A new series is here! I am so excited (and a touch nervous) to start this new series because it’s a risk. Tara doesn’t normally figure out people’s behavioral issues in a quick Facebook response. She sits down with you over sessions – much like a counselor would do. And she’s paid to do this – because she’s a trained professional.
I was SO excited when Tara said YES to come “chat” with our community online for a couple hours each month. Let’s just try it and you know what? If it’s too hard – we can stop. Here are some ground rules.
- Remember that Tara isn’t the only way. However, I do believe in her training and philosophy (based biblically) and she has tremendously helped our family.
- Do not use this area as a place to debate tactics or get heated.
- Try to keep comments and questions as brief as possible.
- Remember she doesn’t know your entire family history and children personally.
- Unfortunately, she cannot continue the conversation offline via email unless you hire her – because she has regular clients during the week that keep her schedule full. If in Orlando, sign up for Free Class here!
- If you’d like to hear MORE on a certain topic – please tell us and she can blog about it during the month.
- Don’t be afraid to ask. Really – use the comment space on this blog post or Facebook to ask questions! Go for it!
- If you aren’t asking, but you have a tip that could help others – go for it. We are here to help each other – respectfully and kindly dive in.
I first hired Tara when we moved here. My poor girls were losing their minds. I had completely lost control. It was FAR from giggles and fun in this house. My spirited one was throwing tantrums that were scaring me. I would put her in the laundry room to get her away and ignore her and she’d kick the dryer over and over while screaming and then drop down on her shins on the ground as hard as she could. I called Tara (great advice from Linda Werner).
A few things helped us right away.
1) Use Fewer Words
I was using too many words to instruct and correct my kids. Little ones don’t need to be convinced why it’s a good idea to get down off a dangerous ledge. It can be short, direct and in calm tone. “Larson, mom said NO. You will hurt yourself.” And if she doesn’t obey – than consequence right away. We started putting her in the bathroom with a timer for 3 minutes and she could come out at that time IF she was calm. I didn’t yelling. Just said (through the door) “Oh no, you’re haven’t calmed down. I’ll set it again – and when you calm. You can be done. I know you can do it.” This scenario – or bathroom after tantrums – only went on for a few days and those tantrums were GONE! I was so encouraged. Still practicing.. MORE words for praise – LESS words for correction.
2) More Eye Contact and Attention
Tara also taught me our kids need our attention like air and water. I typically give my kids full attention when they finally start whining. When they are asking nicely, I am distracted and half-listening. So, I had to start training myself to look right at them – full body and eye contact when things were going well. And give them no attention and walk away when they were whining. “Sorry, I don’t understand whining. Try that again.” And literally bolt to another room.
3) My Behavior vs Their Behavior
She also showed me that they were often reacting to me. And I had so much more work to do – proactive vs reactive parenting. If I stayed calm, consistent and in control. Guess what happened. They did too. Ouch.
I called her again recently for more help. I mean, I have a book coming out people about giggling and we were not giggling. This time, the main issues were lack of respect for me/Ron and the sister rivals. We are working on several of her solutions, but this one helped big time.
4 ) Rethinking Room Time
Consequences get hard as they age and I just kept sending mine to their room. She helped me see there needs to be a difference. Room time can be for them to go read, adjust their attitude, play alone, do homework – not a place for when they are in trouble. She encouraged me to find a chair or a place for them to truly do timeout. She recommended I get these waterproof crib mats (well, I cut one in half) and take them on the road with us and use at home. The girls simply take their mat to the corner and cannot talk or play or do anything for whatever time I say. If they talk or argue – more time is added. Honestly, we did this for a week – and things were back to normal. They knew I meant business and they weren’t getting away with stuff. You do what mom asks – or to the mat.
Remember ! Grace!
I am ALL about LOVE and GRACE and so much fun in our house. But I cannot teach virtues unless my kids respect my authority as their mom. My friend Jeannie’s new book, Parenting The Wholehearted Child, has also helped me so much about parenting with God’s grace in mind. How would He treat me? Would he basically rub my nose in the dirt each time I mess up? I don’t think so. Great read!
Before we can enjoy the fun and adventure of character building – the foundation needs to be there. And we are still working on that in our family. I need them to stop when a car is racing by. I need them to sit in their chair at a restaurant or wait when their turn when an adult is talking. I found more joy when they aren’t in “trouble” every day and mom isn’t exasperated. I have found with Tara’s help that when I get confident and motivated enough to fix a few key problems, it doesn’t take long. They stop pushing. They get the message. They thrive in structure.
Start with 1 or 2 areas and stay consistent. No matter the method. You can do it!
OK – Moms! Your Turn!
Fire away with your questions for Tara today (Tuesday, August 5, 8-10 EST) – below in the comments section or find the HELP ME TARA C! post on Facebook.