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

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Team Jesus

O is 2 right now and I have to admit that most of the time I love 2 yr olds . . . but I do not love 2 yr old attitudes and 2 yr old power struggles. 2 yr olds are hard because they aren't quite old enough to negotiate with you so you have to be extremely patient and extremely consistent with them. If you give them an inch they will literally take a mile! 2 yr olds are also impossible to distract, once they have in their mind what they want their is no convincing them otherwise so I find myself asking the question, "How important is this issue right now?" IF it is extremely important for his future well being (i.e. no snacks if you don't eat your dinner) then I will fight the fight and I will win because I am the parent and it is my responsibility to teach him. But if it's not that big of a deal (i.e. going to bed in his clothes instead of pajamas) then I don't fight it.

Well the other day it was time to get ready for bed and I told O that he needed to have a diaper change and then get ready for bed. He on the other hand didn't want to have a diaper change, he wanted to play and as he so eloquently stated to me, he wasn't stinky, so he didn't need a diaper change. Well long story short I end up getting firm with him and I change his diaper and the whole time O is screaming like he is being seriously injured when he wasn't - if you have ever had a 2 yr old you know exactly what I'm talking about! My 5 yr old J is observing what is happening and after O is changed and dressed and we are sitting on the couch for stories J looks me in the eye and in his most serious voice ever he says to me, "Mom, are you on Team Jesus? Because I don't think that's how Jesus wants us to act!" I asked him how he thought Jesus would have handled it and he said, "Well, Jesus wouldn't have gotten upset and he wouldn't have let O cry. Jesus doesn't get mad, he just loves us!"

I could have argued with him about how it is my responsibility as a mom to make sure my child doesn't go to bed with a wet diaper that is just going to get more and more wet, and therefore I was completely justified. But I didn't. Instead I thanked Jacob for reminding me that I needed to be more understanding and more patient with O.

Later that night as I was laying in bed and reflecting on the day I thought about how Jesus would have handled that situation and I thought about how I handled it, and I came to the conclusion that I was quick to lose my temper and easily frustrated with him and that I had forgotten that O was 2 and that I need to have more patience with all of my kids. I thought about how my parenting would differ if the Savior stood beside me as I disciplined my kids and if he would say, "well done" or "let me show me how to do it better." So I thank J for that little reminder and I hope that it is a good reminder for you as well!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Time and the importance of it

What if in five minutes from now there was a freak accident and your child who you just yelled at died. How would you feel if this morning you frantically rushed to get your kids ready for school and you lost your temper and spanked them and then on the way to school there was an accident and your child died? How would you feel if your child kept begging you to play with them and you just couldn't find the time because there were too many other things to do and then they no longer could play with you because they were gone from this life.

I apologize for the morbidity of this post, but I want to know, do you really realize how fragile life is? Do you truly appreciate the fact that in an instant your child could be gone? I do and that is why I have the patience that I have. That is why I am quick to say I'm sorry to my child and show them how much I love them. Some people make fun of me because they say I live in fear, but I don't live in fear. I know what it is to lose someone in an instant and because of that I do not take this life or my child's life for granted. Imagine the difference in your parenting if you knew today would be the last day you could hold your child in your arms, or hear their sweet laugh, or watch them learn something new. Would you be a different parent than you were yesterday? Would you be kinder? More patient? More involved? More understanding? Cherish the moment right now with your children because you will never get it back once it's gone.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Motherhood is a calling

Found this printable on Pinterest check it out here!
The other day I read this amazing article about the worlds view of being a parent and our attitudes and thought I would share it here with you. I have been struggling lately with finding the right balance of time for the Lord, my spouse, my kids, myself and everything else in my life and I feel like this article was exactly what I needed to be reminded of. I love how it talks about how becoming a mother is like a kind of dying, a dying of ourselves, but also a chance to live a better life than ever possible without becoming a mother. I always tell my friends who are having their first child to not try to rush having that baby too soon because they will never ever not be a parent again, and to cherish those last days of just having to worry about yourself. I don't mean this in a bad way at all, it is just a reality! Once you hold your newborn baby or the adoption becomes legalized that person is tied to you forever. There will never again be a moment in your life where you don't think about that child and whether you are doing enough.

