Saturday, May 30, 2015

| Parent Tip: | Sharing is Dumb

| Parent Tip: |

Sharing is Dumb

I don't share well, especially my dessert. This has been a challenge lately since I make myself some pretty great desserts. The ice cream gets topped with whipped cream, always, and if there are M&M's nearby, a sprinkle on top is a must. Is your mouth watering?

I also seem to be the one who chooses the best dessert when we are out at a restaurant. It's a curse.
The reason that I don't like to share is because I am afraid that when I am finished sharing there won't be any left for me to eat, or that the goober saliva they leave behind will repulse me enough to push aside what is left on the plate. I live in fear.

Kids, too, hate to share. They share the same fear as do I. What if they break something? What if there is nothing left for me? What if it gets lost? What if they goober saliva all over it? What if?

I have come to realize that none of the fears I have come true. I always have enough desert, there is always plenty left, and more than likely, I get too full to finish my dessert when I share and have plenty left over for others. They goober part may be intact, but I am not repulsed.

I try to encourage this revelation with my own children, though sometimes there is difficulty. "God loves it when we share. God will honor your sharing by giving you more. When we share, we feel better and our fears never develop." These are my go to sayings to my kids when the non-sharing monster needs slaying. Eye rolling or screams still erupt, however, I will often push sharing, even if there is a fight. 

The battle is real, but the words will soak in eventually. Don't give up. Encourage sharing, model selflessness, and banish fear. You can do this. We can do this.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

| Parent Tip | What's for Dinner?

    Because of the fact that I don't normally have the evening's dinner planned out by 7:00 in the morning is the exact reason why I loathe the question, "What's for dinner?" If our 21 year old daughter is not calling after work to ask the question, then our little ones will ask until I come up with a dinner option that is palatable. 

    To combat my intuitive reaction to spout out some sarcastic response like, "crow's feet with mustard relish and a side of roasted squirrel," I came up with a plan. Although this plan took effort and time, it was a perfect solution to the seven a.m. question, the 4:00 p.m. phone call, and the first question out of our 18 year old's mouth when he came home from school.

    I found large sticky notes like these and created a menu for the week. Sticking this list in a visible spot for our kids to see not only helped me to plan well for a week's worth of dinner, but the kids then knew in advance what was planned and no longer asked, "What's for dinner?" If they had a sudden urge to ask the neighbors if they had room at their dinner table for one more body, I carried on, ready to supply a bowl of cereal for those particular children. 

    The question asking has stopped, and, if I can figure out a way to get them to shop for all the food, prepare the meals, cook the meals, and consistently chew with their mouths closed, dinner time would be perfect. Oh, and having them do all the dishes would be helpful as well. I don't ask for much.
    What are you serving for dinner?

    Friday, May 15, 2015

    | Parent Tip | "I'm Bored"

    | Parent Tip | 

    "I'm Bored"
    After our boy told us that he was bored, I ignored him while he ventured into the backyard. Armoring himself with a black and gold swimming life vest and a golf club from his father's bag, he began climbing around the grassy area, stopping every now and again to wield his club and shout at the trees. I watched for a moment and was somewhat annoyed. Why the swimming vest? What is he doing? Is he planning on swimming in the dirt or golfing in the pool? 
    I continued to watch as he jumped off the short ledges of the bricked in grassy area and climbed steep, short, inclines leading up to a row of tress and bushes. Knowing that he had homework to do and noticing that the sun was slowly approaching the horizon I slid open the glass door and asked, "What are you doing?"  He was hunched to a squat poking at the dirt and didn't hear me at first so I shouted, "What are you doing?" Returning to his upright potion he came closer and replied, "playing pretend." 

    Being bored isn't such a terrible thing. When kids are bored it forces them to get creative. Before feeling the pressure to shove an iPad in their hand, begin another episode of Doc McStuffins from your recorded list of television shows, or create a verbal list of 62 things to do when you are bored, pause. Let them figure out an option, let them stroke their imagination, cause them to create, or to play a round of pretend. If after 10  minutes they are still incessantly demanding an option from you, give them something to clean: the dog, their toys, the tires on your car, the widows, the iPad screen. There is always something that needs cleaning--even if they just pretend.