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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Magic Words for Moms

image credit: www.lastmom.com
We all know "please," and "thank you" are magic words for kids. I figure they're my payment for doing things around here. If I don't hear those words, I don't move.

But...do you know the magic words for moms? As I was getting breakfast ready for #7 this morning, I noticed that there are certain phrases I use with my kids that work some great magic around here. These words and phrases have been tested on seven children. So far, so good. Here they are for your perusal....

image credit: es.dreamstime.com
1. "while"
This morning I was getting the cereal out of the cupboard. #7 was standing there next to me, but I noticed that her blanket was laying on the kitchen floor. I said, "Hey, while I'm pouring this cereal for you, will you please go put your blanket up in your room?" She took off running, blanket in hand, and put it away. She returned as I was getting the milk out, so I tried it again, "While I'm pouring this milk for you, would you please go put this toy in the toy closet." Again, off she went.

This is a great tool for getting two things done at once. I figure each time my kids ask for me to do something, I can have them do something in return. It's good for them to know that family means helping each other.

2. "as soon as"
#7 hates sitting in the chair with the tray, but if she didn't, we'd end up with a thousand and a half spills in this house. She almost always puts herself at the table where everyone else eats. This morning was no exception. I walked in with her newly poured cereal and saw her sitting at the table, so I said, "As soon as you're in your chair, you can have your cereal." She protested. Would you expect anything else? I mean, really? I stood there holding the bowl of cereal and waited patiently. It took a few moments, but next thing I knew, there she was climbing into her chair.

image credit: www.thinkgeek.com
3. "or"
When she climbed into her chair, she had a large board book in her hands. One of the rules at our house is that no books are allowed at the table. She put the book on top of her tray (leaving no room for the bowl of cereal), so I went to remove it. She argued that she wanted it. I stood there and reminded her of the "no book" rule. I held the book in one hand and the cereal in another then I offered "Would you like the book or the cereal." She had to ponder it for a few moments. She chose the cereal. The book went on the table to wait for her to finish.

Okay, so #4 isn't a word. I cheated.

4. silence
When #7 blatantly ignores or breaks a rule, I don't say anything. I take her by the hand, as calmly as possible and help her to do or undo what she's done.

What I'm learning is that sometimes I have a tough time keeping my mouth shut. When my older kids misbehave, I just want to talk it out and make sure they understand, but I'm learning that when a logical consequence is applied, I have to just be quiet and let the kids' brains do the work. When things are calm, that's the time to talk. I think, having as poor a memory as I do, I just want to talk it out before I forget. Maybe I need to take notes.

Anyway, there you have it....How some of our potentially ugly situations are defused in the Madhouse. So easy and simply...magical!


Julia Shinkle said...

I love it Julie. All helpful words. What are some of the things that you say when they make the right choice. How do you praise your kids. That is something I need to work on. I think if I was pointed out their good behavior more often the bad would lessen. What do you say for positive reinforcement? Besides the standard good job/way to go. I often find myself saying things like "I love when you "xyz" because it helps things go smoother". Stuff like that. But what else?

lia london, author and writing coach said...

Brilliant! This is why you're mother of the year in my book every year.

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