Friday, July 31, 2009

Help-I just want to talk on the phone for two minutes!!!

Dear Ladies,
Doesn’t it seem every time you go to the store you see a child having a tempter tantrum? Doesn’t it seem that shopping can bring out some of the worse behaviors in our kids? My boys thought it was fun to hide in the middle of the clothes racks where I couldn’t see them. I would turn around and they would be gone. I would yell their name and calmly they would appear with a “I’m right here, Mama.”

It isn’t just shopping that can brings out the worse in our kids. There is also phone calls, visitors and the rare moment that they find themselves alone; all great times to find some mischief to get into. As moms we have two choices we can ignore the behavior or change it. Ignoring bad behavior rarely causes a child to change course, so that really only leaves us the option of changing the behavior.
Disciplining children isn’t easy work, it takes time, creativity and consistency. Of these three consistency is key. No matter how you decide to discipline a child, weather through time out, spanking, lose of privilege/treat, it has to be consistent.

Let’s say you have the common problem of your children losing control as soon as you start talking on the phone. What would you do to correct this problem?
Here’s one way.
Have a training session; just like an adult who takes a new job needs training, a child needs training to understand what is expected of him. Role play with your child what you expect of him when the phone rings, maybe he needs to find a book to look at for a few minutes(if so have some books in a place where she can reach them and change them out every week or so to prevent boredom) or maybe you just want him to sit and play quietly for a few minutes. Whatever it is be sure your child understands what he is to do during that time. Keep in mind it should be something your child enjoys or your plan will not work. Let your child know that you will be as quick as you can on the phone and try to stick short chats, so he isn’t tempted to misbehave.
Once your child understands what you expect it is time to have a pretend phone call and practice. Begin by making a ringing noise, say to your child the phone is ringing, get your book and sit quietly for a few minutes. Pretend to answer your phone and chat for a minute. Hang up and praise your child for his good behavior while you were on the phone. Practice this a few times over the course of several days each time making your pretend conversation a little longer. Praise your child after each pretend conversation.
During your training be sure to let your child know what the consequence will be if he doesn’t do what you asked him, maybe he will have to stand in the corner for a few minutes, or lose something she enjoys. Whatever it is be sure when your child misbehaves to follow through. Threats don’t work! If you tell your child no TV in that afternoon, then stick to it. Sticking to what you say is the hardest part.

Now that your child knows what the expected behavior is and what the punishment will be if he doesn’t behave, maintain consistency. Every time the phone rings expect him to do exactly what you have trained him to do and if he doesn’t then end your phone call immediately. Explain to her she didn’t do what you had practiced and so now you have to punish her. Once your child realizes that you are serious and are holding her to a standard she should respond. If she doesn’t then your expectation and punishment will need to be adjusted. Maybe she needs a different activity to keep her busy for a few minutes or a tougher punishment. It might also work to have something special in the cupboard near the phone that you pull out just for him to use while you are on the phone; at the end of the call the toy goes away(rotate these toys occasionally).
Similar kind of training will help you and your child in other situations where their behaviors isn’t what you would like. In upcoming letters we will discuss other training ideas that will help you and your child in different situations. Punishing or spanking a child for every ill deed isn’t necessarily effective. Sometimes a punishment is necessary, but often times we just need to take the extra few moments to teach our children what our expectations are.
If you have had success in training your children to behave while you are on the phone and would like to share what has work with you, we would love to hear it. I will include your idea in a future letter and add it to the website.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

New Website

Please take time to visit our new website. All past e-letters are on the site plus you will find all of the recipes together.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Fun Summer Ideas

Dear Ladies,
I HATE snakes. Thankfully I rarely see one, but today I had an up close encounter. I was working in my flower garden, I pulled up a plant to transplant and as I pulled out came a snake. I jumped and scream. All of the men were in the backyard, heard my scream and quickly came to my rescue. They found the little guy and took care of him. We had encountered a small one about 6 weeks ago and I'm hoping it was the same snake. If so, he had grown, but was still small. Summer is a great season, but I could do without the snake encounters.
Our summer vacation time is almost half over. Before we know it will be time to start school again. Is your summer getting away from you? Have you created any special memories with your children yet? It isn't too late to create some fun family memories together. Put on your thinking cap and begin to think of some fun activities you can do with your family.
Here is a list of inexpensive, fun ideas to try with your children this summer.

Pack a picnic and meet your husband at his work for lunch.
Go fishing. Children don't need a fishing license and only one parent really needs one, plus kids poles are relatively inexpensive. Kids usually love fishing.
Find a place where you can walk in the woods, take along a plastic bucket or bag for the children to collect things. The next day they can glue their findings to a piece of cardboard or display them in a pretty jar or basket. (after a week or the collection can quietly disappear.)
Find a stream. My boys always loved playing in streams and looking under the rocks for Crawdads. Smithlake Park has a pretty stream that is fairly shallow.
Find the nearest state visitors center and pick up brochures of near by places to visit. We have one just north of Fredericksburg on I95.
Have friends over to splash in a baby pool.
Bake cookies together on a rainy day.
Attend a local Vacation Bible School.
Spend the morning/afternoon at the pool. Curtis Park has their baby pool open in the morning and it only cost a few dollars. When my kids were little a group of us would meet at the baby pool and then have lunch afterwards. I have fond memories of visiting with my friends.
Create a mural with chalk on the driveway or sidewalk for Dad to see when he comes home.
Read together when the weather is just too hot to be outside.
Catch bugs. Buy a cheap net at the dollar store and save some old plastic jars. If you want to mount and label them put a cotton ball soaked with nail polish remover in the jar to quickly kill them. Or just let them go when you're done. Fireflies are also fun to catch.
Go camping in your backyard or just have a campfire in the evening. Roasting hot dogs and marshmellows around a campfire is great time for Dad to tell a story or share about something he did as a kid.
These summer days hold so much potential for fun and bonding together as a family, so enjoy. Ladies, I'm always blessed with your feedback and enjoy being able to mentor you as you need. Please don't hesitate to call or email.

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