Curbing My Daughter’s Tantrums

Youcantcontrolothers

You cannot change others others,

you can only change yourself!

Have you ever heard that quote? Or some variation of it?  I haven’t a clue where it came from but I’ve found it to be very true.  My four year old daughter has been going through a thing lately.  She drops into tantrums with the drop of a hat.  She’s been terribly disobedient and awfully fresh.  We battle to get her to do anything at all for herself.  Dinner time has been regulated to an all out war! Perhaps we could blame this on the arrival of her baby sister?  Maybe not because I remember her brothers going through this at exactly the same age.  Whatever the cause it is something that has to be dealt with.

So how have I been dealing with it?  Each time she refuses to do what we ask or drops herself into a tantrum we would scoop her and drop her in her bed.  This didn’t end the tantrums.  NOT. AT. ALL!  In fact it escalated things.  BIG TIME!  Can you hear me sighing over here?  A bad tantrum would turn into blood curdling SCREAMING FITS complete with her banging her door like she meant to break it down.  By this point she’d be completely unable to hear me even when I did my best to calmly bring her down.  Then of course I would get even more riled up myself so I’d break into yelling.  Nope, that didn’t help either.  I’d have to wait her out.  I’ve been exasperate with her!  How come she does not respond to reasonable punishment!

As I sat outside her door developing my own throbbing headache that beat in time to the pounding she was inflicting on the door it hit me… the quote above… like a ton of bricks!  What I was doing clearly wasn’t working.  I couldn’t change her so I had to change me.

That tantrum finally ended and I vowed to rein in my emotions and do things differently next time.  My plan of action… distract, ignore if need be, and pour on the praise.  When I saw a spout of disobedience coming, instead of warning her she’d have to go to her room if she didn’t do as she was told I tried to make a game of things.  “Oh, I wonder if you could finish your dinner before I do!”  If she wanted something she couldn’t have I thought of something else that she COULD have that’d be delightful to her… distraction.  If these ideas were successful then I’d dance around the house singing her praises for a job well done.  SHE BEAMS when I do that.  If my tactics failed then I just completely ignored her tantrum.  I now do everything I can to avoid escalating it further.

I can’t control her.  I can’t MAKE her obey.  I can’t DEMAND she turn off a tantrum like a switch.  But I can change how I respond to her.  SO far so good… she is going with the flow far better, she is becoming independent again, and her tantrums are shorter and fewer in number.

My new mantra… I can only control myself!

Encouragement for a Mother’s Heart… Wisdom

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”

Romans 11:33-34

EncouragmentMothersWisdom

Wisdom! As mothers (and maybe even more so for homeschooling mothers) we are expected to be all wise and know just what do in every situation.  We should know how to heal every hurt whether it be of skinned knee variety or the broken hearted sort.  We should know how to cure every illness. and mend every lost button.  We should know just where our children left that precious toy of theirs and where they might find those missing pants they need… RIGHT NOW!  We should know how to encourage our children to chase their dreams and how to pick them up when fail. We should know just what to do to teach our children to be wise and discerning. The list of places a mother should hold vast wisdom is endless… and maybe exhausting and overwhelming.  No one person can know so much.

 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5

But there is one who does that would our all knowing, all seeing, all hearing God in heaven.  This week you and I are bound to be presented with a million challenges.   When you find yourself uncertain trust God.  Pray and ask and He will give you discernment.

Welcome Baby Eliza

Our family was blessed to welcome little Eliza Grace into the world on July 31!  Her brothers, sister, and mom and dad are over the moon!  I know I’m biased but isn’t she just beautiful!

CSH_3991
CSH_3937
CSH_3881

CSH_3895
CSH_3924
CSH_4136

My Rant Against Those Who Think SAHMs Don’t Contribute!

