Monday, December 21, 2015

The Shoes in the Kitchen

Sometimes it is the smaller misbehaviours that wear me down. They are constant, they are relentless. Some days I chose to ignore them for the sake of my sanity.

The shoes in the kitchen is a small example. Michelle was given a new pair of dress shoes. I told her not to wear them out playing in the backyard.  She has plenty of shoes for playing in. Well, the first day she wears them out without me noticing.  I didn't say anything so the shoes ended up in the kitchen for me to notice.  Shoes don't normally end up in the kitchen. Since we added the family room to the house the kitchen is in the middle of the house.  Shoes tend to congregate by the back and front doors.

Well, these dress shoes end up in the kitchen where I noticed that they were dirty and had obviously been worn out to play.  I have Michelle come and get them and remind her not to play outdoors in them because I will not replace them.

The next day I stop her from wearing them outdoors. However, I am not always there to see what shoes she is wearing.  I don't always look at what she is wearing. Later they once again end up in the kitchen looking more ragged than before.  The toes are looking torn and they are dirtier. Once again I tell Michelle to stop wearing them out to play.

Over the next few weeks I keep finding those shoes in the kitchen looking worse and worse. Finally one day I find them in the kitchen and they are destroyed. I put them in the trash.

Sunday Michelle comes down in a pretty dress for church and she has no dress shoes.  She is wearing bright yellow crocs.  Even my husband recognized that it looked bad and he told her to go find something else.  She comes down in shorts. We are having our first weekend of cold weather so I tell her to put on some jeans. Naturally that calls for yelling and crying. I am now the bad one because she has no dress shoes. We are not providing for her and she is willing to tell anyone who will listen.

She wants me to go out and buy her some. I will not. Well, that isn't true, I found some at Goodwill but I will not give them to her yet.  She may find them under the tree for Christmas.

The shoes in the kitchen are just a small example of the smaller behavior issues that we deal with on a daily basis, with more than one child. To me the shoes are a simple issue, natural consequence once they are ruined. Other behaviors aren't so clear cut. Some I just let go.  Some I can't.

Sometimes the issue becomes bigger when the kids go to others and talk about how deprived they are, how awful their parents are, how strict their parents are. These people have a tendency to judge when they don't know the whole truth. We have had problems when friends, acquaintances, even churches judge us and turn from us.

After getting hurt by friends, I let very few people into my inner circle. Over time I have gotten stronger although it still hurts to get the look of judgement from adults. I have worked hard on changing my attitude and recognizing that they are just clueless. I have also worked hard on how I look at parents who are struggling out in public. I work at offering compassion and understanding when they are dealing with a difficult child in public. Because sometimes it is easy to say to others, "don't judge me" then turn around and judge others in the same way.

Anyone else struggling with small misbehaviors that never end.  Are they getting worse because Christmas is coming?

What about dealing with people who judge your parenting? How do you deal with it?


  1. my sister in law...with no kids....the judging...they have no idea what parenting is and have NO IDEA what parenting with foster kids is. I REMEMBER that mercy and forgiveness is giving to me every single day. It's my job to extend that as well. Mercy. Forgiveness. It's the only way because they love all the kids and it's about that love, not my need for support :)

  2. Oh, my, yes. The shoes. I just threw out a pair three days ago that were sitting in the entryway. Number one I asked her not to wear shoes in the snow- a foot and a half of snow. I bought her $75 boots, there's no reason to be freezing her feet off! Number two she isn't suppose to leave them in the entry. If she wants to leave them where she takes them off then she needs to go through the mud room door instead of the front door. So yup, after seeing them there and continually asking her to put on boots I picked them up and threw them out. This and a thousand other behaviors daily. We had our Christmas morning a few days early and the twins have settled a bit.

  3. My 4 year old has sensory issues. He can have epic meltdowns in public complete with nasty words being flung about. It looks like an undisciplined and spoiled child not getting his way. I've learned to ignore the looks. I do still suppress the urge to explained.

    1. Oh my gosh, you have just described my son, now 16 years old. He also has sensory issues (mildly autistic as well) and all through his childhood would have meltdowns in public places, even punching and kicking me etc. The bright lights, the noise (his hearing is so sensitive he can hear a car door close a street over), smells, etc., and then the migraines hit him only after he has totally had a meltdown. As he has gotten older, he has learned to adjust somewhat, but recently at a new counselor's office, I jokingly swatted his arm (gently, barely touching it) as we laughed about something and he immediately withdrew and yelled "ow!" I know better than to do that, but for some reason I forgot in the midst of the counselor and I laughing at something. It goes on, never ends, people looking on and judging and I look with wiser eyes now at other parents who are going through tough times, especially in public settings. We could write a book on behaviors... Right???

  4. Kayla ruins every pair of shoes she's given. So I started writing in her planner "Please note. Kayla has new shoes today Oct. 1. Please remember this so that when they are destroyed in less than a month you will know it is not that she didn't have shoes, but that she chose to destroy them." Last years' teacher wondered why I had written it until not a month later Kayla tried to play the "poor me I never get new shoes" card.