Been enjoying the writing, so who cares about not making money? Joan Rivers knows…

“People say that money is not the key to happiness.  But I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.”  Joan Rivers

I think she had that smile made, too…joan rivers

“All of the other kids in my class have an iPhone…And, lots have iPads, too.”

Morning roll call…Get their keisters in gear

If you haven’t already, try some of these ideas for the morning routine:

Be the secondary alarm clock.

I figure the average kid will take at least 30 minutes from the time their alarm goes off to the time they actually get their feet firmly planted on the floor. I also figure it takes an average kid about an hour to get ready. So, in total, I budget 90 minutes before they absolutely have to be out the door to make school on time.

After the alarm goes off, I first tell the kids somewhat gently that it’s time to get up. Because they will go back to sleep as soon as I walk out the door, I come back in 15 minutes, turn up the lights and do my best drill sergeant impersonation to get them fully awake. I won’t leave the room until they actually get out of bed.

drill sergeant

“I am Gunnery Sergeant Hartman, your senior drill instructor. From now on you will speak only when spoken to, and the first and last words out of your filthy sewers will be “Sir”. Do you maggots understand that?”

Sometimes, I have to repeat that part of the process more than once!

Do not allow your kids to eat breakfast before they get dressed.

Some parents may already do this as a rule, but often there is so much whining and complaining in the morning that kids are given time to ‘wake up,’ get some breakfast and watch TV to get them to shut their traps.  But, they will soon learn to get dressed quickly if they are hungry.

Since I cut out TV in the morning, my kids litterally get ready in about half the time.

My kids turn into TV zombies and watch life insurance commercials with the same vigor as an episode of Sponge Bob Square Pants…

The pay-off/reward incentive.

It’s simple. The quicker they get ready, the more time they will have before they go to school.  I let them do whatever they want as long as they are 100% ready to go.  

Let it flow and let it go when dealing with your kids…count to 10 or go punch a hole in the wall

I have read and reread “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff (and It’s All Small Stuff) by Dr. Wayne Dyer several times.  It is a nonsensical, zen-like approach to dealing with stress.

In “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff,” Dr. Dyer spends a lot of time trying to instruct the reader how to put things into perspective. Some of my favorite concepts from the book are the following:

“We overreact, blow things out of proportion, hold on too tightly, and focus on the negative aspects of life.” This raises an interesting question for parents. Do we spend more time praising or admonishing your children?

“When you don’t sweat the small stuff, your life won’t be perfect, but you will learn to accept what life has to offer with far less resistance.” Over time, taking a less-overbearing approach with our children will not only reduce friction, but we may find your kids surprising less inert when it comes to behaving in a manner that is more to our liking.

Our kids are always going to misbehave, disappoint, and do things that will meet with our disapproval. It is the way in which we respond to our children that will effect the outcome.

not like this guy...

not like this guy…

When taking the angry-scary parental approach, we exhaust ourselves, upset our children, and create a negative environment in the household. We are better off counting to ten and choosing what we say very carefully in a steady, no-nonsense tone.

I sometimes just stare at my kids for a couple of seconds. This can be much more disturbing to them. After all, they usually know they’ve done something wrong, and they are waiting to see how we will react.


Now, I’m not into mind games or mental warfare with my children. The take-away is not what you say. Rather, it is how you react to your child’s latest transgression. As parents, we must pick our battles carefully, or we dull the effect on our children the next time around.