Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Encourage your kids

From the book, Kids are Worth It...I am quoting it all the time. Seriously, if you want to change the way you are parenting, read it.

Here are the 6 critical messages you need to send your kids every day:
I believe in you
I trust in you
I know you can handle this
You are listened to
You are cared for
You are very important to me

Do you you actually give your kids these messages, or do you just assume they already know? They don't. And even if they do now, they may forget that you still love them (especially if they are caught doing something wrong). Tell them everyday.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Anger...the prequel..the first journal entry

I admit that I am a much more angry person than I want to be. Mostly, with my husband and kids, when I am stressed out, hungry, tired, or just plain moody. I was not raised in an angry environment, and see no reason why I should behave this way. It is not fair to the people in my family, who I love more than anyone else. They always get the worst bits of me. For a long time, I chalked it up to all the excuses above, and played the blame game on my family for making me feel angry and mad, and out of control. I have talked to many other moms out there, and always get the same feedback...they are angry too. Most parents have moments where we say things we wish we hadn't, or lost our cool with our kids. When the kids write on the wall, or leave their jacket at school, or forget to put away their shoes, it is easy to respond in anger. Being a parent is a tough job, and even the best of us have our bad days. So, then I thought I must be normal, and we all feel like this as parents from time to time. Do I deserve a break, a girls night out, a free shopping day, a new hair style...or does it run deeper than that? Maybe I need to change. 
Really change. 
Now, don't get me wrong. I have never let my anger take over to the point where I have abused my kids, hurt them, or caused that a social worker should visit my home. I just asked myself, "Why should my family have to live this life with a woman who cannot control her temper...and who says and does things to make others around her miserable, because she feels miserable?"
They don't. 
I am taking a new road today. I am going to make the change. I am going to see a counsellor. Yes, a counsellor...a professional who may be able to help me find the solutions I am looking for. I have no idea what to expect, and I am very nervous, but I have the support of my husband, and I feel that it is the right thing for me to do. I want my family to be happy...all of us...and I know this can bring us more peace through the tough times.
I look ahead to when my three boys are teenagers, and I don't want them to be afraid to tell me about things they have done, or problems they have, because I react in an angry way. I want them to feel safe with me, and to know that I love them no matter what.

Let me be very clear that this is not a new problem. It is something that Scott and I have talked about often during the years of raising our kids. I feel that I have tried everything: calming down, giving myself a time out, singing a song, saying a prayer, going to a Mom's group, talking with a friend, and getting exercise. Those things all work for the short term, and the anger disappears, but it comes back. That is the problem I want to solve. I don't want to react with anger at all.

I want to become, like is says in the scriptures...

Proverbs 16:32 - He that is slow to anger is better than the  mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
Moroni 7:45 - And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth...

If I can learn to be not easily provoked, and slow to anger, I feel that our home could be a much happier place all the time. Let's see if counselling can help!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bedtime Meltdown

Tonight, my 6 year old came out of the shower and demanded that I help him dry off and get dressed. I said he could do it himself, and he proceeded to shout, cry and melt down. I started to talk (in my big mom voice) about his attitude and that I was not to be talked to that way. It only angered him more. Finally, the light went off...I stopped, wrapped the towel around him and gave him a hug. He just needed to be held, and loved, and put to bed. Once he was dried off, I asked him to get dressed, but he still refused to do it we go again...this time, I told him, "When you are dressed, I will meet you downstairs for stories". He did not like it, but at the end of the day, a mom can only take so much. Instead of staying and getting angry, I just left and waited downstairs. I could hear him murmuring and saying how much he hated me...but I let him get dressed. When he came downstairs, he said he did not like me, so I hugged him again and just started reading. WOW. It is really tough to stay calm, isin't it? It still takes a lot of practice, and thinking before I speak, but somehow I am seeing that my job is to love him, and that he can learn a whole lot more from a calm, patient teacher than an angry power hungry teacher.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Anger Session #3

Went in today with a good attitude. I only blew up once over the last two weeks, and it was just before dinner..I was hungry and tired..the boys were hungry and tired, and I was expecting them to sit still for prayer. I was told not to be so hard on myself, and to look at the positive. After I blew up (that means one loud shout..the kind you think about later and wonder what your neighbours think of you, because they obviously heard you), slammed my hands on the table, and chased Tyler around the table to get him to go upstairs for a time out, I was able to regain control after a moment of peace in my bedroom. I said a quick prayer that I could remain calm, so that I could deal with the boys with love. I talked to both boys, apologized for my behavior and asked them to come to the table for dinner. It was much better after I had time to cool down. I could see how I over-reacted, and was able to patch things up quickly.

Today we talked a lot on discipline techniques, and ways to teach the boys without all the nagging.
If the nagging is a minimum, and I am not talking all the time, things go more smoothly.

Here are a few bits that we talked about...

"I see that you are _______. What might we do about this now? "
"My way is not working. Can you think of a better way to do this?"
"What is going to happen if you continue to ____?"

Make sure to have them release energy each day...punching bag, parks, Wii Sports
Have them participate in chores, and make it fun.

Robert Kiwaski: Rich Dad, Poor Dad has a book for kids. There is a Cash Flow game for kids as well that shows chores, and money. Jane Seymour has a book on better living. Check it out.

Peg System...for chores (without asking). If they can go for the whole week, double allowance.

Do not remove the plate, if they forget to clear it from the table...just leave it there for next time they sit down.

Cook dinner with them. Have fun with them. Learn to relax and let go of the unimportant things.

Finish the book, and keep the ideas written where I can see them and use them. Especially for sibling rivalry.

Another good session, and I have so much to still learn and work on. This is not easy to change, but I will keep trying. I can see my improvement, and the way I handle the kids better during the tough times. I am able to walk in, take a look at the situation and in a responsible, calm voice speak to them. It feels so much better to know that they boys will see how to act appropriately when they deal with tough times too!