We are in our 9th week of Growing Kids Gods Way and we have learned a lot! There have been many "DUH" or "NO BRAINER" moments, where we ask ourselves..."Why didn't we think of that?" The truth is, even the simplest things are not always easy to figure out when you are smack dab in the middle of raising small children, so I am very thankful to The Knight family for opening up their home and encouraging us in this awesome job of raising our beautiful children...With that said here are some of our, "Why didn't we think of that"...moments...
Pre-Teach our children. Talk to them about right and wrong in times of cheerfulness and non-conflict. It is more effective to train and teach when they are not in trouble. Then when they sin or mis-behave we can remind them of the expectations that we have been discussing as a family. A fun way to do this is by role play or acting out different scenarios to help teach the children proper behavior. I love this because it can be fun and everyone laughs and really sees the silliness in ugly behavior when it is acted out by different family members. Turn off the TV and do this...it is fun!
5 Minute Rule. Seriously this is one of my favorites...and frankly is a big fat DUH!!! Give the kids a 5 minute warning before dinner time, or bedtime, or homework time, or when you need them to come in from outside. It gives the kids time to prepare to comply, and gives the parents time to prepare as well. Often times I give a command and am not ready myself to deal with the consequences if they ignore me or whatever. It shows the kids you care about what they are doing and want to give them sometime to finish-up...the 5 minute warning takes care of that. It has really helped here at The Madson home.
Interrupt Rule. This was a much needed tool in our house! Everyone wants to talk at the same time and usually it is MOST important that they have my attention when people are visiting, or I'm on the phone, or when we are out and about somewhere. The rule is to have them simply put their hand on our leg to let one of us know they need to say something. Then I, or Brant, puts our hand on theirs acknowledging that they have something to say. It gives us as parents an opportunity to say, "Excuse me for a minute, Violet needs to tell me something." It is much more effective than them running up to me, saying my name loudly 10 times, putting their face in mine, all to say..."Can I have a cheese stick." We are working on this, it will take sometime to get into the habit...for the kids and us. :)
Notes from Dad. The kids have really enjoyed a surprise "I Love You" note from dad in their lunchbox, backpack or nightstand. It is an extra-special little boost of their confidence to have DAD go that extra mile to let them know HE loves them. They have all responded differently, but in very positive sweet little ways. This is so important...we plan to do it always...I hope Brant even does it throughout their adulthood.