Because of their size, parents may be difficult to discipline properly.
~P. J. O'Rourke
Every parent I know would say, "I love my child." However, I believe a loved child equals a disciplined child. Except for nine months, our Melanie was an only child for nine years. We got the normal cracks about only children being spoiled. My husband always returned that statement with one of his own, "There are no spoiled children -- just undisciplined."
|Janet with my daughters, Melanie and Emily|
Now, for some reason, too many parents seem to look at discipline as negative. It doesn't have to be. Shawn and Melanie wanted to encourage their children to remember to say "Yes, Ma'am and No, Sir" as a response to a command. Each time they remember it, they get a penny. If they forget, they lose one. They were here one day last week, and Melanie had come to pick them up. She told them it was time to put on their boots. Ethan looked at Melanie and asked, "Is that a command?" He was counting on his penny. They won't have to keep the penny deal forever. Already the children are using their responses at appropriate times. The key is giving or taking a penny each time. The children don't have to wonder if one time it will matter, but not another time. They rely on that consistency.
|Shawn, Melanie, Ethan, Landon and Morgan|
Consistency is necessary, but not effective without the component of love. Love your kids "up to the sky and back down." Love them more, best, and most. Smother them with hugs, praise and make sure each day to use actions to say, "I love you."
Here are a few ways to say "I love you."
1. Create a secret sign to convey "I love you" in the midst of a crowd. It can it been the American Sign Language for I love you, a wink, a tug on your ear or a quick succession of 1, 2, 3 fingers.
2. Cut out an O and X and hide them under their pillow or in their lunch box. No words necessary.
3. Read to them. You knew I'd say that, didn't you? Seriously, when you get all cuddled up with a blanket around both of you, it's hard not to feel love.
4. Do chores together. Yes, it's their chore to make their bed. But once in a while, you can help. You'll be surprised what you'll hear while you're working together.
5. Write notes to your child. Target's Dollar Spot has metal mailboxes. Buy one for each member of the family--including you. Using a permanent marker, print each member's name on the side of the box. You'll be surprised how many notes you'll find in yours.
6. Love your spouse. Growing up, there was never any question in my mind whether or not my parents loved each other. They loved spending time together. Mom baked cinnamon rolls and apple dumplings because "daddy loved them." We even caught them kissing once in a while.
7. Leave little presents for them to find on their dresser or on their plate at the table. I found this idea at Simply this or that or the other blog. It's so easy to make.
|Cut a triangle|
|Fold each point to opposite end.|
|Decorate one side.|
I cut a smaller triangle and glued down.
Then I used a red foil M and added a pink heart gem.
|Punch a hole at the top of each triangle.|
Fill the box with a surprise.
Thread ribbon or netting through the holes and tie in a bow.
Ideas for the surprise:
Foam hearts: About 1/3 of a container of foam hearts (Target Dollar Spot)
Small pre-inked stamps (Target Dollar Spot: 6/$1.00)
Lip Smacker's Chap Stick