These are just my ramblings and thoughts on a variety of topics
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on June 16, 2014 at 3:40 PM||comments (2310)|
18 years ago today Todd and I were in the air flying home with our beautiful baby girl that we were blessed to adopt from Julie. And here we are 18 years later celebrating her HS graduation with her birth mother by our side. Last fall we gave our daughter a very special diary. One that her birth mother had written to her while she was carrying her. As a result of reading the diary they were able to connect via Facebook and then Bethany invited her to come to her graduation today. So two weeks ago Julie flew in from CA to celebrate Bethany's 18th birthday and HS graduation. During these two weeks I've had several friends comment about how they admire me or how they think I'm such a strong person to allow her in our lives. As I've heard these statements I've actually been confused because I just don't see that. Yes, I know that a lot of adoption reunions don't go well and there are all kinds of problems. Yes, back when we were going to give her the diary I was afraid of all of that, but we were praying hard and had lots of people also praying about it. I just had to trust the Lord with my daughter once again. After chatting w/Julie via Facebook and hearing how HAPPY she was to hear from us, I just couldn't stand in the way of their getting to know each other. And I am a child of God and love Him and want to please Him with my life. How could I withhold love from someone after how He has loved me just because I'm afraid? And I LOVE my DAUGHTER, Bethany, with ALL my being and KNEW that having an opportunity to have ?'s answered would be what's best for her. When you love someone you are to do what is best for THEM not what is best for self. Anyone who knows my daughter knows this would be best for her. And over these last few months Julie and I have formed our own friendship and I consider her a sister I never had. (Just got to get my sister to learn how to eat Southern! LOL ) So I'm glad I've been an inspiration to many but honestly, folks? It's only because of God that all this has gone so well. I really believe He's the one who has given me the peace through this whole event. Julie flies back home tomorrow, and I have to say I will miss her dearly.
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on June 5, 2013 at 3:00 PM||comments (4)|
Well, my HTC Thunderbolt had been an awesome phone but I had dropped it one too many times (for some reasons phones don't like that!) so it started freezing up and having issues. I was still recovering from a recent surgery so did my upgrade online and saw that the LG Lucid 2 was the free one w/Verizon this month so decided to give it a try since I've good results with LG phones in the past.
These are my personal observations:
-VERY quick at running apps and games
-very user friendly
-good sound quality
-normal size so fits the hand well
-I liked the graphics
-very light & thin
-the very first night I forgot to charge it fully and it died. The next morning when I plugged it up, it would NOT charge! I tried another charger cord and everything. Finally had to take the battery completely out and then it charged. NOT a good sign at the beginning of a 2-yr contract
-I LOVED the photo quality I had w/my HTC Thunderbolt and was expecting the Lucid2 to be at least close. I took several photos of my daughter's birthday party and did not like the pictures at all. Her cake looked like it had caught on fire! The photos were very grainy
-I am a heavy reader and use a tablet to read with but when it dies I use the Kindle and Nook apps on my phone. I used the Kindle app on the Lucid2 for a couple of days and several times when turning a page the screen would distort and freeze.
-The phone feels TOO light---like it will break if dropped once or twice.
Overall, I would say this is a good starter smartphone or a smartphone for someone who doesn't use all kinds of apps with their phone. If you are used to a smartphone though, you will probably not like it.
So back to Verizon store I went and this time i have a Droid DNA: so far I love it but it's only been a day! In a couple of weeks I'll let you know how it is doing.
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on June 1, 2013 at 7:35 AM||comments (11574)|
Surgery for the removal of the adrenal myelolipoma and left adrenal gland was set forTuesday, May 7th, 2013, at noon. This type of surgery is an adrenalectomy and I was fortunate that it could be done laproscopically and also that my surgeon was one who uses robotics to perform it. Now here are some health issues I had going on at time of surgery:
- Crazy blood pressure readings after a life of normal to low blood pressure
- Throbbing and pain on my left side, especially at night when I was on my back
- On my arms I had these oozing sores that would never heal and go away. Had them for about 7 months.
