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A blog to support, encourage, and mentor at home moms in all aspects of home making and family life.

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Friday
Mar042011

Thank you, thank you very much.

You've just spent the day out with your child and he has been a dream.  Now you're on your way home.  This is a great time to give him positive attention.

"Johnny, I was so proud of you today.  You shared the toys so nicely with your cousins and Grandma was so happy when you thanked her for dinner.  Thank you so much for playing so nicely downstairs with the other kids after dinner so the grown ups could visit.  You were a very good boy today and I'm very proud of you.  Thank you for behaving so nicely."

Too often we only mention our child's behavior when it needs correcting.  But who doesn't respond well to positive re-enforcement?  If your husband compliments you on a new recipe, you better believe you're going to make it again!  Why would our children be any different?  Positive re-enforcement motives your child to want to please you in the future.

Of course this goes the same for time spent at home, bed time is a great time to praise his behavior from the day.  (It is not a good time to bring up bad behavior).

"Johnny, you were such a good boy today.  Thank you so much for putting your toys away so nicely when you finished playing.  You're getting to be such a big boy, when you were younger you needed Mommy's help but now you can do it all by yourself.  I really appreciate it when you do that."

If you've asked them to behave a certain way and they have, make sure you thank and praise them for it, they'll be all the more willing to oblige the next time. 

Thursday
Mar032011

Our second get together

Hi Ladies,

Please join us for our next get together, it will be Friday, March 11th from 10 - 11:30am in the nursery at Life Church/WRCA.  Child care will be provided.

Looking forward to seeing you all again and any new comers!

Until then, keep happy and enjoy your family time!
Shonna

Friday
Feb252011

Come Look At The View!!!

The summer before each of my girls were about to start kindergarten, I would give them bed making lessons, so that by the time school started they would be able to do it on their own.  In the morning, I would stand with her as she pulled up the covers, showing her how she needed to walk around the bed and do the same on either side.  How to fold back the covers at the top and put the pillows on all nice.  Over time it evolved  into me making one side while she made the other and by the end of the summer, I would watch while she made it all by herself. 

As they got older there were "tick charts," where they would tick off when they had finished their chores and homework.  When it was completed they could watch TV.  They didn't love it but they understood my rules and grudgingly obeyed them. 

Then....
Suddenly....
Everything changed. 

Dun-dun, dun-dun (Jaws soundtrack). 

Suddenly...... 
They became teenagers!!!! 
Ahhhhhhhhh!!!! (Old fashioned movie scream).

Suddenly the idea of having to clean up their room before they could go out or have friends over, irritated them to no end. 

"Why do you care if my bed is made it's my room"? 

"Why should I make it when I'm just going to get back in it tonight"?

"I don't need to hang my clothes up, I know where they all are".

I would try to explain to them how one day they will have a house of their own and that they needed to form good habits now and learn how to keep a nice house.  This was the source of many stand offs, until one day my wise husband had a talk with me.  His reasoning was this;

"You have two teenage daughters who are respectful of us and their teachers, they aren't out drinking, doing drugs or smoking, they aren't sleeping around, they get good grades, choose good friends, attend church willingly with us every Sunday, take their faith seriously, and are in general very good kids.  But they have messy rooms.  What's the problem"?

Seriously I thought, "What IS the problem"??  If a messy room is my biggest issue with two teenage girls, what is MY problem!

From that day on I let it go. 

I told the girls that night at dinner exactly what my husband had made me realize.  I told them how happy with were with them, how proud we were of the choices they were making, that we liked the friends they were choosing, what lovely Christian woman they were becoming and that I would no longer be asking them to clean up their rooms.  I told them that their rooms were their areas and that they could keep them how they liked.  I also told them that the rest of the house was still to be kept the way Dad and I like it and that they were not allowed to leave their stuff all over. Also, that when we had people over who might be going upstairs that I would give them plenty of warning, but that I would want their rooms cleaned up for things like that.

It was a compromise we could all live with, they saw that I was being reasonable and flexible and I showed that I appreciated all the wonderful things they WERE doing instead of focusing on the one thing they WEREN'T.

Our oldest married out of a tidy room, and keeps a lovely home.  Our youngest's room is still a mess, although she says she wishes it was clean, she just can't be bothered to tidy it.  I have every confidence that once she is out on her own she too will keep a lovely home, after all with the exception of her bedroom she's grown up in a tidy house.

Why am I telling you all this?  To encourage you to see the phases. 

Looking back I can see how the different ages required different parenting approaches.  That day my husband made me see that the teen years are a time to give in on almost everything that isn't part of your priority mandate (See "Crystal Ball" post, February 3, 2011). 

If you can let your teenagers see that you love and appreciate them and that you aren't an unreasonable, power hungry, tyrant, when the time comes to say no, and it's said with an explanation and a good reason, they are all the more likely to try to see things from your point of view.  After all, you've shown you can see things from theirs.

Tuesday
Feb222011

Lovely

This brought me to tears, hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Friday
Feb112011

Greet Him With A Kiss

In our Apron Strings group meeting this past Friday I shared a story I had heard on a radio broadcast years before.

The speaker was a lady, telling how her marriage had cooled and wasn't very loving, but how her husband adored their two year old little girl.  He would just beam whenever he was with her.  So, being no dummy, and wanting to save her lagging marriage, the wife figured if her husband loved their little girl so much, and found so much delight in her, that she would simply do whatever their little daughter did. 

When her husband arrived home that night and their little girl went running into his arms for a big kiss, the wife, jumped up and did the same.  The little girl would snuggle in with him on the couch and listen to every word he said, delighting in their time together, the wife did the same.  And through out her very funny story this lady recounts how slowly, through simple attitude changes, her cold marriage became loving and tender again.

Although this wasn't our main topic the ladies loved this story, and so do I which is why I remembered it from so many years before.  But how many of us do this, or are willing to do this?

If your marriage is somewhat chilly these days, perhaps it's simply cooled over time, are you willing to be the one to make the first move? 

Sometimes it's just simpler to live as room mates or business partners, especially through the busy child rearing years.  You're busy all day running the kids around, cleaning, shopping, cooking, by the time he comes home you're tired, and so is he, you're both happy to just let a polite coolness pass for a marriage, anything more just requires too much effort.

We've all been there, some of us are happy to live right there, indefinitely.  But is that really what we signed up for? And what does it eventually lead to?  If your whole relationship is managing a family, when that family is grown and gone, what's left?

When you were falling in love and planning your life together, did either of you plan to become complacent with one another?  If that was the big sales pitch for getting married would you have signed up?

No.  Of course not.

You were in love, excited about starting a future together, building a life together, starting a family together.  So are we really satisfied to just coast?

I challenge all of us, to be the little girl in the story above.  To want a warm and loving relationship with our mates.  When your husband comes home tonight, stop what you're doing, get up, meet him at the door, look him in the eye and give him a kiss and a hug.  Let him know that him coming home is the best part of your day.  And try, through out the evening to convey an attitude of interest and enjoyment in his company.  Even if you're tired, this really doesn't take any physical effort, it simply takes the mental shift of choosing to demonstrate an attitude of valuing him, in finding joy in just being with him, in pleasure at the fact that at the end of the day he's the one you wind down with, share your stories with, go through life with.  

After all wasn't that what we signed up for?