Archive for the ‘Discipline’ Category

jul 13

1. On tuesday this week, to simplify meal planning I chose to stay off the computer as my way of fasting. What do you do when you’re off the computer for the day? Clean and organize !!!

I went through our shoe closet which is usually blocked by a pile of shoes, mostly Daddy’s big ones that take up a ton of space. It’s always hard for the kids to put their shoes away trying to climb over the mountain, so I took all the shoes we don’t wear off the shelves and put them underneath the shoe rack, thereby leaving enough space for even DH to put a few pairs on the shelf. Ta daa!


Then I went through baby’s clothes drawers and took out what was too small or just hadn’t and wasn’t likely to get worn, so they were no longer bursting. Finally, I went through the kids toys that were everywhere and took a bunch of them out of the living room again, so there was just a reasonable number that could fit into one moderate sized toybox, so the kids can easily put everything away. Then, inspired by the little prayer table they demonstrated at bible camp, I moved the workbench and tools back out to the shed and brought the prayer table in from the sunroom and set it back up again so it would be more accessible to my kids. They were already taking a greater interest in matters of faith from their first day at camp, especially with the little saint cards they were getting.


Lastly, I had DH bring the train table in too, so they could use it more, as the sunroom is always too hot in the summer. Unfortunately, the table is hard because my almost 3 year old tends to break the track, and now if the baby gets up there he does too, and pretty soon they have no track left. They need some more practice building it up!


2- Faith Notes

* CC Lesson 9 – Next Generation Mindset

-Science is becoming the new relgion, and we need to replace it with truth!

-Right now, very little of what is said in church ever leaves it, and is heard outside those 4 walls.

-How many children, grandchildren? have wandered away? As parents we have to equip them to pass on the message AND the mission… We need to teach them to reach others.

-If I’m not passing my faith on, then the fire of my faith will dwindle. It becomes more of a struggle.

Principle: Reach the world one person at a time – pick one person, and invest in them for 2 years. This is your timonthy. The goal is that after that time they will find their own timothy and continue with the mission. -If you want your timothy to have faith, send them out to tell others!

– We can’t shy away from ANYBODY, because it’s so important to get that door open to pass along the mission.

-If you do not reach out, the group/message/mission will die – always. Fostering Community alone is never enough. (this goes for more than just religion etc but for any group/cause)

-Churches especially, tend to focus on event–based evangelization – They have this speaker come in and talk to a large diverse group – that is only an addition mindset, This is a one-shot deal, sooner or they have to come back down the mountain… (w/e impact the speaker may have probably won’t last) we want multiplication: (I have to reach that person, and make sure they reach others)

-It is frustrating when you don’t succeed with a Timothy but we have to remember, ultimately, it’s all up to God. The seeds we plant, our time investing and waiting to see fruit etc- it’s an offering to the Lord!

-Don’t HIDE your faith around unbeleivers – Say it, LIVE IT!

-We have to have a heart for the lost, AND know how to REACH the lost. *We can’t just form our own little community while the rest of the world is going to hell!’

-There will be more failures than successes, but the successes shine brighter than the failures.

* As a result of Courageous Catholic, I’ve been reflecting a lot on my faith journey and my personal testimony lately: That moment of conversion – it’s like tripping into grace, stumbling into truth, and falling into Love.

* We watched God of Wonders together as part of date night. I know he finds cool facts about nature/animals interesting too, and there were lots of them in the movie. Sadly by the end we were both falling asleep, but I know DH was still listening, because he complained about being preached at. However, it wasn’t in a preachy way, the speaker was speaking with such heart… Anyway, if DH had never heard the gospel spelled out before then, he did now. I didn’t expect a major transformation, I just want him to start thinking… And he did. And we had a bit of friendly – peaceful – discussion 🙂 I also discovered that his (recently decided) favorite animal is an octopus 🙂

* Two small reflections while praying in the back yard:
‘Man can not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ – Lord, help me live full on every word that comes from your mouth. Awake my soul to live full this moment.

