Not attending school…. No enrichment classes… Hardly even any homeschooling (like ten minutes a day!) Sounds like my children are very free and leading a very relaxed & laidback life, right?
Well, I for one thought so. Until recently.
I had already started being more relaxed with the boys. To be more conscious of when I wanted to rush them, and to stop doing it. My main motivation though, was to reduce the frequency of tantrums and me scolding them, i.e. unpleasantness in general. I say ‘being’, because it is not enough that we are not busy, we have to make use of this unbusyness.
It is why the boys have been going to bed later. Because I do not want to rush them during the bedtime routine. When they still want to continue to play instead of brushing their teeth or drinking their milk etc, I wait. I wait instead of nagging at them or scolding them. (Which results in the entire bedtime routine being dragged out. And a very tired mummy.)
Then another mummy blogger wrote about her unhurried experience with her children, and I was almost drooling as I was reading. YES! That’s what I want for my children too!
OK, calm down a bit. Realistically, my kids are younger than hers and I need to be mindful of their naptimes & mealtimes etc. But it definitely won’t hurt anyone to occasionally skip a nap or even skip a meal, ya? As long as the kids are enjoying themselves and we do let them nap/eat when they want to, it should be alright!
I know the problem is me – Type A, task-oriented, punctual, coscientious… those are the words people often use to describe me. Easy for me to stick to a schedule, not so easy to be spontaneous and relaxed!
More inspiration here.
Linking up with A Juggling Mom
Example: Child keeps knocking his cutlery on the dining table during mealtime.
Simple timeout: If you knock one more time, you go to timeout.
Child of course can’t resist the urge to do it again.
Parent carries a screaming child to timeout >> Big consequence for a small infringement.
OR If you knock one more time, you REALLY go to timeout ok. >> Parent fails to carry out his “promise”.
1-2-3 Magic: That’s one.
Child knocks again.
From experience, the child usually stops by then. And if the child does do it again, he goes to timeout not just for the one-time infringement, but for ignoring two reminders.
Yes, it means that the child is given two get-out-of-jail-free cards. But it also means the parent can use 1-2-3 for any minor infringement. No kidding, I really use it for any small little thing that irritates me.
Kicking your brother’s chair to disturb him? One.
Swept that book from the table to the floor? One. Pick it up. No? Two. Done.
Dropped that toy a bit too heavily for my liking? One.
Yay I use it for everything! No need to shout, no need to nag, no need to lecture. On the other hand, if I were to use simple timeout, do I really want to send him to timeout for little acts of mischief? If not, HOW do I deal with those irritating misbehaviours??
See the magic? : )
The Revolutionary Approach to Raising Your Kids by Keeping Your Cool
I am so happy I have finished reading this book! AND not be disappointed at all! Thanks to another mummy P who recommended it : )
Similar to the previous book Peaceful Parent, Happy Kids, the author Hal Runkel advocates parents return the focus to themselves and their own behaviour. While references to the Christian religion are liberal throughout the book, I still enjoy reading the book and find that the book makes sense. Because the author first explains what he is saying without such references, then sometimes uses quotes from the bible to further convince those who might have not been very convinced.
The greatest thing you can do for your kids is learn to focus on yourself.
Just this very morning, I experienced this. I had not yelled at Kor Kor for almost two weeks (sadly, I did yell at Didi. Sigh.) but this morning I was very snappy and impatient with the boys. Only when I finally got to rest while the boys were watching television and Meimei was napping that I realised I was feeling really unwell. Very lightheaded. But I had done the usual morning routine without even thinking much about how I was feeling, just do and do since I was so used to it. So, it was because I was unwell and didn’t even realise I was unwell (cos I would have asked Hubby for help if I had known) that I was so short-tempered. I didn’t focus on myself. I only focused on the tasks at hand.
We are not responsible for our children. We are responsible to them.
If we make sure we behave- even when the kids misbehave- we have a greater chance of positively influencing the situation.
And then I don’t know how to summarize anymore. What I usually do is, I read the book once, digesting and re-reading certain parts if need be as I go, getting a gist of whether it is a good book and whether I like it, then I go through again to try to write a summary/review for this blog. But now, as I am going through it trying to find the main points, I realise the whole book is good! Trying to summarize it is like trying to summarize a good novel – but what is a good novel without the ‘juice’? 😛 Full of meaningful and useful examples and concrete suggestions. I strongly strongly recommend you pick this book up for a read! I think I shall read it again soon too!