"A child without rules is like a fish out of water. "

Marriage Hurting Due to Children

Question

HI there,
I am really feeling the weight of childrearing recently. I'm a stay home mum. My husband and I only ever fight about the children - and nothing much else..usually when I get a worked up about the kids, which has been often recently. We have been practising the short sweet Alpha speech - it works well to get them to do things for the here and now.
However the more back breaking stuff are the constants, like my kids not putting their dishes in the dishwasher despite being told several times dishes need to go straight in the dishwasher, and my daughter despite knowing exactly what to do during her morning routine (brush face, make bed, tie hair, sunscreen). This is her 3rd year in school and we're still having problems with her getting all this done by 7:30am (often she's late, or doesnt do all of it - or lies about getting it done!!). We've sent her bed early, we've spanked, we've scolded, we've removed other consequence and she will often revert back to not doing all of it.
Others Constants like my son dawdling about with his morning routine and won't hurry up with it, sits around wasting time and doing other stuff instead. Things like toys and possessions being left around, cushions thrown about and messes in every room. I have told them they need to tidy up after each activity to avoid a mess. I'm real tired of telling 'em to pick it all up every single time and I'm very tired of having to manage it all the time (its easy to create a real mess in a smallish space in a short space of time). Is this too high an expectation for an almost 5 and 8 year old? Other smallish things like, sitting modestly. My daughter often sits with her legs wide open or in some immodest way so we've banned dresses. It doesn't convince her that its most unbecoming. I feel I can't say another "Please sit modestly", "Please put your things/toys back after you finish with them" or "Please put your dirty things in the dishwasher", or "Please .......mind your table manners". In a nutshell, I'm tired of giving the same tired old instructions for things the kids should already know to do. There is a fine line between patience in childrearing and complacency in children. There is also the danger of expecting perfection in kids when it comes to manners, neatness and cleanliness etc. How do I manage all this? I know this is a loaded question. Seriously, if there are any words of wisdom, advice, structure to the constant stressors....let me know!

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