9:23PM: the house is quiet. Bedtime is done, living room is tidied up, dishes are washed. This is a good thing. Reflecting on this day and yesterday, I definitely had moments of insanity. There were moments where I was really wound up, and there were more than enough times where I raised my voice or yelled. Too many times.

Dr. Phil talks about finding your kids’ currency. That is, you need to find the things that they really care about, so that if they misbehave, and those things are withheld, they matter to them. If you don’t know what it is, they you really have very little you can motivate your children with towards good behaviour. I often wonder with J whether the things I thought had currency with her, now seemingly don’t. The one thing she does still treasure is stories. If around bedtime she isn’t getting ready and dragging her feet, or misbehaving, losing the story is what gets her motivated right away. Last night T went to sleep early, because she had only a 30 minute nap. So I brought J up after saying goodbye to Dennis (thanks Dennis!!) and gave J her bath, and after we got dressed, wouldn’t you know it, she goes running down the hall, and crashes into their bedroom. Luckily I caught the door before it made a big bang. I grabbed J, hauled her out of there, and I said in my anger and frustration… “You just lost your story, little lady!”

Now, I don’t think I’ve ever said “little lady” before in my whole life. Who says “little lady”? Nobody talks like that. It was the strangest thing that came out of my mouth all weekend. J of course bursts into tears. I sat her down on our bed, and she’s crying, and she says, “Why did you use that voice? I’m sorry… do you still love me?” And I grabbed her and gave her the biggest hug I could, and said “Yes I love you. I aways love you.” We talked more about what made me so upset, and gave her a second chance to get her story back if she could show me good behaviour. So it was ok in the end. I wonder if the most important part wasn’t the discipline, but the “I love you.” It usually is.

2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by kbushling on 2006/11/20 at 12:43 PM

    There were tears in my eyes when I read this – thanks so much for sharing.

    Parenting is tough and I’m so happy that I can experience some of your learnings through your posts.

    Seems like both of you learned a lot about respecting each other and how to communicate effectively. Sounds a lot like our premarital classes 🙂


  2. Posted by candeo on 2006/11/21 at 9:31 PM

    what’s that song? stubborn love? i guess that’s what kids (of any age) really need.


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