Yelling at Our Kids is Not the Answer

Once upon a time, years age, I had (just) 3 young boys (3, 7, 11).  The youngest by far was my wild, rambunctious, and sometimes fierce child.  After a particularly rough morning of having to rush out the door, this youngest son proceeded to have a full on screaming, kicking tantrum in the back of my car.  As I’m cruising down our country road, having had enough, I slammed on my brakes, turned to the back seat, and proceeded to scream “That is enough!!!!”.  Said young boy could care less that I was screaming at him; however, the look on my 7 yr old’s face and the distraught feeling I had created for him totally made me pause… and deep in my heart I knew I could not be a screaming mad mom.

Seriously.  Why did I think it was OK to scream at my child?  Like I expected that to add angry actions towards my already frustrated child would calm him down?  Like screaming teaches self control?  Like screaming is suppose to fix ill behavior when screaming is ill behavior in itself?

No.  Yelling at our kids just is not the answer.

It doesn’t teach self-discipline, or communication, or (in my Christian conviction) it most definitely doesn’t teach how to treat others the way you would want to be treated (Matthew 7:12).  It doesn’t teach life skills, because really, do we (or should we) scream at other people?  A boss?  A spouse?  A cashier?  A stranger?  Better yet, how effective is it if someone screamed in our faces?  Would our emotions feel validated?  Would it resolve conflict?

No. Yelling at our kids just is not the answer.

A gentle answer deflects anger,
but harsh words make tempers flare.
Proverbs 15:1

This isn’t about mom guilt but more about facing reality of our actions.  I’ve heard (and used myself) common statements such as “they know better”, “they deserve it”, “if they would just listen to me”.  This is not about being a pedestal mom, nor about striving for some unreal standard of perfection.  Lets face it, all moms have yelled at their kids at one point or another.  We are human; we get overwhelmed, angry even.   But there is a difference of yelling “Hey, get away from the road” or “quit teasing your sister” from the kitchen toward the living room, which is quick corrections that need to be followed up on.  What I am referring to is that moment that we lose our sh…, er, when we snap.  Where we blindly hurl harsh, cruel, and angry words at our child.  I get it.  Moments can be maddening, but if this type of reaction has become a frequent scene, I sincerely suggest a review of motives.

Lets be proactive, not reactive.

Let’s be their voice of reason.
Let’s be their safe environment.
Let’s be their calm to so many chaotic emotions.
Let’s show their worth by treating them invaluably.
Let’s teach them self-control by being in control ourselves.

So my story has a happily ever after ending, as 18 years later I am reaping the rewards of kind parenting.  I rarely yell, and never scream towards any of my kids, and you wanna know the best reward of that?  Because I quite screaming at and began talking to my kids, the teen years were amazingly easy.  The communications skills were developed through treating them exactly how I wanted to be treated.  ~by God’s grace only.  Praise Jesus.

 

PAUSE

Hello friends.  Much has been going on since I last posted here.  As much as I missed writing, I was just too busy in the daily grind of life to find time to be here.  The last I wrote, I shared about my beautiful daycare kids.  What a blessed season!

In the midst, we had moved to a tiny house in May 2017.  Truly we had a blast as we had 3 acres to explore.  This was so much fun for both my family and my childcare.  However, as the autumn rains came in, the house became small.  Add to that that the house was for commercial sale, and it became clear we needed to find another home… once again.

On the flip side, God has been working His will in my plans.  To make a long story short, I closed my doors to Little Friends Discovery Place, and am opening my willingness to start up a women’s ministry with a dear friend of mine.  That all will be shared at a later time.

So here we were, looking at the Christmas season with changes, and boxes, and no decorations, crafts, or baking.  The move came on Christmas Eve/Day, I was sick, it began to have freezing rain and snow, and much was chaotic.  But God is good, and His grace is merciful.

IMG_1461

So as 2018 knocked on my door, I had a friend prompt me to think about One Little Word for the year.  Then all these “p” lettered words began to pour out of my pondering, and truly PAUSE came to mind.

IMG_1475

 

My focus is to pause a bit.  To rest in the moment while settling into our new normal.  To recognize and embrace the small seemingly overlooked moments in my life.  Which oddly, is exactly the same calling I had back in 2008 when I began my blogging adventure.  To journal those small simple moments that slip past us too easily.  I’m also choosing to pause before decisions.  To pause before commitments.  To pause before God and Proclaim His glory.  That’s my 2018.  Do you have One Little Word that came to mind for your new year?

New Beginnings, A Welcome to 2016

I began blogging in 2008 with this opening statement:

To New Beginnings…

Ah yes, the changing tides of life are upon us…life is so fast, and as one child begins his new journey in our loving home, our oldest son ventures out to face the world…thus the desire to share ‘the little things’ with those we love…Life is a journey, not a destination!

