Are your kids fun to live with? A few kids come that way out of the womb– very few. Others need training. If I could turn the clock back, I would try create a more positive fun environment in our home when we had our four little kiddos running around. I read in Ephesians 6:4: “Do not exasperate your children; instead bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Back then I was better at exasperating them by correcting them all the time than I was at training them by using my words in a more positive way.
AFTER our kids were grown, I observed my daughter Jenny as she used her words to train her three little girls. Her girls are now teenagers and confirm that what she did works– kids can be fun to live with!
Here are some of the things I jotted down that I learned from her:
1) She affirmed the good things her kids did with “good girl…nice job…way to go…good sharing…I like the way you gave that toy to your sister.”
2) She made life fun with little games like “March fast like a soldier…Whoever gets in the car first gets tickled…Sit like a princess”
3) She chose to explain more often what TO DO than what NOT TO DO, creating a more positive than negative environment.
EXASPERATE or TRAIN & AFFIRM
Stop jumping on that. Please put your feet on the floor (or) Put your bottom on the chair.
Hurry up. I see you are using your slow feet. Use your fast feet. (or) Let’s march fast.
Don’t get out of your bed Be a big girl & stay in your bed all night long.
Quit hitting your sister Hands are for hugging. (or) Use soft hands. Mommy is sad when you hit.
Quit spitting Spitting is a bathtub game.
Quit whining Use your words.
You can’t do that That’s a mommy job
Don’t cry Does that make you feel sad?
Quit fighting I’m sure if you ask your sister nicely, she’ll give your toy back to you
Are you ready for bed? It’s bedtime. Pick out one book.
No candy (etc) Somedays we buy candy, some days we don’t. Today’s a day we don’t
Get in that car right now Can you walk to the car like a big girl or does Mommy need to carry you?
You can’t watch tv tonight We’re not watching TV tonight, but you can draw mommy a picture.
I told you-get that coat on. Do you want to put on your coat by yourself or do you want Mommy to help?
I realize that I can’t turn the clock back, but maybe sharing this will encourage you to create a more enjoyable fun atmosphere as you train little kiddos around you. And thanks, Jenny, for reminding me to “use your words.”