Dear One tough muther,

I am a little concerned. I have a 9 year old daughter, and I feel as though it is the hardest most annoying job out of all my kids at times. Reason being I have to remind her to brush her teeth in the morning and before bed, brush her hair…brush her hair better, put deodorant on.. I have to tell her 5 times go take a shower& yes wash your hair. I wish she would just go and do these things on her own with out being told. She keeps her room so messy and unorganized. My mother would have NEVER allowed that from me. I tell her to clean her room and most times she just shoves anything any where, like dirty clothes in her toy box..I always once a week or so when she is away end up cleaning and organizing the whole room…. Is this normal to have to keep reminding and reminding her to do these daily things?? Or should I be concerned?

Dear Lynn,

I’m sorry to say that YOU are motivating this behavior. Children need hard lines of instruction, structure, expectation and schedules in order to stay focused and build responsibility.

Go to the Dollar store or any store and get a cheap electric alarm clock. Tell her that from today on at 7:30 at night she is to take a shower, wash your hair and brush her teeth. Show her you have set a the alarm to remind her and if she does not follow this new schedule there will be restrictions and consequences. She is old enough to understand what is expected of her and do it with out your constant nagging. The choice is hers and if she chooses not to follow, you will have to chose not to allow certain things she’d like to do. Explain to her that now that she is growing up she has to understand that life is about responsibility and trust. Tell her you will not tell you over and over any longer. That you will trust that when 7:30 comes and she hears the alarm she will shower, wash her hair and brush her teeth and show you she is growing up. Make sure she knows you will check and if she doesn’t follow there will be a consequence.

As far as her room goes the same technique should work as well. Clean is completely with her ONCE and show her how you’d like it to look. After that she is responsible for keeping in the same manor. If she refuses then consequences have to apply. In a few years she will be a teenager and needs to learn about responsibility and what will be expected of her once she is out in the world. You are actually helping her build good work habits by teaching her responsibility now.

Good luck Lynn, remember children are children and NEED to be taught. Structure and personal responsibilities are life lessons that will help them succeed in the future.

Huge Muther Hugs,

One Tough Muther

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