Have a question, concern or problem regarding your child's behaviors? Send me an email and I will do a blog post about it! You will always remain anonymous! tkmiller81002@yahoo.com

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Out of curiosity . . .

Last week I posted about stopping the blame game and I challenged all of you to stop blaming people in your life and I am wondering if any of you took that challenge and would be willing to share if you noticed a difference in your kids? Or in your own life somehow? Leave a comment with your experience or shoot me an email: tkmiller81002@yahoo.com!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

from "I hate" to "I love"

In case you don't know this my family is very religious. We go to the LDS church and I serve in the primary (kids 18 months to 12 yrs old) presidency and my husband is the Elder's Quorum president (men over 18). We go to church every Sunday unless we are sick, we have family home evening after church every Sunday, we pray for every meal and at bed time and we also read our scriptures before bed. I am not telling you this to brag or to say look at me but simply to give you a picture of how our family functions in relation to teaching our children about religion.

If you have been reading this blog you know that J, my almost 5 yr old, is my difficult child and has been from birth. In our church the children begin going to nursery at 18 months - which every parent can't wait for because it means you can actually hear a lesson every once in a while in church! Well when J started going to nursery he would scream like he was dying and physically attack the nursery leaders for about 10 minutes straight then he would calm down and play. We had an amazing nursery leader who let me know that if she couldn't handle him she would gladly bring him to me and she never did. It took until he was 2 1/2 yrs old to finally walk into nursery without screaming and the reason for that was because I did the number one thing parents should never do . . . I BRIBED HIM! I told him that if he walked into nursery without crying and without attacking the teachers he would be able to pick out the movie we watched that night but if he cried or hurt the teachers I would let M pick out the movie. He was old enough at the time to start not liking the "girl movies" i.e. the princess movies so this worked wonders!

One day out of the blue he told my husband and I that he hates church and he hates Jesus - he was 3 at the time. I was shocked! What 3 yr old hates Jesus? I had never met one and I was very worried. I know how important the early years are for children and I didn't want him to hate church as a child because I knew it would only get worse the older he became. So my husband and I talked about it and we both agreed that the last thing we wanted to do was to force the church on him and try to force him to love the Savior. We went about this by not overreacting every time he told us he hated church or Jesus, we just said that's o.k. or ignored it a lot of times. He would refuse to pray but we did require him to kneel with our family to show respect. We took him to church every Sunday because as a family we attend church and as long as he lives under our roof he will attend church. Then one day I asked him why he hated Jesus so much. I was humbled by his answer, he told me, "I hate Jesus because I don't want to have to die on the cross like He did." At church the kids learn about how the Savior died for us and he took that to mean that we all had to die like the Savior and that scared him. We talked to him about how Jesus died for us so we don't have to die like he did. I didn't go too much into death and resurrection because he was only 3. From that moment on he started to begin to like Jesus a little more, it wasn't an immediate change but gradually over the next two years he has come to the decision on his own that he loves Jesus and the church and the scriptures. He is now the one to remind me about saying bedtime prayers, and about reading our scriptures and he says some of the most humbling and amazing prayers! In fact tonight we went to Sonic for dinner and I bought the kids a cherry slush and asked them to add real cherries, when we got home and he saw that they gave him 3 cherries he immediately told me that he had to say the prayer for dinner and in his prayer he thanked Heavenly Father not only for the dinner but that we were able to go to Sonic for dinner and he thanked him for his "3 cherries in his slurpee." He will take the time to thank Heavenly Father for everything he did that day, anything that he received from anyone, and for each person in our family without being coached on what to say. The other night he also got scared in the middle of the night and came running into our room crying. When I asked him why he was so scared he told me it was because he couldn't see his Jesus statue. He told me that when he can see Jesus in his room he isn't scared! What faith and what love all from a child who 2 years ago HATED everything to do with that.

So how does this apply to you? From watching him grow over the years I have learned the value of three things. The first is to be an example to your children. I could have told him that the church was good and that he had to love the Savior and never did anything myself to show him that I loved the church and the Savior. Instead I made sure he knew I felt that way by living the Gospel. The second is the importance of exposing things to children over and over and over until they like something. The third is patience and consistency, I guess that is four - but I knew that J wasn't going to change his mind overnight so I had to be patient and trust that I knew I was doing the right thing and that eventually he would figure it out for himself! So let's say your child hates eating vegetables and literally refuses to eat them but you as a parent know that vegetables are healthy and that our bodies need those nutrients what can you do? The first thing is to be an example, make sure your kids see you eating the veggies and enjoying them and second put them on their plate every night for dinner and tell them they have to eat at least 5 peas to get dessert, and eventually over time they will eat their veggies without a fight and may even love them! Oh I also learned one more thing - don't make it a fight! I didn't fight with J about his feelings, instead I told him how I felt about his feelings, i.e. "I am sad to hear that you don't like church" and then told him what was expected of him, i.e. "we go to church every Sunday and even though you don't like it, you still have to go." So whatever trial you are struggling with hang in there, be patient, be an example, be consistent, be loving, and eventually your child will learn to love it.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

It wasn't me!

