Archives for October2012

TODDLER TIME (and discipline)!

TODDLERS NEED A LITTLE EXTRA SOMETHING

There is a saying that says, “You better nip that thing in the bud” which means that in order for a change to be made for the positive, heading a negative action off at the pass immediately is MUCH better than letting something go. Your child doesn’t need to be twenty years old to understand that negative habits need to change, and as a matter of fact if you wait for the world to discipline your child … you will have waited too long.

So how do you discipline an unruly toddler? First of all you must realize that as a parent you are the one that your child looks up to. YES, this little one with what seems like all the grim determination to tear you down, doesn’t really know that they are getting on your nerves. In the middle of the night when they are thirsty, they look to you for a drink. When they need to go potty, they find YOU in the crowd. YOU ARE THEIR WORLD, regardless of how they treat you on their bad days, mommy and daddy are the FIRST thing they want in the morning, and the last thing they think about at night. When you take this to heart, you will understand that THEY WILL LISTEN TO YOU when you decide to put your foot down and say “NO” to their tyrannical demands. A firm “NO” often reminds them that YES, they DO defer to you for EVERYTHING.

WHEN DO YOU BEGIN?

I have always thought that a child isn’t too young to have a firm grasp of who is the boss (you their parent). For example, a flip flopping diaper change can easily be kept in check with a steady hand and direct eye contact. No one needs a “spanking” or a frustrated mommy during a diaper change, but if you give into a flip flopping baby by laughing and carrying on with them, you are actually encouraging a behavior you will regret later. (Flip flopping usually begins at around 6-9 mos, thus this statement is directed to this age group and the beginning of child/parent testing. A little chuckling is ok, but giving into bad behavior is well… giving into bad behavior).

“Those who love their children care enough to discipline them” Proverbs 13:24

THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR ABUSE

Hurting people hurt people and are easily hurt by people. This post today is written with the intention to HELP you as a new parent “nip bad behavior” in the bud BEFORE things get too tough and too overwhelming. We have a standard in our house that we as a family agree to ALWAYS HAVE A POSITIVE ATTITUDE. In our house we DO NOT speak negative words, DO NOT call each other names, DO NOT throw tantrums or become overly dramatic and positively maintain a culture of positive thought and energy. It has been in my experience that children who have become subject to abuses have been subject to parents who were frustrated, stressed out, drunk, drugged or in other words overwhelmed at the very idea of “being a parent”. An unruly child is a manifestation of an unruly parent. It is in my opinion that kids need much less therapy than their parents do.

A SMART MOVE

From as early an age as possible, we have chosen to believe that our children are sponges and will become whatever we speak over them. Speaking that they are “smart, sweet, awesome, clever, kind, etc.” Has benefited us greatly, our children as a result have been since toddler-hood as awesome as we have spoken. It isn’t all perfect however, and sometimes they do melt down, complain, and fight. How do we deal with it? AS SOON AS WE NOTICE A NEGATIVE ATTITUDE we challenge our kids about it, even the 4 year old. We say, “You NEED to change your attitude RIGHT NOW, and if you do not change it,  you will have to go into your room until you can come out with a new attitude.” If their attitude DOESN’T change right away, we do what we threaten and send them to their room. They can not come out until they have stopped crying and can move on with a positive attitude. I don’t care if they cry or carry on, it is a natural response. I do care if they begin drama for drama’s sake, and in that case they can act up as much as they want – just as long as it is away from upsetting their siblings and us as their parents. Typically however, as soon as the thought of “being removed” from our group hits them, their attitude changes instantly and they choose themselves to change or be changed, it is their choice.

A NOT SO SMART MOVE

It is not a smart move to discipline a child when you as a parent are tired, angry, hungry, or lonely. Children are naturally going to push you to get your way. There have been plenty times when I have mistakenly raised my voice at a child because I myself was worn out. The “dumbest” move that a parent can do (as a parent) is to not take care of themselves. Take for example when you are on the airplane, when you are waiting for the plane to take off the Flight Attendant reminds you to put on YOUR oxygen mask before your own children. WHY? This is because you as a parent ARE the leader, and as the leader your children need you in PRIME shape before you can take care of them. It is NOT smart for you as a parent to become out-of-shape, over tired, spiritually weak or exhausted. This total lack of attention to personal detail can cause a harsh and unfair disciplinarian and unfortunately an abused child.