‘This is my beloved son, with whom I am well pleased’ – As I prayed for hubby, ‘Lord let me see him through your eyes, please reveal to me areas in which I am not respecting him, show me how I can change…’ I heard God remind me, ‘Charles is my beloved son.’ He’s God’s beloved too, and when I hurt him, it hurts God!

* ‘Stress isn’t a situation. Stress is a state of mind.’ – when you’re in need of a bit of real stress relief

3. My best friend is scheduled to be induced this week and as I was having my reflective drive home with God from Courageous Catholic on tuesday night, I thought back to when my best friend first told me she was pregnant, back when other options were on the table and she was very scared, and now to have come this far, I was filled with great hope and joy for her. In a matter of days, we will see the fulfillment of 9 months of work and waiting. The fulfillment of a baby SAVED. 😀

4. The kids and I have spent the week at bible camp. I only brought my middle kid on day last year but he enjoyed it as much as my oldest if not more, so I knew even though he was well under the age range, that he would be doing everything with his brother, so I enrolled them both. They made crafts, and sang songs and ate snacks and played games, and learned about the faith.


As usual, whenever I was watching my big kid was above singing along or doing actions, but the little one liked it and I discovered BOTH had a favorite song, and it was my favorite too. I catch them singing it from time to time, and it’s really cute.







The first day they brought home a prayer calender, and they were instructed to write one person’s name that they wanted to pray for each day. I sat down with my kids and my big kid told me people he wanted to pray for, and we filled it in together I was so proud of him! AND, we’ve been praying it every night since, and we will probably just go back to the beginning when we run out. Either that, or I can find and print a new one out.

This year they had a Mom’s room for parents with really little kids who wanted to stay at the camp for their children.

I got to know the other moms well and had some great fellowship time with them, but we also used that time to go through the theology of the body DVDs. I had been to the talks in the fall and a lot of it was familiar, but there was a bit more detail and it is always good to hear things a second time (and a third and a fourth… ) As a result I left my big kids most of the time, and let them go around with the other kids and the camp leaders without me. I think without me right there they probably paid a little more attention, but I can’t be sure since I wasn’t there to see it!
I always sat in on the faith session though, so I would know what they were learning and could reinforce, probe and explain things better in the future. I was torn between wanting to spend time with my kids and with the moms. I usually did their craft with them then disappeared again till the last session.


5. Last Sunday I made up behavior cards for the kids for church. I was tired of them acting out despite consistently imposing consequences when they don’t behave and thought maybe it would be smoother if they had a clear understanding of just what was expected of them, especialy my big kid. So I made them each a little card with my 3 rules: try to sit up (not lay down, crawl on the floor), be quiet, and most important, they have to listen when mummy or daddy asks them to do something, or to stop. They have to obey. I drew the little pictures for them to help them remember, and explained the rules with the pictures ahead of time. It was one of the easiest times in church with them yet, but I do have a feeling the novelty will wear off.

6. I have been keeping up with the monthly photo challenge, but have only been putting them up on facebook so far. UPDATE: You can find the first week of pictures here: A Photo A Day- July 1-8

7. I found this post via a facebook mom’s blog ring, but as I was reading it I kept thinking this sounds just like something Ann Voskamp would write! Sure enough, when I checked it was hers, and as always it’s a really inspiring and uplifitng read: When Mothering’s Making You a Touch Crazy?


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It’s been frustrating. I’ve been feeling tired and stressed as the kids misbehave, causing me to give them less attention -> making them act out even more. I don’t completely ignore them, but sometimes the requests become one too many and my brain shuts down and I freeze. When my brain decides to stop working, it’s virtually impossible to do anything. I tend to sit there doing whatever it was I was already doing.

Even on the days when I follow my routine, they are acting out. I put in a solid morning, cleaning, meeting their needs and wants, and spending time engaging with them, and then after lunch I just want to rest. And yes, I would like a little me time on the computer, especially when I’ve hardly touched it all morning. The tv has been off so I put it on for them, in the hope they will rest and watch tv, and or play quietly with their toys.

Then one of them goes to the bathroom and after 5 minutes of them not coming back I discover they’ve trashed it.
Or I step into my room to tidy something or out the door to pray or get some air – even for 5 minutes- and come back to find they’ve raided the fridge or climbed up on the counters and helped themselves to something (usually a treat) without asking.

