Tuesday, February 24, 2015

7 Tips for Gentle Parenting - Remember, They're Human, Too!

I came on here intending to look up a "motivational" picture on Pinterest, - hoping to find one where it talked about even when we have bad days, we must press forward and just SMILE.
And just GET IT DONE.
Because that's the day I'm having. There has been a major miscommunication between my doctors office and my pharmacy, and I have been off steroids since Saturday.
A big no-no. So what does this mean?
My mouth is on FIIIIIIRRREEEE.
And it hurts. Really bad. To the point I cannot eat or breathe or even think straight.
But then I found this little gem:
Whew buddy. If this doesn't put you in check as a parent (especially if you parent a difficult child), I'm not really sure what will, to be honest.
June is my "difficult" child. When I say difficult, I don't mean all-out bad.
I mean, I just don't know how to deal with her. She is very independent, very headstrong, and she doesn't exactly clearly understand what we ask of her 100% of the time.
I imagine if I took her to the doctor and pressed the issue, the first thing they would say is - she has ADD/ADHD, she needs to be on meds.
Well, that is just not going to happen. I understand that some children DO need this medication for a very valid reason/diagnosis. I'm not here to debate that. But I feel that with consistency, prayer, and a few techniques that we have developed (and still are continuing to develop and learn over time), June will reach her full potential. So, I thought I would share them with you.
Please remember that I AM NO EXPERT. I haven't even read that many parenting books.
Most of what I picked up is from various articles that I can no longer remember the source of and watching other parents, usually with more children than me, raise their children.
And trial and error....LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of trial and error.
#1: Remember your child is ever changing
- so your artillery of techniques must be ever-changing, as well.
I don't mean you have to sit and read parenting books 24 /7/365.
Just practice "continuing education" when you can. Sometimes the best sources to glean information are the most unexpected.
#2: Don't expect too much of your children.
I frequently forget that my children are ONLY 7 and 4 years old.Sometimes I treat them like mini adults. I forget they need fun, and I need to strive to make their chores fun. I don't need to be such a stuck-up mama. Because I can be.
 Remember there's a time for seriousness - but the rest of the time can be silly!
#3 Get down on their level.
Literally! I learned this when teaching pre-school. When my girls do something that they're not supposed to, I literally get down on their level when I'm reprimanding them. For instance: if I ask Sara to put away her shoes that are by the front door, and she throws them in her closet floor instead of  putting them away on her shoe rack. I will either bend down or kneel down (kneeling is best, I find), and make her look me in the eye, and say, "Sara, you cannot throw them in the floor. Remember, one mess leads to another, and soon you won't be able to walk on your floor. It's also not safe for mama/Mawmaw/Pawpaw to walk with things littered all over the floor (my dad has one leg and I have a bad leg as well, not poor vision). We must remind ourselves to put things away."
And it's like - OH! There's a REASON I can't do this. Not just because mama and daddy keep telling me no! It's kind of funny how quickly it clicks in their heads.
#4 Make them look you in the eye.
Whenever we ask the girls to do something, we try to make them look us in the eye. I"ll say, "Sara/June, I need you to look me in the eye so I know you are listening, you hear me and you are paying attention to me." That way, if they don't obey, I can remind them that I KNOW they heard me because they looked me in the eye!
#5 Stop threatening.
Oh, I am so bad at this one. I used to threaten all the ever-loving time. But I have consciously been trying to NOT threaten lately. We have instituted the "rule of 3" in our house - and this especially works well for church. They do something wrong the first time - tat's 1. Second time they do something wrong - that's 2. You get the idea. On the first time, we tell them what the consequence will be if they get to 3. Well, if they get to 3, that consequence happens. We use the phrase "To every action there is a reaction" a LOT over here.
#6 Be consistent.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. Consistency is key, it really is.'
So those are my few little tips for parenting a difficult child...or even parenting in general. Again, this is just what works for us and you will probably need to tweak it for each of your childrens individual personalities. Please let me know if you have any tips that work for you that I did not mention - especially if they relate to the lying phase. Because Lord knows we are going through that...double time. And I'm at my wits end!
I hope ya'll hav ea great Tuesday! Take a moment this evening to stop and enjoy your children. Dishes can wait til they're in bed, even though you'll be exhausted. It's okay if your house isn't spotless. However, if you find the miracle for that, please be sure to let me know!

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