always a hard balance and I’m constantly trying to figure it out.