3 posts categorized "Family"

The Truth About Mother’s Day

 

Mothers-Day-Pictures

            Mother’s Day is a ponderous day for me. I love being a mom and feel so proud to be the mother to our four children. They bring joy to our lives daily, however, I often think about the people who cannot have children, the children who have lost their moms, the mom who has lost her child, the mom who lost her husband and the mom whose children no longer speak to her. My heart goes out to them. I imagine the day is filled with many emotions.  

 To the women who cannot have children

            My heart goes out to you. The emptiness you feel is real and I know it sucks. It is hard when you want something so bad and for whatever reason, it will not happen. Please know it is not your fault. I know that is not always easy to accept. I hope you find joy in the day celebrating a mother in your life and never forget that a mom is not just a woman who gives birth but a woman who cares and nurtures for others, if you pour your life in a child, you’re a mother so Happy Mother’s Day to you.

To the child who has lost their mother

            I am sorry. I imagine this day brings sadness. Losing a mom sucks. Moms fill our life with joy, love, and laughter and when they are gone, it hurts. I imagine that no matter how long it has been, the pain of not being able to pick up the phone to call them never goes away.

 I would love to hear about your mom. Would you share your favorite memory of her with me? I hope that as you mourn the loss of your mom that there is another mother in your life to celebrate today.

To the mother who has lost her child

            This is the most difficult one for me to write. I cannot imagine your pain and the longing you must feel to hold your child once more, to see them, to touch them, or simply tell them you love them. To me, you are a hero because you got to love them and let them go. That pain is indescribable I am sure.  I hope that you do not skip this day. Celebrate the mom you were, are and want to be. You never stop being a mom. Pull out pictures of your child, letters they wrote you or videos you might have. I know this can be hard and you don’t want to experience those emotions and feelings again but I invite you to cry, laugh, feel anger and mourn if that is what it takes. Feeling will bring healing. Most of all, I hope that those memories bring you joy and remind you of the life you invested in for so long. Celebrate you today because you are worth celebrating!

To the mom who lost her husband

            I cannot imagine what pain you feel on a day like today. I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that if your children are young, that someone in your life celebrates you. You deserved to be noticed, pampered and cared for today. I hope that you see your husband in your children’s eyes and that his memory never dies. I hope that your day is filled with love, laughter. and hope.

To the mom whose children won’t speak to her

            As a counselor, this is the most difficult one for me to understand. Life is so short. I am sure there is a story of pain and hurt and that has caused this separation but I hope one day the pain, wounds, and hurt can be healed. Never give up hope. I hope, that even in the silence, that you celebrate you today. You’re a still mother regardless of how you are treated. 

To all the mom’s out there

            You’re not a mom just because who gave a birth, a mom is a woman who nurtures, cares for and loves children unconditionally. I know that today can be hard for many of you but I hope that even in your pain that you chose to celebrate you today because you deserve it!

Take a day to relax, catch a movie, have a spa treatment or just hang around those you love. I hope whatever you choice to do, that your day will remind you of just how special you are.

Happy Mother’s Day everyone!

Leave a comment and tell me what makes the mom in your life special


Time to put away those spoons

  Wooden spoon    It was a normal day in my house, mom was cleaning, I was playing with my dolls, and my oldest sister was listening to records on the record player. (Does this show my age?) My sister’s favorite song just came on the stereo, “Take this job and shove it”. I can hear this song still in my head as if it was yesterday. My mom came into the living room, where I was playing, and told me I had to clean my room. How dare she say this! I was playing dolls! They were all lined up ready to hear me preach a sermon and she wanted me to clean my room? I told her, “No! Take that job and shove it!” Boom! I told her!

Not only did I have to clean my room now but I also got a whack with the wooden spoon. My parents were spanked, my siblings and I were spanked. You know “Spare the rod and spoil the child” an ancient proverb that is better translated as “refuse to discipline and you get a spoiled child”. My parents were not abusive by any means but I would argue even they could’ve put away those spoons.

How does discipline work without the spoon?

  • Identify the problem

(You are looking for more than just their sin nature here) Why are they disobeying? Throwing a fit? Or being mean? If you do not know ask them what is going on.  Are they tired?  Are they hungry? Are they feeling sad over a recent event that has affected them or your family? Are they exploring and learning new things? Is it information overload?

