Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Discipline, Boundaries and Consistency

There have been other incidences since "I'm a dude". One day the girls were chewing on the small rubber princess dresses. Not only is that gross, but nobody is teething around here. Another day they colored with black dry erase markers all over themselves, their clothes and my mom's nice little table (used to be my grandpa's) that has been in the girls room (It was given back after "I'm a dude". Now it's gone for a long time.) A couple days ago they smeared something unidentifiable on my parents huge screen TV. Each time, I had nicely asked the girls to change their behavior and explained the appropriate behavior, in kid friendly terms, of course. By the 3rd, 4th or 5th warning, no more chances. Some days I respond well to the disobedience. Some days I feel like a crazy woman out of control.

Two weeks ago, the St. George temple president's wife spoke in stake conference about how The Book of Mormon can teach you how to be a parent. She also talked about how reading the scriptures can strengthen a family. I took her counsel to heart. The next day we had a family home evening lesson about the Bible and The Book of Mormon. We talked about the origins of each and then bore our testimonies of both books. It was a spiritual experience. For our activity/treat we made Scripture Cookies. With scripture cookies you have to look-up and read certain scriptures to find the ingredients for the cookies. It was so fun and the girls had a great time reading with us from the scriptures and hunting for the ingredients. By the way, the cookies were awesome! (recipe will be posted soon)

The following week our family home evening was about having a stronger family. First, I showed a rope and we noticed that it's made of  interwoven strands. If any of the strands were cut, broken or frayed the rope would unravel and not be strong. We likened that to our family. That we are each a strand to our family rope. I told the story of when Nephi's bow broke and talked about Lehi's family. Afterward, we talked about all the things we need to do to make our family strong every day. Things like reading the scriptures, saying family prayer, being nice and sharing were mentioned. The girls also talked about something involving play-doh, but I didn't understand. They thought it was hilarious and laughed about it all night.

Yesterday morning, after taking the girls to preschool, I headed to the temple. I needed help beyond the every day. All that I am comfortable with and accustomed to has changed and I was looking for Divine inspiration. It came. I left feeling lighter then I have since August 11th, the day Zoe arrived. I drove to Target and bought two "Responsibility Charts", thank you Circo and Target. I then bought some cute little dollar prizes and one $5 prize (for each girl). I am not above bribery.

When I got home we talked about behavior and boundaries, then set-up their charts. I explained how the prizes would work and they were thrilled. I think we are on a good path. I know that God wants us to succeed. I also know He has heard my desperate pleading for help with these two sweet, curious, energetic, tireless, independent, helpful, creative girls. My desire is to accentuate their strengths and individuality, not to make them feel small or not good enough.

The next step is to work on my consistency and method. Like it says in the scriptures, "Reproving betimes with sharpness, when moved upon by the Holy Ghost; and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy;" (D&C 1221:43) Discipline, love, discipline, love, discipline, love, etc. This is how the Lord works with us, His children. It is the pattern I should follow with children on loan to me. Now to find the patience to accompany it...