My life as a Mommy of 4 little boys

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Parenting Goals

So one of my resolutions was to become a better mother.  Now I don't think I'm some awful mom by any means, but I do think we all always have room for improvement.  We have always wanted to use positive discipline with our kids, which we did for a very long time.  Then Hayden became a toddler and things have been...HARD, to say the least.  He is very tough to deal with most of the time, very stressful.  I don't mean to make him sound like some awful kid, he's very loving, funny and sweet but then he is very trying too.  And from the constant stress of him doing things he shouldn't be seriously goes on from the second his feet hit the floor until we finally fight him into his bed...we have really gone off the path we wanted for our kids.  We have been yelling way more than I'd like..which what I'd like is not at all.  Which in turn the kids have started yelling at each other...a lot.  And treating each other badly and I really feel it's because of us being so stressed and reacting poorly.  So this year both Mark and I want to change that, we want to get back to parenting in the way we feel is best, it's going to be hard with the constant stress but we CAN do this and HAVE to.  

So this week on facebook I started making goals for myself.  I really liked putting it on there, it made me feel more accountable, like everyone else knew what I put so I had to follow through.  But then I feel like I can't really explain enough on there so I'm moving them here.  I don't think that I will be able to continue to think of a new goal, that is actually something we really should work on, daily.  And some things will take more than one day to work on and put in place.  So instead I'm going to start setting weekly goals and will post about it here.

The goals I had put on Facebook so far were:

~Be positive. No matter what happens, deal with it in a positive way. Don't let any misbehavior get to me, it has nothing to do with me, it's not to annoy me. Model the way I want the boys to react to each other when they are getting on each other's nerves.

~ Listen. Truly listen, not just smile and nod or go about what I was already doing and half listening. When they talk focus on really stopping and listening because how can I expect to fully listen to me if I don't for them?

The reason for that one is that is a lot of the time I will keep cleaning, watching tv, playing on the computer, dealing with another one of them...whatever it is that I'm doing.  Then they talk to me and I'm more just nodding along with what they are saying, not truly listening to them. I hear them but I'm not paying attention the way I should be.  And how can I expect them to listen to me if I only half ass listen to them sometimes.

~Goal for the weekend...not to raise my voice at all. Remember to really listen, not halfway listen, stop whatever I'm doing and really listen to them. Remember to be positive. And something from a book I'm reading. I'm not responsible FOR my kids, I'm responsible TO them. The only person I'm really in control of is myself, I can only control my reactions to things, not theirs. Modeling to them how to react and deal with things it the best thing for them to learn. And there has been way too much yelling in this house lately, from us and especially them to each other. No more :) Oh and help Mark with these things too :)

So I'm reading this awesome parenting book that I really think all parents should read.  It's called ScreamFree Parenting by Hal Edward Runkel.  It's not just about how to stop yelling but how to stop reacting.  Whether you react with yelling, threats, spanking, withdrawing, whatever it may be.  It talks about shifting the focus from your kids to yourself.  That you are not responsible FOR your kids but you are responsible TO your kids.  You are responsible to them in how you react and treat them.  I'm about 3/4 of the way done and agree with everything in it so far.  Which says a lot.  After 4 kids I don't think I have ever read an entire parenting book, I read some then see how I don't agree with parts and will skim through.  But this book is different, I really think everyone should read it.  I think it's exactly how I want to be with the kids, and I know Mark does too but we just need a push, examples and help getting there.  Mark doesn't read but I think it's so important that we do this together that tonight I started reading the book TO him lol.  Now he CAN read, he just hates to and I know he wouldn't really take it in if he was reading it himself and he'd probably just fall asleep lol.  So we decided that each night I'll read a chapter until we get through it.  I'm really glad he is willing to do whatever it takes :)

So our goals for this week are to REALLY work on the ones from last week, make sure to read every night and start shifting the focus to ourselves.  Another one is giving the boys their space and respecting it.  Which is another part of the book.  He says you can't give your kids their space, whether that is their room or whatever, and then try and rule it.  It is their space and they should be in charge of it.  We should respect it.  Now the boys don't mind us walking in their room anytime but we want to start knocking and making sure we have permission to come in, allowing them to be in charge of their space and take responsibility for it.  Sounds easier than it really is to relinquish the control.  If they don't want to clean it we can't say anything about it, now we can say we don't want to go in there, but don't judge and don't tell them what to do about it.  

So wish us luck!

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