Thursday, May 6, 2010
What a week! Drew went out of town on Monday and Tuesday was a nightmare at home. I was so thankful for Young Women's even if I had to take my two children with me, so that I could get out of the house and be more than a frustrated mom, if even for only an hour. Young Women's was fun. We did speed friendshipping and I had a great time visiting with these Young Women. I absolutely LOVE my calling. I am the personal progress leader, which to me means that I get to know all of the young women. Not having stewardship over just one particular group. And, I get to work on Personal Progress, which I love and I have a very strong testimony of. What could be better than that? Did I mention that the president is one of my closest friends here, too. Talk about a dream calling. :-)
Tyler has just had a hard time. I have tried and tried to work with him, talk with him, increase his personal prayer and scripture study, increase one on one time, and it just seems that he doesn't obey until he sees that Drew and/or I are at the end of our rope. Then and only then does he give in. He enjoys making his sister scream. Let me take a minute and describe Tuesday after school. Remember, Tuesday is the day that I volunteer at the school and go to lunch with him where he sits on my lap the entire lunch period.
He comes home and wants to play with a friend. I remind him of his chores. He asks if he can do half now and half later. Sure, I say, trying to focus on the positive and work with him. He runs up and vaccuums the upstairs. He plays with a friend for 2 hours. I walk over and pick him up. We visit on the way home, just about 5 houses away, but with the attempted abductions lately, I don't take any chances. All my kids walk with a buddy everywhere! I remind him to finish his chores. He walks into the tv room and sees his little sister playing rock band. So, he turns the TV off. Why? Crying and screming iinsues. I calm down the baby. He goes back to cleaning, a little. I am makig dinner, and he sees his sister now playing with her baby stroller. He walks up and takes it away from her, insisting that he is just doing his chores. Forget about the legos on the floor. That is the first thing to pick up. I get on him. He finishes. Audrey is calmed. We eat dinner through much contention and interupting. We get into the car. Whew! We get to church and Tyler quietly and obediently works on his homework and making cards for his teachers. We get in the car and the arguing begins again. We get home. Time to make lunches and get ready for bed. I help him with his lunch, and he comes down to tell me he peed on his carpet again, but it is okay because he cleaned it up. Ugh! He still hasn't finished his chores. I finally look at him and say I am done. I am not talking to you until your chores are done. If there is any more crying, whining, screaming, or causing another to do any of those, he goes to bed. The End. All of a sudden the hosue gets picked up in less than 5 minutes. I go upstairs and see the floor. Two large puddles of water. I get the water and the towels and clean it up. I change the locks on the door and let Tyler know that since he doesn't know how to take care of his room, he now longer has a room to enjoy and he is locked out of his room. I know totally reactionary to the rest of the day. He cries. I talk to my mom after tucking the kids into bed. More crying is going on upstairs. I call him down, after my repeatedly saying he just needs love.
I ask him if he knows I love him. Yes! Who is my favorite? Of course I am mom! Did I want to throw you away today? ( expecting him to say yes and feeling that way a little). He says no. My night was not a complete waste. My son knows I love him. I give him a big hug and he goes to bed.
I went to bed and found a sweet note from a loving daughter who is just so thoughtful. Thanking me for all that I do. Thanking me for being a good mom. :-)
Now for the day of blessings. Wednesday, I wake up and go running. GREAT run! I really needed it. I run hard. I talk with a friend who listens. I come home and remember the loving words of my father in heaven as I awoke. At least he tried to clean up his mess in his room. Okay, he will earn his room back today. I get home and we all get showered and ready for the day. We can't find his shoes. They are in his room. I am hunting for a screwdriver to open the door. He comes running with a Q-tip and opens the door in less than a second. With a smile on his face. That worked, huh? I have to laugh about that now. :-)
They get to school and I get a great call from my little brother. He gives me amazing news. :-) Then, we talk. We talk about his work. I tell him about my boy and he laughs and says Oh you have a little me, too. I ask how to teach that little Mark. He says I don't know but let me tell you how my mind works. He shares quite a bit into the mind of my sweet brother. So insightful. I ask what do I do. He says call dad. I talk with my family. My mom leeps saying to focus on loving him.
Once a month I get together with a small group of women and we just visit and each an early pot luck lunch. It is so much fun. It was a great morning. We laughed, we cried. We felt the spirit. The thing I took from there was that no matter how hard you try, a screwdriver is a screwdriver and can never be a hammer. I am a rule follower. Drew is, Austin is, Elisabeth is. Tyler often needs to figure it out for himself. That is all there is to it.
I have been pondering all of this for over a week. While reading my scriptures last week, I was struck in the book of Jarom how the Lamenites wore a loin cloth and killed their food and often ate it raw. The Nephites made clothes to cover up and they had a garden where they had to nourish and grow their food. They were patient. I have been thinking a lot lately how the Lord wants us to focus on the big picture and not the short term. Often times as I parent, I do whatever it takes for the short term. To get the child to obey quickly, and not the long term. As I pondered that scripture, I have been thinking how I need to slow down my reactions and focus on the long term.
I picked the kids up as usual, and before we got home, I said to my kids. New rule. chores are done immediately after school. No wii, tv, computer, homework, friends, etc until after chores are done. If I find you doing anything else, you sit on the stairs. The end. They came home, they did their chores. It was bliss! I called my dad. He said the most important thing is to love my children. Then, decide on what is important. Chores? Obeying parents? Chores are important because it is a habit of being obedient. He also talks about letting them see the consequences. It would have been more effective to talk about how peeing on the carpet gets into the carpet pad. It is hard to get out. It leaves germs behind. I need to slow down and focus on the teaching and NOT react. I must love first, help second. Discipline only when necessary.
I have my kids do their chores, not to get a clean home, but to teach them to clean, to prioritize, to figure out how to be quick and efficient in cleaning when they are out on their own. Etc. It would be SOOOOOOOOOOO much easier to do the chores myself. Seriously. I am not growing a clean home, I am raising children.
It worked. The chores were done. No screaming. No crying, no whining no nashing of teeth. :-) The room was earned back. He could open it anyway, so a lot of good that did me.
We watched a movie together. We had dinner. They got ready for bed and made their lunches. I cried as I gave him a hug and told him thank you for being so helpful and obedient today. He smiled.
Another friend had mentioned that praying to love our children as Heavenly Father loves them. I had forgot to pray for that on Tuesday. I did pray for that again on Wednesday.
I feel so LOVED. So BLESSED. I know my Father in Heaven knows me. I know He loves me. I know He cares about the small things in my life. He lifts me up and gives me so much. I am who I am because of Him. I have to remember to ask Him for help with my kids each day. I can't do this without Him. I am SO BLESSED with amazing people in my life. A great family! A GREAT family. Wonderful friends. People who listen to the spirit and call me when I need it. Why else did my brother call me that morning and not the morning before or the morning after. I needed that. He answers us through others. I only hope that I can listen and be the answer that another may need.