I’m a woman… whoa shocker huh? No really! I am a woman. I am a woman who happens to be a mother. I am a woman who happens to be a wife. I am a wife and mother who happens to choose to stay-at-home in order to care for my husband, my children, and my home. I am a woman who enjoys finding passions and pursuits to bless my family finances.

SAHMsContribute

I am not a woman who has anything resembling a career away from my family. And to many this makes me less of a woman? Wait… read that again. Because I choose to spend my life in the traditional at home role of wife and mother large segments of society think I am less of woman.

How do I know? Because people tell me this all day! Twice last week two other woman said to me… “Oh, you stay at home? What do you do all day?” Last month my doctor I asked one of the staff to fill out paperwork for my husband so that he could file for Family Medical Leave when our newest addition arrives. She assumed the paperwork was for me and when I explained it wasn’t she said… “Oh, just keep having more so you don’t have to work huh?”

I hear it in conversations amongst woman… “I’d just DIE if I had to stay home, I want to be worth something! I want to contribute.” Ummm… I’m sitting right here! Thanks for the insult. You’re… “but it is different with you” attempt at backtracking didn’t work. Not at ALL!

But that’s it right there! “I want to contribute.” Because caring for my home and family isn’t contributing? My stay-at-home roll is every bit as grueling, exhausting, and stressful as the days when I worked as a special education teacher. It just doesn’t come with a paycheck.

Please… don’t start with me. I’m not putting down any working mother. I’m not saying her job is easier or more difficult than mine or any other job. What I am saying is… I am NOT lesser woman, nor do I contribute less to world just because I no longer have a traditional career.

So please… stop with the snide comments, the rude remarks. You are no better than I am and I am no better than you are! Let’s lift one another up and promise to remember that everyone is doing the very best they can and living the very best way they know how.

Beauty in Imperfection: What It Really Looks Like To Be a Homeschooling, Business Running, Mommy!

BeautyImperfection

New blog series!  What does it REALLY look like to be a homeschooling, business running, Mommy to soon to be 4 little ones?  I think it’s time to show the true reality of what a day can hold?  I want to share with you the ugly truth. I want to shatter this idea that people seem to have of me and moms like me who they think have it all perfectly together!  Ha!  If nothing else, I hope you can all just help me laugh at myself and remember not to take life too seriously.

These are my tidbits from today… and it’s only 2:00pm in the afternoon!

1. My day started with a naked 4 year old.  Apparently getting dressed is JUST TOO HHHHAAARRDDD! She landed in a heap on the floor.

2. After serving my entire family breakfast I turned to my own.  It was supposed to be chia seeds in milk with fruit.  It had sat so long it turned my stomach.  No breakfast for me!

3. After some successful school time I asked my kiddos to accomplish some chores.  Somehow this ended with my brand new shirt being ruined with bleach spots and a bedroom carpet covered in toilet bowl cleaner.

4. My very precious Kindle Fire (my organizational lifeline) flew down a flight of stairs and landed splat on the concrete.

5. Lunch? What lunch?

6. I lost my boys today.  A bush ate them.

I can’t forget the beautiful moments….

1. When my 4 year old got herself together, got dressed, and drew me a picture to say she was sorry.

2. When my son ran to the fridge to get me water after he realized I was without a cup.

3.  After my son cleaned up his toilet bowl cleaner disaster he did clean the toilet and then he said to me…

“Mommy, didn’t you expect things like that this to happen when I was in your belly?” When I asked what he meant he says… “It’s all part of being a Mommy!”

4. My Kindle Fire tumble gives me a great story to share when I post my review of the case it was in.

5. My  hubby popped in unexpectedly in the middle of his work day and made me a sandwhich.

6.  Well what really can be more humorous than a giant bush eating your children?

Up next… time to work my blog and my business!  What can possibly go wrong?

 

My Biggest Homeschool Lesson This Year… Letting My Agenda Go!

image

I have to tell you… I have been ALL OVER THE PLACE with our homeschool this year!  I began the fall with a perfect plan… but life and sickness sent us on some detours.  Sure we still schooled, just the basics mostly.  And I read to them… a lot!  Ok so it wasn’t so bad I guess!  I can’t help but mourn what we didn’t do though.