I often hear women comment on how they have lost themselves because of being a mom and I always think, no you have found a new you! You have discovered a you that is (hopefully) unselfish, responsible, compassionate, patient, a teacher, a friend, a counselor, a cheerleader, a supporter and a million more things. Somewhere over the past year I have lost sight of that and became focused on me more than my family and over the past two months as I have refocused my priorities and obligations and have removed the fog that was over my brain I have found a new joy in my life!

I have found that as I put my kids and God first I find that I am less interested in "me" time and more interested in time with them. Earlier today was my definition of perfect as M & J were at school and O, N, and I were cuddling on the couch and singing "EIEIO" (aka Old McDonald had a Farm) over and over and over and hearing the laughs from O and N as we tickled and made funny animal songs. Then later after school was over and N was down for a nap, T was helping J and M with homework, I was folding laundry and O was laying at my feet I just felt a peace and joy to be a part of this family I helped create. I am disappointed in myself that I lost sight of that. I strongly encourage you to read the article, it is very short, and really internalize what it says and see where you can improve!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Drop that Pop Tart!

I posted this on my family blog but since that is private I thought you would all get a kick out of this as well!

Yesterday morning M had a pop tart for breakfast (I know my mother-in-law is cringing as she reads this) and she had this pop tart in a bowl so she can break off the "crust" she only likes the gooey inside. When her ride for school came to pick her up she hadn't finished eating it, so she just left it in the bowl on my living room floor. Now N, who is now 6 months old, was no where even close to this bowl so I wasn't too worried about her getting to it, (do you see where this story is going). I talked to my friend who takes M to school for a little bit and then off they went. I checked on N and she was still nowhere near this bowl and as I was headed over to pick up the bowl my phone rang. I answered my phone and it was my primary president who is a chatter. We got to chatting and I didn't think twice about that bowl until I looked over and didn't see N. I then walked around a little bit and there she was, right next to the bowl and sucking the life out of that pop tart! I told my president I had to go because N was eating a pop tart and she just laughed and said she would call me back. So then came the task of retrieving the delicious chocolatey pop tart from a little girl who has just discovered for the first time of her life the joy of chocolate! Let's just say N was not going to let go of that pop tart, fortunately for me I am bigger and stronger so I was able to retrieve it from her determined little hands. She of course had chocolate all over herself and if I was thinking I would have snapped a photo of it because it was pretty awesome. But I was more concerned with cleaning her up than anything else! Crazy girl is on the move now and she is quick! I can't believe how quickly time flies!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today I am going to focus on what I am thankful for. I am thankful for the following:

The Savior, Jesus Christ and the atonement that allows me to forgive myself and others for the hurtful choices that have been made

My spouse, even though he isn't perfect I will always be thankful he is my husband

My four beautiful children, they love me for me and nothing else. They are my everything and I am sorry I lost sight of that.

My friends who do not judge me but are there for me constantly reminding me of who I am.

My family who is far from perfect, but I wouldn't be the person I am today if not for them

My inlaws - they have learned to love and accept me for who I am and I love that I know they are always there for me if I ever need them.

My church calling - it is such a blessing to see and hear the testimonies of the children grow each week.

What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

How to teach your children

I remember thinking how excited I was when I decided to go to college to get my degree in Early Childhood Education. I couldn't wait to learn the best ways to teach my kids their abc's and 123's. I was determined to have the smartest kids in the world all because of what I was going to learn in college. And then I went to my classes and had the biggest awakening of my life. Every single professor told me DO NOT SPEND YOUR TIME TEACHING THEM THEIR LETTERS AND NUMBERS! I was shocked! I could have sworn they were wrong and that their was no way they could honestly be telling me to not teach my children their letters and numbers. But they insisted on this over and over and over and over. Finally I decided I would hear them out and try to figure out what on earth I was supposed to teach them to be ready for school and do you want to know what that was? It was to provide developmentally appropraite activities to children that used as many senses as humanly possible to help them develop a love of learning. That's it! The absolute best way you can prepare your children for school is to expose them to as many things you possibly can in the most fun way you can possibly think of! Here are some suggestions:

Writing skills:
Roll up playdoh into snakes and make letters and numbers out of the snakes
Fill up a pie tin with flour and give them chopsticks and have them make designs in the flour
While playing in the mud, sand, snow, use your fingers to write their name or draw pictures
Give them a blank piece of paper and any writing tool and just let them go wild.

Reading skills:
The only way your child will learn to read is if they are read to!

