Parents: What are you working on?

For my 8 year old:
Getting him to stop meeting every new challenge with “I can’t”. You can sweep the floor. You can do multiplication. You can clean your room. Not trying is not the same as not being able. I think after we figure this out it is smooth sailing.

For my two year old.
Keeping his hands to himself. And his feet. And his butt. And his head. He believes he is some sort of miniature living weapon. If we were in an age of Feudalism this would be awesome. But, unfortunately for him, we are not. I think after we figure this out it is smooth sailing.

16 year old: Stay away from drugs and alcohol. Keep grades up. Be nice.

The thirteen year old: We’re working on the universal (?) problem with thirteen year olds, how to get him to do all his schoolwork and bring his grades up.

The eighteen year old: I would like her to get a job and not spend all her time shut up alone in her room. I’ve been worried about her for a long time. It’s hard for me to give a concise summation of her problems, so let’s just say I wish she could overcome her social difficulties.

I think after we figure this out it will be smooth sailing. :wink:

My ten year old daughter: Get organized, turn in her homework, stop being so bossy and critical of her friends. Once we figure this out, it will be smooth sailing.

My eleven year old son: Listening to what is said. Being kinder to his sister. Learning and deploying manners (you do not have to preface your bodily functions with announcements, or follow them up with commentary on their quality). Once we figure this out, it will be smooth sailing.

The 17 y.o. son: Don’t be so damn lazy. You’re failing 4 of your 7 classes because the work isn’t being turned in. Show some motivation. I’d rather have a stupid kid who works hard than a smart kid who refuses to do the work.

The 7 y.o. son: It’s okay to be wrong once in a while–we still love you. Also, don’t interrupt a conversation in progress.

My 4 year old - stop repeating himself ad nauseum. Stop asking nonsensical questions just to hear the sound of his own voice. The kid has earned himself nicknames of “Motormouth” and “Twenty Questions”, I’m not sure how well that kind of behavior is going to fly when he starts school in the fall!

My 2-year old - Potty training :slight_smile:

My 1-year old - walking! He’s 14 months and only just starting to cruise. Little slowpoke!

My -4 month old - get herself born!

3 year old daughter - Eat your meals, specifically your fruits and vegetables. We’ve implemented a reward chart where she earns points for each serving she eats of each. When the chart is completed, she gets the reward. I thought with that we had figured it out, but it hasn’t worked as well as we hoped. I think after we figure this out it is smooth sailing.

About-to-be-1-on-Friday son - figuring out what to do for food at your birthday party! Ok, so this isn’t really something I’m working on for him, but it’s what’s on the plate right now. I think after we figure this out it is smooth sailing.

13-yr-old son: You are responsible for getting your homework turned in on time! Stop trying to shift the blame somewhere else! And you just watch your tone of voice, young man. Just because you’re 5 inches taller and have a deep, booming voice now doesn’t mean you can smart off to your mother.

9-yr-old son: Stop alternating every single statement with “… and guess what?” Just tell me!

Both of them: Be civil to each other.

Older daughter- Table manners. Stop fooling around at dinner so you can finish it in less than 40 minutes. Finish your classwork in class instead of stuffing it in your desk so you can read (we love your interest in reading but there’s a time and place for everything). I can take a shower in 10 minutes, and I’m a lot bigger- why can’t you? Clean up your room.

Younger daughter- Stop interrupting. Drink your milk.

Nothing, really, in an active sense. In a more passive sense:

14 year old daughter - don’t lose track of what’s important, set goals and meet commitments.

12 year old son - pitching, working on his fielding; standing up for himself.

On most of the other stuff they’re super. I guess a clean room of her own volition would be, nice, too, but I’ll try to let social embarrassment take care of that.

14-month-old daughter: Walking–she’s taken a few little steps here and there, but nothing consistent. Cruises like a champ, just doesn’t want to let go most of the time. Also, eating meat–she’ll only eat it if it’s on someone else’s plate.

6yo - hair-chewing and lip-licking. I swear sometimes I wish she’s just suck her thumb again if the oral fixation is so strong. We had to cut her hair short to stop the hair chewing. Then they gave the kids Pringles (!) for snack at school, and she got salty, irritated lips. Several months later we are finally seeing the end of red, crusty skin all around her mouth from the compulsive, vicious circle lip licking.

Also, attitude. I thought eye-rolling and sighing wouldn’t appear until at least 12, but I was wrong.

2yo - curbing the violence, not crying when mommy leaves her at the gym daycare.

I’m under no illusions about smooth sailing.

6 year old - We’re working on anger management, learning to not be the boss sometimes, and speaking kindly to people.

4 year old - We’re working on getting him to stop tormenting his big brother - he will hit you! Stop bugging him! Oh, and he’s learning to read.

Honestly, both of my boys are pretty low maintenance when they’re by themselves. 95% of the battles in our family are between the two of them and most of that is because the little one all of a sudden has opinions and my oldest is not happy about that AT ALL.

I have the opposite problem with my 12 year old. He will almost not do anything else until his homework is complete. His Language Arts/Reading teacher gives him homework at the beginning of the week. He feels like it has to be done THAT day. Just got his grades for the period: 100.0% in Language Arts and 96.3% in Reading. How do you teach a kid that sometimes he can slack off a little without opening the door too wide? I worry that he stresses himself out and he’s too young to legally offer a beer.


  • wipes tears *

(ETA: I mean no offense by that.)

12 year old boy - Choosing good friends. Those ‘cool’ looking kids who say their parents let them do anything they want and who have seen all the ‘Saw’ movies like 60 times, aren’t really as totally awesome as you think. The band nerds you use to hang out with had a lot more going for them.

10 year old boy - Stuttering and talking slowly. He’s had speech problems all his life and was recently ‘graduated’ from speech therapy. But when he gets excited he talks really loud, really fast, and stutters a lot.

8 year old girl - Being pretty isn’t everything. She is cute and slim, but recently this has become very important to her. She talks about how terrible is would be to become fat and how she doesn’t want to be friends with Lexi because she isn’t cute enough. She wants her nails manicured and her hair curled. She’s turning into a human Barbi at age 8!

6 year old boy - Aggressive isn’t cute. Being the youngest, for years he has gotten away with being aggressive to the older ones because he was little and it didn’t really hurt. He would hit them and they would laugh it off. He’s bigger and stronger now and he is used to hitting, pushing and kicking his older siblings. And it ain’t cute no more.

Once we figure these things out, it will be smooth sailing.

I’ve nearly broken this habit in my son by consistently responding to “Guess what?” with “Chicken butt!”

Hey, it works, man, that’s all I know…

7-year-old girl: you are responsible for your own attitude, and some people will be mean no matter what you do.

4-year-old boy: stop smelling your hands all the time - it’s really weird

It’s not fair to brag under the guise of complaining. :slight_smile:
My son is convinced it’s okay to start working on homework at 9:30 on the night before it’s due. Or hey, if it’s a day late, they only take off 20 points.

Ok, I may give that a try.

9 year old son: Making up facts like “there are 50 train crashes every minute,” and “We don’t have any study materials. How can I study?” Also fatalism. “Okay, I’ll never have candy again,” when we think he’s had enough.

3 year old son: Just plain not listening. Squirming and fidgeting during meals and leaving the table.

Mom & Dad: Keeping tempers and impatience at reasonable levels. Making sure the young’uns’ positive achievements are duly acknowledged (without fawning).