I came back in January! No more fooling around we WILL get our Middle Ages Study done.  Except, we didn’t.  Yep we still schooled the basics, and read a lot, and we did a lot of other things too.  Field trip after field trip, co-op classes, horses, you name it!  We had a ball.  But darn that Middle Ages Study!

So now its spring.  Time to double down! I WILL get everything done in the next WEEK that we haven’t finished yet this year.  Ok, maybe not.  But I’m certainly going to have an ambitious agenda so we catch up… at least a little.  I printed lesson lists every day.  We could not be done with our day until absolutely EVERYTHING on that list is done and I do not CARE if a lesson takes 5 times longer than I thought it would.  If it is on the list it MUST be done!  I bribed them with trips to the park or the pool if we get it all done.  We accomplished a lot, but I was stressed and so were they!  Where is the fun? Where is the adventure?  When do they get to study what THEY want to study.  I admit it, I even shed a few tears over it all.  I’m just trying to be the best homeschool mom I can possibly be DARN IT!  Why does it have to be so hard?

I was driving myself insane.  I am sure I was also driving my children up a wall too.  I’m not even sure I was all that pleasant with my husband either.  So what’s a mom to do?  Well I did the only sensible thing I could.  I gave up!

Alright I didn’t stop schooling my kids.  I didn’t turn down the unschooler path either, though I am starting to read more about it… stay tuned, Lord only knows what I’ll do with that information… but that is for another blog post.  Instead I just let my agenda go.  I ripped it to shreds and I asked the kids… What do YOU want out of our day?  I kept a few non negotiable things.  We will dive into God’s word EVERY DAY We will study math every day.  .  We WILL become good readers and writers.  But after that… it was all fair game.  Now I ask the kids what we should work on next.  It’s now all up to them.

Occasionally I even let them opt out of an activity.  Like just today, I did suggest we work on some art but my 6 year old pushed back.  We been doing a lot of painting and it isn’t his thing.  He doesn’t enjoy it at all! He likes to glue and sculpt and smoosh and shape.  He finds paint too difficult to control. Math however?  MATH is his love!  I suggested that he simply listen to the art lesson and then he could do this other extra math thing I have to review instead of actually painting.  My 8 year old LOVES painting and really couldn’t give a darn about math.  It was win win!  They got to do what they love and I even got to cross off of my to-do list something I needed SOMEONE to do.

Lessons now end at a logical time as well.  I have no set agenda.  We’ll work at this until we hit a good stopping point or we get tired of it.  Then we’ll move on!  The pressure, the stress is GONE! Who exactly was I trying to catch up to anyway?

That doesn’t mean I don’t guide them a bit.  I might say things like, “Well we could do that, but we haven’t done art in a couple of weeks, are you interested?”  But then I do my best to go with THEIR suggestions.  The results? AMAZING!  We are getting more done in a day than we ever have.  We are ENJOYING our work and each other.  We are engaged, excited, and HAPPY once again.

No more agenda’s!  That’s my new mantra!  Will someone remind me of this in the fall?

Happy Mother’s Day!

14542

To the best mom in the world… MINE! And all the moms out there! This day is for you!

Thank you Mom!  Life doesn’t come with a manual but it does come with a mother!

Monday Morning Mothering Encouragement…We Are His Workmanship!

EncouragmentMothersEphes210

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Am I the only one overwhelmed by the realization that God made me?  GOD MAD ME!  On PURPOSE.  Just the way I am.  God prepared for me long before I came to this world.  God created the good works for me.  He created my life plan.  He laid a path for me in His perfect way.  My life didn’t come to be by chance.  God can orchestrate everything to work according to His will.  My life is his will.

