The Power of Moms

 

Tuesday
Sep102013

Daily Job Chart

A few weeks ago, it dawned on me that my child with anger needed to be in control of absolutely everything. For some reason, when I or my husband ask him to do something, he thinks he is loosing all control. Enter in a "ta da" moment! I had inspiration to take our morning routine (a source of contention) out of my hands and put all the control back into my child's hands.

{Excuse the imperfection, it's been used!}

Enter in our new job chart for my son.

My son is slow to start in the mornings and tends to watch TV or play on the computer. To get him dressed presented great angst in our household. For years I have known that certain types of TV shows or computer time can set him off on the wrong foot for the day. I try to limit the time, but honestly, between getting everyone ready for the day, getting some household maintenance done, and working, I tended to let him do his thing for awhile without consistency and much screen time. It was not always pretty.

I created three sections on a poster board with plenty of white area to grow as needed. At the moment, the chart is for our morning routine. My son is in school during the afternoon and the evenings tend to run pretty smoothly. The blue cards represent the daily jobs. Pretty easy stuff such as getting dressed, eating breakfast, saying prayer, and brushing teeth. The yellow cards represents a job that needs to be completed for the day. He gets to pick one to complete a day (besides Monday, since that is when I do laundry and he needs to take his laundry down to the laundry room.) Plenty of choices! He can even complete more than one in a day if he wanted! I don't have him complete any jobs on the weekend since those tend to be morning errands or rest day. When he is completed with his job, he puts the card in the done envelope. When he has completed all his jobs for the day, he has earned one hour of TV/computer time.

We have been using this chart for about two weeks now and it is working beautifully! I don't have to nag him! If we have to run out for something in the morning, I will tell him the night before what time we have to leave and set the timer in the morning. That way, again, I'm not telling him to do anything. The chart and timer are doing all the work! We have had only little, minor problems; no epic battles or anger! I cannot tell you how calm I feel once again!

I also see a dramatic decrease in screen time and much more time using imaginations. My daughter just follows what her older brother does and she is fiercely independent, so she basically is doing her "jobs" right alongside her brother although she doesn't have a chart. It's a win-win situation for everyone!

To create:

1. Create cards by using Microsoft Office clip art and print on cardstock.

2. Cut out clip art into small squares. My measurements are a bit random.

3. Glue clip art cutouts onto cardstock and laminate.

4. Stick Velcro on the back of each card and press firmly onto poster board. This allows each card to be taken off and reattached.

5. For the done folder, I took a very large envelope and cut the top off so it was a large envelope to easily place the cards in and take out.

6. I cut the TO DO and DONE on my Silhouette and laminated.

7. Lay everything out on a large poster board and glue away.

Now let's hope it keeps working! : )


Tuesday
Aug272013

Strategy To Focus on the Positive With Your Children

I've been a Negative Nelly for a bit now. I constantly hear myself tell my children not to do this or that. I am telling them no quite a lot. When I talk with adults about my children, it is always with a negative tone. By nature, I am a glass half-full type of person and do not want my children to grow up with a negative mother. This week I decided it was time to change my way of thinking and one strategy that I find that helps me is to make myself focus on the positive.

Enter my posters...

{Excuse the bright colors, we are pretty bright around here}

My nature, one of my children is more on the pessimistic side and I am determined that as a family we are focusing on what makes us happy and/or what we are thankful for. I used my Silhouette and found this cute little quote. I cut it out and pasted it on. Every evening at dinner time, each of us takes the opportunity to write one or two things that happened during the day that made us or happy or something we are thankful for. It's been a fantastic addition to our dinner routine.

In my church, we have a saying "Choose the Right." In my last post, I described the poster I made a few years ago. I took that same idea and when my children "Choose the Right" I quickly add it to the poster. This way I am looking for what they are doing right instead of what is going wrong.

I am a firm believe it is my outlook on my children that really influences how I treat them! I hope we can all focus on what incredible little beings our children are!

Please share what you do to focus on your children's positives!


Tuesday
Aug132013

Parenting Reality... Anger Resources

In the world before I had children and when they were toddlers, I always thought of raising children in terms of rainbows and flowers. What did mother's complain about? Parenting was easy! Enter the world of raising preschoolers and beyond.

I started this not very updated blog a few years ago when parenting was a whole lot easier. Since that time, we have added another child and my other two have grown into two spirited and spunky children. No longer am I spending my time creating fun activities and blissfully living in the perfect world. Now I am just trying to survive. My goal is still to create those special, fun times...the theme dinners, crafts, etc. However, I am much more realistic in knowing I can't do it all and those time may not be as often as I like.

