It's Passion Week and I'm fasting from social media. Yes, I will share this on facebook, but I'm not going onto my facebook to check it. Just to get that straight.
I reserve the right to blog.
Lord, help me in this post. I want to honor You and share the things I have been learning.
Last week I posted about struggling with being "just a stay-at-home-mom" and doing all kinds of menial tasks and how I didn't feel like I was doing enough. I was thankful for a few emails with personal stories about the meaning of the work I am doing. I am reminded that the two children God has given me charge of are not the ones I should look over in search of higher purposes, they are the ones I need to be pouring into right now. Lord, this is humbling, let me not overlook them.
I've been listening to the Duggar's book 20 and Counting for the past few days. Let me just say, it is incredible. Yes, Michelle's voice is a little sing songy, but I don't even care. Their story is amazing. I find myself crying as I listen to the ways that God has provided. Their authenticity and their convictions, you can't deny that they live what they say.
I am reminded how much my job is to encourage.
Yes, I am very big on discipline. Sometimes, however, I can become too negative and I feel as though I'm looking for reasons to discipline Levi. He reacts and becomes more naughty and then I discipline him even more. I think he's going to get enough negativity from the world, I want him to know that my arms are a place that he can run to when he is hurting. I will be a place of comfort and unconditional love. Lord, help me in this, I am not perfect, but help me to speak life to my children.
Here's one practical thing I have gotten from the book that I am pumped about teaching: Blanket Time. You teach your child to sit quietly and play with one toy on a blanket. You start out with five minutes for the first week or so, then you slowly build up until the child can sit and play quietly for 30 minutes. She learned this technique with her second set of twins. She taught them when they were eighteen months. I think she had 8 other kids at the point. So, if she can teach twins with 8 other kids to take care of, I can teach my 15 month old with only one other kid.
Our blanket time looks like:
Be encouraging, say "Yay! It's time for blanket time! Aren't we so excited about blanket time?" with a big smile and act like it's the best thing your impressionable little child has ever experienced. The first time you sit them without a toy. The whole time you sit and look at them and say how good they are doing to sit and be quiet and still on their blanket. Whenever they try to get up you just say, "no no!" and put them back on. Never get too harsh, just be firm. When five minutes is up, say "All done!" and tell them they did so well and you are proud of them for sitting so quietly an good (even though they got up and you put them back 20 times already). The next day, do it again. I added a toy that Aria could play with as she sat there. She mainly wanted to hand it back and forth, so I backed up out of her reach. The goal is for her to play by herself.
Blanket time looked like so much fun that Levi wanted to get in on the action. So, he got his own blanket and his own toy to play with. I'm totally fine with both of them sitting quietly and playing, so I sat and encouraged him as well. "Look at Levi! He's doing so good on his blanket time!" I want it to be a positive, happy experience.
It was not a happy experience when we did it this morning though. I think Aria was hungry AND tired. Note to self: make sure you child is fed and rested before attempting blanket time. She cried a lot. I almost called it off, but then thought it wouldn't be good to just give in, after all, it was only five minutes. I also learned a lot about how she can obey, even when she's upset. Towards the end, she was sitting next to her blanket and I kept calmly, but firmly, telling her to get back on her blanket. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and I kept pointing and telling her to sit. Finally, she moved to her spot and we all cheered as big and loud as we could. I wanted her to know that she needs to obey, even when she doesn't feel like it. As soon as we were done we got a snack and went down for a nap.
I would encourage getting the Duggar book for reference, they have lots of helpful tips in parenting. She shares about her home births, nursing, homeschooling, organizing a house and all kinds of other things.