Friday, July 3, 2009

Shaken and Stirred

Do you ever have those moments when you are so thankful that you don't get performance reviews as a mother?

But wait!

You do!

It is called your children's behavior!

You know those times.

Those times when you thought you were steering the boat, but all along, you had fallen off the boat miles ago.

Without a life preserver!

That is how I felt last week when my dear friend and her four kids stayed with us for a few days. Any issue I was having with my kids (sassing, not listening, challenging, etc) seemed magnified by 10x during those few days. Simply because she seemed to have this ease when dealing with her kids and they actually went along with it!

I knew what she was doing. We had talked many times about it. We had talked many times about the aggravation that comes at the end of the day when you feel like all you did that day was survive.

Barely!

I know that I have good kids. But lately, I seem to be losing both the battles and the war.

Do you know what I mean?

My husband would say that we have not instilled enough "fear into them". But since I believe that each child is different and the "fear" doesn't always work the way one might hope, I am not really in favor of increasing the "fear" factor the way he would like.

After she left, I was heavy with guilt for awhile, thinking that I had already ruined my children for life. All hope was lost kinda stuff.

Then I made a decision to do something really hard.

Change the way that we do things.

Change.

Yuck!

No doubt it would be harder on me/us than them.

We had taken the Love and Logic class at church even before having my daughter, so I knew a few of the basics. Plus, my friend had shared her (horror) stories of implementation with me! But what clinched it for me was seeing the philosophy in action and the results after she has used it for some time now.

She assures me that it still isn't perfect at their house. They fall off the wagon sometimes. But with even more assurance, she talks about how much better their days are because it is more of a habit than not for them.

I am now reading the book and I am slowly plugging it in around here.

Sometimes it has worked like magic fairy dust.

Just this morning it was a battle. A battle over whether we would eat breakfast at the table or in the living room while watching morning cartoons. There was wailing. There were tears.

But best of all, there were choices.

And even better of all, Mommy stuck to the choices.

"But you let me before."
"I know, but we are making some changes around here."
"But I don't like change."
"Yes, change is hard."
"I am not hungry."
"No problem, you can eat lunch."
(Much crying!!!)
"You are welcome to cry in your room or eat breakfast with us at the table."
(which I knew he wouldn't choose b/c he is currently scared to be alone right now.")
"But I don't like to sit in chairs."
"You can sit in the chair or stand at the table."
(I am flexible!)


Betterest of all, I won the battle.

We enjoyed a simple breakfast at the table.

And yes, he did eat while standing up!

While I am not looking forward to the hard parts of change, I know how much I will enjoy the results of our efforts.

I think they will too.

Eventually! ;)

So since July 4th is tomorrow, I having my own little pre-celebration today.

In honor of our new found independence.

Freedom is always a work in progress!

Stacey

p.s. Thanks G for your support and encouragement! And your war stories that make me laugh!

2 comments:

Cara said...

Have you ever read Shepherding a Child's Heart by Ted Tripp? I was really put off by the spanking part of it (I really don't agree with that portion of the book!) but I really really like the other parts of it. Mostly about dealing with the heart of the issue, rather than the issue itself.

willblogforshoes said...

Can't wait to hear how it progresses for you!