Your life is His will.  What does this mean?  This means that you are good enough!  You are equipped.  You are able!  With God’s help you can accomplish anything according to His will.  He loves you and me.  He created us in all of His perfection.  As we set forth on another week remember that.  Remember that God has you right where He wants you.  He created you.  You can do this!

 

Monday Morning Mothering Encouragement…Worldly Success!

EncouragmentMothersWorldly Success

Will there ever be a greater blessing in this world than they days when my children have grown and gone off to live lives that are faithful to Christ and their calling?  I can admit that one of my biggest fears is that this somehow won’t come true!  That I will spend all of these years homeschooling, pouring myself into my children, faithfully pointing them to Christ… only to have them walk away from our faith.

Yet, the crazy thing is that at the same time there is this never ending pull to raise children that are significant to the world!  I’m just as guilty of any other of wanting my children to find success as the world defines it (not that I really know exactly how the world DOES define success… it seems to be a moving target).  It is SO tempting to define my worth as a mother based on my children’s achievements.

Sometimes I try to tell myself this can be balanced!  We can be faithful to Christ why still succeeding in academics, or sports, or whatever.  Deep down inside I know I am kidding myself.  As Proverbs 22:6 reminds me…

13“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

Truly I know that there are no guarantees.  My role is to remain faithful to my calling.  The rest is in God’s hands.  So whether my children end up with lives that are successful in the world’s eyes or not.  I will rest my identity in Christ and not in worldly validation.

 

Christ Centered Character Training Day 5: God’s Word is the Key to My Life

ChristCenteredCharacterKey

I’ve struggled with how to close up this blog series.  It’s been a subject of prayer for me for several weeks.  I had originally intended to share with you another character trait that my family has attempted to address using God’s own word.  With our Child Training Bible and other resources we’ve addressed everything from defiance and disobedience through not listening to selfishness and more.  I can honestly say that my family always sees an improvement in character and behavior each time we tackle a new subject.  Does it always last?  Does it stick as they say?  Not perfectly.  Rarely does behavior go back to level it was but it does go backwards, sometimes quite a bit.  This is a cyclical process for us.  We must revisit old topics regularly.  There are occassions when we seem to go so far back that I find myself convinced that all of my attempts to shape my children’s character was for nothing.  I feel incapable.  I want to give up, yell and scream, and punish everyone.  I feel so incompetent… so ignorant… so unable to fulfill my calling as their mother.

Let me tell you this…. I can strive to be the most amazing, God centered, mother the world has ever seen.  Or I can fail miserably, as I do at times.  However…. God is not reliant on my ability and expertise to bring about his results.

Exodus 4:10-12 reminds us how God used an everyday man, one who sinned just as we all do, to lead a whole nation…

10 Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”
11The Lord said to him, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Who makes them deaf or mute? Who gives them sight or makes them blind? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”
lightstock_65842_xsmall_user_952416
I worry about my children’s character.  I long to shape their behavior in a way that makes them joyful and a blessing to everyone! I envision them as Godly adults serving the Lord in all areas of their lives. I’ll my best to make this happen in whatever way God leads me.  But I’ll say it again… God is not reliant on my ability and expertise to bring about his results.
I do believe this truth to be true… God’s Word is the Key to My Life.
Many members of the TOS Review Crew are blogging about a variety of topics this week.  Please stop by their blogs.  They’ve chosen some fabulous topics to write about for you.
Brittney @ Mom’s Heart ~ Relaxed Homeschooling
Lisa @ A Rup Life ~ Our Favorite Books
Melissa @ Life Off the Paved Road ~ Fit From Home
Michelle @ Faith, Family, and Fridays ~ Clearing Out the Clutter
Jennifer @ Chestnut Grove Academy ~ Educational Apps
Jenni @ Conversaving ~ Homeschool Cooperatives
Lisa @ Home to 4 Kiddos ~ Celebrating Lent
Tawnee @ Adventures in Homeschooling ~ Spring Schooling

April Blog Hop