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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let's Just Calm Down

Mommy- Sweet pea what are you doing?

Sweet Pea- Nuffing

Mommy- Are you sure?

Sweet pea- Nuffing Mommy...

Mommy- Sweet pea are you playing make- up

Sweet pea- Yes, but mommy I want to be beautiful like Heart (Grin)

Isn't she a little sweety. Lately she has been a struggle in the discipline
area. She has been really testing limits. We go back and forth with that which is
natural. Children become comfortable in a role in the family and then
try out new boundaries. It can become difficult when all the kids seem to be
changing and learning at once and that is where we are at the moment.
I feel like I"m hovering on a transition page emotionally with the children.
They are each in their right stage for their age and level, and mom is spinning
in circles trying to meet every ones needs.

3 Year olds and Defiance

Sweet Pea is in the defiant 3 stage. With the other kids the difficult
stage came at 4 maybe we are early or maybe we have more to come.
Thats a scary thought. (grin) I have to have a lot of patience when dealing with
the frustration levels for the children. It doesn't help at all or teach anything
if I become frustrated too.  Now Sweet pea often  spends sometime in the
time out chair . My biggest goal right now it to teach several of the children
that anger is not the answer. They need to see the result of  becoming angry as
their first knee jerk reaction .It all has to do with ages and stages. Each
has to learn how to take that time out for themselves. At this point Sweet
pea is asked to sit  at her little play table. I set a timer and she sits until she gets
control of her emotions. I do have puzzles,books and a teddy  available for her
to use while she sits but she often is to upset with being spoken to
play right away. Your probably wondering why I give her puzzles ,books,
and teddy. I give teddy to her as a support for her feelings. Nothing
like having a softie a hug. I give her the puzzles and books to show her
that when she does calm down she can quietly rest for a moment to
gather herself emotionally so she then can go play again. She of course
cannot verbalize this to anyone but this is the process we take.

First Grader and not wanting to complete school work

She is not the only one that has been frustrating easily lately. Spirit (grade1)
has been frustrated during his math lessons. He wants to be able to solve
his problems quickly and move on. He's not quite at that stage yet . He still
needs to use guides for solving equations such as manipulative's, number lines
and drawing out the problems with pictures. We are using flash cards to
practice facts but until then he has to work them out in this manner.
What has worked the best for us is the 3 card game. I give Spirit 3 cards.
It can be from a deck of cards, or uno cards whatever he likes. Dollar
tree has some with just fun pictures on for the beginner readers.These work
just as well. You could also use Bingo chips or other material that your child
 can see. The idea is for them to keep the cards or chips by the end of the
lessons. Children do not want to lose them all. If I see him becoming
frustrated I might suggest that I need to maybe take a card. If it continues
I take one. The goal is to have at least one left at the end and have an
immediate gratification for hitting that goal. Yesterday for example
he had all his chips so he got a special treat from the dollar store,
Sticky hands. Usually the prize is less prizey oriented toward time like an
 extra story with mom, 20 minutes outside, a game of candyland or chutes
and ladders. Find something your child enjoys. One day I hope to not
have to use the cards anymore but for now I'm teaching him the reward
for calming down is a quiet morning. My favorite thing to tell the children
is use your words to build up not tear down. This goes for me too.

13 Year old and becoming easily frustrated
If you read my 3 year old story this might sound similar. Kids hitting
the teen stage are testing limitsand getting a feel for the world around them.
This often comes with frustrations.Teens feel like they are beginning
to become adults but they still have limitations within the family. This
can cause family battles if you aren't careful. My biggest
goal for my son is to just listen to him first. If he is frustrated I allow him to
talk it out and if he doesn't want to talk it out I allow him to take some time
alone. If I feel disrespected in anyway then I ask him to walk away until he
is ready to speak to me in a mature way. Some boys may go to aggressive
behaviors at this stage. Managing that is the key for success later in life.
Instead of time outs like the toddler teaching them ways to calm down
are best for this age and stage. We do not tolerate language that is hurtful
to parents or the other children. Its a hard balance.

Just recently Superboy had some testing done. If you follow my blog
you might remember he had some delays. His testing showed that he
is now on level for math and above his grade in reading. I am so proud of
him . I told him this and his reaction was Great now everyone will expect
more. This is a boy thing and how they think sometimes. I'm proud of
him anyway even if he doesn't want the applause.

Final Thoughts
The great thing is at this time my 15 year old has really matured lately.
I am seeing a big difference in her emotionally. She has been taking care of
her school assignments and being responsible for herself .She is hoping to
find work ,get a car and her drives license in the near future.
I think she may be ready. I tend to hold them back a little if I feel it is
necessary. Heart has been so busy with college and work that I barely see
her. I know this too shall pass just like all the other issues. It feels goods
seeing the girls and knowing that what I have been doing has worked.
(so far at least) As a parent it can be really overwhelming at times with
the kids all having different needs. I have to remember to take time to sit
quietly with God. It really helps to rejuvenate my mind and heart.

Just to help the kids remember and use positive thinking. I posted
some notes in our dining area.

Use your words to build up not tear down.

You can do whatever you set your mind to.

Motivate yourself. It is your choice.

Believe in yourself

Your braver than you believe
Stronger than you seem
and smarter than you think

I print these little saying and quotes I find on facebook or pinterest.
The kids think their corny but they like to read them .
I know they are hearing it thats the fun part about it and they find
it fun to see what I find next. Sometimes I put up funny cartoons, Little
Motivators like this and sometimes I write a little hand written note.
It has become the thing in the morning to see what mom posted on
the wall next. Keep encouraging moms and don't forget to take care of you.

Warm blessings,



  1. Great post! I sure wish I would have known these when my girls were small. It would have saved a lot of frustration on my part.


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