Much of my time, sans children, is reading books and researching the different challenges we face in parenting. In fact, this morning I recommended a few resources I have used to a friend of mine. It occurred to me I should blog about it! I hope a few of these resources may help you!

One of my children is very demanding and quickly goes from happy to extremely angry in less than a second. It's like a little Jekyll and Hyde. It's very frustrating, emotional, and exhausting as a mother (and father.) For the past two years I have tried a lot of techniques which we have found and are finding to work. It takes a lot of time and dedication to work with anger but well worth it in when you see the happier child emerging more than the angry child. I know each child is different and anger can present itself in difference in severity and form.

For us the following techniques has worked:

  • When I first started seeing the anger in my child. I had inspiration to create a Choose the Right poster with a superhero. Every time I saw my child "Choose the Right" we wrote it down. It helped us to focus on the positive instead of the negative.
  • TV: I have found TV can really set off my child. Non PBS and non- documentary shows sets off my child. We really limit access to TV and IPAD/phone.
  • Spending around 10 minutes a day solely with my child helps him know he is special and we love him. This one-on-one time makes a drastic change in behavior for both my older children!

  • I also have found structure and routine is key in helping with anger. Enter summer and us being away on vacation for over a month= craziness and anger! :) 

  • Quiet area. We have set up an area where our child can go and cool down. It's not a time out but a safe place he can work on calming his feelings. We have done away with time outs, because frankly, they DO NOT work for us and I want my children to know it's okay to feel angry, we just need to work on how to be angry.

  • As a parent stay calm and cool... SO MUCH EASIER SAID THAN DONE! There have been many moments I am not proud of but I apologize and we continue to carry on!


Books and Websites

         Easy read and fantastic techniques and additional resources

         INCREDIBLE book! Fantastic just for parenting ideas. They are completely contrary to what I first thought when I was parenting. My husband and I firmly believe in these parenting techniques.

         I just started reading this. I'll post an update.

          This book helped me to understand my child so much better! It also helped me to know there are other parents out there who are experiencing what I am experiencing!

  • Aha! Parenting website- Written by the same author of Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids.

        GREAT articles and support. Basically I am in love with her. :)

        Great articles and support as well. We have subscribed to her program (there is a fee) but she has a blog with great information.


What I will work on doing is write what we learned from each book. Many of our techniques we have used come from these resources.

Again, I hope some of the techniques/resources above will help and I will work on writing the specific techniques from each book that have helped us.


Please share any techniques you use! I am always looking for help and support!


Tuesday
Jul022013

4th of July Game: Nickel Hunt

I'm a teacher and a learner. It is important to me that I somehow tie learning into my daily activities with my children. The best way to learn is through play and within the context of our daily lives. This 4th of July hunt is fun while also providing the opportunity to learn about a famous person that is instrumental force in our independence.

In preparation of the hunt, gather your spare nickels and hide them around your home or yard.

Gather the children around you and show them a nickel. Explain who Thomas Jefferson was and why he is important to the 4th of July celebrations. {Honestly, when I do these type of discussions, it leads to my son asking me questions that I don't know the answer to. Sometimes, with him, I swear I do not know anything!} I try to not make these discussions long at all... it's more as an informal FYI and then periodically during the day I may ask them random questions about our discussion to see what they remember.

Give each child a bag and set them loose to find the nickels. I let them keep the nickels for their spending or savings banks.

It's a win-win game... win for the kids because they get to keep the money and win for the parents because it's cheap!



Thursday
Jun272013

Patriotic Stick Flag

We made a fun and easy flag out of tongue depressor sticks. It was super easy and the kids love having them hang on their bedroom doors.

How To Make a Patriotic Stick Flag

Items Needed:

  • red, white, and blue paint and brushes
  • tongue depressor sticks (found at any craft store)
  • white cardstock
  • star paper punch or a paper cutting machine (I used my Silhouette)
  • glue
  • scissors
  • hot glue gun
  • string of any type to hang the flag

 

Directions:


1. Paint three sticks red and two sticks white. Let dry.

2. Using scissors, cut three sticks into half. You will need to use three for the flag and two to glue the flag onto.

3. Paint three half sticks blue and let dry.

4. Cut out small white starts on white cardstock.

4. When paint is dry, take two of the cut sticks and align vertically.

5. Starting with a red stick, glue down red, white, red, white, and red horizontally onto the two vertical steps.

6. Glue down the blue sticks with the rounded corner on outside, lining up with the sticks below.

7. Glue down stars.

8. Let glue completely dry.

9. Cut a string large enough to glue onto the flag and still have enough room to hang around a door knob.

10. Using the hot glue gun, glue down the ends of the string onto the back two vertical sticks.

11. Admire the handiwork!