- Sinus problems
- Chronic UTI’s
- Bone spur in right heel that had gotten VERY hard to walk on even w/anti – inflammatories
God gave me total and complete peace about moving ahead with the surgery which is saying a lot when you consider all the risks and complications that could’ve resulted. (The surgeon told me that there was a very real possibility that the blood supply to the left kidney could get damaged and therefore the kidney would be taken. ) The surgeon told us that from the start to the finish of the surgery would be approximately 5 hours. Now, I had a lapro hysterectomy done about 7 years earlier and did awesome with it, so I was thinking that the recovery would be about the same since they were both lapro’s. HA—boy was I ever wrong!
Due to all the prayers my sweet friends were praying for me, the surgery went REALLY well---only took THREE hours! The day of surgery I was told to take just one blood pressure medication. All day after surgery my blood pressure was 90/60;in fact, when I finally was allowed to try and stand I got dizzy. The anesthesia made me a bit sick on my stomach so I wasn’t even able to eat jello until about midnight. From then on my stomach was fine. (Nurse was bringing me a turkey sandwich at 2 a.m.!) The next morning they checked my bp and it was 115/75 so I told them that I was not going to take my bp medicine until it was high again. The surgeon came by and took the catheter off and said I would be discharged once I could walk the floor, sit in a chair, and pee. At the time I was just having some mild pain in my chest from the CO2 that they pump in you. About an hour after the surgeon had left the pain drastically increased. Honestly, it was awful!! It had gotten up under my rib cage, and I felt like I couldn’t even breathe. The nurse brought me two percocets but they didn’t do a thing for it. An hour later it was even worse so she had to give me tramadol thru an IV. THAT did help thank goodness!! They came by with my bp medicines and checked my bp which was still just 112/72 so I refused the meds. I finally met all the conditions for discharge and was sent home at 1:30 on Wed the 8th.
I was expecting to be back on my feet in 1 week and chomping at the bit to get back to work after two weeks. Again, I was TOTALLY off base! That first week all I did was SLEEP! I could NOT stay awake for anything. The pain from the CO2 lasted about 2 more days so I was taking Percocet AND ultram for pain. When the gas FINALLY dissipated the pain was just localized to the incisions. I had 3 incisions going down the left side of my stomach. One small one right at my rib cage area; a 2-inch incision midway down; and a small one at my hip bone. The 2 inch incision was the spot where the tumor was brought through. That incision is the one that caused the most pain. It took almost a whole month before I wasn’t noticing it pulling or hurting. My blood pressure stayed normal!
I took my last pain pill on Thurs night a week and a half after surgery. The following Monday I was starting to feel like myself and was able to drive to the library about 5 minutes from here. Well, that Monday night I broke out in HIVES!I had burning, itching, and mild swelling and it would go from my hands to my feet to my scalp to my ears and then back around again. The next day, 2 weeks from surgery, I was on the phone with my surgeon’s office about the horrible hives. It was miserable! They recommended taking 2 benedryl every 4-6 hours and if it didn’t improve to call my regular dr. Well, it would help for the first hour after I took it but it never got the hives and itching under control. So on Wednesday I was at my regular dr’s office. My bp was 130/80(even though I was in HUGE duress from the itching and burning!). The dr gave me a prednisone shot; put me on a week of prednisone; told me to continue the benedryl; put me on zantac 2x a day(has antihistamines in it?); and told me to take my Zyrtec 2x a day. We both felt that the Percocet is probably what caused the hives since I had never taken it before this surgery. Well, I expected the hives to disappear since I had the prednisone shot but NOPE! The next day I was back on the phone w/the dr’s office asking if there was something other than benedryl because I was still miserable. The dr called in some Doxeprin for me. THAT worked! But it also knocked me OUT! So back to bed I went! I was able to quit the doxeprin the following Monday and go back to Benedryl, but as of today, 1 month after surgery, I still have very small flare ups of the hives first thing in the morning and again around 5 pm. Honestly, that allergic reaction was right up there w/the CO2 pain and made my recovery that much worse!
