Monday, December 6, 2010

Even if the home *looks* perfect…



…doesn’t mean everything else is. This I’ve learned. And re-learned.

During the summer I wasn’t feeling so hot about myself. I was stressed about putting our house up for sale, and then maintaining it to be “showing ready” at all times with three boys at home on summer vacation. I was uncertain about our future—my husband kept talking about moving out of state for a promotion. And to top it off, I was gaining all the weight back that I lost for my cruise :{

At least my house was perfectly clean. {the photo above}

I was in need of some personal therapy. So I began a self-improvement and re-adjustment period to help me get back on track to feel and be better at my role as a mother and as a wife. I bought a stack of books, and also turned to some ladies whom I am close to that I saw as examples of success in those areas.

In light of my Remember in December, with their permission, I will share their wonderful words of advice on how to have a happy, loving home. {It will be a series every Monday (probably) this month.}

The first comes from my Bishop’s wife (she is a mother of seven children.)

I wrote to her asking:

Could you briefly describe five or so things that you do as a mother that you feel promote peace, harmony and love in your home, and success for your children?

Here was her wonderful and wise response:

1. I make an effort to let the children know how important is for them to learn how to share. This is a constant battle for the younger children. So usually if two are disputing a toy, game etc. I always encourage them to try to find a solution. If they can't reach one; the toy, game etc. goes in time out. I have a timer that goes all around the house that way they can time themselves and have equal time with a specific toy or TV show.

2. I try to be consistent in discipline. I use time out - 1 minute for every year of age and if they scream, kick, or have an attitude the time out doubles. For example 4 years old = 4 minutes time out if the time out is received with screaming and attitude then it is 8 minutes no exceptions. If this doesn't work then after their time out they have a privilege taken away. Depending on the child it could be video games, dessert, or the opportunity to have a friend come over or for them to go the a friend's house.

3. I am a big advocate of sharing even if the other children or dad are not home we always save treats for them unless they are at camp or at EFY.

4. I have incentives for doing chores usually candy and on Sundays I give 8 gummy bears (or whatever I have at the time) for the first 3 that get ready by noon and 6 for the ones that get ready before 12:30. Even with that we are more late than early to church!

5. I get the usual "that is not fair, he or she got more than me or he or she gets to do this and I don't" my answer is always what is your name? Everyone in this house is different if you want me to treat you like such and such then I expect for you to do all what that person does including all the chores. Plus since I know who you really are I expect for you to do your share also.

6. I have dates with them. Usually individually but sometimes two at a time. Sometimes we go to the store or the park or to the dollar menu fast food restaurants.

7. I always show them and tell them how much I love them. I tell them how it was when I was pregnant with them and how their name was chosen. For their birthdays I always make them a special dinner of their choice. They also have a birthday plate that it's only use on their birthdays. I hug them a lot and joke with them. I like to tell jokes so they always want to tell me jokes.

8. I give incentives for random act of kindness, for memorizing a scripture or for good behavior. This comes really handy when they have to prepare Primary talks.

I hope this helps you. I find that I'm always looking for new ways to improve harmony in the home. If I hear them arguing, I start singing "Love at Home" and they usually know that enough is enough. : )

* * *

Tomorrow I’ll share what she said about her role as a wife and strengthening marriage.

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ashley said...

great advice! i am a new mom and have to learn the ropes of things still. thanks for sharing this :)

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"Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity. "

-Margaret D. Nadauld