Saturday, January 30, 2010

Week 3: Take Time for Training

I've been light on blogging this week. Seems everyone doing the program with Vicki on momTV is blogging light, too. This week is mostly about observation. Luck for me since my sister and her family was here. As an added bonus all five kids got sick, one right after the other. And then my sister got sick. Blah, no fun!

Go here to read Vicki's introduction to the week.

These are quotes that Vicki said on the show and posted on her blog. They all make so much sense to me.

“If they can walk, they can work.” Vicki

“Never do for a child, what he can do for himself.”Dreikurs

“Work is worth.” – Roosevelt

Here are the questions that I need to ask myself and then sit back and observe:
  • What can your children do, that they will do? (Remember, no interfering from you)
  • What can your children do, that they don’t do?
  • What can’t your children do because they haven’t been trained?
Tough questions. Here's what I have learned this week. My kids can do a lot of things and when left to their own devises they will, especially if they want it now! However, I have created monsters who need to be reminded about almost everything. It's hard to say what they can do and will do, because I step in and remind far to often. So now they don't have to remember anything, so they don't even bother trying. Okay, maybe this is a bit of a generalization, but it's mostly true. There are also lots of things they haven't been trained to do and some how I expect that they should know how to do them.

I have a few mantras. A couple of years ago I ran across the quote:


I made up a bunch of small signs and have them hanging all over my house. It is a reminder to me, when I am about to loos it.

This year my new mantra is:

It has occurred to me that when my children ask for help it's because they want to engage me. So if I say, "Let me teach you" or put my hands over theirs and guide them, I am interacting with them and teaching them at the same time. Sweet Girl has even begun to ask me to teach her things. And that just seems right somehow. If I can raise children who ask when they want to learn something or don't know how to do something then I am raising adults who do the same and the sky is the limit!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lateness. I hate being late. Like really hate being late. When I was single I was able to control that. I could show up early. No one knew how long I sat in my car waiting for the appropriate time to show up. I used to show up a whole class period early and sit outside my classroom when I was in college. I have control issues. I need to ABCDE it.

Then I got married and it got messy. Webby's history was not one of timeliness. He underestimated time and how long it would take to do something and then we'd be late for things. But I survived. I did take some liberties in telling him when we needed to be some place. But he has changed a lot and timeliness has become important to him as well.

Enter kids! Now that's throwing a wrench into things. Everything takes longer when you have kids. And babies add an additional 20-60 minutes on to my departure time. It makes things hard for my controlling self. And now that I'm doing my best to have the kids do for themselves it's really hard to get out the door on time. It was so much easier to just do it myself. But then I just get so tired of the kids blaming me that I didn't bring what they wanted and it takes so much time to pack all those bags.

Here's my biggest problem. Church! Yes, I said church. I enjoy going to church. But getting to church can be a bit of a problem. Webby has to be at church early for meetings, so it is just me and the 3 kids on Sundays. It. Is. Really. Hard. It is so hard for me to keep my mouth shut in the mornings. I am continually reminding my kids they need to get stuff done, asking my kids if they have everything, telling them they only have so many more minutes. It is so aggravating. And all I end up doing is working myself and the kids up. I have yanked the kids out of the house and into the car screaming. But the dawdling (button) makes me crazy. Sweet Girl has the tendency to do anything she doesn't need to be doing and waiting until the last minute to get herself together. Then I say let's go and she screams! (button)

So last week I decided I was going to let it go. I am supposed to be at church a bit early. But that just isn't going to happen. I would reflect on the morning as I was driving to church thinking how crazy it was that things were going the way they were. How in the world can I feel the spirit when I am so angry? What am I teaching my kids by yelling at them all the way to church? And so last week I let it go. I decided that we would get there when we get there. And we were late, but not by much (only 15 minutes). And again this week we were late. But you know what, being late isn't so bad. And we have had nice rides to church. I just get ready and wait in the car when I'm ready. When the kids are ready they come out to the car and then we go. No fighting. No screaming. No badgering.

