Holiday Parenting Tips: Tired of Touchers & Selfishness in Your Home?

innocent Don’t you just love it when people tell you how sweet, well mannered & cute your kids are?  I do, but I’m thinking, “you don’t know the half of what I’m dealing with or what it takes to get them this tame”.  LOLOL!!!!  I’ve had days where I’d pay someone to:

1.  kidnap me,

2.  let me take a nap, or

3.  let me visit a jail as a mock prisoner in solitary (hey, 3 square meals, my own bed & access to the TV is a step up some days).

Ok, maybe I’m being a bit extreme (or…am…I?) but there are some days that you’ve just had enough!

I mean seriously, they look all innocent, but it takes a lot of this…


And this…


And this…

giving orders.



Ok, you get the picture.  On to the tips:

Do you have “touchers”?  You know, little people with hands that seem to gravitate to YOUR stuff.  Well, let me help you with a tip from my book, How NOT to Kill Your Kids Before They Turn 18.

The Touchers

explore“Children touch stuff.  All the time.  Anyplace.  In some environments, that’s ok.  Little babies are expected to touch stuff.  That’s not what I mean.  I mean when children who know better touch other people’s things.  I have 3 children and “Maaaaa!  _____ is touching my stuff!  Mommy, tell ____ to stop touching my stuff!” was heard at least four to five times a day.  Even my husband was complaining about his stuff being touched by the children.  Until I’d had enough.  I came up with this crazy rule:  If you touched someone else’s stuff, you had to clean their room.  No matter whose stuff or what room.  Touch your brother’s/sister’s stuff and you have to clean their room.  Touch Mommy’s/Daddy’s office stuff and you have to clean that respective office.  I am glad to report that it worked!  I haven’t found my notepads in my daughter’s room or my husband’s pens in my son’s rooms or anything.  If the children have touched each other’s stuff, I haven’t heard about it.  So they either stopped or they have an underground agreement to not snitch.  Either way, it works for me!”

Next, a BIG problem.  Especially around the holidays.  Selfishness!  Lord have mercy, they want everything in sight!  Talk about their eyes being bigger than my wallet, the household budget, their college savings…So here are a few tips on how to get a bit of control in this area.


Young Man and Woman Giving Food and Water to Homeless Man“One thing that I’ve learned as a parent is that the million written and unwritten rules in society that we usually make an effort to abide by deal with selflessness.  If you think about the laws of the land, most of them are in place to help others.  Why do we have speed limits?  So we don’t hurt anyone or ourselves.  Why do we use turn signals?  To let the other person know what we’re about to do.  Why do we push our chairs in after getting up?  So it’s not in the way and so the area looks neat and tidy.  If you sprinkle when you tinkle, whyKids on School Bus are you a sweetie and wipe the seatie?  So the next person won’t have to.  So you can see, it’s not about us.  It’s about everyone else.  That’s what life should be about-looking out for others.  And that’s what the basic rules we teach our children (sharing, taking turns, being nice, taking care of what you’re given and encouraging) are all about.

Think about the stuff you’re frustrated about with parenting.  Nine times out of ten it’ll be something stemming from selfishness.  Not cleaning up after themselves, dragging when it’s time to go, not pitching in, breaking curfew, abusing their bodies, etc.  It is a result of not taking other’s feelings into consideration.

So how do we teach this habit?  Yes, selflessness is a habit (even though some have compassion like it’s a gift).  Start very early.  When they can say “mine” it’s too late.  making cookieThe fact that they know this term is an indication that they are looking out for themselves, right?  Using words like “ours”, “share”, etc. help children understand that they’re important.  Also, share.  Share a lot.  Share meals, chores, family time, outings, money, take turns, etc.  Don’t complain while you’re doing it.  Do a great job of showing a team effort.  Make it fun.  Create a goal.  If we work together and complete the task without complaining for ___ days, we’ll all _______ together.  Share thoughts on how many days it should be and what the reward will be.  Change it up every so often so everyone’s ideas are used.   For example, if the family keeps the kitchen cleanclean as a team for 7 days straight, go out for ice cream together as a family reward!  If you keep it clean a month, do movie night.  Do it for 6 months and go on a weekend vacation.  Change the time frame and reward to suit your family.  Show it pays to work together without complaining.”

Here are a few words to emphasize & work into your child’s vocabulary to help instill an unselfish perspective:

support        encourage        inspire        help        chip in

befriend        contribute        give        love     share

And for Pete’s sake, someone feed the dog!  (Tee hee! Thought I’d throw that in there)

Yellow Lab Lying by Empty Food Dish

If you’ve enjoyed these tips (or enjoyed listening to the crazy author who authored them), please leave some feedback!  If you like, you can meet me in person or grab a copy for yourself, a friend or relative.  Click the pic below to be taken to my page on & read more & place an order. Thanks again for stopping by!

Meet the Author 18

2 thoughts on “Holiday Parenting Tips: Tired of Touchers & Selfishness in Your Home?

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