Math skills
Make patterns out of buttons, rocks, leaves, anything!
Count items around the house
Have children make groups of items that are the same - i.e. put all your girl barbies in one pile and your boy barbies in another.

Science skills
blow up a balloon
cook with them
make messes with sand and water, cornstarch and water, flour and water
blow bubbles

If you are ever trying to think of the best way to teach your child always remember this: the more senses involved in the activity the quicker they will learn. Can they smell it, taste it, hear it, feel it, see it? This even applies to teenagers! Make it real and concrete!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How to handle a 2 yr old tantrum without losing your cool

I have a 2 yr old who I love to pieces. He is the funniest, craziest, cutest 2 yr old on the planet, and I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom, it's the truth. This kid seriously is awesome. That is until he gets tired and he gets angry and he can't handle the emotions so he has a 2 yr old meltdown. You all saw the video I posted of his tantrum a few weeks ago all because he wanted to get M out of school after we dropped off J and that wasn't an option. When he gets mad he gets really mad and he goes insane. It is like a little monster emerges out of his body and he is no longer my sweet angel but my insane devil child.

As I have mentioned in previous posts I haven't been my normal awesome self as of lately and am slowly refinding myself and becoming the patient, understanding mom I used to be before having raging hormones from pregnancy and nursing. So while I was in my funk and O would begin having his tantrum I would immediately feel my body tense up and prepare to go to battle with this two yr old. I would carry him to his room, yell at him, close the door and then hold it closed because he wouldn't stay in there on his own. Well the other day he began melting down and losing his mind and as I began to feel my body tense up I immediately stopped myself and thought, "Kim you are 28, he is 2! I am not going to engage in this battle with him" so instead I walked over to him, picked him up and carried him to his bed to remove him from the situation (which probably had something to do with his older brother bothering him) and then I laid down next to him, held him in my arms and began singing. At first he tried to fight me because he thought I was going to react the way I had been reacting the previous 6 months. But after the first two lines of twinkle, twinkle little star he slowly began to calm down and let me just hold him. I sang a couple more songs with him until he was completely calmed down and then I told him I loved him, and asked him if he was ready to be a happy nice boy or if he still needed me to sing him some songs. He said he wanted to be happy and nice so we walked out of his room together and he was happy once again.

The moral of that story is this: the key to handling a tantrum is first, to remember you are the adult and have a lifetime of experience to learn how to handle your emotions whereas your child is still learning how to handle their emotions; second is to remove them from the cause, and third shower them with love and patience and give them the time they need to calm down.

What are your tips for handling tantrums without losing your cool?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Everything is a choice

For those of you who do not know I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and twice a year we have what is called General Conference where we hear great and inspiring messages from the Prophet and apostles of our church. I absolutely love General Conference and I always hear exactly what I need to hear while watching it. One of the talks given was all about choices and I don't remember the exact quote or even who gave the talk so for my fellow church member if you remember please leave a comment so i can give credit and the exact quote. Anyways, he said something along the lines that we don't arrive at our destiny by chance but by the choices we make.

I knew this already, I teach this to my children on a regular basis, but for some reason when he said those words it was like a glass of ice cold water was thrown in my face and I stopped and took stock on the choices I was making. I thought about how often my kids would ask me to play with them and I would tell them after I cleaned up something or after I finished reading the chapter (which sometimes ended up being after I finish this book) or after I finish this show or . . . well you get the picture. I laid there and thought about all the choices I had been making in my life lately.

I then began thinking about how this applies to being a parent and a spouse. How often do we give our children choices and expect them to make the correct choices but then we make the poor choice? Did you know that it is your choice to get angry or frustrated with a screaming 2 yr old or you can choose to stay calm and help teach that screaming 2 yr old how to properly channel their emotions? Did you know it is your choice to lose your temper or to keep your head? Did you know you can choose to teach your children to behave appropriately through love and being an example rather than through fear?

You choose what kind of parent you will be and only you. It isn't your mom or dad or your spouse or your best friend or your church leader. It is you and only you! So ask yourself what kind of parent do you want to be? Do you want your children to be afraid of you? Do you want your children to always feel loved and cherished? Do you want to be a patient, kind, but firm mom? Do you want to be a doormat? Do you want to be their boss? Do you want to be their friend, their confidant, or their enemy? The choice is yours to make and yours alone and your actions will always tell on you!

I would love for you to leave a comment stating what kind of parent or even teacher you want to choose to be and what changes you are going to have to make to be that person!