DSC_0505
It was a fresh new beginning in many ways that year.  The biggest one being that I had closed a chapter on my years of providing daycare for many lovely families.  Baby #6 was born that year, and we were in a new season… I was in a new season… to learn to just “be”.
Just be a mom, just be at home, just be still even…

In the last 8 years I’ve learned to embrace intentional parenting, to guide a self-led learner in their homeschool journey, face special needs with a gentle approach, and endure an highly sensitive (albeit gifted) child…

we have moved 6 times; have had a mother (-in-law) with severe dementia get diagnosed, live with us, then live in a care facility near us; have had 3 young adults take turns in 3 consecutive years living with us for their own reason and season; we’ve graduated two homeschool students, and have seen our oldest son marry the girl of his dreams…

It’s been a blessed journey.

And the voyage continues…

This year is different.  

Instead of adventures outside of the home,
such as field trips, co ops, and homeschooling alongside other families, sports, random park days, etc…

we are now creating them inside the home,
such as providing childcare, offering a preschool co op in my house, and still encompassing learning from home.

It’s been a huge transition for us.

We went from following a rhythm to our days, where we had guidelines
but could embrace the moments in life as they came.
It was a low key and very effective way to learn and live in our family environment.

Now…

we follow a schedule,
not just a schedule for my own days activities with my kids and care kids,
but also the care kids parent’s work schedules, sports schedules, public school schedules, etc…

The hours are long, unpredictable, and busy…

my stay-at-home responsibilities are still in high demand as well…
and some days I question my sanity (as in why am I doing all this?)…

yet I already know the answer.

~To share Christ’s love.

I admit I have to do a lot of things to make this all work, family life and all…

but more importantly…

I get to…
*play with little people all day
*do what I love to do
*follow God’s lead for my life
*show God’s grace in our daily lives
*cultivate friendships with other moms
*show my kids that endurance with the right attitude means everything.

So I welcome 2016 and all it has to offer!

 “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.
 

Do not be anxious about anything,
but in every situation, by prayer and petition, and with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.

And the peace of God,
which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4: 4-7

Ch-ch-ch-changes…

DSC_0053

Traveling down the narrow road once again…

We like our tiny town.  It’s peaceful.

DSC_1241[1]

Our view up the hill…

DSC_1277[1]

on our road…

IMG_4153

and what our view is at the bottom of the hill.

Every time we go down our hill we get to view the beautiful Columbia River.

Our backyard is the woods

IMG_1659[1]

where we enjoy so much of nature.

However, we still spend much of our time in our old small town;
co ops, dance lessons, church, etc..
Honestly, I travel to the small town pretty much twice a day.
It’s close enough to do that, but far away enough that it’s getting old.

So we prayed. 
We prayed that either we get plugged into our wee li’l community,
or seriously think about moving back to our small town again.

And we are moving.
A decision handed to us by God.
We will move, not to the small town we are originally from,
but it’s neighboring town between tiny town and small town.
I guess we will call it the in-between town (?).

We can continue to serve at our church.
Play sports, take lessons, and participate in community events.

The house is in a friendly neighborhood,
with great neighbors, some of whom we already know.
Our backyard is pretty big and backs up to some woods.
The house is beautiful and fits all of our needs.

Along with the move, comes another big decision.

CHILDCARE!

Oh, I am so excited for the opportunity to add some little people to my days again.  I have done childcare before for many years, and although, officially, I quite my business back in 2008, I really haven’t ever quit being with kids.  I still teach preschool ages for wednesday night church and teacher assistant for Sunday school, plus I’ve taught the preschool ages at co op for the past 3 yrs.  It just is my calling really.  I just love them.  Little people are such a treasure.

So we prayed, and with the move comes the opportunity to choose to do childcare again.  We will be in a great location.  So now I am praying for the child(ren) that may come my way, that we can love on the child and bless the parents all at the same time.   Working parents is tough stuff, and knowing your child(ren) are taking care of is so important.

What about homeschooling?  Is anyone wondering that?  We will still homeschool.
Honestly, with us down to only 3 homeschoolers this upcoming year,
and with them all having a self-led learning style, it will fit our days just fine.
In actuality, I homeschooled when I did childcare before.  The day routines flow smoothly.
I love that my own kids love to participate with the littles.
Katie (13) will help with crafts
Andrew (10) will help with story time.
and Bryson (7) will help with floor time (leggos, lincoln logs, cars, bristle blocks, etc).

I’m pretty much loving these ch-ch-ch-changes! 

A Delicate Mood on this Mother’s Day

20150510_125333

Mother’s Day…

a bit of a fog today.  A few days ago we lost a sweet young friend in a tragic car accident.
One of my preschoolers back in the day, now 17 and full of dreams… now smashed hopes.
Not really, for eternally, she is with Jesus… yet it is still painful.
and her family, her parents, her sisters, her brother, her boyfriend… all in my prayers.
No words really…   She had a heart like Jesus…
“Thank you Jesus for the joy you allowed her to spread in our lives and in our community…
may we continue to pay it forward in Your name”…

One thing about loss is that you appreciate what you have…

20150510_125526

My boys are good to me, and I am thankful for the joy each one brings to my heart.