Example: Johnny you just hit your sister. Why did you hit her?????

Johnny “Because she took my IPod from me!”

  • Identify the emotion

Is your child feeling sad, angry, depressed, guilty, determined, frustrated, threatened, or lonely? By finding out what the emotion is they are feeling you can better handle the problem.

“When your sister took your IPod you felt ___?"

“I hate her! She is always taking my stuff!”

  • Teach them to change the emotion

Johnny hit his sister because he feels like she is taking her stuff all the time. Most children only know two emotions: love and hate. It is important that children learn to identify more emotions because it will make them much healthier adults.

“Johnny you hate your sister?” When your sister took your IPod what other emotion could you have felt besides hate? How about angry? Sad? Annoyed? Instead of getting angry and hitting her what could you have done differently?

  • Teach them to problem solve

The ability to problem solve is a skill that will carry them through life and help them be more responsible adults. We problem solve when we look at a problem and think of different ways to handle it.

“Johnny instead of hitting your sister what is another way you could’ve responded?” (Have Johnny come up with several different ways and talk through each of them)

  • So what is their punishment?

I am a huge fan of making the punishment fit the crime. Johnny hits his sister and then mom spanks him.  This teaches Johnny that when I feel emotion it is ok to hit. Instead of spanking try:

  • Time outs - Consistency is the key. They sit in time out one minute for every year they are old, if they get up, you say nothing to them, and you just put them back.
  • Take something away - Since the IPod was involved in the incident take the IPod for a reasonable time period. I suggested a few hours to a day.
  • Have them write a note - Sometimes when children are really angry with someone it is punishment enough to have them list all the things they like about the person they are angry with.
  • Talk it out - Children, just like you and I, have bad days and do not know how to express emotions. The best gift you can give them is to teach them life skills that make them a better adult.
  • Give them a hug - sometimes, especially tots, throw fits because they are overstimulated and just need a hug to make everything better. (Remember as adults we also need hugs.)

Spanking them is too easy, it’s a great frustration releaser for the parent but it is not effective in teaching life skills. No one is going to spank them as an adult. You should stick with punishments that model life to them. Take the time to teach your child in the midst of conflict. Also, remember that change does not happen overnight. Just like you and I, it’s a process. Be consistent. Be patient and be loving. It will pay off in the end.


What to do when your child is constantly misbehaving

My child is constantly misbehaving and I cannot deal with it anymore!

 

My husband and I have this phrase we often like to use “Where is the handbook?” Seriously these precious little beings coming into our world. They have a mind of their own, their own personality and no one bothered to send a manual with them! I mean how nice would it be to turn to page 5 and read about

 

“When my child constantly wants to miss school do this.”

Instead we get to figure it out on our own.

Steps to behavior modification

  1. Find the source of the problem. How is your child winning by the way they are choosing to act?

Maybe it’s the only time they get your attention?

Do they get their favorite treat when they act up?

Do they get to sleep in if they choice not to get up in the morning?

  1. Create a rewards/ punishment system

Children between the ages of 3 and 12 need very specific steps.

Create a reward and punishment

Make sure to follow through

Need an example?

Susie is not getting up in the morning. A few changes have recently happened in the home. The most recent in the addition of Susie’s little sister Aubrey. Mom and dad are busy attending to the new baby. Susie has realized that if she puts up a fuss in the morning and refuses to get out of bed, she misses the bus, therefore her father has to take her to school. Susie has learned that by missing the bus she gets alone time with daddy. Her dysfunction is serving a function.

(Its important that Susie learns she can get alone time with mom and dad without missing school so set up date nights or one on one time with her)

To get her to school:

  1. Make expectations clear. Susie you have to be up at 6:30 a.m. dressed and downstairs by 7:00 a.m. and ready to be on the bus at 7:30 a.m. with coats and mittens on. If she meets those goals she gets a reward. It has to be a reward that she really wants.
  2. If she fails to meet the expectations, then she loses the reward or has to give it to someone else.
  3. Don’t give up

Behaviors do not change overnight. They involve awareness of the problem and consistency.

Try a behavior modification and see if it works! If you have questions just ask!