I've been reading through past blogs of mine - imagine that, reading my own blogs instead of other people's. I found it to be quite interesting. I didn't remember a lot of things that I posted on there. Crazy how I've forgotten stuff from just last year. That makes me very glad that I took time to post those thoughts. I think that is the point of keeping a journal - we forget things too easily and too quickly. Writing things down where we can later go back and re-read them is invaluable. I read some things about my kids that I had forgot about - things that are insightful to their personality and who they are. Things like that will be wonderful for them to be able to read later on when they are older.
Some one recently asked me what I do with my past blogs - well, nothing so far. I need to look into the sites that publish them. I really do want to have these in physical form - not just words and pictures in cyberspace. Has anyone tried putting theirs in book form? Who did you use? Was it expensive? Easy to do? At one point I was cutting and pasting everything into Word and then was going to print it out, but got sidetracked from that.
Here's a moment for me to remember. I took all four children shopping with me to Walmart, we were there for over and hour and I did not get frustrated with them at all - it was a great shopping trip. This is in complete contrast of a shopping experience I blogged about last year when I only had 3 kids. My parenting skills are really improving, and I better not brag too much or I'm likely to be humbled, but it definitely feels good to feel like the puppet master and not the puppet. What is that supposed to mean? Well, mostly that I couldn't figure out a good metaphor, so I just went with the first one that came to mind. But really, with little kids too often it feels like they are the ones pulling the strings and I just react to what they do. As I gain more skill I'm cutting those strings one by one and I'm not so affected by them - I'm able to maintain my cool and stay in control of myself and say things like, "no problem" - those are majic words. I've been reading and listening to cds from "Love and Logic" parenting helps from Jim Fay and Foster Cline. We have a Family Resource Center that has all of their cds and books and I've really appreciated the cds because it's added depth and perspective that I didn't get from just reading the books. Plus it's really reinforced the "phrases" that they use that help build skill in using their techniques. I'd read the book before, but it wasn't until I listened to some of the cd's that I realized my dad uses many of the same phrases that they use. I called him and asked him if he used this parenting program and he said no. This just reinforces to me that this program is based on principles and not just whims of the lastest and greatest. It's all about agency and helping teach and guide the children to learn to be agents unto themself. I already understand that from a gospel standpoint, it's just nice to have extra help in translating that into "how do I handle this situation" or "how am I supposed to maintain my cool when they behave like that".
So, last night, after my Tom and Charlie had been in bed awhile and I was in the kitchen doing dishes, they come wandering out. In previous times I would have ordered them back to bed and expected them to obey. I decided to try something new and offer them a choice. I said, "would you like to go to bed or would you like to do chores?" I thought they would probably choose to go back to bed, usually kids are looking for a way to get out of doing chores, but I was okay with offering chores as a choice because it would benefit me. So the fact that they both immediately said "chores" was a little surprising, but I embraced it. I set them right to work and for the next 30 minutes they were busy little bees helping and asking what they could do next. It was wonderful, except the part where they were arguing over who could help load the dishwasher and Tom ended up in time out until he was able to control his anger better. Now I just need to figure out how to get such enthusiasm in the regular day time hours when it's chore time.