The last two weeks we have been working on Encouragement (as in to instill courage) and Privileges and Responsibilities.
I'm finding it a bit easier to not praise but to encourage instead. When I first started I would praise and then ask questions, so as to encourage the girls. Funny though, Vicki says it's hard for kids to stop getting praise, they seek it because it is given so often. I have found that I have a heard time not giving it. I am doing better. Asking how and what questions. I especially like asking what they like about whatever and asking what they would do different. It really goes deep into how they feel and them learning that they can change the way they do things.
Privileges and Responsibilities are harder for me. I know I let my kids to way too much stuff. It's almost like I feel like I should let my kids do all the things they want to do, even when their actions don't show me they are ready to do them.
Here is my list of Privileges that they haven't earned:
- play dates
- going to the library
- checking out books from the library
- going out to eat
- doing things after school (art class, after school program)
We have been working on how to sit at a table and what is acceptable behavior when we are eating, but we can't seem to get past the sitting in your chair thing. Often Sweet Girl stands/ squats on her chair, next to her chair or through her chair (folding chair.) Sweetie Heart sits on her feet or on the edge of her booster seat. Oh and did I mention she just started belching at the table. NICE!
It only seems fair that we sit down with the kids and tell them they are going to have to start being responsible to earn their privileges. I feel like I should write it down so that they can go look at the list and know what they need to do. We should probably all sit down together so we can make the list and everyone is on the same page. Because I know that when kids help make the rules it is easier to hold them accountable.
I am reading The Five Love Languages of Children, by Gary Chapman. It is very enlightening on how children (and all people) receive love differently. If I know their primary love language then I can fill their love tanks. I gave the girls the test today (found in the back of the book.) Sweetie Heart is physical touch and Sweet Girl is receiving gifts. That must be why Sweetie Heart is always touching me and Sweet Girl is always giving stuff to people. I don't agree with Dr. Chapman's description of encouraging words. Mostly because what he describes is praise not encouragement. Otherwise I find the book very insightful and it is helping me to connect with my kids better.
I guess that's all for now. We are all alive and kickin' (sometimes against the pricks.)
Vicki's away this weekend at a Mom's Retreat this weekend. I so wish I could go! It looks like so much fun and learning. And it would be great to get to hang out with a bunch of other mom's committed to using the Parenting on track Program. There is another one in 2 weeks. If you live in New England and want to attend sign up here. If you don't live in New England and want to sponsor me just let me know!