mom jobs

Lately--like, for the past three years or so--we've been working with Evie to help her stop BOSSING her little sister all day long. The poor girl must come by it very naturally, as the firstborn of two firstborns (although I admit that I haven't spent a great deal of time studying up on the whole "birth order" thing, despite having heard Kevin Leman as the keynote speaker at the conference I attended last month...if you haven't heard or read Dr. Leman, he's full of wit and wisdom!). Anyway, I'm sure that one day Evie will grow up to be a wonderful leader and use her assertive qualities for the Kingdom in some mighty way, but as a five-year-old, sometimes she seems somewhat out of control! "Eloise, I don't ever want to see you do that again!" "Look at me, Eloise! Look at me! Do it this way! Eloise, look at me!" "Now you are going to play with this, and I am going to play with that, and I am the Mom, and you are the kid, but you're not a baby, but you're not a very big kid..." Yikes. A couple of mornings ago, it started up at the breakfast table. Evie moved a little toy out of Eloise's reach and said she could have it back when she was done eating. Of course, Eloise should not have had the toy at the table, but I was right there; she didn't need her "second mother" enforcing the rules. So, I told Evie that, since she wanted to do my job of taking care of Eloise, that she would do my jobs (with me) all day long. No playing. Just "mom jobs." All day. She did her regular chores, and then she spent the rest of the day helping me with mine. We cleaned up after her sisters, did laundry, made lunch, swept floors. While Eloise and Audrey napped in the afternoon, Evie helped me weed one of the gardens along our driveway. (Of course, she spent a lot of that time picking worms out of the soil and keeping them in piles on the rocks.) About five minutes into the job, Evie declared that she was so tired that she might need to go in for a nap, too, but I insisted that we needed to get the area weeded. "The whole thing???" she asked, desperately. I gently explained that "mom jobs" take a long time, sometimes, and you can't just stop doing them when you're tired. I am not sure how effectively this little exercise in discipline worked, but I do know Evie fell asleep the instant her head hit the pillow that night (a feeling I know all too well!).


  1. Boy, do I know how that is! MY first born was like that: bossing her sisters around ALL the time! (I guess you knew I'd write that, huh?) :>)

    You two are doing so well with those young-uns. Keep it up.


  2. Oh is this precious! I love your reality discipline...
    Please tell my dear Evie that her cousin Laurel (also sometimes Mother-ish) misses her greatly.
    What a treat to hear Kevin Lehman speak! I bet it was great.
    Love you all!
    BTW ~ I don't remember the being bossed around all the time. ;)

  3. I love it! =) (And I love Evie.)