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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Pearls of Wisdom

I believe it was first grade.

  First grade when I fully realized that all I ever wanted to be was a mama.

The teacher, she asked us to draw what we wanted to be when we were all grown.  Sharp point of pencil connected to paper and carefully, painstakingly I drew a mama.  Swollen tummy, long, beautiful hair, stick arms and legs, and a shirt with an arrow pointing downward and the word, 'bump' written across it. {I was a child of the '70's - anyone remember those shirts??}

In mind's eye, I can still see that paper with the lead sketching, although it has long been in the trash; withered, faded to nothing.

Thirty five times more around the sun and I am a mama.  I have birthed three babes and smelled heaven on  fresh heads and counted fingers and toes and held the inconsolable.  I have rocked and walked and bounced and faced the angry, fiery tempers of the two's and three's.  I have shed first day of school tears and mission trip good-bye tears.  My heart has swelled with pride and broken with disappointment.

Through it all, countless pages have been turned seeking advice, other's wisdom in a road walked before me.   I settle on four points that have completely altered my parenting.   May I share?

Before directing, are you connecting?  
     Knowing all hearts thrive on physical touch, make sure all directions are preceeded by a gentle touch.   Making eye contact is crucial when giving instruction, it ensures you have their attention.  Shouting across the house may be convenient, but yields little fruit.  Children are more apt to obey when we have connected with them!

Instruct, then ask
     While maintaining eye contact, give thorough instructions.  Ask the child to repeat the instructions and then ask if they intend to obey.  It is difficult for a child to disobey when they have comitted to doing so.

They will know what is expected, by your inspection
     Bring closure to the instructions by inspecting their work.  Journey with the child to make sure they have done as you expect; advise or praise as needed.  Make sure to finish that which you began.

Praise with physical touch
      When the child has done as you have asked, praise them up with physical touch!!  Every little {and not so little} one loves to be affirmed with a gentle touch - it makes your praise go the distance and conveys sincerity. 

These bits of insight, pearls of wisdom, I thought would only bring me through the toddler years. How wrong I was!  They are still in use daily for the oldest and youngest and the one sandwiched between.

Sometimes we all quietly need to find our own way, sometimes we need help from others.  I hope this is helpful.


p.s. Much of this information came from my in-laws, they are parenting genius' and I am fortunate to be able to glean from their experience.  Some of it came from 'Growing Kids God's Way'.  And some of it came through complete desperation, trial and error.  The School of Hard Knocks, so to speak.


1 comment:

  1. That was VERY helpful! Thank you for sharing your tips and reminding me of these important things.