20150510_125033

The girls add a sweetness that sprinkles my life with happiness.

20150510_124753

I love how we enjoy doing things as a family…
it’s a priceless gift really…

20150510_124917

one that adds grace to our days, love in our hearts, and gentleness in our attitudes.

Happy Mother’s Day all my lovely friends.
This day is a celebration to many, and yet difficult for others;
loss, broken relationships, heartbreaks of many kinds…
but there is still JOY because YOU were born! Carry on and be glorious…

“In the same way, let your light so shine before others,
so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven. ”
Matthew 5:16 –

A random week of homeschoolers

IMG_3664[1]

Have I mentioned how much my kids enjoy this little girl?

IMG_3681[1]IMG_3611[1]IMG_3614[1]

Adelaide plays and they all join her.
Andrew built her a battleship aircraft carrier out of bristle blocks,
while Katie built Andrew a coin counter out of leggos.

Our days this past week were smooth and easy.  I love that.

Our first week back to our Science & more co op

I teach the 4, 5, 6 yr olds.
My subject is Biomes. 
Thus we began with learning what Flora is (this week will be Fauna).
I figure we should start at the basic foundation right?
Plants, then Animals.

IMG_3713[1]

My co-teacher, Miss Sarah, is doing Geography. 
My lessons will hopefully compliment her lessons.
That is my intent anyways.  *smile*

So after we learned All About Plants,
we did a Cherry Blossom craft,
which lead our adventure to China.
We made “sushi” by using a rolling pin to flatten bread,
then spread peanut butter and jam on it,
rolled it up and sliced it.  and viola, yummy!
We also did a dragon craft.  Fun stuff!

We also have a new hobby!

IMG_3627[1]

Yep, table tennis squished into our old classroom/now called a “library.
Hey, we’ve had a dreary winter.
What better way to add some movement to our day?

We had a few sicknesses along for the ride this week, which led to an in depth discussion about vaccinations, the flu, the measles “epidemic” at Disneyland, and holistic remedies vs drugs.

And for fun we made paper snowflakes to decorate our learning corner,
made cookies, played with play dough, and practiced skip counting 2’s.

TJ went bowling with his older brother and Dad,
while Katie did a variety of creations; crocheting a ninja turtle scarf, made an organic face wash, learned a loop waterfall braid, and is continuing to teach the puppy tricks.

It’s fun to be a homeschooler!

L.I.F.E. Academy in December~

IMG_3530[1]

A simple door decoration that added some cheer!
Katie and my daughter-in-law, Amber, did this.
We will keep it up through January, because personally, I find January a bit dreary and depressing after the glitter and glow of Christmas time.

IMG_3498[1]

We’ve made cards, and continued with some of our Truth in the Tinsel projects…

IMG_3499[1]

and signing time (w/ curious George) is still going on.

IMG_3489[1]

Lil Miss Adelaide loves Signing Time.
You can check it out on Netflix if you think your kids would enjoy it!

IMG_3511[1]

The boys are working well together lately;
lots of drawing, writing, & puzzles going on.

IMG_3535[1]

The big kids are continuing their Astrophysics study
Labs for the week: Magnetic Tornadoes
Learned about magnetic fields from various planets.
Watched a documentary on the Oklahoma tornadoes of 2011.
(*which was fun to link back to when TJ and my dear Hubby went to Oklahoma summer of 2012 to volunteer for disaster relief).
They created their own tornado using different variants to replicate the various mentioned planets. The guys timed the length of each ‘tornado’ to compare magnetic changes.  Apparently Venus does not have a magnetic field due to it’s super slow rotation. Who knew?

IMG_3532[1]

The Puppies are getting bigger!

IMG_3447[1]

Recon (the rescue pit) snuggled Katie-girl all night when she wasn’t feeling well this past week.

IMG_3543[1]
Katie is feeling much better and is back at her many random projects of the days.

IMG_3546[1]

Christmas season is flying by so quickly for us this year.  Not nearly as prepared and prepped as I usually am, but I refuse to stress because honestly we’re too blessed.  I wanted family portraits this year (didn’t happen), I wanted Christmas cards and newsletter updates out by Thanksgiving (didn’t happen), shopping has been minimal, baking is a bit more sparse, and crafts have been a lot less dominating this year.  However, this season is about love, God’s love, which is the most priceless gift we have to receive as well as offer.  I have loving kids who likes each other and who actually enjoys spending some time with us parents.   It really doesn’t get much better than that.

How do you handle traditions, expectations, and changes to those plans? 
I always try to encourage people that giving is more than a gift, but a part of your heart;
that the hustle and bustle stress level is so not a part of this joyous part of the year.
This year, as we spent a lump sum of funds on vet bills last month (mostly for our rescue pit),
our budget is very modest, and I’ve had to take my own advice, which I had offered earlier this month;
Don’t spend. Christ IS the gift The time we spend together is what becomes priceless.”