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Thursday, October 1, 2009

One week away from home taught me...

* I under-estimate my kids' ability to sit nicely in the car. Hannah is usually fussy for the 8-minute drive to town all the time, so I was dreading the travel. We did a 8+ hr drive two days in a week and they did great! Not a fuss! (Except for a short period of time that Hannah was pointing to something in the toy basket saying "That, That!" and I had no idea what she wanted but refused anything else.)

* Travel DVD players are a great invention! I become one of those moms, and I never wanted to be that. I think it's important for kids to learn to entertain themselves with books, crayons, quiet toys, and car games, and also to be a part of the journey, learning what things they can see along the way. But when attempting a long drive by myself with the kids, I knew I could really use some help. We didn't use movies a lot, but for that hour to hour and a half before lunch, it was a great break!

* After observing someone else's parenting techniques and having a week of full-on toddler battles, I saw several areas in which I need to work on: Instead of just telling Eli not to fuss about something, I can work on teaching him proper responses. Like "When someone takes your toy away, you can say _____." He's already been responding really well to this. I need to have more patience about the things that don't really matter, like annoying noises, so I can focus more on the heart issues that do matter. I was feeling like I had to do it all, but knowing there are some things I can let go will give me more strength for the real deals.

* I need to expect more from Hannah. We've already been doing obedience training with her for awhile now, expecting her to come when we call, swatting her if she touches something we said No to or when she's squirming in her chair, etc. But I realized she's saying enough words now that I should be requiring more from her when it comes to saying "please, thank you, all done, down, toy, book, etc." And now she's already been saying "please" without prompting. Last night the kids were playing in Eli's room while I was folding laundry in the next room, and something happened and I heard Eli say, "Hannah, can you say sorry at me?" and she did! I'd never tried that one with her! I guess maybe I should! Sometimes she'll totally melt down after a spanking, so instead of giving up knowing she's not in a responsive state and would come to me for comfort rather than out of obedience, I'm going to just wait out the tears and then try again.

So back to work we are with our parenting! By the way, you can read more about our trip HERE at our family blog.


crystal said...

lol..and I thought I was the only mom who has no patience with annoying noises... :) I do know what you are saying though, I have been lax on parenting...sometimes, it is just easier to let things go..Thanks for the post...very encouraging!


The Cutes and Scoots Show said...

I always find it interesting to spend time with other families with children the same age or a little bit older. Helps me figure out what I'm doing well or what techniques they have that I could adopt. In some cases they are things I'd even like to avoid doing! Live and learn to what works for 1 family may or may not work for another... speaking of which... what happened to the post you put up about doing your best not to spank?! I'd love to hear your thoughts on why you have or have not stuck with it.

Glad you had a great trip!