Wednesday, October 20, 2010

**reverse psychology**

So I'm here to confess that I've used reverse psychology
on my children.

Right or wrong,

I've done it.

I vividly remember a time when my boys were little
and I told Brenden,

"You know what? I do not want you to eat broccoli.
Because it will make you big and strong
and I don't want that to happen. I want you to stay
my little boy forever. So whatever you do,
DO NOT eat broccoli. Got it?"

Well, as any mom can imagine,
his response was anything but agreeable.
A little boy longing to be big like his father simply
couldn't resist a magic formula to gain such splendor.

He ate it.

And still does.


So once again I am taking this approach with this very child.

You see
(and I'm certain he won't care that I share this with you...
seriously, he won't),
this oldest man-boy of mine is a slob.
Clothes everywhere, bed is never made, dirty dishes strewn about,
trash deprived of ever seeing a place of proper burial,
etc., etc., etc.

My advanced apologies to my future daughter-in-law.
I can assure you I will take you on countless shopping trips
to make up for the cross you will someday bear.

I've taken a new (old) approach.
I cleaned up his room, spic and span.

I even make his bed for him every single day.
(Yes, he is 17 years old).

I do everything, in his words, except leave a mint on the pillow.
Note to self: Buy some mints.

My theory is,
perhaps he will grow to love his room being all neat and tidy.
And perhaps once he is on his own and sees
that it simply doesn't happen by mere coincidence,
he will take the initiative to...

*I don't know*


check back with me in about five years and I'll let
you know how this little experiment turns out.



Tiffany said...

Oh man! Good luck with that one!

Laurie said...

Oh, that is too funny. My oldest daughter that is that way. Not sure how it happened. When she was little she use to hate things being out of place. Now....
When it comes to dishes -forget it. We've been praying for a husband who loves to do them otherwise she will need to buy stock in some paper product company. lol. Let me know if the keeping the room clean for them works. Love your heart and tenacity though.

Tracy said...

I tryed that when my older girls were younger. Not because I thought they would somehow start cleaning it themselves, but because I am somewhat of a neat freak and couldnt stand the mess and the stench! I remember one of my girls was so bad that one time I went in the bathroom after she cleaned it. I remember stooping down to find a cup hidden under the dresser in the bathroom and found that instead of throwing her dirty socks into the hamper(which was in the very same bathroom)she had stuffed them in the cup! HUH! What is that all about. I laugh now... not so funny then. Soooooo I decided to change my method and just keep there bedroom door shut.

Angie said...

Reverse psychology is great! Actually, I think it was in the parenting manual I got in the hospital...:)

Acceptance with Joy said...


After a major manipulation trial yesterday over what Missy was to wear to speech yesterday this morning I told her "I don't care what you wear to school today, i don't care if you wear pajamas or a diaper on your head, but I suggest a shirt and pants."

She walked out... went straight to her room shut the door and emerged 15 minutes later in a nice outfit. NO BATTLE!

WHEW!!! This Momma is tired and reverse psychology is all I have left.

Holly said...

Hmmmm...somehow I doubt your plan will work, but I hope it will. :) Some of us are just not neat nics by nature. It really doesn't bother me if my room is messy, although I would love for someone to clean it for me every day.

Chad and Kristy said...

Ok, Lori! My Mom waited on me hand and foot until I married! What happened... well, I washed clothes for over a month with fabric softner.. I thought it was the same as detergent. I still do not know how to iron. I hate cooking and doing dishes! So, I am thinking as my mom was waiting on me all those years she must have been praying for a wonderful husband to come my way because Chad loves cooking and ironing. He helps with the house work and although we both hate doing the dishes... it just happens to be our chilren's daily chore..hee, hee (ok, I do help them sometimes)!

kippi said...

It is kind of funny, but nothing the military can't cure! My brother use to be messy until he went into the Navy - they even taught him how to iron and he wont let his wife do it cause he is too picky now!!

Another idea - just tell him to "Do Hard Things".


Karin said...

Good luck with that! Ryan never made his bed once he was a teen but now that he's in the Army, he has to. And he complains about his roommate who is a slob...hee!

Chris said...

Ah man! I was hoping it wasn't going to come to that! Maybe your new son will show them up!
Actually don't count on it...I had my hopes up in China, but I'm thinking the older boys rubbed off on the youngest one.
Well at least he (Brendan) will know to pick a wife that can clean "like mom"...

Janet and Kevin said...

Hee, hee. I remember those days with Ted. It was especially bad right before he graduated and went away to college. all I could think about was how his college roommate was going to hate him if he didn't shape up. Well, I did a drastic thing. One day while he was at work, I went through his room and cleaned it up big time. I arranged things in order in his dresser and closet. Then, when he came home, I showed him the system and told him that I would be checking each day to see that he put away his clothing properly - no clothing hanging out of dresser drawers, sprawled on the floor, or overflowing from the closet. Then I did charge him a few times until he got the message. It worked for awhile. Now that he is home again, I might have to resort to it again! LOL!!

Janet and gang

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