these kinds of messages that truly express how we feel in our hearts about our children. When speaking to others about our children, do we tell our friends what rotten thing that child did that morning, or do we say positive, kind, endearing things about them?
I guess when it comes right down to it, it kind of goes along with what my children term "Mom 1:1"--"If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."
MacArthur also states, "Don't get too paranoid about all this as if you have to watch every word or deed with your children. You don't need to be that wary but you do need to watch for PATTERNS. To be too busy once in awhile or too impatient occasionally is unlikely to inscribe a negative message on your child's blackboard but a regular pattern of being too busy or too impatient could."
Timing is sometimes very funny. I was just chatting with one of my older children as we took a car ride, just the two of us, the other day. This particular child gets very frustrated with the younger siblings. Sometimes they act a bit immature, and let's face it, obnoxious. These things make this older kid CRAZY. I found that out from following MacArthur's third point. Yes, I've been sitting down and having regular one-on-one time with my kids getting to know their hearts a bit better.
This older child said, "Yah, but [one child] is the laziest person I know. It makes me CRAZY." I said, "Maybe so, but let me tell you how I'm dealing with that right now. All weekend, I've been telling [that child] how much I love what a hard worker [he/she] is. Whenever I catch [him/her] doing something without complaining, I make sure to make a point of it."
Confession: I'm not always good at this, but I'm working on it.
So, here's the funny thing on timing, and I wish I could take a picture of this so you could see it, but my camera's on the fritz, and Santa's been alerted....
Yesterday, that "lazy" child came home from school. (S)he brings papers home from school frequently that look like a writing outline with triangles and boxes on them. When I checked homework yesterday, here was the beginning of that writing outline in the child's handwriting: "I'm proud of working the most with no crying or moaning."
MacArthur's last words in this section are also very necessary: "...a burned out and resentful parent is no good to a family." There we have it. Take time to write on your child's blackboard intentionally but make sure we're taking care of ourselves at the same time.
For Thanksgiving, we got to open a Christmas gift early. This is very unusual and not part of our family tradition, but one of the things we received was a $100 gift card. The Warden told me to use it for Christmas shopping, but I told him I'd rather spend it with him, so we're looking forward to having a little get-away very soon.
Never forget that you're MAGICAL!