G'day and welcome to the Coffee Chat.
As for me, today it is tea in my cup. Specifically, tea with honey and lemon because my throat loves it. Course, I need to drink about 4 pots full to keep up with my caffeine intake, but whatever chases this cold away.   And this voice that sounds soaked in whiskey for about 15 years.

So, right to our topic for this week.
Moms....get out your horns, loudspeakers and photo wallets/scrapbook albums - it's time to shine the spotlight on your kids!   Others may slowly back away slightly frown in the presence of bragging mothers, but here:   Bragging is encouraged!  For today.   

I had this idea as a result of some troubles we are having with Monkey Boy.  Needless to say, "brat" would be the soft term.   Suffice to say he is currently abiding in a bedroom bare of all but his furniture and clothing.    Every toy is gone.  And must be earned back.   Chore charts are being prepared and will be followed: daily.    Otherwise, enjoy your 4 walls and the few books and crayons I left you.
Harsh sentence?  You bet.
Deserved?  You bet.   I will spare the details - I don't want to give the impression that he is all bad.  I know it's a phase - some anxiety or stress that has occurred within him, and we have not ferreted out the reason, yet.   But enough was enough.   Public meltdowns?  Mama don't play that game.

However, my heart broke when I was saying good night prayers with MB the other night, and he asked through tears:  "why can't I remember to be good?  I try, but I just forget.. and now I am the worst kid in the house."
*deep breath*
Naturally, with my limited parental instincts, even I could tell that this was a time for comfort, compassion and good ole TLC.   We talked; long.   And after, I thought to myself:   

Have we been focusing too much on the negative?  Are we making sure we give praise when it is due? Are our expectations too high, or not age appropriate?  Are we creating the right kind of home environment for them to not just grow, but flourish?

When there are behavioural issues, especially when you have more than 1 child, it can be hard to see past all the time-outs, long talks and toy banishment's.   Some days it seems like you are just perfecting discipline ---  all.day.long.    It's exhausting.   Yet, I know, I am multiple times forgiven.  Yet I know......love covers over a multitude of wrongs.

So from now on, I will ensure that each of my children knows not only that they are always forgiven, always loved, but also, that they are always cherished.   No matter what the day has wrung.   I will let them know they are wonderful and praise their efforts, no matter how small.   I will create an environment that is also rich on praise and encouragement; and when trouble is afoot: no longer parent by volume!

I will complain less, and brag more:
  • Angel Girl learned to ride a bike with training wheels this summer
  • Monkey Boy is so loving and patient with Zoo Zoo  
  • Zoo Zoo is running and talking up a storm!  
  • Angel Girl learned to swing all by herself (so happy about this one!)
  • Monkey Boy putting together challenging Lego Star Wars creations
  • love that my kids all hug and kiss each other goodnight - and at the bus stop each morning.  they will not go to sleep, or get on the bus without their "buh-byes" 
  • Angel Girl for getting up every morning this summer and dressing herself 
  • Zoo Zoo learning to color like a pro!
  • Monkey Boy for trying so hard at his soccer games - even though he was so nervous because he never played before
  • MB and AG including little Zoo Zoo in building "sand cities", light sabre battles, hide'n'seek and pushing her in the toddler swing - without being asked!
  • love and gratitude that they forgive their mommy, with lots of kisses, when she forgets to live by the very standards she has set.   It is then, I truly see.....my cup runneth over.

C'mon - don't hold back!
I know your kiddos did something amazing today, this week, this summer.....let's hear about it!
What makes you proud to call them "my own"?


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