How to Respond to Whining and Model Behavior

I have heard people teach that the best way to encourage your child to read is for them to see you reading. I have heard the same concept about eating healthy, and being eager to learn or try new things, or being active… The list goes on and on. Children are very in tune to our actions and especially when they are younger they are going to mimic our behavior. It is safe to say that actions truly do speak louder than words and the best way to lead is by example.

The way you demonstrate self control and self regulation to your children will determine what they give back to you. 

OUCH! I have a hard time with this, especially when we are running late. Is it even humanly possible to be a positive example when we are running late?

As hard as it is, it is still an important reminder that no matter how much you try to train, teach, or bombard your child with these learning opportunities it isn’t going to amount to much unless it means something to you and you are living it out. One of my favorite quotes is from Naomi Wolf and it says

“A mother who radiates self-love and self-acceptance actually vaccinates her daughter against low self-esteem.”

I hear so many mother’s say they don’t want their daughters to be insecure like they are. So they lavish their little girls with compliments and then turn around and talk about their own bodies in a  way that is degrading. This method is INEFFECTIVE! You can’t just talk the talk honey, you have got to walk the walk.

My 2 year old is at the stage where he copies everything we say. EVERYTHING. It definitely makes us more aware of our words. My 4 year old, who is deaf, is more in tune to facial expressions so sometimes when I am trying to communicate with her it is like looking in a mirror. This video is from a  while ago, and I know I look ridiculous, but it shows what I am talking about.


How comfortable are you with your children mirroring your actions? All of this just continues with one of the main themes of Teachable Parenting, which is that we set the tone in our home by the kind of environment we create. One of my favorite techniques that I read from Love and Logic is “I will respond when your voice sounds like mine”. This is an extremely helpful line to use with screaming or whining. Not only does it defuse the situation by giving them simple instructions, but it’s always a reminder for me that Oh yeah, I have to watch my voice too! If I bark at them and scream “I said I would respond when your voice sounds like miiiiine!!!” Then that would defeat the purpose wouldn’t it? So it keeps me in check and it also reminds me that I am an example to them. This is also why I have a hard time saying don’t hit followed by a little swat on the diaper. I’ve done it, but the message seems conflicting.

Again, this is why it is so important to discipline with empathy and respect because you are showing your child how they deserve to be treated and how they should be interacting with others (remember the idea that you teach them what their inner voice sounds like). Teachable Parenting is about bringing a culture of honor into the homeThat doesn’t mean you are not in charge.

Modeling the ideal behavior is not going to happen over night, and we’ll never be perfect. For now I totally recommend trying that tip.

“I will be happy to respond when your voice sounds like mine.” It’s worth a try.

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This post was originally written on October 13th, 2014 as a part of the 31 Day series Teachable Parenting.

By | October 2nd, 2015|Parenting Tips|2 Comments

Taking a Break From the 31 Day Challenge

In 2013 I joined up with a large group of bloggers who committed to write on one topic everyday for 31 days in October. It was an amazing experience. I did again last year. So much good has come out of both of these series.

The first was Lots of Hope in a Little Home which was about our family of 5 living in less than 800 square feet.

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This series has encouraged and impacted more people than I could have ever possibly imagined! I give glory to God for using what could have been a very rotten time in our life and turning it into something to help so many.

The next series was Teachable Parenting.

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Thanks to this series I have been able to connect with many other women for networking, prayer, and encouragement. I still hear wonderful feedback about Teachable Parenting and I plan to make a book based off of it one day.

I know I sound like I am being overly dramatic, but if it were not for the 31 day challenge my blog and therefor my life would be different than what it is today. That’s the truth.

This year I had a topic. I had written down many ideas and started drafting and outlining. I signed up and was ready to go. Then I started to pray and consider whether or not that is what I was supposed to be doing right now. It’s a lot of work you guys! In response I felt like the Lord started leading me in another direction and focus for October and since then I have just had a peace about not participating in 31 Days. So as much as I love everything about 31 Days, I called it quits for this year.

That doesn’t mean that it’s going to be totally quiet around here though . I will be sharing my Bella Gravida maternity outfits for What I Wore Wednesday and I have another really awesome guest post opportunity. I also still plan to share a couple posts about Taming the Sugar Monster (which is what my series would have been) along with a mini series (probably a week long) called  Things I Want to Teach My Children Sooner. I am super pumped about that series and I think you’ll be inspired too.