I didn’t have any problems at all w/the incisions healing. The top incision did get a bubble on it that felt like fluid but it never burst and was never red. Went for my 3 week post op appt and surgeon told me that the myelolipoma was actually in one arm of the adrenal gland; it was benign; it was non- functioning. Even though it was non- functioning I believe it was putting pressure on my kidney which was affecting my blood pressure. He wanted me to take 2 more weeks off of work but due to End of Grade testing we compromised that I would take 1 full week and the 2nd week would be ½ days. So I will start back to teaching on Monday and am a bit hesitant about how I will have the energy to get through even ½ a day.
3 ½ weeks out from surgery:
- blood pressure is still in normal ranges w/o anyblood pressure medications
- bone spur on right heel---I haven’t noticed ANY pain from it (Strange?? Will be curious to see how that does after returning to work on Mon)
- The oozing sores on my arm went COMPLETELY away for the first time since last summer! Just have the brown scars to deal with now.
- Incisions are healing nicely. The 2 inch incision occasionally twinges or hurts but surgeon said that is completely normal and will happen for another month at least
- Am still low on energy. Not allowed to do housework for 1 more week. Small jobs make me short of breath.
- Prednisone has given me the jitters and made me HUNGRY all the time so have no idea if the surgery affected hypoglycemia. Won’t know until I get off this tapering round of the prednisone in about a week.
- Flank pain and throbbing is gone
I’ll try to remember to do another update in about a month or two. I just can’t thank the Lord enough for how He has watched over me through this and for all the sweet friends that He has given me. They have been so good to me and my family during my recovery.
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on June 1, 2013 at 6:35 AM||comments (92)|
Today my blog is really just for my personal records but you just never know---maybe it will help someone else down the road that is dealing w/an adrenal tumor. During the year of 2012 I dealt with at least 7 UTI’s and finally got to the point that I requested my physician to refer me to a specialist to get to the cause of these infections. So in January of 2013 I was sent to see a urologist. He examined me and decided to do a CT scan to see if I had any lurking kidney stones that might be cracked and flaking sending infection thru me. On a Friday afternoon at 4:30 I went to my first scan expecting to hear the results in about a week or two. Well, while teaching the following Monday morning the dr himself called me at 9:30 a.m. to let me know that the good news was that I did NOT have any kidney stones BUT that they had discovered a cyst on my right kidney and a tumor on my left adrenal gland which is on top of the left kidney. He said that the tumor was approximately the size of a Clementine orange but that he and the radiologist didn’t feel that there was anything to be too concerned with regarding the tumor but that he needed further testing to see if the cyst was anything to be concerned with. He assured me that he was fairly sure that it wasn’t anything serious but just wanted to make sure so would be sending me for an ultrasound in the future. When I hung up I was thinking that it wasn’t that serious and would just be going for some more tests in the next week or two. Well, on the way home from school that afternoon the imaging place called to set up my appt and, due to testing going on in my classroom, I requested the following week and was told, “Oh, I ‘m sorry but the dr has left notes that you need to have this done ASAP so we need to get you in here first thing inthe morning.” Ok…at this point I will admit I started to get very concerned. So I did what I always do when life sends its storms….I prayed and then asked all of my praying friends to pray.
So CT scan on a Friday and back in for ultrasound on Tues morning at 9:00 a.m. The dr called me that afternoon and told me that there are 2 classes of cysts….simple and complex. Most everyone gets a simple cyst at one point in their life and doesn’t even know about it; they are of absolutely no concern. The other category---complex---are the kind that they keep an eye on for being cancerous and that there is a wide scale for labeling them. Mine is NOT a simple cyst but a complex cyst. It is a category IIF on the Bosniak scale which means that it only has a 14-20% chance of becoming cancerous. The dr told me that the size is very small, 4mm, so at this point they are going to be just watching the cyst by doing ultrasounds once a year. I asked about the adrenal tumor but was told not to be concerned. I just couldn’t get peace w/being not concerned about the adrenal tumor especially due to the fact that my father had a MASSIVE pituitary tumor removed from his brain at the age of 40 that caused him life-long problems. But at this point I just planned on talking to my regular dr about what to do.