The other day I ran out of my pills and went to call in a refill and when I called the pharmacy said they needed to call my Dr. and verify the refill, which I thought was odd because I had just gone in last month and had my blood done and the Dr.s office supposedly called in for 3 more refills. So I asked the pharmacist about that and they said they didn't have any record of the Dr.s office calling it. I told them and I would call my Dr. and get back to them. When I called the Dr.s office I was very polite and just said that I think there was some kind of mix up and I needed her help to straighten it out. She took great offense to the fact that I would even suggest she did something wrong because she knows for a fact that she called it in and that she has it in her notes so I needed to tell the pharmacist to contact her directly. I called the pharmacy back and told them that she thought she called it in and that they needed to contact her and I gave them the number. A few minutes later the pharmacy called back and said, "We got it straightened it out, it wasn't our fault she called the wrong pharmacy and your prescription will be ready in an hour." After I hung up the phone I was a little annoyed that he made the point of saying, it wasn't us. Not once in my phone conversations did I get upset or blame anyone for the mix up I just said I need the pills and so how can we straighten this out, so why did both the receptionist and the pharmacist feel the need to put the blame on the other person, I didn't care whose fault it was I just wanted it fixed. The more I thought about it I realized that it was probably just a knee jerk reaction because we live in a world where everyone is so busy pointing the finger at everyone and assigning blame that nothing is done to fix it.

Take our economic disaster for instance. Is it the home-owners fault because everyone bought houses they couldn't afford on crappy loans and then walked away from their homes which crashed the market. Or is it the banks fault because they refuse to work with people and let them lock in interest rates even though they are upside down in their house, and the banks funded the crappy loans to people who couldn't afford it. Or is it the politicians fault for allowing the loans to be legal and then on top of that spending a ridiculous amount of money trying to fix the problem but didn't fix the problem instead made it worse? I personally think it is everyone's fault the economy is so crappy, it is the banks, the homeowners, and the politicians because they all made choices that added to the problem. The problem is that the country is so busy pointing the finger and trying to assign blame that nothing is getting done to fix it and we need it fixed!

Then you have the adults who blame everyone else for why their life is so screwed up. It's your mom's fault you are such a terrible mother, it's your dad's fault you have trust issues, it's the banks fault the check bounced, it's your friends fault the relationship fell apart, its your husbands fault you are so miserable, its your bodies fault you are overweight. You have no control over your life whatsoever it is always someone else's fault. Right . . . WRONG! It's your fault, sure those people might contribute to the situation but how you react is what determines your life not them. You are in charge of you and your fate, your happiness, your success, your pain everything is from you and NO ONE ELSE.

The same goes for parenting. How many times a day are you asking your children if they did something, i.e. did you hit your brother? Who spilled the milk? Who lost the remote? Did you put your clothes away? Who threw the ball that broke the vase? I know I do it and I am resolving right now to stop! It doesn't matter who did it, the fact is that it happened and now what are we as a family going to do to fix it? I think when it comes to kids it is almost always two peoples fault for things happening - the parents and the kids.

For example, the other day M, J, and O were bouncing a ball in the house. I was watching them bounce the ball and didn't think anything of it until the ball bounced and hit a decoration I had on a shelf and the decoration broke. Now it is both the kids fault because they threw ball, but it's also my fault because I allowed them to bounce the ball in the house and blaming the kids doesn't fix or clean up the broken decoration. Not only does blaming not help fix a problem, but I also think it causes more fights among the kids. When you are constantly looking for the culprit it puts the kids on the defensive and they will automatically throw their siblings under the bus. Wouldn't you rather teach your kids to be united and know that they can trust each other and get each others back? Plus aren't you tired of being the bad guy?

So here is what I have been doing to stop the blame game, I am no longer asking the question, "who did it?" Instead I am simply asking for help to fix it. For example, the other day one of my kids decided to get ll of the board books off the bookshelf and leave them all over the floor right in front of the bookshelf and the kids doors. I didn't care who made the mess all I wanted was the mess picked up. I knew that all of the kids had been playing in their rooms and hallway for most of the day so I told them that they needed to pick up the books and put them back on the shelf before going to bed, I also expressed that I wanted them all to work together and because I wasn't watching them when they made the mess I helped them clean up as well. Guess what, not once did I hear, but I didn't make the mess! All that happened was my kids saw me willing to help and they all dove right in and helped clean and in all honesty the only help I gave was helping straighten the books on the bookshelf because it's pretty hard to get books on nicely when you are 6, 5, or 2 yrs old!

