Friday, July 11, 2008
Today I've been looking at some websites about child training. It's amazing the differences regarding how families view how children should be raised. I know that when I only had 2 children I viewed child rearing completely differently to how I view it now, with 6. I was very relaxed with 2 and probably let my 2 boys get away with too much. I also worked until I had my 2nd with comes with it's own problems. But when I had my 3rd child I realized that things were going to get out of hand. I think that my boys were good kids but they were very disturbing in church and I wasn't sure how we had gotten in that habit. I resolved that that behaviour had to stop. I'd seen other children behave well in church so I knew it could be done so I put my mind to making the children sit still on their chairs in church, after all they went out with the other kids to creche so it wasn't like they were sitting still for the whole service. I was, I believed at the time, really mean, and it was hard because that wasn't how I wanted to be perceived by my children. I think every mum wants to be seen as a great mum by their children, but my children didn't see me like that at that time. For three long Sundays I consistently made my children sit still with me in church. For three long weeks I wasn't able to enter into worship, or listen to the service, but hey I wasn't able to do that before anyway, as they were mucking up too much and I was constantly trying to shush them (I found it helpful to separate my boys and sit in between them, they still can't sit next to each other after all this time and I also use this technique with my younger ones). Then after 3 weeks I noticed a remarkable improvement. I wasn't needing to keep an eagle eye on them to make them sit still or stop talking, they were actually doing what I wanted them to do and they just sat on their chair. I couldn't believe that I had waited so long to do that! Being mean for 3 weeks was so much better than being stressed and embarrassed for months or even years. I still needed to pull them up but it wasn't hard to do that occasionally and every now and then they'd test the boundaries again just to make sure I meant what I said and I would crack down on them in a second. I was finding that I could be that nice mum again without adding the stressed and embarrassed. I have since used used that technique with all the children and it has been very successful. I just remind myself that it's only a few weeks of harshness compared to the months of my whining and whinging at them. Who listens to a whiner, anyway? I know I certainly don't and it's true with children too, they'll switch off if they're whinged at and it doesn't make for a nice, happy home. But if you instruct your children well to obey you in the first place everything runs much smoother and everyone is a lot happier.