2 reasons to be happy

I have really been enjoying my life lately. At least the day part of my life. Nights are a blur of nursing and falling asleep, waking up with a sleeping arm, putting Austin in his co-sleeper, waking, nursing and falling asleep...

Then Taylor's face right next to mine. He doesn't say anything usually. Just comes in and stands next to my side of the bed, all chipper and eager to start the day and 7 am. I pull him in if I don't have Austin on my arm, send him over to Kevin's side if I do. On those mornings Kevin will take him down and turn something on for him and fall asleep on the couch until 8 (unless he needs to get to work earlier.)

But back to life and why I like it.

1. My children are behaving better in general.
On the road back from Washington Kevin and I decided we were really tired of being whined at and ordered about by our children. There were about 2 golden hours where they all slept and we talked about the importance of teaching our children respect and obedience. These are eternal principles, after all. It can be done without spanking, but we have to believe it's important enough to be consistent. We saw the need and knew it would only get harder if we didn't start right away.

We were able to start immediately, as it turns out. When the boys woke up Taylor kept whacking Jack with his blanket. I told him to stop. He heard me, but did it again. I climbed back (I keep my kids in car seats while driving, but on road trips especially I'm climbing back and forth at least every 20 minutes, at least) and took the blanket away saying "I told you to not to do that. We don't hit. I'll give you your blanket back in a minute." He flipped out...

"I WANT MY BLANKET I WANT MY BLANKET GIVE ME MY BLANKET I WANT MY BLANKET MOM MOM MOM I WANT MY BLANKET GIVE IT TO ME GIVE ME MY BLANKET!"For at least 25 minutes. Not exaggerating. I wasn't just ignoring. I would say "Taylor, as soon as you say 'please can I have my blanket back' you can have it. I'll give it to you. I need you to use nice words." I had Jack demonstrate how to do it, trying to get through to him. Tays was frantic and stubborn:


I kept looking to Kevin's eyes in the rear-view mirror for reassurance and to help me keep my cool. It went from aggravating to amusing to really quite funny as the minutes ticked by. Our sweet little Tays. a monster in disguise...who knew?

Finally, finally, finally he just got quiet then said. "fweeze"(translation:please) without expression. I knew I might be pushing my luck, but I said "Can you say 'please can I have my blanket.'" mostly to see if he would. And he DID! And we all cheered and cheered. He loved it. So much so that he handed his blanket back to me and said it again. and again. and again.

It's only been easier since then. I stand my ground and now they are actually taking me seriously. I don't respond to whiny requests or orders. I don't allow them to be mean to me or eachother. They have to sit on a chair. I set a timer and they know that if the timer goes off and they are still crying, they have to stay put until they can be quiet (for at least a few seconds) and put their hands on their knees. I then call them over and we hug and talk about the infraction. I have them agree to do better by saying "okay." then all is well again.

And I've found that knowing that the principles I'm teaching are important is very empowering and having decided what I'm going to do in just about any situation is giving me an added measure of peace. I think the boys feel it too. Kids like consistancy. It makes life more predictable.

okay, so that ended up being WAY longer than I planned. So for anyone still reading, I'll keep number 2 brief.

2. We're starting to live more like we should.

While in Washington we were priviledged to hear an amazing couple speak on what they do to have a successful family. Among a few other things, they said there are 3 things they ALWAYS do, without fail, never miss.

1. Family Home Evening on Monday nights

2. Family prayer daily
3. Family scripture study daily

And we're doing it. We've let ourselves slide in the past, thinking we'd be more consistent as the boys got a little older. But no more.
We've committed to ALWAYS do these things. Forever. From now on. Scripture study consists of a few verses along with an explaination a 3 and 4 year old can grasp before bedtime. Then we all kneel together and pray. Family night is a bit more involved but still very simple and the boys love it. So yes, we should have been doing this all along, but we weren't and now we are and I feel a difference. amen.

1 comment:

  1. I know this is an old post, but I love it. I especially love the "Amen" at the end. I giggled.


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