Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Enabling my kids.

Nathan and I talked before we had kids about how we would raise them. There is only so much you can decide before the curve balls of life are thrown at you, but there were a few things we - and I mean "he" - (I jumped on board, reluctantly at first) decided that we wanted to focus on.

One of those ways was to talk to our kids in a manner that made them come up to our level. (aka - No Baby Talk). This one was very hard for me. Not because I was walking around saying "coochie coo" to little kids when they passed me by, or asking them if they had to take a "p**py" - but there were some words like "boo boo" that seemed completely normal to me.

***Enter disclamer - I don't think less of anyone who uses any of the words we choose not to use, nor do I think that you are ruining your kids. Kapeech? Kapeech!*****

OK, now that that is settled...

My husband suggested that we call things what they really were. Like a cut = a cut. He offered that perhaps it was a disservice to our kids (maybe condescending) to assume that they could not understand what the real term meant. As we talked it started to make sense to me. Did I really want my 13 yr. old walking into the house after crashing his bike crying that he had a "booboo"? LOL Guess not!

I have found that this needs to be tempered. There are certain words that we don't use, but say a Sunday School teacher, or another adult may use (again, not wrong - just different from what we do).

When Jackson was 2 1/2 his SS teacher took him to the bathroom, told him to"take down his panties..." (*gasp*) "...and make sure he pushed his w*e*e* down to avoid any accidents." To which Jackson quickly replied "they are underwear and that is my p*n*s"

OH MY! We certainly don't want our kids correcting other adults! So, on the way home we had a little chat about how different people say different things and that you need to respect authority.
Thankfully she thought the whole thing was funny! (and frankly, so did we!)

Another thing that has worked for me is having my kids involved with helping around our home.
"How can a 3 1/2 and a 2 1/2 year old possibly help out around the house?" OH! The possibilities are endless!

- Jackson can fold tea towels and washcloths. He has also taught himself how to fold his t-shirts.
- Owen helps by putting his clothes away.(with supervision and pointing to the correct drawer.) He's getting it!

Dishes - Most times I would love to just stand there on my own in peace and just get the job done. However, they BEG to help - so they rinse and put things in the drying rack. Later they put away their bowls (in a drawer that they can reach) and the silverware.

Dusting - This one I always have to redo - but at least they help.

Cleaning their Room - They have to make their own beds (right now i am not striving for perfection but for habit, and willingness to do a job they are asked to do that they feel is too difficult to do. Then they feel the satisfaction of trying to do something hard and actually being able to do it!)

They dress themselves. Owen still needs my assistance to get a sock on, or pull his jeans up all of the way - but he tries. And that's all we ask.

"Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."
(I can see my husband smiling right now!)

I was having a little "trouble" getting Owen to put his clothes away, or even be able to find his clothes in his drawer to get ready in the morning (don't worry - i know he's 2!). So, before I paint their dressers this summer and won't want anything taped to them - I made these for his dresser.
Owen has been doing really well the past few days!

I hope you don't think FOR A SECOND that everything is together in this household! There are many days where I would be frightened to have a drop in visitor!! My kids have their points throughout the day that they are disrespectful, disobedient, ugly and fight with each other. We are sinners!

But, if this post can help a mom out there with their little ones - or even big ones - that is why I wrote it! :)

Now, If you'll excuse me...these pics are for the grandparents! :)

Have a great day enabling your kids to be valuable adults!


Karen said...

Great work, Mommy! A bit of a task getting them started, but OHHHH, the payoff!
Might as well take advantage of the time when they think work is a fun game, right? And hopefully our cheerful spirit will help to prolong that perspective!

Shyla said...

That is exactly why i let them help (even though i could get it done quicker on my own) b/c i am sure the days of "aw mom! do i have to do the dishes" are not far off! :)

Rebecca said...

Shyla, I love your blog! I'm so excited to find it, it's so well composed and pretty to look at! This is such a great post, too. You have made me laugh.

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