Trading timeliness for peace is so worth it!

Friday, January 22, 2010

All this thinking about my buttons (and goats) has me thinking. I've been doing the ABCDE of my goats and have gotten really far with that. It really does help to re frame the activating event. When I do it helps me to see how those things that bother me the most are also assets to my children. They are the things that will help them to be strong as teenagers and adults. They are the things that will help them to assert themselves as leaders and not allow themselves to be swayed by their peers.

The other thing that occurred to me, my aha moment, is that my children have their buttons, too. Never thought of that before now. That started me thinking about the things that I do that aggravate my children. For Sweet Girl it is saying just a minute. She knows it's going to be more than a minute, I know it's going to be more than a minute. Still I do lip service and she gets aggravated, rightfully so. I ask Sweetie Heart what hers was. She said when I keep saying the same thing over and over and over again. Admittedly, I do badger her...a lot. So I need to be aware of that and change. Of course, I shouldn't be badgering anyway.

Nuff said!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

So I found a new goat. My oldest wears the same clothes almost every day. Last year, I made a 2 day rule. If it's been worn for 2 days or is dirty after 1 day it needs to go in the hamper. I know it's interfering, so I haven't been nagging as much about it. More like sighing to myself and looking away.

From birth until Sweetie Heart was in the kindergarten I didn't really let her pick her own clothes out. She could pick out part and then I would pick out something that matched with it. She became very discouraged in kindergarten because I would have her pick out her own clothes and then I would "check" to make sure it matched. If it didn't I'd tell her why it didn't and make her do it again. A very good friend of mine told me to let it go. She said, "Sweetie Heart is an artist. T|Let her express herself whatever way she wants." And so I let it go. I don't always like it but I let it be.

Wearing clean mismatched clothes is one thing. But wearing dirty clothes just really gets to me. I know she has her favorite clothes to wear, who doesn't! But wearing them everyday even when they are dirty upsets me. She has worn the same outfit for at least 7 out of the last 10 days. She has put it in the hamper, because it's dirty and she knows it, just to take it out again the next day and say it wasn't really dirty. Did I mention it's a white, long sleeve shirt. Today I put my foot done. The sleeves are gray. I haven't even had the chance to wash it because she won't leave it in the laundry long enough to have it washed. It has holes in the sleeves that she pokes her fingers through and makes them bigger. I try to keep it at least mended, but can't do that when she won't take it off long enough. I'm not sure why but I won't mend it until it's washed.

A(ctivating event) ~ wearing dirty clothes & wearing the same thing every day
B(elief) ~ children who wear dirty are unhygienic and their bodies are dirty
B(elief) ~ parents who have children how wear dirty clothes are dirty, don't care about their children & have no concept nor teach hygiene
C(onsequence) ~ I tell her she has to go change, make her feel bad about not being able to tell on her own that something is dirty, she then complains that she doesn't have anything to wear (despite her full to over flowing drawer of clothes)
D(isputation) ~ no that stuff isn't true. people see me all the time and can see I'm not a dirty person. But I've seen people who look clean but live in filth. not teaching the hygiene thing...well not sure about that. but having to remind her to bathe, change her underwear and change her clothes gets old. *not caring what other people think is good, she won't be swayed by others?
E(ncourage yourself) ~ this too shall pass. she will become aware, at some point, that she does care how she looks to other people. hmm *.

Oh and did I mention she doesn't brush her hair.

That's all!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

What's that blasted goat doing back here! Really, I had it hidden but then it came wandering back.

Yesterday was great. I hide my goats and all went well. But this morning it came wandering back.