Or I go to the bathroom and come back to find them climbing up in the playpen and waking the baby, or climbing up on chairs and grabbing things they know they shouldn’t off the shelf.

These actions result in time out, and make mommy’s stress level rise even more. I’ve stopped sending them to their room because they just play or make a mess. Now we’re putting them in the sunroom and have taken most of the toys out. I’ve stopped taking away tv as a punishment most of the time because it just makes me crazy. It seems that they don’t even care that much when I remove a privilege either. What’s a mom to do?!

I’m feeling at the end of my rope, I want to get into a schedule where I have the energy to be there for them all morning, and where they can give ma a little break in the afternoon, so I can recharge for
the evening. I’m sure I’m doing something, or probably several somethings wrong, but almost every day is largely a struggle. I’m tired and I can’t give them the mommy they need, so they act out, making me mroe tired. Wash rinse repeat. I’ve stopped trying to take a nap on the couch with the tv on etc, because they go and get into something and I just wake up to a mess. 😦

I’m desperate for practical solutions, so I did a couple google searches on effective discipline and tired mommy days.

Here’s what I found:——————————————————

Problem:  Discipline seems ineffective. Does not seem to reduce problem behaviors, and kids sometimes don’t even care about the consequences.

*Follow through with consequences. We were so taken with how well ‘do you want a timeout’ changed behavior, that we would withdraw the timeout as soon as the behavior improved… This is not working!

Remind child once first if it’s a request 

When they don’t comply and they know better:
*Give a warning. Give the impression that you believe they will be good.
*If they don’t listen: consequence. The two keys here are: no emotion and little talking. Without emotion, there is no reason for the child to want to rebel in order to gain control.
*Implement the consequence immediately. It may be time out or removal of privileges. Good consequences should be brief and related to the misbehavior. Give a consequence that is unpleasant to him, but not irrational or overly harsh.
*Don’t let him off the hook. Just because he goes to time-out or has another consequence does not relieve him from complying with your request. The consequence stays in effect or is replaced with another one, such as early bedtime or no TV, until he complies.
*Give him the opportunity to make amends. Defiant kids tend to back themselves into a corner. When he does comply, even after receiving a consequence, thank him and talk to him lovingly about why you made the request and why his cooperation is important to you and the family. Forgive him, give a hug, and go on about your day.

Problem: I’m too tired!!!——————————————————

*Drink water!- Dehydration increases fatigue. I’m really bad at this.
*Eat blueberries/oranges, spinach, salmon and almonds for extra energy. Target foods to keep on hand. Eat a breakfast that includes protein to boost metabolism and maintain your energy level throughout the day. Eat small meals that include protein, such as a salad with 4 oz. of chicken. Eat healthy snacks, such as a handful of nuts or low-fat yogurt, throughout the day to prevent glucose levels from rising and falling dramatically. Someone also mentioned: Emergen-C, a powder supplement you add to water, which boosts energy and bolsters the immune system. I never used to get sick before I had kids, this might be a good idea.
*Rest. Nap if you can or just unplug and lay down, even if for 20 minutes. I know this one, but have had trouble making it happen.
*Get out into the sun, or at least into nature! Vitamin D gives you energy and outdoor light will boost your spirits, while walking will increase your alertness and your energy level.
*Be Positive. Take a short break to connect with friends for uplifting conversation. (or with God!) Maintain positive thoughts and avoid people who sap your energy. Stress from negativity leads to the creation of cortisol, the hormone that makes you tired. Nurture a Cheerful Heart: You can always sing praise songs—even if you don’t feel like it—out loud or in your heart. Don’t read the newspaper or listen to world news. Choose to think about happy things. Listen to uplifting music. It isn’t just a platitude. It makes a difference.
*Engage in activity that is mentally stimulating; boredom increases fatigue. Shut facebook, restlessly rechecking doesn’t help anything. Usualy when I get tired I feel I can’t focus on anything… Maybe I need to find a go to mental activity if I’m not going to sleep?
*Don’t overdo the caffeine – If you drink a lot of caffeine, your body’s response to it will change. You could drink over eight cups and still feel sluggish–but that doesn’t mean you won’t get the headache, irritability, dehydration, and host of other side effects that come with caffeine-overload.
*Get Dressed When You Wake Up, Period– Get dressed, wash your face, brush your teeth and fix your hair, even if you will be in bed for the day. It will help you to feel and function better.
*Do Something, Even When You Don’t Feel Well – Homeschooling, childrearing, and housekeeping are not all-or-nothing callings. Make a conscious decision to spend at least a few minutes every day doing something toward meeting your objectives. If you can watch an educational video and have a discussion with your child, do it. Maybe you can listen to your little one read out loud for fifteen minutes, call out times tables with your elementary student for five minutes, or discuss a civics lesson with your teen. Maybe you can wipe off the counter top when you go into the kitchen for a drink or wipe the mirror when you go to the bathroom. These small tasks take very little time or energy, but they will help keep you moving in the right direction and give you a sense of accomplishment.

