Friday, July 26, 2013

Sometimes you find books at the thrift store that you wouldn't normally seek or that you didn't know existed on subjects you didn't know you wanted to read. Case in point--parenting books.

I have "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen," but it's a bit to philosophical for me. I haven't been able to stick with it for the five or so years I've had it so I doubt it will do me any good. But my mom handed me one that had me giggling in the first five minutes: "How to Behave so Your Children Will, Too!" (Hey, the kid peed in the fridge!)

I've been trying to change my own pattern of yelling at the kids and succeeded (once) for two weeks. Big feat! I can certainly do better.

Some days I'm so tired and I give the kids instructions like "Go put your pajamas on and brush your teeth." Ten minutes later they are giggling and half undressed and still haven't brushed their teeth. I don't want to get up to walk across the house to sternly tell them they should be doing X or Y. I just yell, "Hey, you aren't doing what you are told." It's a pattern and it's not pretty. I'm sure the neighbors get sick of hearing me. I don't yell anything cruel or mean or angry, it's just annoying. And if I'm annoying myself . . .

And then there is the discipline part that is challenging. We have the most behavior problems with Samantha because she pushes the limits with her little sister (as all kids do). We often resort to taking away technology, but that is starting to feel ineffective.

I thought about putting a consequence jar together so that the punishment would be that they'd have to pick a simple chore--sounds good.  But then I thought that maybe we should be reinforcing the good behavior with a reward jar instead. I already expect my kids to help with chores like cleaning the bathroom and folding laundry. Of course, I haven't implemented either.

I did notice, however, that when I was able to stop yelling for those two weeks, my kids were more gracious toward each other, they were more loving and helpful all around. So we'll see what this book has in store. If I get one simple, even minuscule, thing out of it and it works in my house then it will be worth the read.

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Coincidentally, I ran across this article just after writing this post . . . "Noticing the good in our kids"

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