IN CONCLUSION

In conclusion toddlers need a little extra something. When raised properly a toddler who is watched, encouraged, uplifted and reminded that you are “their everything” positively, will grow to become a child who is encouraged and uplifted, and then will grow into a teenager who is encouraged and uplifted. Toddlers and babies are seeds which grow into adults. It is in my experience that the sooner you can speak good words to your babies and stand firm in tone while using eye contact when they need a little extra discipline, the better your future outcome with your children will be!

 

As an encouraging and uplifting community we at WHM welcome your comments/replies/and funny stories!!

Did you know you can subscribe to these messages via email direct? Feel free to SHARE! You can SUBSCRIBE HERE

In honor of our little ones going back-to-school I thought I would begin a series totally devoted to kids and how I as a mom of 6 have dealt with certain issues. For the next 30 days I am going to cover my “smartest” and “dumbest” moments in child raising pertaining to certain issues, here are the other posts in this series:

Articles pertaining to finances:

YOUR CHILD IS A GENIUS

“You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit, how I was sculpted from nothing into something. Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth; all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I’d even lived one day.” Psalm 139:14 MSG

WHAT IS A “GENIUS”?

According to the Webster Dictionary the definition of a “genius” ranges from one having an amazing creative ability, to one having a high IQ, to another with a “a peculiar, distinctive, or identifying character or spirit”. Since the term “genius” is up for interpretation, I would like to encourage all who are reading today that YOUR children are born geniuses – they each have been given from God a nature and a talent or a gifting of their own, and when we treat them as “geniuses” we might just begin seeing “genius” type results coming out of them!

OUR WORDS MAKE OUR WORLD… AND OUR KIDS

It wasn’t too long ago that we were taught that kids were little egocentric parasites, and that we as parents needed to HUMBLE our children through rough words and anti-vain speech. Telling our kids to “keep to themselves” and reminding them that they are nothing, know nothing, and as long as they think about nothing great – they will survive in the reality of the world. How WRONG we were! Even as I write this I am reminded of Jesus’ first teaching episode in the temple at twelve years old, and his mother reprimanding Him. In which He responded to her, “Woman don’t you know I am about my FATHER’S business?” This is KEY… we as parents MUST realize that our children are here for the Father’s business (just like Jesus was), and that they have been created for His own purpose. Telling them continually that they will amount to nothing would be robbing them of their God-given potential.

A SMART MOVE

Since my oldest son was a baby I used to call him “Mr. President”. I was amazed by him and the nobility that he carried from birth. He had a huge smile and was always head held high. I would call him “Mr. President” and I would see him in the light that he had a specialness about him that I totally admired. I will never forget walking into the bank one day when he was around two years old and hearing him shout out… “HEY EVERYBODY!” Then he smiled and waved to what seemed like “his people”! I learned from that point on that stifling his outgoing nature would have not just killed him, it would have killed me. What did I do? I smiled and waved too! This exercise in embracing his outgoing and extremely personable nature by encouraging it instead of belittling it, made me a better mother and person. When our children are treated as “genius” no matter what our own hang-ups from our childhood forces us to HAVE to put away our own insecurities, and trust that God has a plan greater than just for ourselves! At 22 years old I would have NEVER walked into a quiet and stoic bank and shouted “HI EVERYBODY!” But my son DID and at just two years old, and I bet he made everyone’s day!

