Friday, June 15, 2007

Max's Support Group

I just had to give a warm fuzzy to each person that commented on my last post about Max (A.K.A. Alysee). Each person's words were exactly what I needed to hear. Birch and I have realized especially in the past couple of days that we are not alone in this adventure of parenting. So thank you for your advice but even more thank you for letting us know that there are many Max's out there.

Over the past couple of weeks Birch and I have realized that we are doing something wrong. Alysee's behavior isn't really the only problem we are having. I'm not saying that we are all falling apart but we are dealing with a bit of back talking, whining about doing chores, an occasional sibling whacking fest, irreverence at church, complaining... yes, the list goes on. I think we are kind of in a rut with our discipling and following through with chores. Honestly I am tired of always being the hound. Birch is great with the kids but let's face it...I am on the one home most of the time.

So...several years ago I bought the following two books.

Now I am not selling them or anything (although on Amazon you can by used copies of both books) but I do think that they are both excellent books. Birch and I have both read the "Christlike Parenting-Taking the Pain Out of Parenting" book but the other one called "The Power of Positive Parenting" has just been sitting in the bookshelf for a couple of years. I decided the other night that maybe their might be some wisdom tucked away in the pages of the book. Well, it wasn't tucked away at all. I have only read the first couple of chapters and I am already feeling revived. One thing that Dr. Glenn L. Latham says is that most of the junk we deal with every day from our children is just "age-typical junk behavior." Stuff that we should just turn and walk away and ignore it. He says, "Unless what you are about to say or do has a high probability for making things better, don't say it and don't do it." Instead we should look for opportunities to have happy, positive interactions with our kids. I still have a long ways to go but I think that by putting some of Dr. Latham's positive behavioral suggestions into play that we will see a difference in our children's actions/behaviors and in my joy in motherhood.

Also, this week I have been introduced to a new system for helping your kids be more accountable in their behavior and in doing their jobs. A couple of friends were telling me that they just started doing the Accountable Kids system. I looked it up online and I am quite interested in giving it a try. We have had lot of different ways of doing jobs at our house but it always comes down to me not following through with them not doing it and then we start the same cycle over again. I think that next week I am going to try a modified homemade version of this system. I really like that the reward is alone time with mom or dad, something that our kids truly treasure. Our past method of earning "Ditto Dollars" ended up being a candy store.

If anyone has tried "Accountable Kids" let me know what you think.

I'll close with a quote by Dr. S.W. Bijou, "Research has shown that the most effective way to reduce problem behavior in children is to strengthen desirable behavior through positive reinforcement rather than trying to weaken undesirable behavior using aversive or negative processes."

"The first half of our lives is controlled by our parents. The second half is controlled by our children." Author Unknown.

Ya just gotta love 'em!!


Mama Nirvana said...

I'm feeling inspired. My favorite Positive Discipline books are all about what you just said. I think I'm going to pull them out for a refresher course.

Have fun tonight.


Korean Hales said...


Hey!!! listen if you find a rehab center or program for blogging mothers let me know. We can go in hand in hand and sneak out and blog together.

As for parenting I wouldn't know because I spend too much time blogging. Love it!!!!

Emily and Ryan said...

For someone who isn't a parent I love reading your posts, knowing your kids but from a different more vacation light. I know you and Birch do the best you can and are wonderful parents but I love that you acknowledge that there is help and more ideas out there.

That picture of the kiddies at the end is one of my favorites. It shows so much of each child's personality.

I love you!

Nancy Clark said...

Great reminders! Someone gave me the Christlike Parenting book when Tommy was born, but I forgot all about it! I think I'll have to dust it off.

Meanwhile, yesterday I praised Tommy for being polite at a restaurant, and he was beaming, and spent the rest of the day looking for polite things to do! It really does help to reinforce the positive (but of course, it still doesn't solve everything!)

kg said...

Sara, I think you and Birch do an amazing job parenting and you always have helpful ideas. I think kids will be kids and in life you always come across ruts...the most important thing I believe is that they have two strong role models who love them and teach by example and by golly, they've got 'em!

Cami said...

I have been contemplating this same issue with the kids being home for the summer. We have also been experiencing increased whining, fighting,... Aaron is a great example to me. Trying to be positive, and up beat. He is always make the kids laugh when I would be getting so frustrated with them. Thanks for the reminders and great recommendations. I'm greatful we don't have to parent alone.

Kimball & Marianne Larsen said...

We are in the process of getting the Positive Parenting book, as well. It was highly recommended to us from family members and it seems to be a very hopeful approach that leaves the child and parent inspired to be a better person. From my teaching experience and parenting, I have found that lifting children from above vs. punishing them from below invites the spirit to more readily assist us in every moment--especially those that we don't know what to do ourselves. That is definitely how I've learned that Christ taught. Keep us posted on your insights....