Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesdays With Traci

This week at our mother’s group we had a speaker share on helping your children with patience, tantrums, and whining. Wow! What a blessing. I thought I’d share her thoughts and then conclude it with my own.

Thee main categories for the whine and temper tantrum
1. Comfort – physical and emotional
Examples: Pajamas too tight, overtired, hungry/thirsty, cold/hot, getting sick, scared, missing Daddy, frustrated with developmental ability? These are usually a simple fix and ones in which grace should be given.

2. Wise in own eyes – Are they in rebellion? Talking back? Do they think they know more/better than you? Angry over an instruction? Proverbs 12:15, Romans 12:3

3. Need for structure –
Are they overwhelmed by too many choices? Are they bored due to inability to govern their own time?

Proactive Training
1. Structure your child’s day and provide boundaries.
2. Teach your child to obey. Obedience is: right away (immediately), all the way (completely), and in a willing way (obedient spirit).
3. Correct your child, holding them accountable consistently, gently, effectively (modeling), and patiently.
4. Patience – Teach children that being patient means waiting with a happy heart/willing way.
5. As the parent, you make the choices. You are in charge. Manage the freedoms and choices your child has to prevent your child from becoming wise in his own eyes. If you give them too many choices then you are allowing them, even teaching them, to be wise in their own eyes.
6. Set a good example. Be sure you are not grumbling, complaining and whining.
7. Encourage our child with truths from God’s word when training throughout the day, not just when you are disciplining. If you only speak of God and the Bible when you are disciplining this will give the child a negative and skewed idea of who God is.

These were all good for me to hear but the one that was most important for me was the need for structure. Let me illustrate:

Last week I was preparing for my daughter’s birthday party, making 10 meals for the meal swap, organizing the MOPS craft, and my house was in shambles. My husband came home to a very frustrated and misty-eyed wife. I had so much to do I didn’t know where to start. If I would have done anything it would have been okay but there was so much that I just stood there, overwhelmed, and did nothing. Our kids are the same way. We say, “Okay kids, I have to send some e-mails, you guys go play.” Then we are surprised that they whine, fight, and crawl all over us. “Why don’t you just go play?!” Believe it or not they are overwhelmed with all their toys and they don’t know which one to start playing with first.

May I recommend another idea: Structure their time and tell them what you want them to play with, where, and for how long. If needed, set a timer. “Okay honey, I’m going to fold the laundry; I want you to sit here and work on puzzles.” “I’m going to fix dinner; I want you to draw Aunt Jen a picture.” “I’m going type on the internet; I want you to sit on your bed alone and read books for 20 minutes.”

One final word (I’m speaking to myself) - When you are teaching your children to be patient and wait with a happy heart you are essentially saying, “Trust me, I’m going to do what I said I’m going to do.” How are we supposed to teach them patience when we don’t follow through on what we say? If we want them to obey us, we need to be respectable and dependable. When we tell our children something, we better do it. I know there have been oodles of times I’m on the internet and my daughter asks for something and I say, “I’ll get it for you in just a minute.” Then I don’t. Thirty minutes goes by and I’m still engrossed in my own world and I’m not doing what I need to do for them.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

Bug, this is good, good, good stuff! I know my ladies will love it and find it helpful. I love the last part about being dependable with what we say. SOOOOO true. Thank you for sharing this!