We went to the school to see Sweetie Heart in a play her class was doing. She did great! I'll see if I can upload it, but I haven't had much success so far. Anyway, after the show was over it was time to go home. Webby needed to get to work and the rest of us just needed to get home. Sweet Girl loves going to the school. There are so many great things. She didn't get into preschool this year, which is too bad, but Sweetie Heart didn't go to preschool either and is doing just great! Webby told Sweet Girl it was time to get going. She ignored him and kept playing. I got Squeak ready and again told her it was about time to leave. I got ready and Webby was ready to walk out without her. And in entered my goat. She saw it and took a bite. She started to scream! She screamed, "Don't leave without me!" Now we're in the school. There are lots of kids not the mention the teachers all around having to listen to my 4 year old scream. So I helped her a little, but then she started dawdling again so I got up and said let's go. She started screaming again. I took her by the hand and told her she can scream outside if she needed to. She grabbed her coat and mittens and out we went with her still screaming. So there she is screaming outside with only her snow pants and boots on. Luckily it's not too cold out today. I want to adequately represent the world to my children. I had to take a minute to look at her through someone else's eyes. What would someone else do? We walk. I start to coddle. Webby reminds me to keep walking. I suggested she stop, put the stuff on and catch up. Don't think I was supposed to do that, oops. She screams for me to stop and wait while she does it. She gains a bit of control of herself and asks again. What to do? On the one hand we already waited for her. On the other hand she calmed herself and asked. Well, we chose to keep walking. She walked home (only 4 blocks) carrying her coat and mittens. When we came in the house she said she was cold. She said she wanted to wear her coat. Webby told her that we will always give her enough time to put her coat on. I asked her what she would do different next time. She said, "Not keep playing."

A(ctivating Event) ~ Screaming
B(elief) ~ Children who scream draw attention to themselves to manipulate their parents to do what they want, and to make their parents looks bad.
B(elief) ~ Parents who have kids who scream don't have control over their kids and are bad parents.
C(onsequence) ~ I get angry, I help/save, I threaten (but don't always follow through)
D(isputation) ~ The real truth is that she screams to get my attention. She is seeing if it will get me what she wants me to. It also means that if something is happening to her that she doesn't like she will do what she needs to to get attention. That is actually a good thing when it comes to this scary world she live in. That means she will not be a victim.
E(ncourage Yourself) ~ When she screams I will.... Not sure what.... Vicki? (Is that cheating?)

I'm going to go hide that goat again. I'd really like to get rid of him all together. Time! It's all about time.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Week 2: Buttons! What Buttons?

Last week was a bit tough for me. This week stands to be better.

So this week we talked about our buttons. You know the ones, the ones you kids push to get to you. Here's what Vicki has to say about that. And she's totally right. We don't really have buttons, but we like to blame our bad behavior on something. There are things that send me into orbit though.

My favorite part if the show last night was the analogy about the goats. LOVED IT!! So here it is, because I think it stands to be repeated. We all have goats. Goats are those things that send you into orbit. The thing that makes you irrational. The thing that makes you, the parent, miss behave. Now here is what Vicki said about the goats. "Don't tell your kids where you goats are tied. If you do they will eat them. Not only will they eat them, they will do it with lots of people watching." I love it.

Need an example? Okay, here's my example, completely hypothetical.

Suppose my goat is...oh, I don't know...screaming. Now let's just say that you've told your red headed daughter that you can't stand screaming. Now she knows where your goat is tied. So here you are at the grocery store. She wants something. You say no. She begs (not a goat, no biggie) you ignore it. She whines (maybe a small goat, but still manageable) you take a deep breathe and continue to ignore her. Then she starts screaming that she wants it! It's not fair! She never gets anything! Oh and there are tears, too. Now everyone is looking at you, or at least you feel that way. You feel like you're disturbing the other shoppers. There is no way you're leaving without your groceries because you're almost done and you'd just have to go back again with said munchkin. So what do you do. She's eating your goat right there in the grocery store. Of course, that puts me...I mean you as the hypothetical choice. You threaten to leave (she knows you won't), you threaten to take something else away (completely irrelevant to her behavior), you give in and give it to her (totally the point of the screaming), or you continue to ignore her and keep moving.

