Moderate Minded Mama

Walking the line between crunchy and modern everyday

Helping Our Kids Cooperate April 13, 2013

Filed under: Kids,Mama Thoughts — laurab06 @ 6:50 am
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We have had a hellacious late morning/early afternoon. It really made me think of this post. Ya know, the one I’ve been working on for weeks (having a really hard time doing anything besides taking care of kids and keeping house maintained) and haven’t managed to post. So, as one child happily protests nap and the other is grumpy as…I don’t know…a rhino with sand stuck in it’s skin?…I’m finally finishing this and hitting POST! 🙂

You know those days where you get a nice warm shower while the kids play nicely, everyone eats their meals without throwing it at each other or on the floor, you get to finish a whole cup of coffee without reheating it three times, the kids are sweet and cooperative in the car (& the store, church etc.) and bed time goes smoothly? All without wanting to shout from the rafters “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU????” (Answer being they are just kids and we are expecting way too much some days). Yeah, me either. Those days are few and far between.

We have two girls. Two sassy, bossy, temperamental girls and they are only 3 & 1. We are so in trouble :). So we have to get creative to keep my sanity the peace some days. I’ve made some wonderful friends through an AP group in the area and they are one of the circles of moms I seek out during difficult moments. Last year I began attending a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) and this Christian, fabulous, encouraging, embracing group of women has turned me onto some wonderful resources. The website Positive Parenting Solutions is one of the resources I’ve run across through MOPS and it’s help me merge the realms of modern, AP and Christian parenting.

This article “Morning Routine Survival Guide” came through my email a while back. Now, while I won’t let my kid starve before heading off to school or an outing (because I KNOW my kid will melt down causing us all a moment). I do really like how they approach this. Schedules are so key for us around here. When we get off our normal routine for more than a day or two we have epic meltdowns, refusal to do anything remotely close to what we need to do and just a really rough two to three days “recovery period”.

Recently we’ve started two new concepts, first is “When – Then” and the “If – Then”. These two phrases help us SOOOOOOOO much. It took about a week for the concept to sink in. We don’t use it for everything, but for fights that I get sick of having (food, dressing, etc) it’s wonderful.

Examples? The other morning at breakfast Lil asked for strawberries and pancakes. I make/get them and then this happened…
Lil: “I don’t want to eat”
Me: “Ok Lil, you don’t have to eat right now. This is breakfast and when you eat then we can do our crafts and homeschooling for the day. I’m going to finish my laundry, then Ana and I are going to eat breakfast.”

We had a little fussing of “I don’t want to eat” and I just calmly repeated my earlier statement. We folded some laundry and played for a little bit. I sat Ana in her high chair to eat, and ate mine. Since I was sitting at the table she wanted to do homeschool and our craft. Repeted my deal. She just looked at me. Finally, as I was getting Ana cleaned up and washing my dishes (have I mentioned we got rid of our dishwasher?) she decided she wanted to eat. Finally. No fussing, no arguing, no crankiness to deal with. Woot. We’ve been using this for a few weeks with great results.

The other concept I’ve started using is “Asked & Answered“. Because let’s face it, listening to “Mommy, can I have ____” or “Mommy can I ______” 7 times in a row even after she’s already been given an answer gets really irritating after a few hours. Especially when it turns into that high pitched “BUT I WAAAAAANT TO” whine.

I keep forgetting that this works. I keep forgetting to use it. Then we have meltdowns and cranky toddler tantrums about her wanting something. Only after do I remember “Asked & Answered”. Next time I apply it and after a few times of using this things get a little bit easier for both of us. Me because I feel like I’ve gained some control over the situation. Her because she knows what to expect. My kid is a sucker for routine and structure.

So there you have it my two favorite parenting concept atm. Now, I fully realize that as I’m writing this the kids are going to decide these phrases won’t work ;). That’s the way it goes with parenting right? Once you figure something out they change it up on you!!!

Over the next week I have three other blogs I’m trying to get up. One on gluten free flours and how to use them all (been working on this FOREVER). The second I’m trying to round up all the gluten free tips for shopping. Like where I buy my flours, snacks that are usually safe etc. That one might take a while. The third is about our homeschooling decisions and some links for those who might be interested! For now, have a blessed day! Ana passed out, finally! Time to “Post” and go wash dishes. 🙂

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