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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hearts

Lest you think I wrote about what sucky parents my kid has right now and then forgot about it completely, I give you this post. But, first, I want to thank you for the thoughtful comments and advice you left me.

I feel like we've made some (very limited) progress simply because I'm home every night. I don't know that I would have said this before this week, though. I didn't get home one night until right before the boys were getting into bed. And they. were. crazy. And hubby was short on patience. And I was quickly irritated. And a light bulb went off. Duh. This is what things were like all the time with the old job. All. The. Time. Because I was gone at least 2-3 nights every week. So, yeah, me just being here makes a huge difference.

So, that's about all we've done to make things better. I mean, we've made some half-assed efforts to yell less, be calm more in our reactions, and let the unimportant things slide. But, yeah, they've totally been half-assed and inconsistent. Totally.

Then I came across an idea (somewhere on the interwebs). I can't remember exactly how they did it, but the premise is to write down daily one of the reasons you love your kids and give it to them (put it in their lunch box, post it on the fridge, somewhere). So, I - realizing that we spend waaaaaay more time saying things to our kids that involved negatives (stop!, no!, don't!, wtf are you doing??! <-- kidding on that last one. Mostly.) rather than any kind of positives - decided that this was as good a place as any to start.

So, for the month of February we are going to try this one thing, and see what kind of difference it can make. Since it's love/Valentine's Day month, I used my cricut to cut 60-odd little hearts in different shades of pink (mostly because I rarely get to use pink when scrapbooking so it's a good use for lots of extra pink paper, and that many in case we mess up on a few). Every night, after they go to bed, we're going to put a new one on their doors.

Now, because I'm a realist, I went ahead and pre-wrote a bunch of them. Because I know us. And sometimes we get lazy. Which has to do with how we got into this sucky parenting rut in the first place. At any rate, this makes it a bit easier on us. Leaving many blank, though, gives us the opportunity to write down things as they happen as well. I suspect those may be more powerful for the boys, as we can use very specific examples. But, we all gotta start somewhere.

My hope is that with this, the boys will see we really do appreciate, are proud of, and love the beautiful things about them. And I suspect (hope) that the more effective and long-lasting part of this will affect hubby and me even moreso than the boys. I think the nightly ritual of writing down these positives and putting them on their doors will help us to pay attention all day to the things we love about the boys, instead of those things that drive us crazy. And, I fervently hope that by the end of the month, this will become a habit for us, the focusing on the positives, and especially, the telling the boys about the positives. Maybe we'll even start doing it with each other.

I'll try to keep you updated on how it goes!


Today's Lesson: It's easy to get lazy. Now, motivation and follow-through, those are difficult.




4 comments:

Elizabeth

This is a very good idea! I love it!

Heather

Good luck, I think it's a positive idea!

Thrift Store Mama

I know you were just using the example of the night you got home just before bedtime as an illustrative example, but I wanted to share something with you.

Our family has a very firm and set evening ritual starting with dinner around 5:45pm and ending with the girls being in bed and us leaving their room by 8:10pm. At 7:30pm they transition from downstairs to upstairs, where there bedrooms are. If one parent is out of the house and comes home at any time at/after 7:30pm (and before they are fast asleep), all holy hell breaks loose no matter what a lovely evening it had been up until that point.

I think I've mentioned this on my own blog previously, but the husband and I don't do bedtime together - it seems to make the girls play us off of each other and more stressful.

It sounds like it had been a tense evening up until that point, but I mention it as an example of what works for some families doesn't work for others. If you and hubby can figure out the 1-2 points of the most stress/tension you can worry about trying to tackle just those points rather than trying to fix the overall parenting/family experience.

FWIW

Elizabeth

Love this idea! I can't wait to hear how it works! (BTW, I've been trying to comment on your posts from my phone, but blogger keeps eating my comments- ugh.)So sorry just now getting around to doing it on the computer!