A NOT SO SMART MOVE

Regrettably, I haven’t always remembered that my children were “geniuses in the making”. I have had my moments of awe and shock at some of the ‘dumb’ things that they have done. The worst is probably when I have clucked, shaken my head, or disappointedly glared at them when they were in error. While we make it a practice to NEVER call them negative names, those disapproving glances can cause just as much pain! We must as parents curb these looks of disapproval and maintain our outward smiles ESPECIALLY in front of their friends. Pulling your child aside and asking them why they did what they did is much better for you AND for them. You can begin your sentences by asking:

  • “Please help me to understand why you… (xyz)”
  • “Did you know what you were doing when you did… (xyz)”

Don’t forget that every time a correction needs to be made a praise MUST also be given! This is called the ‘sandwich’ effect. An example of the sandwich effect could be this:

“Hey sweetie, can I talk to you for a minute? Today I was really proud of you when you took care of your little sister the way you did. You were gentle and kind with her, did you know when you left with your friends without saying “Goodbye” to her it really hurt her feelings? I bet you would MAKE HER DAY if you went over to her and told her you were sorry about that… maybe you could even read her a story? You know she thinks you are THE BEST! Me TOO!”

When we ‘sandwich’ bad news or reprimands as our way of dealing with people, we are appealing to their nobler motive and encouraging change versus bringing on a personal attack. This type of conversation takes practice, but as you remember to calm down and ‘sandwich’ the correction you are hoping to see, you will begin to learn very quickly that CHILDREN ARE CAPTIVE AUDIENCES to their parents and it is how we as parents deal with this audience that determines their inner genius or dunce… it really is all up to us!

As an encouraging and uplifting community we at WHM welcome your comments/replies/and funny stories!!

Did you know you can subscribe to these messages via email direct? Feel free to SHARE! You can SUBSCRIBE HERE

 In honor of our little ones going back-to-school I thought I would begin a series totally devoted to kids and how I as a mom of 6 have dealt with certain issues. For the next 30 days I am going to cover my “smartest” and “dumbest” moments in child raising pertaining to certain issues, here are the other posts in this series:

 

Other WHM articles regarding ENCOURAGEMENT:

RAISING BOYS!

SNIPS & SNAILS

I was 120% sure we were having a girl with our sixth pregnancy. Her name was going to be, Olivia Grace. You can imagine my surprise when the Dr. confirmed through multiple ultrasounds that we were infact having another boy (our fifth!). While I was surprised, I wasn’t upset. I love boys! When I felt encouraged in my heart to get pregnant at the begining of this year, it only took a couple of weeks until I found out I was expecting. We have waited for four years since our last baby, and in this decision to wait when we found out we were pregnant and it wasn’t our little “Olivia”, we decided to name our newest addition “Theodore” which means “God’s divine gift”. Since I was fully expecting a girl, this baby boy is definitely a GIFT!

I blogged last about our daughter and how she is so different from our boys (see GIRLS vs BOYS, August 21) and today, I thought it was only right to write about our boys and my adventures with them.

BOY # 1 “THE SAFE ONE”

One of our boys is extremely “safe”, always making sure that no one gets hurt (including himself). He is not at all timid in how he relates to people, and being brave in asking for things – but when it comes to climbing, jumping, running, etc. He chooses to enforce boundaries and remain on the whole unscathed. It has been very nice to never have to question his judgement… most accurately I would define him as having a “JUDGE personality”. Promoting and dispensing fair and equal judgement and safety for others.

BOY # 2 “THE RISK TAKER”

On the contrary, our second son is a risk taker. If he could live life upside down he would! Always dangling from trees or running a mile a minute, this son proves to the world that there IS a world out there. There is more to living than four walls, and if you aren’t living on the edge… you are taking up TOO much room! Personally, he makes me laugh because he always questions gravity. Not just ‘gravity’ as in terms of the laws of physics, but ‘gravity’ in terms of the weights of the world. If any human being could figure out how to “fly” he would. With his desire to throw the weight of this world off, I would define him as having a “CHALLENGERS personality”, not a CHALLENGING personality – but a CHALLENGERS personality. One who challenges man’s laws and with his love for the Lord, brings attention to others HOW freeing living for God really is.

