We had another great meeting today with an excellent teaching from Certified Parent Coach Dianne Daniels.
How many times do you ask your children to do something, they don’t do it, you get stressed/upset, and your children remain unflustered (there is no problem in their world)? You yell, feel guilty, and then don’t follow through. It can be a vicious cycle we get caught up in as parents.
Dianne’s talk focused on how to give instructions to our children in a way that will promote success. Her key points included:
1. Play a “come when you are called game” with your children to teach them to come to you. When you play the game, demonstrate what you expect, then give high-fives, celebrate, have a party every time they respond properly. Once you know they are capable of doing it, you should only use it when you are in a jam or there is some sort of an emergency or safety issue. For other instances, you should “Go to them”, which is the first step in giving directions effectively. (As in 1 Samuel 3, the Lord went to Samuel.) We don’t yell for the stock boy at Target when we need something, we go up to him and respectfully ask for assistance. We owe those we are in close relationship with the same amount of respect. This is particularly true when we want the other person to do something for us.
2. The next step in giving directions is to check their focus. Are they ready to listen? What are they doing? Are they already engaged in a task that you or Dad or someone else has asked them to do? What is their time frame for finishing? Don’t interrupt them if they are being obedient and are on track.
3. Ensure that they are paying attention to us. Speak at eye level, put a hand on their head or shoulder, use their name, and give ONE specific instruction (two instructions ONLY if they are very closely related, e.g. “put on your shoes and socks”). Your instruction could be (a) a preparatory statement explaining what you are going to do/what is going to happen; (b) a question, only if “no” is an acceptable response, e.g. Do you want to go to Target first and then the park?; (c) a suggestion, e.g. Why don’t we go to Target first and then the Park; (d) or a clear direction if we want a clear response. You should also give a time frame as part of the instruction. For young children this is always “now”. Then have them repeat back the instruction.
We should try to do a good job of modeling obedience for our children. Some questions on the handout included: How does it feel to God when He gives us an instruction that we read, and study, and contemplate, and discuss, but ultimately ignore? What do your actions teach your kids about obedience? What do you expect when you give your kids an instruction? What does God expect when He gives you one?
More information and resources can be found at http://www.MotheringLikeTheFather.com under the Resources tab.
Here is an example of links currently posted under Resources:
Preparing for Easter – Get ready to make the most important week of the year meaningful and memorable for your whole family. These resources can help:
~ http://www.1corinthians13parenting.com/free-resources/ – Click on the link within the paragraph for No Greater Love: A Family Guide to Passion Week and the Resurrection, from 1 Corinthians 13 Parenting.
~ http://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/holidays/celebrating-the-easter-season/do-your-children-understand-easter Do Your Children Understand Easter downloadable mini-lessons from Focus on the Family.
~http://www.familylife.com/articles/topics/holidays/featured/easter-and-lent/10-ideas-creative-ways-to-celebrate-easter#.VQb8WtLF-So 10 Creative Ways to Celebrate Easter from Family Life Today
Many questions from our moms were answered and some valuable tips were shared.
We only have two more MOPS meetings left for this year. We hope to see you next time!