Porkie pies and tall stories

So we’ve hit a bit of stage with our nearly 4-year-old. She started telling lies. It’s not all that often but I’m definitely not a fan. I like to know what’s happened when I ask and now I’m not sure if what I’m being told is true. I don’t like doubting my child.

We had 2 incidents this week.  One when the baby fell down 2 steps and she immediately told us her brother had pushed her – actually dad was watching from over the banister out of sight and she had just slipped – no one was in trouble or had even asked for an explanation! So why lie? I don’t understand…

The other incident happened after fetching her from play group. I noticed she was wearing a little ring, I asked whose it was, she said it was playgroups and that she’d found it, so I told her I was taking it back in.  She wasn’t happy but I did it anyway. Speaking to her teacher she told me that the ring had indeed been “found” at playgroup and they had asked the group if it was anyones.  Jenna the monkey had put up her hand to say it was hers!!

Asking her about it she told me that no one else had put their hand up and she didn’t have one, liked it and so put up her hand! Good logic, just not the right logic! We chatted about it and I could see she knew what she had done was wrong and she got very embarrassed.  I asked her to apologise to her teacher and she refused. Much more chatting later I came to the conclusion she was too embarrassed to say sorry. This seems to often be the case.

So we’ve come to a compromise. She has been given 4 ways of “saying sorry” – she can write a letter (with help), she can use her words, she can give a hug or show she’s sorry with her actions (do something for the person).

She’s such a stubborn little thing and forcing her to actually use her words just makes her angry and more insistent that she is not going to do it. I don’t want saying sorry to be something she resents and I’m hoping as she gets older she will learn to deal with the emotion of embarrassment in a better and more positive way.

She’s been learning the power of words (nice ones especially lately – your hair looks lovely, your shoes are my favorite – little suck up) and I suppose this is just another step in the ladder of learning about the impact words can have on others.

Did your kids go through this stage? how did you deal with it? any sorry issues? Advise and suggestions wanted please.

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Parenting mind shift

I’e recently been lent a book to read by some lovely friends.

It’s been a challenging book.  A book that has changed the way I think about the way I parent.

I’m not going to go into details about the book, mainly because I haven’t finished it and I’m still trying to get my head around the whole thing. But I would recommend having a read.  It’s a Christian book, and based on a Christian experience BUT if that’s not your thing just read past it cause it has some fab bits in there.

Extreme abreviation: You can live in fear, or you can live in love.  Living in fear leads to trying to control others, to force others to conform to your ideas and terms. Living in love on the other hand is understanding that you can only control your self and your own reactions. Living in love means giving others (your children) the freedom to make their mistakes and own choices. Living in love means being there to support them when their choices = undesireable consequences (obviously not dangerous life and death stuff).

It’s teaching your children through showing them respect to respect you. When they respect you they’ll respect your rules.

It’s not about giving them free reign (we love them too much to do that) but about giving them positive choices. They can choose to have fun and be nice or be grumpy in their room. They can choose to eat their dinner or go to bed and be hungry until breakfast. They can pick up their toys or mommy can do it and pack them away for a week.

Now I haven’t worked the whole thing out yet. BUT I’m making the choice to control my reactions. I’m hoping that them seeing my control will teach them control.  If the only person I can truely control is myself them I best do it well.

What is your parenting philosophy, do you have one? Or do you go for the flow, do what you feel is right or follow the norm or books??

Small things…

I love how much the small things can make such a BIG difference in people lives.  It makes me feel so much more able to actual make an impact.

A couple of weeks ago we were given some clip photo frames. I didn’t really know quite what to do with them so they sat on the kitchen counter looking at me for a week or so.

And then I thought, I’d use them to display the kids art work. That way I can change the pictures ofte

n.  I found a fourth and now we have a new wall display opposite the kids play/toy area opposite the stairs.

Jenna-May spotted them just before they went up on the wall and was very interesting in what was happening. “What you doing with my pictures? Why do you have frames? What are you going to do with them?”.

I told her we were going to put them on the wall. “You’re going to put my pictures in frames on the wall Mommy?” she said, “Yes Jenna, I think you’re pictures are lovely so I want to put them on the wall”.  Her little face was a picture.  She looked so proud of herself.

She lifted her little shoulders, smiled and then threw herself at my legs, squeezing them tight. “Thank you mommy, you’re my best mommy ever!”.

They’ve been up for 2 days now and she keeps walking past them and looking at them and commenting at on her pictures and talking about which ones she’s going to make for the frames next. We’ve always had the pictures up on a piece of ribbon on the wall but this, this was big for her.

It is the small things, the little moments where they can feel proud of themselves and know how proud you are of them.

What small things do you do for your children that make them feel that shoulder lifting, smiling, knee hugging feeling!?

In it not of it!

I find the whole concept in John 17 of living in the world but not being of it very hard  get and do.