A couple of weeks later I was out of town for the Martin Luther King weekend with my family and started to feel really light headed and sick on my stomach but not sick like a bug. For some reason (I call that reason THE LORD!) it popped into my head to check my blood pressure even though I have always had normal to LOW blood pressure my whole life. I went to a local pharmacy and was shocked to see my lower number was 105! Then that Monday it was 160/98 and on Tuesday, after sitting all day and working on the computer, it was still very high. Over the next 3 weeks I kept a record of my crazy readings. I’d wake up and before doing anything it would be 155/100 but then later in the day after the stresses of teaching it would be 140/88. Up and down and all over the place. My regular physician put me on 3 blood pressure medicines and while I was there I discussed the cyst and tumor with her and that I really wasn’t happy withjust waiting and watching and wanted a second opinion. She agreed and sent me to an endocrinologist. I had really hoped toget to see the dr that had taken care of my father but he no longer took new patients. So off to the endocrinologist I went. She proceeded to do all of her blood work and tests. Once again I was sent for another imaging test---this time an MRI w/contrast dye. After running all of her tests she determinedthat I had a 5.5 cm by 5 cm adrenal myelolipoma which is the rarest of the adrenal tumors and that is was non-functioning, meaning it wasn’t producing any hormones. She also explained that this type of tumor is a very slow growing tumor. She referred me to a nephrologist due to my continuing problem with uncontrollable blood pressure readings and the flank pain I was living with.
Meanwhile I developed another UTI and was back at the urologist, and while there I talked to him about just going ahead and removing the tumor and the cyst since I was currently under two major medical plans. He explained that there would be no way that he would ever recommend removing both in the same surgery due to complications that could arise to my kidneys, but that he didn’t know that much about myelolipomas and would do some research on them. I told him that I had been all over the internet researching this tumor but couldn’t find much due it being rare BUTthat those I had come across all had hypertension supposedly unrelated to the tumor and after removal their blood pressure went back to normal. He called me the next morning to inform me that after researching the tumor he did feel that removal would be the best option and that he had gotten a recommendation for a surgeon that did arenalectomies laproscopically and robotically. He told me that due to the tumor being non-functioning that there was no way it was affecting my blood pressure.
Before I could even see the surgeon I still had the nephrologist appointment so I went ahead and kept that appointment. The nephrologist also had to research this type of tumor. I also told him what I had told the urologist about my research regarding blood pressure and etc. He called me the next day to tell me that removal of the tumor and the adrenal gland would be his recommendation but he was not convinced that it was affecting my blood pressure. He had also found a surgeon who performed these adrenalectomies---it was the exact surgeon the urologist had recommended!
So surgery was set for May 7th, 2013.
Will give the surgery and post surgery report in the nextblog.
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on August 12, 2012 at 4:55 PM||comments (4)|
For the last 1 1/2 years I have experienced change in just about every area of my life. When the first changes came along I was mostly shell-shocked then as more came I just became numb. Eventually through some sweet ladies' Bible studies and through conversations with some dear friends the healing began. Spiritually I am doing better than I have in years.
Probably the biggest change was to go from teaching 6th grade full time to home schooling my only child. After struggling through two quarters of that my husband and I realized that home schooling is NOT what God wanted for OUR family. Honestly, as much as I enjoyed spending so much time with my daughter I was miserable. Those who know me well know that I am a people person. I thrive from interacting with others. Well, she went back to traditional school, and I was still at home...babysitting two adorable boys but still home. Thankfully I was hired to do tutoring at our middle school so was finally able to get my people fix. However there was still a "hole" which I believe came from the fact that I wasn't doing what I was meant to do---teach kids. If you have followed me on Facebook then you know that God really worked and I have been hired to start teaching 4th grade in just a couple of weeks. I am going from being a Christian educator for the last 22 years to being a Christian who teaches in the public school system. I am very excited about what God is doing, but it IS another new beginning. (Honestly, I should be a pro at those by now!! :|)
Tomorrow morning I will start teacher development days at my new job. I'm excited to see what God has in store for me...my students, future friends, challenges, etc. But I wouldn't be honest if I didn't say that I am also experiencing a little apprehension. The unknown is always a little intimidating, isn't it? Thankfully, through all of these changes I have experienced and know for a fact that God is on my side and will help through all of it.
