Use your nice voice, exercise your manners, and respect the answer, I expect this of my 3 year olds, they can quote it to me but why do I find I have a hard time doing it at 33-I think that is how old I am, ugh I think I have been telling people I was 34 all year until my BIL recently corrected me(we are the same age half the year) I am just practicing for next year I guess.
Discussion with Hunter and Avery at bath time: What happen to your back? A: Hunter hit me with a stick. -Why? A: He was standing on the rock and I wanted to stand on the rock and so I pushed him off and he hit me with a stick. (mind you she is not upset and tells this very matter of factly) Hunter now realizes possibly he could be in trouble and begins his side of the story; H- I was on the rock singing and she told me to get off and I didn’t want to so I hit her with the stick….He left out the key part of the story here which only made his situation worse. So I take a deep breath and we finish baths with promise to discuss the situation further after bath time…mind you I want to spank their little rear ends but as I play this out in my head it goes like this – if I spank them for this interaction I have inherently just done what I asked them not to do- you didn’t do what I expect so I hit you with my stick (insert eye roll) so after baths we discuss treating each other the way you would like to be treated but I still don’t feel like they are understanding what I am saying just repeating what they know they are supposed to say, so we move on from the discussion again and I send them to each of their rooms to play alone, Clay takes P to put him to bed and I begin putting laundry up in their closet where Hunter pops his head in 15 times to tell me about one dinosaur or another (herbivore, carnivore, defense mechanism-this kid blows my mind) We play cards at night after Porter goes to bed, its our thing, they love it, its time with mommy and daddy, just the 4 of us but because lets face it Porter is in a stage where communication is difficult and he spends a lot of time walking around screaming at me or the kids for whatever he thinks he wants that we aren’t giving him ….often followed by my wish for this kid to talk which I will ultimately wish he could not once it begins haha. We sit down to play cards, game of choice tonight is Uno, neither one are paying attention or minding the rules so I stop the game we brush teeth and potty, fill up water cups and diffusers (RC for Hunter, Peace and calming for Avery) and sit down to read a bible story, I look through the list trying to find a story that could possibly convey what I have been trying to teach my kids all darn week, there it is Enemy to Friend- it is the story of Saul, see Saul wasn’t a very nice guy- he was pretty much bible day terrorist and God says to him why are you so cruel? when no answer avails he is blinded, God asks Ananias to go to him tell him he was sent by Jesus and pray for him- not high on Ananias list because Saul is a meany but he does and God restores his sight and he changes his ways, in light of his new found kindness Jesus deems him Paul. Sometimes someone needs to get our attention in unconventional ways in order for us to see what we are doing is not nice and change our ways, tonight we discussed how handling the situation differently might have changed the outcome- maybe if Avery had used her nice voice and manners Hunter might have shared his rock stage and neither one of them would be upset, or maybe if Avery had respected Hunter’s answer instead of pushing him down he would not have swung a stick at her, but in turn having this discussion with our kids changed our day too.
Relationships are hard, and today God used our kids to show us how to treat each other and turned a situation that could have been a stick wielding fight into a civil adult discussion and problem solving/strategy meeting. Is it any wonder that money is the cause of divorce in many cases…no its not but you know what when you sit down and look at the flaws in each others spending with nice words, manners and respect it isn’t so bad, when you are willing to look at the problem and the feelings involved it suddenly becomes a challenge to tackle together instead of – I want to stand on the rock so move. I feel like I have so much to teach my kids but gosh tonight they taught us and I am so grateful. I am grateful for a man who lets me stand on the rock with him without swinging his stick at me, who would rather work 3 jobs then for me to work 1 so that I can raise our tiny humans, a man that works tirelessly but still lets me bare the load with him….today I am humbled by my husbands grace for me, because lets face it wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all used our nice voice, exercised some manners, and respected the answer….heck yeah it would be and I resolve to give my self the instructions as much as I give them to my kids.