If you read my post last Monday about my "quest to have new kids in 14 days" then you'll wanna read this one too...because IT'S WORKING!!
Yes! Finally something I do around here actually has the effect and result that I wanted! My kids have spend a CONSIDERABLE amount of time with their noses in the corner this week but it has been the perfect "solve-all" disciplinary measure. Neither of them likes it, it's forcing them to be UN-entertained for a period of time and no one is screaming or getting whacked with a paddle. We've had to do a little tweaking here and there...such as implement NO talking during "time out" and if they do say a single word, another minute gets tacked onto their time. Also, we add a minute to their time if they turn around and start watching TV or interacting with their sibling. I've also begun talking to them afterwards--kind of quizzing them on what they did wrong that got them in "time out" and how they could have handled the situation differently. I feel like I need to not only tell them "don't do this" but also show them "this is how it should be done".
By holding them accountable for their words and actions, it's helped me see just how often they really are disrespectful and rude. They've both gotten into the bad habit of muttering disrespectful comments under their breath as they leave from getting reprimanded. But not anymore...these days that lands them right back in time out REGARDLESS of what they said. If they have something to say, they need to speak it out clearly...if they are muttering under their breath after getting in trouble, we all know they're not saying "boy I sure do love my mom so much". I knew Brooklyn did this but I didn't realize Grant does it to. I'm glad to be putting a stop to it now!
Another curve ball was how we were going to handle this when we were out of the house and couldn't do the normal time out. So yesterday on the way home from church when Brooklyn did two things that deserved a time-out, I opted for a different form of discipline, and I just have to believe it was the Holy Spirit speaking to me because I had never even thought about this until it just popped into my head yesterday. I grabbed a line sheet of notebook paper and wrote in perfect cursive across the top, "I will be respectful and obedient." Then I handed her the pencil, put her in a secluded spot and told her to write that on every line of the paper. I also expected her handwriting to be exactly correct and her spelling and that if I found any errors, she would have to correct them. (I know it sounds tough, but she has the capability of doing it perfectly, but if she gets in a hurry, it will be un-readable.) By giving her those specific instructions, it forced her to slow down, think about what she was writing and it was more of a punishment than if she had just scribbled it across the page. Afterwards, I quizzed her on the spelling of the words "respectful" and "obedient" and made sure she understood their meaning. I also had her give me 4 examples...one of her being DISrespectful and then how she could be respectful and the same with obedient. I think it worked beautifully. Now I can hold her accountable because now I KNOW she knows what they mean and what I expect from her.
I haven't gotten the paddle out this entire week and it's been one of the calmest, most agreeable weeks we've ever had. Being armed with a plan is priceless!
One thing I've noticed that we have a real issue with around here is boredom. It's quite ironic seeing as how we have everything that a child could want. I mean...seriously...it's almost embarassing but I can't think of a single toy, game, movie, etc. that we don't have that they want. Yet, if I'm not entertaining them, taking them somewhere or doing something with them, they're bored. I tell them "go ride your go-kart or play air hockey or play the wii or your DS or barbies or paint, etc." and they don't want to do any of it. I know they would trade it ALL for a friend to play with...but sorry, I can't buy one of those and the hard-truth is that we live in the country and don't have neighbors with children. Also, I can't spend 24/7 playing with them. While being a mom is my main job, I do actually have 3 other jobs that I do that I actually make a paycheck from and those things need my attention too..as do the house, laundry, bills, etc. And really, what kind of disappointment am I setting them up for in the future if I entertain them night and day? That certainly isn't how the real world works.
About their jobs and them not getting paid if they don't do it...that has gotten better too. Not perfect, I've still had to remind them several times...but at least now they jump up and get busy doing it instead of arguing with me. I made it very clear that if I have to argue with them or tell them twice, that they lose their "allowance" for that week. So far, so good!
Last night I took Brooklyn on one of our SKG mother/daughter dates and the scripture we focused on was this: Philippians 2:14-15
"Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe."
In the summer, I have them memorize scriptures...and this will DEFINITELY be the first one on the list. It's one thing when momma says "quit arguing and complaining" but it's a whole nother thing when GOD says it!!
I am really REALLY excited about these changes in our home. For the first time (maybe ever but certainly in a long time) I feel like I am the boss of this house and that I am teaching and training them up adequately. I am showing them real LOVE by doing this. Lazy love is what I was doing before..the kind that said "I don't really care about you enough to teach you the right way." But NO MORE...from now on it's real hard-core LOVE (in the verb form)! :o)
If you feel like you've lost control in your home, I STRONGLY encourage you to try out some of these techniques with your kids and see how it works for you! Be sure to give encouragement and gratitude when it's due. Not praise...we praise God not our kids. (-Kevin Lehman)
Rather than say "You are so wonderful, you are so great, you are the best" how about saying "you did a great job out there and I can tell you are getting better and better. Keep up the good work!"
Monday, May 17, 2010