Tag Archives: advice

Give Them Jobs – A Riches of His Love Parenting Series – Advice From the Worst Mom Ever!

Parenting Series

I have said it before that being a parent is tough business. When we were pregnant with Isaac I had no idea what being a mom would really mean. I loved babies and had babysat as a teenager…so it would be a piece of cake loving on your own baby, right?

But sleepless nights and a colicky son that cried for hours at a time, quickly showed me that this thing wasn’t for the faint of heart.

It has been a few years since I have paced the hallways with a crying baby…but as I find myself in the thick of raising two toddlers along with 2 older boys, there is a new sound that has emerged inside my home.

Whining.

Oh the whining! The fighting and hitting is awful too…but I don’t know that much else irritates this mama more than the constant whining and fussing.

Because Elijah and Karlena are so close in age (18 months) it seems to have magnified. There is 7 years between Isaac and Gabriel, and 5 years between Gabriel and Elijah. I just don’t remember it being THIS terrible with them.

And while Elijah and Karlena really do play well together at times, and I know they love each other, they also argue and bicker and fight and cry and fuss and bawl and whine.

The whining was threatening to push me over the edge on the way home from church on Sunday. Oh yes – even then!! I can leave church happy and filled because of worship and a good sermon, and want to scream myself silly after a 15 minute car ride home! 🙂

Because I am really trying to change my pattern of screaming at them when they are screaming at each other I decided to try something different this time.

I gave them jobs.

Elijah, who just turned 5, is interested in helping. I don’t always give him enough opportunities to be helpful but he loves the praise that comes with being a good helper. So we got home and we got right to work.

I asked him if he wanted to be a bog boy and help mom with some important work. He said yes and we set to task.

It wasn’t anything huge, and honestly I could have done it myself in 1 trip upstairs. It took him 3 trips, but he was very proud of himself for getting the work done. And he didn’t whine once during the entire process.

Once we had finished that task, I had him help me set the table for lunch.

Now the Type A, perfectionist personality in me cringes at a sloppy set table, but again this was a chance for him to learn. So we talked about where to put the fork, and Gabriel helped with the napkins…it wasn’t pretty but the whining had stopped.

Of course I was sure to praise him heavily during this time. Telling him how much I appreciated that he was being such a big helper and what a great job he was doing.

Kids LOVE to hear how awesome they are. Sometimes I forget that really. I get overwhelmed by the whining and fighting and I find myself focusing on everything they are doing wrong, instead of celebrating all they are doing well.

I know it isn’t a perfect plan. Sometimes asking them to help may cause more whining, oh heaven help us if it does!! But it is worth a try and might just give you a few more minutes of peace and sanity in your home!

What kind of jobs have you given your kids to do? Please leave them in the comments below so I can add to my list! 😉

Just Paint – A Riches of His Love Parenting Series…Advice from the WORST mom ever!

Parenting Series

I hadn’t even been home from work for 5 minutes and I was ready to go back.

Yes it was Friday night and I should have been excited about the upcoming weekend, but the reality was that I walked into kids fighting and I could feel my blood pressure rise immediately.

What is it about fighting, screaming kids that can push you over the edge?!

The past two days had been especially bad. Elijah spent the early part of the week away at a fun camp with his grandparents and cousin Isabel. Apparently he cried every night for us but once he came home, the “missing mom feelings” wore off and his temper and sass were back in full force.

I tried some calm and positive correction.

His response?

“I don’t like your attitude mom”

Excuse me?!

Anything I or his brother Gabriel said to him he repeated in a taunting voice. He was testing the waters big time!

Then he told me that he couldn’t stop being naughty because they devil was making him do it and because the devil was making him misbehave it wasn’t really his fault. (Seriously?!)

I could feel myself getting more and more angry and it was work to keep my voice from yelling back at him.

And then I decided to ask him what he wanted to do. What was it that would help him to behave?

“Paint, I want to paint.”

He has asked to paint before and usually I find a reason not to bring out the paints. It always seems like such a hassle.

But for some reason this night I thought it was worth a try. No he hadn’t “deserved” the right to do something he really wanted to do. He had been nothing but naughty for almost 2 hours straight, but I was desperate for a change…so I said yes.

Just Paint

We got out the watercolors and a few sheets of paper, a cup of water and he was ready to go.

He painted for maybe 10 minutes. 10 blissful, sass-free minutes and it was wonderful. 

Within a half hour he was right back to burping at his brother and chasing his sister. Short-lived peace, yes, but I learned a good lesson.

Sometimes we have to be willing to try something new. We need to say yes to things like painting if it means we will be able to regain some of our sanity, even if just for a few minutes.

What have you said yes to, in order to get some peace from your kids?! I’d love for you to share your stories in the comments below!!

A Mother on the Edge – A Riches of His Love Parenting Series…Advice From the WORST mom ever!

Parenting Series

I got a vox from a dear friend this morning. She was a mother on the edge. It was maybe the 10th full day of summer and she was struggling to find sanity in the craziness of schedules that had been thrown out the window, routines down the drain, and a 4 year old who seemed to try and push EVERY.SINGLE.BUTTON.

While her message was sprinkled with humor, there was a bit of desperation in her voice as well. How will I make it through until August?!

As a mother who clearly has her act together (insert a loud snort and a chuckle) I responded back with some prayers and a little advice.

Now, I don’t give advice because I have it all together or do this parenting thing right every day. Nope in fact most days I FAIL miserably! 

My daughter never flushes the toilet after she poops so anyone going in after her gets a fun surprise. And no, most times she does not use toilet paper. (I know, gross right?!)

My now 5 year old told me today that I was NOT the only one in charge in the family and I couldn’t tell him to behave. (I then threatened  asked him if I should call his father to clear the whole issue up…oh yes I did!!) He may have stuck his tongue out at me….I have blocked that memory out.

No, clearly I am probably the WORST mom to be giving advice, because I don’t have the best behaved children on the block. But I am right down in the trenches with you moms and have found a few things that have worked over the years.

My friend said I should write a book, if not that, at least a blog series. I laughed and said who would read a book called “Parenting Advice from the Worst Mom Ever“? (I am officially trademarking that name too if I ever do write a book, although I don’t know that saying you are trademarking something is technically “legal” and would stand up in court but I am going to go with it!)

Sorry for the legal tangent, back to the “story”…She said she would read a book with that title ha! 🙂 So for fun, and a little change this summer I thought I would try a little blog series.

I realize that a series should be consistent, you know on the same day every week…If I were following the right “how-to’s” in blogging I would add a linky and ask you to share your posts.

But the reality is that we are in our busiest time of the year, for this time of the year! I keep thinking it will slow down and it hasn’t – all good but it has left me exhausted and unavailable when it comes to writing!

So I can’t promise when I will post again in the series – but I know that I have some fun stories to share. And this will be good for me too because I can remind myself of some of the things I have learned in the past so that I can try them again when the opportunity presents itself! Because trust me they WILL present themselves again.

I hope you come along for the ride, and even though I won’t have a fancy linky (because I have NO IDEA how to add one and can’t possibly take the time to learn.) Please share your stories in the comments so we can find strength in numbers.

This parenting thing is tough business and we need all the help we can get! (<====Click to Tweet) I don’t want you to come here and think I have it figured out and that you can’t measure up to me because that is just crazy funny! No perfect parenting how-to’s here!

Instead I will share how I have done it wrong, and then maybe with a little grace, done it better the next time! 😉

 So what do you think?! Will you join me?!

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