Friday, November 15, 2013

Hard Conversations

Moved Here

Monday, November 11, 2013

Can You Relate?

The kids are causing a fuss, so I tell them to put on their shoes and go outside.  The only child who is happy about that is the toddler.  I literally have to pull Eldest outside.
An hour and a half later, it is time to come in.
"Ahhh, I don't want to come in yet."
"Can we stay outside longer?"
"Do we have to go in?"
Seriously.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Appeal Process

I am currently reading "Shepherding a Child's Heart" by Tedd Tripp.  I am loving this book.  It has helped me so much to become the mom I want to be to my kids (okay, I know that will never actually happen, but most of the time?  I think it's possible).
"It should be our habit to say "Yes" to [an appeal] unless there are good reasons to say "No".  It is easy to say "No" because we do not want to think through the implications of saying "Yes.""
This really touched me.  I want to say "Yes" to my kids.  I say "No" to them an awful lot.  I recently blogged about that, so it really hit home.
I have realized how important it is to let my kids have an appeal when I give them a directive. So many times I'm thinking about what I need the kids to do but not paying attention to what they are actually doing.  It would be so easy to say, "When you are done coloring the picture, it is time to clean up," instead of just telling them to clean up.  By allowing my kids to appeal my directions in a respectful manner, I am 1) teaching them how to be respectful in the future to authority and 2) teaching myself how to listen and pay attention before I give a direction.
Here are the guidelines for the appeal process that Tripp lays out:
  1. You begin to obey immediately, not after appeal.
  2. You must be prepared to obey either way.
  3. You must appeal in a respectful manner.
  4. You must accept the result of the appeal with a gracious spirit.
I told Eldest it was time to come inside.  He seemed like he started to obey when he stood up, but then he walked further into the backyard.  I asked him what he was doing.  He wanted to go check on the ants.  I told him that was disobedience and called him inside again and then explained, "I understand you wanted to check on the ants, but that was not obeying.  Had you acknowledged that I wanted you to come inside and then asked me if you could go check on the ants, I would have said yes.  It is important you obey before you ask if you can do something else.  I'll probably say yes if you obey first.  If you don't obey first, the answer will almost always be no."
It is starting to get through to the kids.  I noticed that CurlyGirl started to tell me she wanted to do something other than what I told her, and then she caught herself and started to obey and then asked me.  I was pleased that I was able to tell her yes.
Here's to letting my kids appeal my directions and to becoming less of an uptight mom.
Update 6/13/2014: Yesterday, I told Eldest to please go outside. It has been a difficult day, and I just needed some quiet. He said okay and got up, then he asked if he could go upstairs and play with his Legos instead. I said to go ahead. Then I called him back and told him, "Thank you for asking so nicely if you could go upstairs instead of outside. I appreciate that you didn't whine." He had a big grin on his face as he left.
It is encouraging to see that the appeal process really works!