5 Short Parenting Stories

5 Short Parenting Stories

1. GAIN PERSPECTIVE

Every afternoon I read out loud to Samson, while his two younger sisters are napping. Normally Samson is bouncing off the walls with energy. But when I read, he is still as a stone.

Right now we are devouring C.S. Lewis’ classic book The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. I try my southern best to mimic a British accent during the dialog to add excitement. I closely watch my five-year-old son’s blue eyes through my peripheral vision to see if he’s understanding. And I stop often to ask questions to regroup, “Honey, do you understand what’s happening?” I love love love when he gets caught up in the plot, and if I take a sip of water, he impatiently yells, “PWEASE READ, MOM! REEEEEEAD!!!”

My mom read one chapter out-loud from a book to her five children each day after our chores were finished. And if we finished fast, she sometimes even read us TWO chapters. We’d all pile around her maroon easy chair and listen. And I turned into a bookworm on my own. Now it is a delight to see Samson love reading, too.

I wish someone would have shown me this picture when I was an overwhelmed new mom. “Look what’s coming!” Or when I was crying from the stress of two children, age-two-and-under. It was a short season of hard work, for years of parenthood delight.

If you are an overwhelmed mama of littles, try to pull your head out of the diaper blizzard and remind yourself of what’s coming. It is delicious. Samson is my little friend each day. We play chess, we make inside jokes about how cute the baby is, and he makes mundane errands fun. You won’t always carry a diaper bag, mama. Your baby will someday be your buddy. Xo

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PRACTIAL MOM TIP

Want to better engage your children when reading out loud? Try asking your child these two questions periodically as you read:
1. What do you think is going to happen next?
2. What would you do in this situation?

This not only helps with reading comprehension, but you can quickly gauge if they are understanding the plot or are a bit lost. I even use this for picture books for Esther. Reading out loud is such a gift to your children – and it’s my favorite time of day with my children. Have fun! Enjoy your children! Xo

2. CHANGE YOUR OUTLOOK

It’s really important, when parenting the little years, to focus on the good and not the bad. I get overwhelmed A LOT. Three little ones age five and under is crazy. One thing my sweet, wise husband does to help us focus on the GOOD is talking about it during the day. This afternoon Dave and I were running around like madmen trying to get three little ones dressed and get all the other details done before we left for Easter dinner with the Spinas. Well, we got Samson and Esther mostly dressed, minus shoes (whew!) then charged into our master bathroom so WE could get ready. I was tired, stressed, and knew we would probably be late. AGAIN. (Because it takes exponentially more time with three children, than when we had two!!!!!!) We plopped teething baby Hannah down on the floor, and chunked random items towards her so she could chew while we got ready in our closets. Suddenly Dave called out from his closet, “Hey honey! Isn’t it great to have a little, silent, cute baby on the floor while we get ready? She’s so cute. Look at that smile.” Bam. The mood immediately changed. Instead of feeling stressed, I felt BLESSED. I say it in my book. I say it when I speak. Perspective changes everything. ❤❤❤

3. The Star Game

So. Real life parenting. These two are the best of friends. But they also get into fights A LOT. To combat (no pun intended) this problem, my fun husband designed The Star Game. Anytime they show acts of kindness to their sibling, they get a star. Anytime they are especially unkind, they get a star taken away. When they get 10 stars, Dave takes them to Wal-mart and they get to spend $25 on toys. (Bonus: math lesson, too!) ?? Stars are only awarded for sibling kindness, nothing else. It has really helped them both become aware of their actions/consequences. They ask excitedly, “Do I get a star for that?!?!” And also, post bad behavior, usually sobbing, “DO I GET A STAR TAKEN AWAY?!???” ?? Before I had children, I always said I would never use bribery. But I believe in the principle of good actions = good consequences. I believe in rewarding good behavior, and never rewarding bad behavior. Bad behavior = bad consequences. That’s real life! Try The Star Game with your darlings. It’s the best $25 we spend. ?????❤❤❤

4. CAR CONVERSATIONS

I love when my wise mom gives me a parenting tip. (She raised five children, and is now Grandmommy to nine grandchildren, with two more on the way. By the end of this year, she will have 11 grandchildren!!!) We went over to her country home for EasterSunday lunch. Afterwards, the kids were romping around the yard, staining and dirtying their new Easter clothes. Mom and I were talking about the 1980’s grey Toyota minivan we had growing up – we called it The Silver Bullet because that model had a blunt front and end. ?. We laughed how the back door made a creepy sound each time you opened it. Then mom told me to remember that car time is a unique time when kids naturally talk more. “What do you mean, Mom?” I asked. She reminded me that, unlike in your home or out and about, kids are strapped in and have NOTHING TO DO BUT TALK. So they naturally ask questions, are in the mood for conversation (they have nothing else to distract them), and that a wise parent will proactively engage in car conversations. I was really glad she reminded me of that. I needed to be reminded to view car rides as opportunities to enjoy and get to know my sweetie pies. Since then, I have stopped getting annoyed at the 1837372782 questions Samson asks on car rides, and Esther’s long repetitive toddler stories. I instead have begun to look forward to that uninterrupted, focused relational car time. ❤ Thanks for the great reminder mom!

 

 

5. REAL PARENTHOOD

Oh, parenthood. I try to keep a positive outlook, but for the record….this week alone:
– Samson took the iPad in the backyard, and while running on concrete tripped and shattered the screen
– the next day, Dave walked into our master bath and found Samson and Esther had gleefully tossed 1100 tiny hair rubber bands all over the floor (I know the exact amount because I had just bought them.) Have you ever tried, even with a good attitude, to pick up tiny sticky rubber bands up one by one?? You can’t sweep them in a pile or anything. How long did it take them to clean it up? It starts with an “h” and rhymes with power.
– Today I came home after shopping a long time to find nice, expensive matching candles for all the ladies in my family. I set the bag of candles on the kitchen counter and walked back toward the garage to bring in another load when I heard a horrible crash. Esther had yanked the bag down off the counter and shattered every single candle.

Let’s just say I RAISED MY VOICE.

Esther started bawling. Hannah promptly spit up all over the floor. And Samson came running in with his index finger in the air as if he just solved the problem, and stated very matter-of-factly, “Mom! I know ‘da pwoblem here! You lost your temper.”

Well, yes. Yes. I. Did. Thank you for that, my five-year-old.

xoxo

 

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