So my challenge for you is to stop asking who did it, and stop placing blame on everyone else in your life this week and see what a difference it makes!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Amazing Blog to keep things in perspective

I stumbled across this blog the other day and I am in love with it because it really helps me appreciate my children and life even more. This is a blog written by a mom of five kids and moving forward with her life after the death of her child last December. I couldn't stop reading this blog the other night and literally bawled my eyes out as I read her posts. After I read several of her blog posts I realized that I really need to focus more on my kids and not so much on the mundane things of life. Here is the blog, I highly encourage you to check it out to really help you appreciate your children more and make sure you have a box of tissues handy!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Battle of wills

We are finally mostly better at our house! I took N in for a follow up appointment today and while she still has a lingering cough she no longer has croup or an ear or eye infection! Yay, M is also better and now the only one who is under the weather is my hubby with a sprained ankle and sore throat. I will take that over everyone being sick any day of the week.

While it is great that we are all better now, my parenting skills were seriously lacking while we were all sick and now I have to get my butt back in gear. Some things that were lacking was my caring about where and what we ate. Every morning I just put out pop-tarts and a bowl with sippy cups of milk then went back to bed while my kids watched tv. (I know there is someone reading this thinking what a horrible mom I am for doing that but if you had the nights I had with a sick baby you wouldn't judge me) So because I went back to bed they took their pop-tarts and sippy cups into the living room where they mashed the pop-tarts into the couches and carpet, left sippy cups turned upside down to leak all over the couch and floor and well you get the picture. It didn't just end with breakfast, I did this with most meals because I was trying to take care of the baby and everything else so my couches looked HORRIBLE!

Mondays are my super cleaning days where I clean every inch of my house from top to bottom. So yesterday as I was vacuuming my couches I was so disgusted with them that I thought there has got to be a way to get these clean so I look and sure enough I can strip them all the way and wash the cushions in the washer, which I ended up doing and now my couches look beautiful and practically new once again. Because of all the work it took to get them clean I am determined to keep them clean so I instilled a new rule of no food or drink on the couches - much to my family's dismay. But seriously my husband spills as much as the kids so I mean business!

Well today O wanted  a banana so I told him he could have one up to the table. He yells no and I tell him then no banana. I have the banana in my hand and unpeeled so he can see it and he keeps yelling at me to give him the banana and I keep calmly telling him that he can have his banana at the table. Finally he walks over and gets the banana then tries to run past me into the living room (he was watching Toy Story 3 and wanted to eat his banana on the couch) I of course grabbed him and sat him on the chair and told him he could eat the banana at the table. He then tries to run into the living room again and this time I take the banana out of his hands and tell him he can eat it at the table. I just kept telling him over and over again what I would let him do and never told him what he couldn't. Well after about five minutes of us going back and forth he finally walked over, sat at the table and said, "eat the banana at the table" I said o.k. and gave him the banana and he happily ate his banana, while watching Toy Story 3 while sitting at the table. After finishing the banana he then asked for an apple and I told him he could eat it at the table, he told me no on the couch, I told him at the table, he said o.k. at the table and ate his apple at the table as well. For dinner he just came and sat at the table and didn't even try to take his food into the living room.

The moral of the story is: stick to your guns, fight the battle, be consistent, be a broken record and eventually it will pay off! If you give them an inch they will take a mile.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

What I learned today

N is 3 months old today and unfortunately it was not a fun day for her. On Saturday her eyes got all goopy and then last night she started sounding really congested and coughing and her cough was like a barking dog. On top of that M has been crying about her ear hurting since Saturday, so today I finally got them in to the Dr. and it turns out M has both a middle ear infection and a swimmer's ear infection in not one but two ears! Then N has croup, an ear infection and an eye infection. Great times at my house can you tell! So while I was at the Dr.'s office he told me to use a cool mist humidifier to help with her croup, so I asked him if I could do the Nebulizer with Albuterol and he gave me a genius idea that I never would have thought of before so here is what I learned today: he suggested that I put the Albuterol in the fridge to create a cold mist or to also just put cold water in the nebulizer. Ingenius in my opinion, I never feel like our humidifier does much of anything so this way I can guarantee she is getting some good cool mist a couple of times a day! I will keep you posted on how it works for her!