Other ideas:

Have Two Schedules
Post a regular schedule and an alternate schedule where they can be seen by all family members. Don’t label your schedules “well” and “sick.” Attitude is half the battle! Design your alternate schedule to pick up anytime during the day. That means wake-up time, meals, snacks, nap, and playtime are all the same as the regular schedule. If the morning goes smoothly but the afternoon is a challenge, you can just announce, “We need to go to the alternate schedule now,” or you can pick up the regular schedule in the middle of the day if your morning was rough.
The alternate schedule is just the basics: care for the small children and keep the home in running order. If you can’t do both, just take care of the children. Whether I have to go to bed for a few days or just need to rest a while, my kids know what to do on our alternate schedule, and they kick into gear and do it without me. I am still in the home and available if needed, but they can usually manage to follow the schedule without my help. The older children help the younger. Of course, if you only have very little children, you may need to call Dad or Grandma to help out. If you have a schedule posted, it will be that much easier for them to step in at any time.

Problem: I’m too tired to engage my kids and give them attention (planning and executing fun activities seems exhausting 😦 )

* Storytime. Lay down and read books to them.
* Go to them. If they’re playing with toys, pick one up, sit with them etc, and play too.

These are the only 2 I’ve read/thought of. Anybody have any more???

Other helpful info:——————————————————

-Give high praise to good behavior, and as little attention as possible to bad behavior.

Some Reasons Children Misbehave

4) They want to assert themselves and their independence. Children begin to show their desire for more independence at around age two. They start to want control over certain areas of their life so that they can feel capable and independent. It doesn’t take long for children to identify the areas they CAN control, much to the chagrin of parents. Situations like eating, sleeping, brushing teeth, and dressing are great examples of times when children recognize their power to get you upset and therefore make them feel in control.
What is the solution? Give them loads of choice in their daily life so that they feel in control of their life in other, more positive ways. As well, it is key to learn a simple, loving method to discipline so that misbehavior are taken care of easily, without any emotion required. Without emotion, there is no reason for the child to want to rebel in order to gain control.

5) They feel ill, bored, hungry or sleepy.
When children’s basic needs aren’t met regularly each day they are always more likely to misbehave, cry, throw a tantrum, etc. The solution to this is simple: have a routine where the child eats, has individual play time, parent and child play or interaction time and sleeps. (sometimes our mealtimes get pushed later but sometimes we’re right on track and I feed them what I feel is a good lunch. How much should they be eating? How do I know if they’re really full if they ask for more – treats. Maybe they should eat more lunch? Also, sometimes my 4 year old is just not interested in eating and skips meals.)

6) They lack accurate information and prior experience.
When children do something such as go to cross a road for the first time, they do not know that they are supposed to look both ways, so we all know that we must explain to them to look left and look right, etc. However, the same technique needs to be applied to discipline situations. Children will repeat a behavior over and over until they have accurate information as to what they should be doing instead and prior experience of the consequence if they continue the behavior.
Using clear, concise language stating what they “need” to be doing rather than what they “shouldn’t” be doing is extremely important. Better to say, “Carry this carefully”, rather than, “Don’t drop this”. In other words, give them something to use as prior knowledge for next time.

