Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Take a Deep Breath

I stumbled upon these two links over the weekend.  I thought they were good so I wanted to share:
12 Steps to Stop Yelling at your kids
followed by
10 Things I Learned by not yelling at my kids for a year.

Of the 10 things she learned, I really liked #2.  I am most always able to be calm and collected in public or at church if the kids are teasing or spill food or something ~ why?  Because I'm aware of my audience.  At home, I usually forget that I always have an audience - my 8 children.  And really, they are my most important audience, always watching me, learning, and mimicing what I say and do.  I should be my very best around them.

Wesley is 8 years old and so he is going to be baptized soon.  We talked last night about what baptism is and the kids seemed to mostly have questions about repentance.  I told them I don't think repentance should be focusing on our mistakes, cause then we might tend to beat ourselves up over it.  I think it's more like New Years Resolutions, and Resolutions get me excited, cause I can see where I'm slacking and I'm excited to get specific about goals I can work on to help me improve.  I talked about how the no yelling for a year lady and that I'd like to improve there.  Joseph made my day by telling me he doesn't think I yell.  And I probably don't yell that much, but I feel like I yell and I feel like I'm not being as patient and kind as I could be, like yesterday when Abi spilled her sticky sticky watermelon strawberry lemonade inside the freezer and all over the floor.  I didn't yell at her, but I did growl at the mess and spoke more sharply than I should have to a little 5 year old and a simple accident.  Anyway, those were great links with good insights on how to be a better mom.

Ok, one more thing that's helped all of us improve our behavior this year of 2013, and it's kinda funny, is Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  We started watching that a few months ago, and I really like Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  It is the one show I will go and proactively choose to put on at 10 or at 10:30 (or sometimes we'll watch it back to back (the same episode) if it's a good song/lesson that we could apply.)  Right now during our summer routine I let Sophia and Lily watch it while the other kids do their stuff.  Sometimes it distracts the older kids, but I don't think it's a waste cause it is teaching them all simple things and ideas that they can apply to their everyday little lives.
In each episode they sing a little song over and over again so it's easy for it to get stuck in your head.  The first one that helped us out was "When you feel so mad that you want to roar, take a deep breath (Inhale, exhale) and count to four."  That was the first one that Lily memorized which brought to my attention that this was a good show.  When she'd have a bad day or get frustrated, she usually expressed herself with some screams and stomping around, but then we started singing that song and it totally helped her.

Another one, Abi and Lily would fight over toys, and hooray cause there's a little Daniel Tiger song that goes "You can take a turn, and then I'll get it back" and we use that one all the time, love it.  This is seriously the first show ever that I've been able to see them apply to their lives in a positive way.

One more example, the older kids were playing legos, Wesley was goofing off and got behind Ethan, and when Ethan turned to face him, Wes poked him in the eye (supposedly an accident).  As Ethan related the story to me, he said "I was so mad and I wanted to scream and hit him, but (he says with a smile) then I took a deep breath and counted to four!  And as I was couning, Wesley was standing there looking at me and then he said "Saying I'm sorry is the first step, then How Can I help?" (that's another Daniel Tiger song, love it!)  Then they were both laughing cause little silly songs from a baby show is changing their behavior.  Yes, I love Daniel Tigers Neighborhood.  So that's that.  :)

A few of the other songs that are helpful to us - when we got to the park and the kids don't want to go home yet, I sing ~
"It's almost time to stop so choose one more thing to do."
"That was fun but now it's done."

And frequently at dinner time, Lily will try to be brave as she tries the new food by singing:
"You gotta try new food because it might taste good."

So hooray for Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  And I also have to say, as a negative side note, that I do NOT like Sid the Science Kid.  Or his friends or his teacher or his parents or grandma.  They are super annoying.  We don't watch it, well the older kids wanted to once so they could be annoyed, they especially don't like Gerald.  It's on right before Daniel Tiger, so sometimes we hear a few seconds of it while waiting for the station switch to kick in, and that small snippet is too much for me.  I wish that show hadn't been approved.  I'm probably being a little irrational about it, but you go watch it and see if you can come away un-irritated.  We don't like Sid.  Ok, I just had to get that off of my chest.  Now I can carry on with my day.

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