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Let’s Be Friends!

Let's make a difference together by speaking words of life.

One at a Time

We can only drive one car at a time.

Only drink one coffee at a time. 

So why is it that after nine years of parenting, I am still reminding myself to give only one direction to my kids at a time? 

In my flurry of activity around the house…cleaning up the dinner dishes, folding laundry, “Did I forget to turn on the dishwasher again?!” all the while listening to the kids’ adventures on Animal Jam and stepping over toys…..WHOOO!  While I may be trying to do 101 things at once (which is highly overrated), I’ve got to remember that my kids cannot.

In our house bedtime often goes like this…”Hey guys, it’s time to brush your teeth.  Get on your pjs.  Go to the potty.  Did you clean up the Legos?  I don’t want to see this on the island anymore; put it away.  Put all your books back.  What is this clean laundry doing on your bed?” 

All said under less than a minute by me.
All while I’m still scurrying around in the kitchen. 
Shouting to whom exactly?  Probably to the goldfish because the kids are having a dance competition on the trampoline rocking it out to their music on full blast.

Does that sound anything like your house or are we just one-of-a-kind?

How do you recruit help to get the job done right away with good attitudes?
How do you speak once and leave the “I’ve told you a 100 times already!” behind?!

Ha ha!  Isn’t this parenting journey so much FUN!

Here’s how….STOP!  Stop all the doing.
Look them right in the eye.  Smile.
Say their name.
Give them one direction.
Say it with honour, edification, and full belief that they will do it right away with a good attitude.

It sounds like:
“Nadalia, would you please be the first one to brush your teeth?”
“Charis, I appreciate your help with bedtime by getting dressed in your pjs now.”
“Jonathan, will you take a moment to pick up all the Legos off the floor? Thank you for doing it with focus. Can you get it done before I’m done with the dishes? Go!”

(Use words that speak to the child who likes to be first, who loves to be a helper, or who likes a challenge.)

Doesn’t this already sound peaceful?  There’s no need to shout.  But while in the training grounds, it is necessary for you to follow up after a minute to two to make sure they have followed through.  Don’t wait five, ten, or fifteen minutes later.  That’s when the frustration comes and you can’t help but want to shout, “I told you ten minutes ago to put away the Legos.  How come it isn’t done yet?”

You may be already thinking, “Well, Kimberly, when you take time to establish a solid bedtime routine, you can just say, ‘Time to get ready for bed.’ And they just do it all.”  I’m so glad that you are already there.  I aspire to that, but right now, we are not there.  Remember all those nights I’ve shouted more orders in a minute than can even be heard?  I’m working to undo that habit. 

Try it with me.

STOP! Stop all the doing.
Look them right in the eye. Smile.
Say their name.
Give them one direction.
Say it with honour, edification, and full belief that they will do it right away with a good attitude.

Would you let me know how it goes?  I am with you on this one, Mama!  Bedtime rocks when we give just one direction at a time!

How do you get all hands on deck to get the job done right away with good attitudes? How do you speak once and leave the “I’ve told you a 100 times already!” behind?!

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