There are still over a thousand women (and maybe a few men) writing for 31 days on some really cool topics. You can see all the categories and bloggers HERE. I encourage you to look around. There really is something for everybody.

Even though I am bowing out this year I am still excited about October and looking forward to these next 31 days!

By | October 1st, 2015|My Life, Uncategorized|11 Comments

Freedom From Parenting Guilt

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Like most parents I fear that I fall short with my children. I worry that I don’t have what it takes as a mom and that I could possibly ruin my one shot at this child rearing thing. It’s not a constant thought, but it’s this lingering insecurity. I used to love to listen to a pastor named Miles Welch, who had a podcast for college students. I was way too married and grown up for the topics be applicable to me, but I tuned in anyway and I am glad I did. One day I was sweeping the kitchen while casually listening to the Q&A session on the podcast* when there was a question from a young man asking how he could forgive his dad who was responsible for breaking up the family with a divorce. What Miles had to say in response pretty much jumped out of iTunes and punched me in the gut (in a good way).
He said
“You know, that is a hard question. At some point I was really disgruntled by my parents. I had to learn to accept them for who they were – limited and faulted. You can’t put too much
hope in humanity, we are flawed, fallen people. Now there’s hope in Christ, but we shouldn’t have an idealistic view of humanity. We place too much hope in what a person can be. I used to be really angry that my parents left a mark on my soul. Now that I am a parent I know that every parent leaves a mark on a soul. I am going to for my daughter and I don’t know how to stop it. I feel like I can protect my child from Hollywood. I can protect my child from crazy teachers, and soccer coaches. I can protect my child from anybody but me, because I will leave a mark, and I am a broken person, and as hard as I try I will fail her and she will have to learn to forgive me. She was wired to have a perfect father, and she has me instead.”
I almost dropped my broom in the kitchen when I heard that and it’s stuck with me for all these years. My children are wired for a perfect father and I can’t meet that need and I am not supposed to be expected to. It was in that moment that the weight of the world fell off of my shoulders and Christ set me free from that guilt and insecurity. I was
wanting to be God to my children. Now don’t get me wrong I want to show Christ to them every moment that I breathe 24/7, but the fact of the matter is I mess up time and time again. The further along I go on this parenting journey I can see how it is actually helpful for my kids to see my weakness, to see me grappling with reality.  That way some day they can see that even though I often struggled as a mother and wife, God’s grace was/is sufficient for me. Maybe they will learn that God is who they need to ultimately fulfill them not a parent, friend, or spouse. I pray that it teaches them about forgiveness and that they will truly embrace the grace of God that is there for them as well.
This is post was originally published October 6th, 2014 as part of a 31 Day Series. 
The quote was taken from * Miles Welch, 12 Stone podcast- Marriage and Divorce episode #76 June 28, 2011
By | September 14th, 2015|Family, Motherhood, Parenting Tips|10 Comments

31 Days of Teachable Parenting

 

Day 1: Introduction (scroll down to read)
Day 14: CHOICES
 Day 28: Power of Words
Day 31: Be There
Welcome to 31 Days of Teachable
Parenting.
The purpose of this series is
to share with others, and review for myself, what I am LEARNING about letting go
of the controlling mother role and embracing a new mindset as a parent. I put
LEARNING in all caps because I am no expert, but I will be quoting some. The
three books that I will be highlighting throughout the next 30 days are:
Love and Logic by Jim Fay and Charles Fay Ph.D
and Wild Things by Stephen James and David S. Thomas
These 3 parenting
books have absolutely revolutionized the way I interact with my children. Over
the next 30 days I plan to take this opportunity to share my thoughts and notes
with you, as well as my husband who hasn’t had a chance to read all the way through
the books. I hope you’ll join along and by all means leave a comment and let
me know that you’ve stopped by. I will definitely come and say hello on your
blog if you have one.
Tomorrow I will
have my index page and outline all mapped out so that you can see exactly what
is in store for the messymom.com this month. I will also answer any questions
to the best of my ability. As hard as it may be, I look forward to stretching myself in the areas of patience and grace over the next 30 days. It’s sure to be a rewarding season.
By | October 2nd, 2014|Parenting Tips|5 Comments