"If you don't see the real me, you won't see what love has won..." Vota

Monday, December 21, 2009

The back of a broken camel

The straw broke this camel’s back last night. I had a day where my oldest argued with me about everything all day and I reached my limit on what I could tolerate without going bananas. Last night as I was helping Ollie with her violin practice she refused to do what I told her to do and argued with me so much that I got up and told her to do it alone. She then started pitching a royal fit and told me she would do what I told her, so I told her to practice her old stuff so she could calm down and play something she knew. She then started again in telling me that she did not want to play the old stuff, so I just told her to put the violin down and go to her bedroom because I was not going to tolerate the arguing. Of course she argued with me over this and I lost it. I told her to go to her room, I would put the violin away and she would not come out till the next morning. She went screaming, a very marketable scream I might add, and slammed her door and screamed some more. I went to her room and told her she had lost the privilege of having a bedroom door and that she would get it back tomorrow. So Hubby brought in his hammer and took the door off the hinges and it is currently in my room propped against the wall. This really made quite an impression on her, and she did not come out of her room until this morning.

Last night I had to get some help. I obviously am doing something wrong to have a child argue with me like she does or at least I could be doing something differently, but what. So I posted on FB my problem and I knew my friends would come to my rescue. Tana had a great idea that her friend uses. I looked over her proposal of this chart and token economy and I liked what I saw. She sent me a chart she made out and these two cute little doggies. The chart has Happy Valley on the top and I put the verse she suggested on the top of the page. Lamentations 2:22-24 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." Under Happy Valley is The Mud and under the Mud is The Dog House.

Here is how it works. Each girl has a doggie avatar so to speak and each morning they get a fresh start in Happy Valley. If either of the girls begins to argue with me, I give them a gentle reminder by asking them if they want to argue with me. They now have 2 choices. To apologize and end it on a note of warning only or they can continue to argue. If they continue to argue their dog goes to the mud. The second offense the dog goes to the dog house. This is not fun place to be.

Now at the end of the day if they are in Happy Valley they get a token (4 token = $1). If they are in the mud at bedtime they will get a ticket that says, “I had a great day” (5 tickets=1 token). If the dog is in the dog house they will, 1- go to bed early, and 2- will spend time sitting in time out in their rooms, and 3- will lose a ticket (if they have any to lose). Now their tickets can be traded in for tokens, 5 tickets equal 1 token. And 4 tokens (copied pictures of quarters) equal one real dollar. They can choose to save them or go to the dollar store and spend it.

I called a little mommy meeting with them to explain the system to them. I told them I was the boss and I would no longer allow disrespectful attitudes to be in my presence. I told them they would get a reminder-- I would ask them if they wanted to argue with me and I told them their two choices and the consequences of each choice. I then read the verse to them and explained what it meant. They asked me to read the verse to them several times since then. They liked the fact that they get a new start every morning. I explained to them what the verse meant and that it was the same with my love for them as the Bible says about god's love for them.

At the moment both girls are in the mud, but they have only argued with me the one time each. They are now stopping and apologizing after their reminder. My day has gone so much better.

I am going to not yell anymore. I think, as do many others, that this yelling is abusive (in most cases). I do not want to be a mom who yells. As I was told by my friend, if I am yelling I trust in my control, not God’s. I have to be able to control myself and remain in control of myself if I want to be a consistent parent. Consistency is vital to being a good parent and I am not consistent at all so I must not be a great parent. I can’t do it alone—obviously. Only with God’s help will I be the parent He means for me to be. I really don’t think that my yelling in order to get respectful compliance is the way to go. I don’t want them to be afraid of me; I want them to respect me. I made a vow to myself, and my girls not to yell at them anymore. Ollie made a promise to me not to argue with me anymore. I will remind her of this and I know she will remind me of the yelling promise (I know Ollie!) I have dear friends to keep me accountable in my vow. So far today I have not yelled—I did speak very firmly once to the Turkey who was ignoring me. Firm voice and yelling voice for me are entirely different. In my firm voice I have complete control of myself, in my yelling voice I have lost it and am furious. Now I really trust that in trying to do this thing God’s way, He will help me. I don’t think He gives us more that we can handle and He has given me these precious babies. He also gave me my extreme emotions. These things I can handle because of His promise. He will never forsake me. He will never give me more than I can take. He has a plan for me to prosper. He knows me down to how many/few hairs are on my head. This means He knows what I am feeling and what I can take and can’t. He knows I can do this! Thank God that His mercies are made knew every morning!

So I'll quote from Dennis Ramey of Real Family Life on the radio just now, "Sometimes a friend can be a real life saver." A good friend is like a guard rail. When the words of a good frined are said in love and with the intention to protect, they are like a guard rail. The dents from the collision with the rail may be painful, but it is a protection from falling over the cliff! Thanks Tana for being there and for being my guardrail!

1 comment:

  1. i'm praying for all of you, still. re: your extreme emotions, our God is a passionate God. He loves with wild abandon and His rage is immeasurably fearsome and His joy is beyond our imagining. He knows what it feels like to feel extremely, and He loves who you are. He sees your passionate nature and says, "like Father, like daughter." i'm glad i could help. i know i depend on my mother friends here for support and ideas and i'm glad to share their blessings with you.
    i'm sure anon will have something snarky to say about your parenting. don't let it get to you. you have beautiful girls and you're doing a great job.


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