Sunday, May 24, 2009

Every Child Is Perfectly Designed

I had the pleasure of attending 'Beyond Bossing, Begging and Bribing" a talk presented by The Better Behavior Bureau speaker/founder Jeanine Fitzgerald on Wednesday evening.

I was fortunate enough to hear Jeanine speak a few years back and was thrilled for another ride. She is blunt, honest, dry and hysterically funny!! It was a free night that not only benefited me as a parent, but also gave me a few hours for my continuing ed for my family child care license. So I grabbed my cup of iced caffeine and and off I went for my 'night out'. (hey, I take what I can get!)

I'm going to bullet point (you know how I love to bullet point) some of my most favorite things that she had to share. Some serious wisdom here from Mrs. Fitzgerald, so take some notes...

* "Every child is perfectly designed." They don't need 'fixing' - but we need how to reach them on their level. Ok, as a Christian, I'd prefer 'every child is perfectly created' - but no need to split hairs. This is a beautiful point!

* "Temperament is genetic." Take a good look at your little cherub(s) and you're bound to find bits of yourself and your spouse. Of course, those traits that are maybe... undesirable, we'll say they get those from dad. (or mom, depending on who's reading ;)

*"Some children are 'discipline resistant'." Isn't that a fabulous term? Love it!

*Effective Commands: "Discern when kids get a choice and when not." If something is not a choice, don't phrase it as such. "Deliver so a child can hear (no extra words)" example: "Pjs now" "Statement" (when it's not a choice) example: "It's time to go upstairs" (keep away from 'I need or you need' kid don't care what you need and what they need is subjective) Say things 3 - 5 ft away. Wait 10 seconds before you repeat yourself.

*"75% of parents give in" - Wow! This is why kids will hold out - they have a great chance that in the end they'll get their way. Say something twice - if they don't respond, take action! example "Go to the car now" (child - "no" or just doesn't move from the playground).. wait 10 seconds... "Go to the car now" (same response from child) .. wait 10 seconds... Now it's time to go and get the child, no bribing or begging.

* "Epidemic in the U.S. It's called 'Childhood Affluenza'" - LOVED this!! Lots of info on this category. I'll just mention a bit of it. 1. American children are the most unhappy children in the world and the most demanding. (per a source she named but I don't recall) 2. Gifts should be kept to gift giving occasions not, "oh, it's Tuesday, lets go buy jr a new $100 item". 3. There's a difference between responsibilities and jobs. Doing your normal personal care/house cleaning is a responsibility not a job. Allowances should be for doing jobs that are over and above responsibilities. example: cleaning room, taking out trash, putting away laundry,etc. - responsibility. helping parent make copies for work, washing parents car, etc. - job to earn reasonable pay - not exorbitant fee.

* She did a wonderful chart of personalities. Quick paced/slow paced/ task oriented/ people oriented. Great stuff!! Helps to understand what speaks to your child and how to best reach them on their level. If anyone wants more info on this, let me know.

This is just a smattering of what was shared at the talk. It really was great stuff and my typing it out can't do it justice. If you get the chance to hear Jeanine, I'd highly recommend going!! I'll be keeping a look out to see if she'll be around again - I'll post here if she is.

One last thing for all of us parents to remember. (ready - this is highly convicting!) On average, children speak with their parents (conversation) 7 minutes a day! Ouch!!!

We all have the same number of hours in our day.

What are our priorities?

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Square Peg

Square Peg: a person in a position, situation, etc. for which they are unsuited or unqualified.

Time and time again, I am finding myself in very uncomfortable situations. This square peg just isn't fittin' into some of the circles I used to! (or jeans... I'm just sayin')

I frequently find myself looking on to a conversation or event with nothing to add. Yes, me, at a loss for words! (Those who know me well are raising their eyebrows right now.) Then, I start to have an inner dialog and analyze the fact that I have nothing to add. Let me just say right now, that I am a champion over-analyzer!!!! (this is common with us chicas, I know)

Has this happen to you?

Through my 'over-analyzing', I have come to believe that in some circumstances, I have outgrown the relationship. (by this, please understand that I don't mean I'm 'better' than anyone! rather, our thoughts, values, perspectives have just gone in different directions.) We don't look at things the same way or value things on the same level. What is of primary interest and important to me is not to them, and visa versa. One's ways are not better than the others, just different.

I'm wondering if again, I'm entering another season of life. We are constantly a work in progress. I think I may just be on the Potter's wheel again getting reshaped. (this time could it involve a smaller dress size too please.. you know, while you're at it and all..)

As uncomfortable as it is (and it really is!!!) I'm reminded of what great comfort and wisdom I get from reading the book of James. I remember that God will perfect us in our faith through trials.

Lord, this too shall pass I know. Help me not give in to self doubt or fear as I know You are in control and have a greater purpose for everything! Thank you for the joy you have given me and that even in trial, it never dies out!!