Wednesday, October 24, 2012

If I Have to Tell You One More Time...

So I checked this book out at the library because I figured hey, who doesn't nag, remind, and yell at their kids constantly? If you don't, please don't tell me. That will make me feel bad.

Anyway, I got a hundred pages into the book and decided to try to put into practice some of the things I had learned before reading more so I wouldn't be too overwhelmed. Here are two practical, take-home suggestions I've been working on. They are supposed to address a child's need for belonging and significance, so you don't have to worry about the kid throwing a tantrum in the first place instead of trying to figure out how to get the kid to stop.

1. Twice a day, set aside 10 minutes of individual time with each child. But I spend time with my kids all day long! Tell the child you're going to have JoshyMommyTime or whatever you want to call it, set the timer for 10 minutes, then give your undivided attention to just that child and do whatever the heck they want to do.

I've only done it once a day so far, but I've been doing it for maybe a month now. The kids know that at least once a day they will have my full attention all to themselves, so they don't act out to try to get that attention as much. And it is really so sweet when Bennett comes up to me and says, "Can we do MommyBennettTime now?"

Bennett has been happy building with Legos or Trios together every time. Joshy is a bit more ambitious; we've made videos, picture frames, a cardboard house, a target with darts, a puzzle, a book. Yeah, his ideas tend to be pretty cool. And I only have to invest 10 minutes into his elaborate projects so he can't get too crazy.

2. Teach your child a new skill, one that you know they will succeed at without much work. I have been letting Joshy help me with dinner, feed the baby, vacuum. Oh, you want to vacuum the van after our road trip? Well, I guess I'll let you, if you're really good... This gives him a sense of importance and responsibility. It's always easier to feel like you belong if you are contributing in a helpful way.

So far, I really have seen results. There have been less tantrums. I am less frustrated at the end of the day. There is less yelling. Okay, not always. Nobody's perfect.

And sometimes I feel like I can actually do this whole mommy thing! I'm hoping the next hundred pages of the book are just as good. And now I need to go pay some attention to my kids.


crazy clan said...

Awesome! I HAVE to try your suggestions and try to find that book on audio book (find time to read? Ha! I barely get my scriptures read, but listen to an audio book while I'm driving all over, I can do!) As always Adele, thanks for sharing!

JenRoth said...

These are both really good ideas! Sometimes I look back at my days and realize that even though I stayed home with my kids all day, I didn't really spend much time WITH them, giving them my full attention instead of trying to multitask and accomplish everything else on my list. Thanks for sharing!

Linda said...

So. How do you stop yourself from going over the 10 minutes if you're enjoying yourselves? I'm afraid I would sabotage the whole plan if things were going well.

Way to use the "psychology" to get Joshy to vacuum the van. That certainly is a win-win solution. And the picture of him feeding Lincoln is priceless! I would love to see any videos produced and directed by JJ and/or Bennett.

It's also great to know that you are also giving Lincoln one on one mommy time as well. What a fabulous Mother you are!

merrilykaroly said...

Mother, often the timer beeps and we finish up for a few more minutes, but if I need to go do something else I'm officially off the hook. :) And I haven't been doing Lincoln time yet but I should probably start. He does get a lot of one-on-one time though. Doing it all twice a day still seems overwhelming, but it's what the author recommends!

Dahlia said...

If I could cheat just a little bit and request that you add more tips as you do them, I LOVE to hear about self-improvement. Especially with kids. I Love your blog thanks so much for doing it!

Christina Johnson said...

Looks like a wonderful book! I'll have to add it to my reading list.