When I was a kid we never had a set of house rules, so it wasn't something I really thought about in terms of setting up a home with my own husband and children. There were plenty of things I knew I didn't want; behaviors that I was certain I wouldn't tolerate from my children. Some of those things have changed and others have stayed firmly in place. As our kids get a little older, the way we communicate and discipline them evolves. There are a lot more conversations happening now at our house about choices. About how we all- young and old- are responsible for making choices all the time. And those choices along with their effects say a lot about who we are. What I've noticed in the last few months is that I keep using the same words when I'm discussing behavior issues with my kids. Somehow those same words being used over and over have evolved into their own set of house rules.
The best way I know to get this inside the brains of my little people is to show them. Lead by example. Our words and our actions define our character. Just telling them isn't enough. I want them to see me doing things like being kind to my neighbors or the cashier at the grocery store, being helpful to my sister or my friends, being obedient and respectful to my husband or any figure of authority. I don't think it had really occurred to them that these were qualities that adults should possess too. I talked to Christian one night last week about these "rules" and how this is the kind of person I want to be too. Instead of just barking things like, "don't say that" or "seriously?" I'm trying to remember to ask if they think they're being kind when either of them says something they shouldn't. Last night Christian was in the shower and should've long since been done. When I went in to ask him what the hold up was, I asked if he was being obedient. He said, "no ma'am...you want me to show integrity?" Yes! Yes, I do. Child-rearing is a tough job. Even if you're those people whose kids don't misbehave (since apparently there are some of those out there), it's still important to be infusing these little people with the kind of character traits you want them to emulate and make their own.
I mess up and they will too, but we are life-long learners.
We're in this together. We'll figure it out together.
|Dora matching cards with Daddy|
|Back to the sight word cards|
|When she saw this picture she couldn't figure out how I had gotten her face in that mirror. :)|
|Nightly reading for the reading log doesn't always fit well into our schedule, but I know what a difference it makes!|