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Slowly…So slowly…I am learning how to do my job well.  I've always thought that I tend to be something of a slow learner in some ways.  I'll struggle along trying to do things my way for a time, usually quite a long time, then I'll realize I'm doing something wrong, cry out to the Lord and then look and the answer will have been right in front of me all along.

Just lately, I've been taking the internet course on Verbal Judo.  Ive been trying to avoid shouting and being violent towards my children.  Today, however, I googled "how to deal with a screaming toddler" and they said a lot of things that made sense based on the wrong-headed things I was doing before.

Here is a chart of actions and what I'm doing differently.  Readers, please be gentle.  I'm still learning and I'm not feeling well today.

  • If Jak Jr. does something that irritates me, I use to swat him on the bottom and say "No!" really loud.  Now I reserve the swat for if he's doing something dangerous and, instead, get down on his level and tell him what it is he should be doing rather than wasting time and breath on "no"
  • If Jak Jr. is about to do something he shouldn't, I use to say "no" a lot of times and end up watching him do it anyway because the lil twirp is so fast I could never seem to get to him in time.  Now, I tell him what he should be doing.  For example:  Sammy picks up a glass and begins to fill it at the cooler.  I turn to him and say, "okay, now we need to drink that water."  I have to keep it simple and not explain that the water is expensive and not to waste it, because it has no effect.

This is just a small sampling.  I'm learning that positive words trump negative ones every time.  Particularly with young ones.  I'm learning that I need to say less "no" and more "yes."  There needs to be less of "Don't hit me with your head," and more of "We need to be nice to people even when we're mad at them."  I know, it sounds corny, but it seems to be working.  I just spent the better part of ten minutes draped in hugging kidlets.  Works with Princess, too. She hears entirely too much yelling and "no", too.  It's no wonder, at nearly eight, she she feels frustrated.  

I'm also learning, step by weary step, to keep the house clean.  It's taking me a while and I'm having to go room by room, but I think I may be getting it.  It's not easy for me because I've been so habit-bound with being slobby, which is why I'm taking it room by room.  Eventually, I hope to have the whole house clean and neatly organized and to have it stay that way.