Thursday, June 9, 2016

How Do You Teach a Child?

Why is it that when you ask your children to get moving so you can go do something, they tend to move in super slow motion?  If it isn't in slow motion, they tend to focus on anything else other than what you actually asked them to do.

For example, I am sitting here listening to my children whom I have asked to eat their breakfast.

I should be hearing the melodious sounds of munching while the food is going down that wonderful tunnel to be digested for increased energy.

What I am hearing is the frustrating sounds of my children who are talking about flying kitties and dragons who love to roam the skies.  They are also acting out said kitties and dragons.

Why can't they just settle into their food and eat?  OK, so it is oatmeal, not the most tantalizing food in the house, but it does give energy for later AND we haven't eaten it for an entire week!  Maybe I should reconsider my breakfast menu options, but I like oatmeal so I think I'll keep it at lease once a week.

This behavior doesn't stop at the breakfast table, no sirree!  It carries over into the remainder of the day.  

I ask them to get dressed and they pretend they are dragon riders who "fly" around on their dragons in their pjs with their capes flapping in the breeze!

When I ask them to get shoes and socks on so we can go to the store they have a sudden interest to improve their literary knowledge by reading the latest Dr. Seuss book.  I can really relate to my favorite book written by said author, "I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew"!

When I ask them to clean their room, at least they start, then they quickly get sidetracked by their favorite toy.  If it is my son he gets lost in his Lego world.  If it is my youngest she gets caught up in her Little People.  If it is my oldest she gets sucked into a good book or Pintrest.  The chore gets started but, needless to say, it stays the way I found it, in total disarray where I risk my life by trying to avoid any hidden landmines like Legos! 

Trying bribery seldom works.  I've also tried treats, fun activities, adding extra chores, withholding food until the job is done, begging, pleading, crying, yelling, threatening, and the silent treatment!  I have discovered the same outcome for every single one of these tactics - THEY DON'T WORK!!!

I have found ONE THING that DOES work.  If I take the time out of my super busy mamma schedule and focus on helping them on the thing that I asked them to do, the chore gets done faster and we have less contention in the home.  I don't even have to do anything more than just sit there while they do the work and ask things like "where does this go?"  I have found that they just want to be in the same room as me and feel that I love them enough to take the time for them.

Too often we, as mammas, feel that we have to get such-and-such done and we have to do it right now.  We can't take a break or the "house" will start to overrun us.  We start to feel that if we take the time to "help" our children with such-and-such they won't learn what we are trying to teach them.  Sometimes we get caught up in our "searches online" (aka Pintrest & YouTube) to even notice when our children are needing us to just notice them for a change.

I am proof positive that if you invest just a tiny amount of time with your children they will turn out to be amazing!  It takes just a small amount of effort to teach them how to make a bed or clean a room.  I have also learned that the dishes will keep and the laundry will wait till another day.

Daddys can help too.  My hubby recently taught the children how to clean the toilet!  Not only did he teach them this valuable skill, but he showed them that they were more important to him than anything else he could have been doing.

We, as mammas, need to teach our children the importance of work and the incredible sense of accomplishment they can experience in a job well done.  The only way we can do this is by working side by side with our children.  They won't know how to do these things unless they are first taught.  We can't teach them these important life skills unless we unglue ourselves from our "devices" and acutally pay attention to our children.  They are only young for a short time and they will only seek our love and guidance for a short while.  

Let's set a new standard for mammas and rise up to the challenge of being the best possible mamma we can be.  I know it is gonna be difficult at best, but hey, we survived childbirth, we can survive the rest!

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