BOY # 3 “THE ADVENTURER” 

Boy no.3 has always been an adventurer. Like Indiana Jones he resolves to “go where no man has gone before”. While he doesn’t challenge the norm, he loves to explore it and prove to others that size and age doesn’t matter. If any of our children was like King Josiah (who was made King at 8 years old), it would be him. He intimidates others to do things for him at six years old, not through fear but through conviction! His personality is definitely a “LEADERS personality” and will lead a horse to water every time he gets the chance. Whether that horse is ready to drink or not, frankly isn’t his concern!

BOY # 4 “THE THINKER” 

The youngest boy of ours is a thinker. He is constantly putting together puzzles of all types. Thomas the train, wooden puzzles, thought puzzles… this boy loves to solve and to think. He has a “THOUGHTFUL personality” and has always wanted hugs, kisses, and to give you comfort when you are down. While this can come off as perhaps more “intelligent” that other types of personalities – thoughtfulness really has nothing to do with ‘intelligence’ but EVERYTHING to do with awareness. What this young man does is WATCH and LISTEN and in so doing, he appears and reflects a maturity and wisdom that is rare. The lesson with this child is that we can all be more “intelligent” if we just WATCH and LISTEN more.

Some of my SMARTEST MOVES … AND …

NOT SO SMART MOVES IN RAISING THESE BOYS:

SMART WAYS OF DEALING WITH A “SAFE” BOY

  • Allow your safety expert to assume responsibilities starting at a young age. Give them dishes to do, laundry to wash, cars to vacuum. Even if they do not so good a job – this doesn’t matter. They NEED the self confidence that they can be trusted in their own judgement of HOW to do something.

NOT SO SMART

  • Standing over their shoulder and “micro-managing” HOW they are completing a task then pointing out their failures. No one likes a nag. When you have an overly safe child, you have a “detailed” child. As they get older and their dexterity improves they will resolve their own mistakes. If your ‘safety’ child has forgotten a toy under the bed when cleaning, go clean it when they aren’t looking. Don’t be hard on them for missing something at the time of clean up, next time remember to be more detailed in your clean up instructions BEFORE the process begins.

SMART WAYS OF DEALING WITH A “RISKY” BOY

  • Giving a risky/challenger boy an opportunity to bend and brake rules is HARD. While no single child should be able to break a parents rules (while the others have to abide by them), sometimes we have rules that need to be questioned. Perhaps for years your own parents showed you  a certain way to clean up a mess, if you have a challenger son like I do, that son will say to you “WHY do we clean this way, why not this other way instead?” Then from out of nowhere, your item is cleaner than ever before! Allowing your challenger/risk taker to have his own voice is key in the raising of this personality. But so is having VERY DEFINED rules. We always do our best to stick to God’s laws in the Bible (primarily the 10 commandments and to love God with all our heart, mind, body and soul) the risk takers in the family MUST have clearly defined non-crossable boundaries like “thou shalt not steal”. However, when these “Golden Rules” are obeyed, this child should be free to challenge the status quo!

NOT SO SMART

  • “Baby proofing” the world. A challenger/risk taker will need a mom or dad who won’t run up and see if they are “okay” every five minutes. Our risk taker is a Junior Olympic springboard diver and every time I see him do an inward dive it seems like my heart skips a beat! Holding my tongue and trusting his coach is MY NUMBER ONE JOB. Just as I trust his coach however, I have had to learn to TRUST GOD more. Recognizing that it is GOD who put the “riskiness” in him is paramount to his success, and for me to be able to just relax and enjoy his accomplishments is really very cool. When executed correctly, it can be like watching a race car hug the track at full tilt… it can be like they are flying and it is God doing the driving!