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on July 29, 2011 at 8:55 AM||comments (4)|
“Please, Lord, keep her safe. Keep her from killing herself.” If I remember correctly, that is the prayer I uttered nine years ago when my baby girl was learning to ride a bike. Any parent who has taught their first child to ride a bike understands that feeling of being scared to death when you take your hands off your child’s bike for the first time. It is a breath-holding moment where you imagine every awful thing that could possibly happen…everything from a simple scraped knee to crashing into a tree or car and ending up in the hospital. I remember thinking, “Does she really need to ride a bike?” Then when she mastered the skill my husband and I were so proud of her and her great accomplishment.
Nine years later I wish I was dealing with that emotion again because today my baby girl is going to start driving a car. A CAR! Talk about scared…and I don’t mean her! A bicycle would’ve hurt her but a car can do so much more damage. I can very quickly imagine every possible bad thing that could go wrong. It gives me a whole new appreciation for the day I started driving a car in drivers’ ed. I was so ready for it and so confident and totally unaware that my dad was probably shaking in his boots! I find myself uttering the same prayer I uttered nine years ago, “Please, Lord, keep her safe. Keep her from killing herself!” I find myself wondering who ever thought 15 and 16 yr olds were old enough to drive a car? Isn’t 30 a better age? While at the same time I am happy for her because I know she’s been dreaming about this day for years. This is one of those times as a parent where I am definitely claiming that verse: “What time I am afraid I will trust inThee.” (Psalm 56:3)
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on March 25, 2011 at 1:20 PM||comments (4)|
You probably thought that this is going to be a blog on writing. Well,sorry to disappoint you, but this blog is about turning pages in my life.
Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. ~Matt 6:34
I recently used this verse as a status on my Facebook wall. So many times when changes come my way, I want to try and see how everything is going to work out. I want to know that it will work long-term. However, the Lord tells me that I am not to be concerned with tomorrow. That is His job. I don't think He wants me to never plan; I just believe that this verse is saying that when we don't understand what's going on and don't see how we're gonna make it that we are to step back and trust Him. Trusting Him. Now, there's the root of it. I have trusted Him to be my Savior, so why is it hard for me to trust Him for my day by day needs? Especially when He's proved Himself faithful to me time and time again through the years. And usually has something so much better and greater for me down the road than I could ever imagine!
A page I recently turned was I recently resigned from teaching school to home school my14 yr old daughter. This was not an easy decision for many reasons. I love teaching, my students, the multi-tasking the position requires, and all the many friends I have made through the years while there. When my husband and I made the final decision that I would resign, my first thought was, “How on earth are we gonna make ends meet?” I know we are doing what God wants for our family, so I am daily taking it to Him and giving Him the needs. The problem so often is that I want to just pick it right back up after praying for it! Ugh!
When I was teaching I was very busy. Every day was a new challenge, and I thrived on it. Now that I am home schooling I have found another page that's been turned. I'm learning to slow down and to focus on my daughter and husband but more importantly to focus on my spiritual needs. It's not easy to do. I would rather avoid that and just fill up my day with busy stuff, but God has changed that for me. And I realized that other day that I need to take this time to address those spiritual needs and the healing I need instead of covering it up with things to do.
There were really 2 pages that were turned when we decided to home school. Due to many personal and private reasons, we realized that it would be best toattend another church. No big deal, right? Oh my, no. Yes, I miss my friendships from my former church, but the hardest thing has been warming the pew on Sunday instead of serving. I'm used to using my abilities and talents while at church, and again I'm being “forced”into a waiting time where I need to just be patient on the Lord. The very first Sunday I was thinking of all the areas I could serve the Lord and minister. However, once again, I realized that I was just trying to keep busy so that I wouldn't have to address my spiritua lneeds. Thankfully the Lord has given me a couple of different friends who had recently told me to take my time and let myself heal,so the Lord used those comments to make me realize that I am really just walking around in shell-shock right now and need some time to be fed and to heal before jumping in and getting busy at church.
Do I know what'sgonna be the end result of all this? Nope. Wish I did, but then again, maybe I don't. Change is never easy and when so many things change at one time it can be really overwhelming. Thankfully I know the One to run to and He is a Rock and a Shelter in the time of these storms. He has told me to cast all my care upon Him; I just need tolearn to leave it there.
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on February 13, 2011 at 4:40 PM||comments (1)|
For Valentine’sDay this year I am giving my husband the “Husband of the Year” award. God blessed me over 20 yrs ago when He sent Todd into my life at the college library. Little did I know that the good-looking guy I noticed in those college hallways would one day be not only my husband but my best friend. My family has been through some very difficult times this last year, and many men would’ve said, “I’m out of here.” Not only did he stick with me; he was and is my rock.
Now, to those who know us, we are polar opposites. In being polar opposites though we are each other’s completers. Words and grammar are areas that I love; writing a grammatically correct sentence or paragraph is frustrating for him. However, he can take an idea, draw it out on paper, and actually see it in his mind! I have to have the picture to see it, and no one would ever recognize anything that I would draw! I’m the social extrovert; he’s the introvert who would hibernate if I’d let him. I think it’s amazing how God has blessed me with the perfect man to complete me.
He’s not perfect but neither am I. He is understanding, forgiving, and very patient with me. This last year he’s been many things for me and went way beyond the normal call of a husband. He’s been my defender when others were saying things about me. My comforter when I felt like everyone had turned their back on me. And I can’t even begin to describe how he comforted me during my Dad’s passing to Heaven in October. I’ll never forget Dad’s last night in the hospital and having my husband right by my side holding my hand as we slept in those so uncomfortable hospital chairs. He’s my biggest fan and cheerleader as I write the Shelly Gale series, and that’s saying a lot for a guy who doesn’t really enjoy reading! Even though he’s not a huge reader, he’ll faithfully read every chapter as I write and give me feedback. But most importantly, he loves me, thinks I’m beautiful, and has been faithful to me these last 20 yrs!
God’s blessed me abundantly by giving me two great godly men in my life---my Dad and my husband. He truly deserves to be named “Husband of the Year!”
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on October 6, 2010 at 8:45 PM||comments (3)|
I know I just recently did a blog about Dad but couldn't let today pass without posting some memories of him. (He went to see his Savior today, Oct. 6th, 2010, at 1:40 p.m.)
For those who know him well, you know he loved people and loved sharing the gospel with them. I can't even count the times that he sat on the bench in front of Wal-Mart and witnessed and led people to Jesus as his wife shopped. I clearly remember his leading a waitress at Pizza Hut in Ohio to the Lord while I sat there eating. He's reaping those rewards today! I can still hear him, "Do you know the Lord?" or "Do you know that you are saved?"
Racing his long legs as a five year old, fishing with him from his motor boat on Mosquito Lake in OH, sitting in doctors' offices, his walking me down my wedding aisle with a huge grin on his face, when he would tighten my back brace for me, me throwing up and Dad not knowing what to do and all I could see were his toes wiggling from nervousness, his growling at my puppy and getting it excited, him reading the paper on the carport while my daughter sat in the swing nearby, the many hospital visits and stays which were always precious cause we got to spend one-on-one time together, our stopping at mom's grave on the way home from work & school and seeing him cry silently, seeing him walk into church after his recovery from brain surgery and seeing the look of shock on the people's faces, hearing him say "Good Grief!", watching him make a fist and say, "You want 5 upside the chops?!", seeing him get married to my step-mother, listening to his same stories over and over...
Dad would come up at lunch when my husband was home and they would watch Star Trek together, seeing the smile on his face when he saw me and my family at church, hearing him say, "Amen!", the embarrassment of seeing him raise his hand at every business meeting our church held, watching him stand and testify in church of how the Lord saved him and changed him, singing with him at the nursing home, watching him enjoy Olive Garden for the first time, listening to photography lessons on tape in the car, watching him light a grill and run, listening to him talk about the red-headed cockney girl he liked in London during Korean War, watching him work difficult crossword puzzles in pen and complete them!
This is probably boring if you don't know my dad, but if you knew him and loved him I'm sure these are bringing memories to your mind as well. I would love for you to comment and tell me memories you have of him. I can't even begin to list all the different things that made him such a great Dad, but he was that---a GREAT dad and grandfather and will be missed tremendously around here. I know going to church is going to be tough for a while cuz it will be strange not seeing him there with me. But I can't thank the Lord enough for taking him so quickly and peacefully today. One minute he was breathing regularly and the next he shut his lips and didn't breathe again here on earth...wow! And, I know that he would've been touched to know that his whole family was there with him. "Dad, I will miss you these next years here on earth but am looking forward to getting a big hug from you when I reach Heaven's shores one day. Tell Jesus & Mom I love them...."
|Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on July 5, 2010 at 3:00 PM||comments (5)|
Do you struggle and battle with your child getting them to clean their room and when they say it's clean you discover they only did one or two things? Unfortunately many parents just scream, "GO CLEAN YOUR ROOM!" and get even angrier when the child doesn't do it. The child HAS to be taught HOW to clean their room before you can tell them to do it. Here are a couple of suggestions that I've used over the years & have suggested many, many times to others with success.
FIRST--- I can't say it enough---START YOUNG! If you wait until your child is an older elementary child or a young teen, then your battle will be much worse than it could have been. As soon as a child can walk and understand simple sentences, then he/she is capable of helping clean their room. I can just hear the moms saying, "WHAT?! My child is only 2! There's no way he/she can do it by himself/herself!" At the beginning of teaching them, I totally agree, but it's possible to teach them. How? Try these:
Clean your child's room once a week WITH your child helping you. As you clean, say things like "Put all your toys in the toy bucket in the closet." and then demonstrate. "Pick up your dirty clothes and put them in the hamper." "Put your books on the shelf." "Put shoes in the closet." Obviously, you will have to adjust the direction to where you expect the object to go. Make sure they are helping you do it & make a HUGE deal out of it when they do it right. Hugs, kisses, tickles, high fives, positive statements, etc. (You're such a BIG boy/girl---look at how you know how to clean!) After your child is able to do the tasks by himself/herself when you are in the room, move to step two.
You stand at the child's bedroom door and give 1 direction (and ONLY 1 direction). I would start with the toys. "Jimmy, put your toys away like I have showed you." Again, many positive statements & touches when he does a few. When he loses focus, go in and pick a toy up and say to him, "Let's finish & we can get an M&M (or something else small)." Do NOT leave the room until all the toys are up. Then take a break and play. Go back to the room w/child & stand at the door & give a new direction that you've taught in step 1. (shoes or books or dirty clothes, etc.) Keep doing this step until you have gotten all of the tasks for the room finished. AGAIN, ONLY 1 step at a time. Once your child is doing this step really well (this step should take months to master) then move to step 3.
This step is where the child will start doing things independently. Mom (Or dad) stays in another room & sends the child to their room with ONLY 1 DIRECTION given. "Jimmy, go put all your toys away. Come get mommy when you are finished." Now, this step is going to involve some parental discipline. Meaning, you are going to have to hold your child responsible to do what you've taught him/her. If they come & say they are finished, you then say, "Okay....mommy's going to go check & if she finds a toy not where it belongs then she gets to take it & put it away. Are you sure they're all away?" Give your child the opportunity to fix their room after you ask that. Then go the room & any toys you find out of place TAKE & put up high where they can not get it & say, "Mommy said to put all your toys away & this one isn't. You can get it back when Mommy says." Then send the child to put all the dirty clothes in the hamper. Work your way through one task at a time until the room is clean. Eventually I would change from saying that you are going to take the toy to "Mommy's going to get a trash bag & any toys she finds out of place are going in the trash."
As your child grows older (like the age of 6 or 7) you will start saying two directions, "Go put toys away & pick up dirty clothes."
After they can do the two directions well, move to "Go clean your room." BUT then say each thing you want them to do. "Put toys away, put dirty clothes in hamper, put books up, put shoes away."
If you follow these steps starting at a young age of 2 or 3 then by the age of 8 or 9 you should be able to say, "Go clean your room."
I used the above process with my daughter, and she's been cleaning her room without my help since mid-elementary. There's only been ONE time that I had to throw toys away. Once I followed through on that and actually threw some away because she said that the room was ready I never had another problem.
The above steps can also work with an older child but with shorter times in between the steps. An older elementary child? Then step 1 and step 2 should each be 1 month each.