Vicki's example was a lot shorter. And she's laughing while she tells it. I love listening to Vicki laugh! Go watch it! Click menu, watch videos and then watch the post from 1/19/10.

I have a whole herd of goats. Here are a few that I have figured out.
  • screaming, pounding on doors, temper tantrums
  • playing first and then getting frustrated (tantrum) when you don't have time to do your work that needs done
  • miss use of time, dawdling and then panicking when you run out of time
  • saying you can't find something when you haven't looked, going into a room glancing around and giving up and saying you can't find it, even when it is in front of your nose
  • when asked to find a solution to a problem, saying "I don't know" even before you've thought about it
  • sarcasm
I think I need to pasture some of these goats. Maybe even let them run away. I definitely need to move them. It just seems like every time I do they come back. Especially when I'm tired and don't have back up.

What are your goats?

Love this clip!

Sunday, January 17, 2010


This is week one. Do Nothing, Say Nothing. The purpose of this is to see what your kids can do, and how they handle you not doing what you always do. It is also to see how you interfere. And boy do I interfere all. the. time.

This has been a rough week. At first it was met with, "hurray, it a free week!" Free week? What's that? Free as in I can do whatever I want. I can stay up as late as I want. I reminded Sweetie Heart that also meant that I wasn't going to be reminding her of all the things she needed to do. Then she just got scared and discouraged. I had to reminder her that I wasn't going to stop helping or talking to her. I was just going to stop interfering. I theory that is.

Vicki says, " Our children consistently do what works. Parents consistently do what does not work." I, for one, completely agree. She says the way we react to our children's "bad" behavior is fertilizer. And that fertilizer feeds the weed.

For example, let's say you have a child who whines, theoretically of course. Whenever your daughter, I mean child, whines you say, "I can't understand whining" or "Let's use our big girl voices." That all is fertilizer to the weeds. They continue to do what works. They know that when they whine they will get attention. So we need to stop talking and making any contact when our children do those things so as to get them to stop. That is what we want anyway right? That is why we stop and talk to them, so they will stop or start doing something.

Let me just say, I am full of fertilizer. Just plain full of it. I cannot. stop. taking. Needless to say I had a hard time. So did the girls. What did happen is that they went to all ends to get our attention. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it didn't. I saw somethings that had been gone for awhile. I saw things that have never happened before. Sometimes I held my ground and sometimes I spilled fertilizer everywhere!

I learned that I am getting in the way of my children's learning. I have interfered so much they think they need to come to me for everything. And I mean everything. It gets tiring, but it's my own fault.

Now how to fix it. Watch to Monday night at 9pm Eastern or the replay whenever on momTV.
Here's the link to the blog from last week. If you look down at the comments you'll see my really long one, followed by Vicki telling me to shut my trap, in a kind way of course. But we're BFF's so she can tell me to shut my trap and I won't go cry in the corner.

See you tomorrow night in the momTV chat!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Attention Please!!

I've been meaning to post about this awesome event, but we have been having so much fun over the Christmas break I just haven't made the time to do so. But here I am at the 11th hours posting.

Vicki from Parenting on Track is going to be teacher her 12 week program through momTV. It will start tonight with a preview of what she is going to do. If you blog and blog about your experience 4-5 times a week you will be entered into a drawing to win prizes! How fun is that!

I know many of you haven't tried the program, mostly because of the cost. Yes, it is expensive and worth every penny. And I understand not being able to spend the money on it. I was able to take the live class for free through the school system last year. Vicki isn't teaching the live class that way anymore. I was saving my money. I only have it now because it was given to me as a gift. Here is your opportunity to try the program for FREE!! All it is going to take from you is a little time and effort.

The show is on Monday nights at 9pm eastern time on momTV. If you watch live you will have the opportunity to chat with Vicki live. You can ask questions and she will give you answers. This part will not be recorded, but the teaching part will. This is so valuable and free!