SMART WAYS OF DEALING WITH AN “ADVENTEROUS” BOY

  • Boys which seem to be more concerned with getting somewhere than HOW to get somewhere can be challenging, leaving many parents to think… what are you crazy? This type of personality will look across the street to their destination and step right out into traffic. NO these boys aren’t “crazy” they are BIG picture thinkers and it is our job to assist them in crossing the road! Calling a child “dumb, crazy, or stupid” for seeing a BIG picture instead of recognizing their sense of adventure is a BIG NO NO. Your child is BRILLIANT, made in the image of God as a child of God and is completely UNIQUE. While they are young and lack wisdom… this is where we as parents come in. We say “WAIT” and then take their hand and help them get to where they are going. Having an adventurous boy is a GREAT thing. When trained properly, you will find that their ability to be bold and resourceful is a great attribute to the world. Where would we be without Christopher Columbus or Neil Armstrong?

NOT SO SMART

  • Education by FORCE. The other day I was attempting to teach my little explorer some history. He wasn’t getting it. Unfortunately I tried to teach him like I would teach one of our other boys and he ended up crying and saying, “I just want it to be OVER mom.” Oh, it nearly broke my heart! Here I have this totally free spirited boy and I was “breaking” him by way of influencing him to try and learn in a way that he couldn’t grasp. This type of boy needs to be given the tools of the trade and then let go to learn at his own pace. Needless to say, I folded up the history lesson and said “Let’s go play”. Enough was enough. An adventurer will need to be watered and grown, possibly more than any of your other children. Giving them proper attention and addressing their disappointments quickly is very important!

SMART WAYS OF DEALING WITH A “THOUGHTFUL” BOY

  • Thoughtful boys are pretty easy boys to be around… however I have found that boy can they hold a grudge! WOW! It is odd to me to see how one so young can hold on to an offense and not let it go for days even! Recognizing that thoughtful people tend to stay within themselves more than those that can just “let by-gones be by-gones” is absolutely necessary. The best way for me to handle our little thinker is to notice when he is down and immediately talk with him about what is going on. Taking the time to draw him out of himself must be done right away. We may be at the grocery store, at a friends house, on a road trip… wherever we are we must address the offense with our thinker right away, and ask them to forgive or move on. This instant attention to emotional detail establishes a routine of making attitude adjustments personally. Saying to your thinking child “just get over it” is failing them, they CAN’T. The thinker MUST process what is going on and reason exactly WHY it is ok to “just get over it”.

NOT SO SMART

  • Ignoring a thinker and treating him and his sensitivity the same way as you would treat your daughter is a mistake. The thinking boy is much more sensitive than a risky boy, and in so he will be WAY more tender. Learning how to balance a natural tenderness with his all boy-ness is the smartest thing you as a parent can do. Remember the BEST men in society today are proven by the way that they treat trivial matters. For instance a man who can hold a butterfly on his finger, can run a nation with temperance. Force and tyranny does not make a man anymore than the color pink and fancy perfume make a woman. Training a sensitive boy to walk tall and be proud of his ability to read people and read situations through his thoughtfulness, gives him the heart of a REAL man. Understanding that Jesus hugged, wept, mourned, rejoiced, and cared for His disciples is just as much a recognition that He bore torture to the point of death through His THOUGHTFUL bravery. Sensitive and thoughtful boys can be molded into the image of Christ as long as CHRIST is the central focus and each and everyday is filled with love and not abuse of personal character.

IN CONCULSION

As we continue through this series on kids and parenting, I hope that you are learning something new about your own children. How boys and girls are gifts from God and how as parents we are their gifts to them. As we in America are coming into an election season, we all must remember that it is us, in our OWN HOMES that are making America what it is today. How we raise our children, praise our God and motivate ourselves… it is all up to us as individuals. We have the ability to change our circumstances and our country from the inside out, and as you go about your day today I pray that you will be able to hold your head up high and know that your children are the FUTURES of this world and with great parenting, our future looks BRIGHT!!

 

As an encouraging and uplifting community we at WHM welcome your comments/replies/and funny stories!!

 

 

In honor of our little ones going back-to-school I thought I would begin a series totally devoted to kids and how I as a mom of 6 have dealt with certain issues. For the next 30 days I am going to cover my “smartest” and “dumbest” moments in child raising pertaining to certain issues, here are the other posts in this series:

Other Articles involving the subject of LEGACY: