4.24.2012

It's Working!

Something has changed in me.  I'm just not as bothered anymore by the mistakes of my children.  It's weird.  No they are not perfect, nor am I perfect.  I do feel I havea firmer grasp on a couple of principles with regards to parenting though. 

1) In Nephi 8:12 it says that Lehi "preached unto them," "exorted them to obey," and then "ceased from speaking."  I'm sure I've said this here already, but I really do talk too much at or to my children.  I've been working on teaching once, instructing them to obey, and then no more talking! 

2) To help with the no talking we all discussed together what the one consequence would be for minor misdemeanors in our home.  The consensus:  run across the park and back.  It's simple.  The kids love it and hate it all at the same time. Sometimes they will ask, "Can I run across the park?"  Sure.  Why not.  ???

3) Staying calm works!  Oh. My. Goodness.  I've been re-reading The Peacegiver for a class I've been attending and this helps tremendously with the concept of staying calm.  There are two aspects to this principle...a) don't take their choices personally, and b) forgive in the moment.  I think I get caught up in the self-talk of "they just don't respect me enough" or "why won't they learn?"  These type of thoughts lead to impatience and frustration with my kids.  When I can look at them and say, "Go run" without getting emotionally pent up inside, it just works so much better.  Are they happier?  Maybe not in the moment, but in the end it works for all of us if MOM stays calm.  I've noticed the most change in one particular child who reflects and magifies my own weaknesses and behaviors!

4)  Just love them!  I've gotten this same response from several people through the years.  It's a response that has litearlly caused me to roll my eyes with the "Yeah, right?" kind of attitude (I hate to admit that).  Recently, I heard it one more time and yet this time it really struck a chord.  After about a month, I can say that this answer is truly working (with the help of the three ideas mentioned before)! 

All children want to feel is accepted, loved and important.  I want my children to know and FEEL that I love them.  Telling them is one way.  But speaking those words is so much easier for me than showing them.  When I express anger, frustration, and impatience with their imperfections I'm not showing them the way to "love one another and to serve one another."

7 comments:

  1. Running is a great way to get out energy (especially for kids).
    I need to work on so many things. That's what we're here for, right???

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  2. Thanks for the post. These are things I've been working myself, and I appreciate your perspective. I would love to know what are the minor misdemeanors that require running in your house. Would you be willing to share?

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  3. Lima Bean - Basically anything that bothers me is a misdemeanor. :-) The most common around here would be sibling rivalry (both/all involved run), not saying "Okay" when I ask them to do something, or talking back. I guess anything that doesn't show respect for others in the family or our home. Are there others you can think of?

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  4. Thanks for sharing. I have such a difficult time deciding which disrespectful comments to ignore and which to give a consequence to. I'm always so interested in how others do it. How often do your kids end up running? And what do you do when it is dark out? Sorry for all the questions.

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  5. Love the questions! I completely agree...it's hard to know when to discipline & when to ignore. I've struggled many years with that one! Actually, since you asked the orginal question I've been paying more attention to when I actually have them run. I find that if there's an obvious natural consequence, they don't run. Usually my kids seem to run when they don't listen the first time. Before this I used to warn, warn, warn and nag them to death. Now, it's "You didn't listen the first time, go run." Or, if I recognize that a particular child is in the mood to make life miserable, I won't even give them one try. As you watch your kids, you can tell the difference when they need to "run it out" vs. needing a simple reminder. My kids ran a lot when I first started this. Now it just depends on the day. I've had them run in the dark. :-) We also have set of stairs I can use as backup. :-) Hope that helps.

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  6. I needed this. Sometimes I have trouble keeping my cool. Thanks for the thoughts.

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  7. I love the stairs idea! We don't have a park nearby, but we do have stairs, so that is a great alternative. I can totally see this working in our family, especially for those moments, like you said, when one particular child is in the mood to make life miserable. We often just send them up to their room to cool off, because they "aren't allowed to be around us if they can't treat us with respect", but I would much rather have them expend and purge some of this negative energy through a burst of exercise. I know even for myself, running up and down the stairs would be a good way for me to cool down and regroup when I'm so frustrated and about to lose it. I appreciate your ideas, and thanks for sharing and responding.

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