So, I feel like I am being tested even more so since I have started listening to the parenting cd's. This morning was a great example. Mornings are hard...especially 6:30 in the morning. I know it's not easy getting up and being out the door that early, but well it has to be done. Some days go smoothly and all is calm. Today started to take a turn for the worse and then I remembered what I am supposed to be doing (even at 6:30 in the morning when my eyes are barely open and I haven't had my morning coffee yet! ) My daughter was not pleased with the pants (she choose last night) to wear to school today. She asked for another pair. Now....I had two choices here...give in and let her get another pair (easy peasy...not arguing) or I could stick with our rule we made about no changing outfits because she already had a chance to choose it last night. We can't fool around in the morning and then miss the school bus. So, I politely said, "No, I'm sorry that is what you choose for today." Then it started...that's not fair...blah, blah, blah. I calmly said, "you are responsible for your choices" then I walked away for a few minutes. When I came back she had the pants on but still wasn't happy. She then made some comments that were not so nice or respectful. I calmly stated again, "You are responsible for your choices...be respectful." This time I walked downstairs. She came down and got her things and went to the bus. There was no back and forth, no whining. I almost fell over!!! It worked...it worked....I wanted to jump up and down.
I'm sure it is not always going to be smoothly but today it did. I kept my cool, I was in control and therefore she was too. I know with time and practice we will get to the point of no disrespectful comments...Thank you Kirk Martin!!!
Another thing I am learning about is patience. Have patience with yourself....these behaviors take time. If you are consistent and follow through your children will learn you mean what you say. Another idea they suggest is to embrace tantrums....yes you read that right. This gives us as parents the opportunity to show our integrity. Don't back down from your rules. Your child wants to see if you will follow through and keep your promises. (If you disrespect me, you go to your room for 10 minutes etc.) Remain calm (not always easy). If you lose it as the adult, it shows them you are not in control. Kirk mentions trying this...do not react to your child's arguing. If they seem like they are just trying to test and pick a fight (I feel like he is in my house sometimes....because we go through this a lot). He says sit down and say, "You know what...you're right" or give a compliment, "Wow, your eyes are so beautiful." This will stump your child so much that they won't know what to do or say. They are used to you saying, "I am your parent you will listen to me" (or whatever you say) during an argument. Kids are sometimes just looking for a reaction from us. If we are calm and positive, no negative reaction will come from them. Then, you can conquer the situation in a positive manner.
We all know this but he also mentions that exercise is so important. It helps stimulate your child and reduces anxiety. If your child is having a rough day, make them go outside for 10-15 minutes and run around, ride their bike....anything that will calm them. Then come inside and talk calmly about the situation. A friend of mine told me they use the treadmill. Their daughter is a bit older, but when she starts to fade and become disrespectful, she runs. They make her do a few minutes and she usually thanks them because she feels better when she is done. I know I love how I feel after I am able to exercise...why would it be different for our kids? It's not folks....they need stimulation too. A lot of kids come home from school and sit in front of the tv, computer or a game system. This is not stimulating them....yes, it's fine for a few minutes, but kids need physical exercise. They just like us need to get up and get moving. So, maybe switch your afternoon routine around a bit. If your child normally comes home and does their homework, but you find this is not working for you. Let them come home, have a snack and go run for 10-15 minutes. Then come in, do homework and go back outside. I am going to try this now that it is getting nice outside. Hopefully, it will eliminate some of those dreaded afternoon attitudes. Good luck, I hope some of these tips help. I will continue to share as I learn more!!!
Sunday is St. Patricks Day-remember to wear your green =)
Two of my favorite Irish blessings: I dedicate these to my Irish family!!!
May you see God's light on the path ahead
When the road you walk is dark.
May you always hear,
Even in your hour of sorrow,
The gentle singing of the lark.
When times are hard may hardness
Never turn your heart to stone,
May you always remember
when the shadows fall--
You do not walk alone.
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers--
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours--
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!