“I think I can… I think I can!”

Here’s the second post for my wind-down, Wednesday! (And believe it or not I had to try 3 times to spell Wednesday right just now! Wow!) I call it wind-down because we’ve hit the plateau! Lunch is done, nap is underway and after this it should be all down hill!! I just keep thinking tomorrow is my FAVORITE day and a “left over’s” day to boot, so that’s gonna be the easy one. 🙂 Friday I will most likely try to take it easy as well. I’m just beat! Stuart has requested of his daughter that she decide to join us on Friday night, so there ya go.

Monday was a big bummer of a day! I usually try to greet Monday with a “this is a NEW week” attitude even if I’d still rather be in bed and make it be Saturday again. 😉 This time around though, the attitude didn’t stick and I quickly found myself drowning in the circumstances of my day. The biggest being my hoodlum son #1 who picked that day to completely loose it! Regardless of what I was saying to him, whether it be telling him something, asking him to do something (oh my) or chastising him for something, the response I got was a fit or a whine or belligerent back talk. Hmmm…. At some point, not far into our oh-so-fun day I got rather tired of that and started being rather belligerent myself! Actually I was pretty ticked off! I know that in order to parent successfully and correctly I have to stay “in control” of myself most of all before I can expect to control the issues that I’m facing in my kids. So basically it was a wash as I’m sure you could figure out! I sent the sprout to his room where he continued to scream and cry for over an hour while I did what needed to be done for the other children. He then sat at the table for his solitary lunch, because the others were finished and after that had nap, which he threw another fit about. It was not a happy day! I sat at the computer and wrote to some older and wiser parent friends on FB asking for tips and ideas. And while none of what they told me was “new” to me, it was such an encouragement to hear that some of them had been there, done that, survived, and had sweet spirited kids now to show for their efforts. 🙂 Yay!! The encouraging words that they sent me almost made me cry because I knew that the big I had been probably the worst of the problem all day. At least in the fact that MY own peace was considerably shattered as well as my confidence in my ability to actually be a good parent getting rumpled. And that’s okay. Sometimes I need a reminder that I really can’t do it, and I need the help and guidance from my Heavenly Father in order to be able to parent my own kids.

So, I’ve come up with somewhat of a game plan. I need to tweak it a bit and sit down with Stuart and get his input and takes on it, but I think that it’ll help for me to have a very detailed list in my head for “what to do” when these crisis strike! 🙂 First, the fit-thrower will go into his room/bed to occupy himself with the screaming. This will give me time to “cool off” while the child is chilling out as well. I don’t want to be a parent who disciplines in anger. Next, once the fit has past, or majority of it has, I will calmly go into their room and discuss appropriate behavior as well as dealing out any consequences that need to be given as a result of their poor choices. Then we will go through our typical conversation where I ask some questions such as “Why did you get time-out?” they tell me, “What will happen if you do that again?” they tell me “more time-out” and then the, “What should you do next time?” and hopefully this will help them think of the appropriate behavior and then I can remind them of what they said when the next “situation” arrises.

Another part of my game plan is to really find good ways of rewarding their good behavior. I really do try to “catch” them being good and doing right and praising them for it. Yesterday was such a better day with Qade, and while I was having a conversation with him before nap I told him how proud I was of him doing so well at obeying Mommy right away. He said, “Daddy will be happy!” and he was right! Daddy had a serious talk with him that morning before he left for work and obviously Qade had thought on it some. Qade is our little “people pleaser” but I don’t want to use that to manipulate him to good behavior. That’s why we took it one step further. I told him that yes it does make mommy and daddy happy when he obeys, but that it really makes God happy when he does because God wants him to obey his mommy and daddy. It’s a daunting task for me to take heavenly truths and try to translate them into something my very young children can understand, but I know that it does sink in even if they don’t totally “get it.” So I’ll keep trying.

But beyond verbal praise I think I’m going to institute a sticker chart reward system where they can “earn” stickers by their good behavior. Not that I’m going to tell them “obey mommy and you’ll get a sticker.” But from time to time when the DO obey “right away, all the way, and with a happy heart” I’ll give them a sticker for their chart. I haven’t yet decided if they will get to “trade” in full sticker charts for a prize yet, but we’ll work all those details out. 😀 The point is, I want them to learn that while their bad choices lead to uncomfortable consequences (time-out, or seclusion in room) that good choices have pleasant “consequences.” Sometimes having something tangible like stickers or rewards can help them make that connection. I just don’t want it to be the REASON why they are behaving well which is why I probably won’t mention it much except when I’m pointing out what a good job they are doing. I still want to reinforce the concept that when they obey they are building the relationship with mommy and daddy and that it makes God happy.

So pray for us/me as we travel this sometimes bumpy road called parenting. The thing is, as I parent the lads my God is still parenting me, so we are all learning together as we go. I’m glad that God has much more patience with me than I have with the boys, that’s for sure!! I think they are much faster learners that I am by far!

Hope you all are enjoying your Wednesdays and that you can coast through the rest of the week well!


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