Read more about why kids misbehave here: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/miscellaneous/8-reasons-why-children-misbehave-with-solutions.html

If the child whines, cries or throws a tantrum and mom or dad eventually gives in to make them become quiet, they have just been rewarded. We try never to reward a tantrum.
The solution? Say what you expect without emotion and then follow through consistently if they continue the negative behavior. The two keys here are: no emotion and little talking.

Arguing with you
•State your expectations clearly, directly, and with authority. Maintain your self-control. Use a strong, firm, voice. If there is a hint of begging or pleading in your voice, you’ve lost your authority. Never end your statements with “okay?”
•Use the “broken record” technique if the child starts to argue with a request. Repeat the command using the same voice you used originally. Don’t get upset or start yelling. Don’t start a confrontation, just keep repeating your expectation.

Accept Help
Let family members and close friends know of your needs, and accept help from them in whatever form they offer. If someone has a gift that can minister to you, there is no need to feel embarrassed or guilty about letting them serve you in this way. It is part of God’s grace. You have gifts that you can use to bless others also. Even if you think you can do it yourself, if help with shopping, cooking, or laundry is offered, take it. You may not see this as a part of your homeschooling, but ultimately anything that can lighten your load helps you to homeschool.
Train Your Children
Teach your children to be as independent as their ages and abilities allow. On the days that you are well enough, take time to show them the proper way to do things that need to be done on a regular basis, like laundry. Instill the practice of doing schoolwork without constant supervision. In doing this, you are training your children to be self-motivated workers and thinkers.
When our oldest was little, she expected praise after every single problem on a worksheet. In order to teach her to do her work independently, I started giving her a roll of nickels at the beginning of each school week. After I explained her assignment, she was instructed to work independently until finished. Of course, if she had a real question or problem, I was there. But whenever she called me over to “help” without a legitimate reason, I took a nickel. When she finished an assignment without needlessly calling me, I praised her ability to work by herself. At the end of the week, whatever was left in the roll was hers to keep, and we started over the next week with a new roll of nickels. She quickly learned not to call me unless it was necessary.

Take Acceptable Shortcuts
Yes, you can figure the answers for 3rd grade math, but if you use a teacher’s key, it will be easier. If that’s not affordable to you, you can use a calculator to speed checking papers. Using pre-made lessons and curricula is not bad. When energy reserves are in short supply, do whatever you can to conserve. Take healthy shortcuts with dinner. Buy salad in a bag, or—better yet—enlist your children to wash and cut produce for dinner. Make more than you need so your lunch for the next day is already made.
There are some areas that you really cannot shortcut, and you will know what those areas are for you: prayer time, for example, or time spent with your children. Just remember that the more acceptable shortcuts you can take, the more well time you will have for your family.

Focus on the Things That Only You Can Do
Use the energy that you have for the special things that only you can do. Anyone can wash dishes, make dinner, or grade papers. Only you can give that special look to your husband, offer that word of encouragement to your child, or make that corny joke. Only you can rock your child to sleep in that special “mommy” way. Only you can pray as earnestly for your family as a wife and mother. Even when you are sick, your talents and abilities are not limited. They are as God gave them to you. Use what He has given you.

Your energy–your focus and attention–is your greatest resource. It’s what you use to make a difference in the world; it’s the best gift you can give to your friends and family. Protect it as best you can by taking the time you need to recharge.
If from time to time you can’t, be gentle with yourself and take even better care than you usually do. A little self kindness can go a long way in making a bad situation better.

I’ve made this into a post so I can reference it easily and remind myself often of what I need to be doing, and if it helps some other frustrated parents then that’s an added bonus 🙂

I’m feeling all of this today, although right now the kids are quietly playing:  Step 1: WATER. Step 2: Get dressed. Step 3: Lunch. Step 4: Find simple mental stimulating activity? (actually, writing this is making me think..)

Update: Done.

Step 5: Another glass of water. Step 6: Pray. Step 7: Praise Music. Step 8: Tackle Kitchen, now lunch is done.

It’s never too late to start your day over!



Update June 6: Came across this today: http://momheart.org/todays-note-to-self

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