Our family just enjoyed a splendid visit from my dear mother in law. She joined our household for 4 days and we sure did pack in a truckload of fun. We did lots of eating and shopping, and we watched a movie (Courageous - have you seen it?), played a game (Catch Phrase - a family favorite!), took a trip to the American Girl Doll store, loaded up at the Little Debbie bakery store, celebrated a sweet 6 year old gal with a Princess Party and A LOT more. 4 whole days of fun and spoiling and now it will probably take 2 whole days to get my children, and the dog, back. What I mean is that when grandma visits there is a lot of spoiling (and there should be) and a lot of special food (sweets) and a lot of staying up late and a lot of reasons for getting excited. Throw in a birthday party and several nights of not sleeping in your own bed and you might have children you don't even recognize! Like a sweet, obedient child suddenly turned opposite. Not to mention an easy going dog turned needy and demanding. Don't get me wrong...it's all worth it, and it's all normal, and on this beautiful day it's all got to be turned around!
I've got a little something to tell you. I think you can turn these things back to normal faster with praising rather than too much correcting. Children need correcting. I certainly know that. Sometimes though it's just better to praise them for what they are doing right than to correct every little thing they might be doing wrong. I have heard myself saying, "look at me when I'm talking to you!" and, "don't do that anymore!" and all kinds of other (not so sweet) things. But I decided to do something different today. I'm going to praise my kiddos for what they are doing right as much as I possibly can and that combined with them eating right and going to bed on time, in one's own bed, ought to turn things around. The kids I know and love will be back in no time! Oh, and the dog? Well, she'll just have to figure out that grandma is no longer here and calm down.
I have decided for today's Monday Motivation to praise the children 10 times more than I correct them. Each time I see them doing their chores well, or being kind to a sibling, or showing diligence in their school work I will praise them for a job well done. Instead of looking at all they are doing wrong, I am purposing to see what they are doing right. They are kids after all! How would I feel if I had just been filled up with sugar and slept on the floor for 3 nights?
I've set a goal not to yell in 2012 (not doing perfect there, but tons of improvement!) and I truly desire to be a gentle mom. Sometimes we need to see the good in our children and let them know we are seeing it and now would be one of those times at our house.
I hope you will join me in this week's Monday Motivation and start looking for ways to brag on your kids!