I get so caught up in the day-to-day life of being a married woman, working 20 hours a week and trying to raise 3 little children. Of running a house and all the cooking, cleaning and organising that it entails.  The school run, just getting out the door with 3 kids in jackets, with shoes on and bag packed. The stress of trying to fit in lunch and nap times around the school run.

Just juggling all the practicalities sometimes takes my focus away from what should be our my whole focus. To be able to think of heavenly things. To change my perception of how mundane my life can be.  To look at what I am spending my time doing as a ministry and not just getting through the day in the best way I can. To remember that every moment can be used for His glory. Those moments where I’m stressing can be turned to moments of prayer.

The time out sessions can be times to give thanks. The hour I spend surfing the net and eating lunch whilst the kids are quiet could be spent reading the Bible instead.  The petty school and work politics that I/we get so caught up on are surely not more important than suffering being endured all over the world and the injustices that happen on a daily basis. Why don’t we get more caught up in this.

My attitude is sometimes so normal, so standard, sometimes even sub standard; which sad. I should be more than this, we’re called to be more than this. More loving, more caring, more willing to help, more angry about injustice, more focused and more prayer fuelled.

How do you as a Christian mom, caught up in the humdrum of life keep it Christ centred, keep it real but keep it Godly? To be equal and normal and not create an us vs them mentality and yet hold ourselves to a higher standard?

Helicoptering, hang backing and hovering!

Man I love my boy.  My petite little cuddle bubs.  My girls, they’re chunky and solid (yes I love them too!!)but my boy, he’s a skinny malink, I can feel his little bones.  In his shoulders, hands, ribs, little knees and hips.

It makes me realise how fragile how he is.  In actual fact how fragile they all are.

Yes they bounce, especially the boy. He falls, moans, wants a kiss and then runs off to do it all again. But my job, our job as parents is to protect them. And sometimes I don’t feel I can do that as much as I want to. Especially after this evening as my littlest at 11 months crawled all the way up the stairs – yes I was hovering behind her ready to catch her! It my absolute worst, the stairs. The slips and not looking where they are going and getting distracted and carrying things up and down and walking now crawling up and down too darn early, I hate it, I hate it all! My heart is always beating to fast and feeling like it’s going to jump out of my chest!

That part of letting go and letting them fall and make their own mistakes, that’s hard, blooming hard. I know we have to and I have never been a “helicopter” parent.

Sometimes I want to be, I want to stop the bumps and bruises and hurts that happen in their lives. But I can’t and so I try to teach them to deal with those hurts and pains.  The physical ones, sometimes those are the easier ones.  It’s those emotional ones that leave the deep scars. Kids can be mean, i hope my kids aren’t one of those, and daily as often as possible I try to build up their confidence and love for themselves so they can deal with this.

This week Jenna came home from playgroup telling me that she had 3 new friends. The next day her “best friend” was at school and she told me that she didn’t play with any of them because the said best friend was there.  I would hate to think she was one of those kids that didn’t want to play with anyone else and said NO, when asked if others could play with them.  Needless to say I’m not the biggest fan of the idea of exclusive best friends, possibly because I had such a lovely group of best friends.

We’ve been working of good words lately, how saying nice things make people feel good and make their heart happy. She now walks around telling everyone she loves their hair, or shoes or skirt – yes even when they are mank.  But it’s lovely! So the discussing was extended to include playing with others and how being inclusive of others and her feel good.  Obviously the flip side was explained; how would she feel to be excluded by friends.

Saying all of this I don’t even know if she or her best friend did exclude others. But protecting my kids has got to include teaching them to protect and look after friends so they can understand the concept.

Yes it’s a long waffly post! Are you an over protective parent? How do you deal with the whole best friend issue, does you child have one? What do you think of exclusive friends at the age of 3,5 years??

Magic snap slapper

My oh my look what we found at the bottom of the garden this week!!!

Yes the sunshine has brought the fairies out!

And here is the actual picture, which I love anyway!

Want to see some more??

Sunshine fun in Shenley!

I always love getting tips on new fun and free places to take the kids, especially when they are less than 10 min away and nearby to other family members! We got one such tip from a lovely (and thrifty) friend Nadine a few weeks ago.

We took advantage of the sunshine last weekend and decided to check it out! It was super!  There is a playground with cafe over looking it with apparently amazing scones (we were too late to try them out this time – oh well will have to organise another visit), there’s an orchard, wild flower garden, a supposed pond – it was empty when we went, a walled garden where they put on plays etc and a bunny/chicken/guinea pig corner! All in all pretty much everything a good park should have!

We were there for over 2 hours walking around and took a picnic dinner to have to finish it all off!  The kids loved it and it knackered them out, which is always a great side effect.

Come on summer! I can’t wait to do more things like this in glorious sunshine without jackets, boots and hats!