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Good Advice

(I've officially given up on caring about the furniture)

You guys are the best. Thank you so much for the book advice, and for sympathizing with me on this raising kids thing. It is by far the hardest job ever- raising little people in this world. I wanted to share some of what has come from this post.

1. My friend, Kim, is hilarious- and I loved her comment;

"If there is a book that promises well behaved kids trust me I have read it and it doesn't work. My best remedies.....girls nights, pedicures, diet coke, and my favorite shows. Everyone says it will get better but seriously have they spent more than 5 minutes with my kids? If I wasn't a member of the church I am pretty sure I would have a serious drinking problem. So I have decided the best thing to do is to put myself in time out until I can behave rationally (or until someone starts bleeding). Good Luck."

I say, even if she had a serious drinking problem, there is still a special place in the best part of heaven for Kim- her kids are ca-razy. See here.

2. Marie suggested Scream Free Parenting, which is the third recommendation I've had for this book, so it's on my list... because believe it or not- I scream at my kids.

3. BFF's little sister Stacie, a student at BYU studying Special Education, has taken some behavioral classes- she gave me some great advice, which I loved and appreciated. And the part that made a big impression on me was this;

"There is no book that you can read to fix your kids, but remember that while trying to change their behavior you also need to change how you react because that may be maintaining their behavior."

4. A few days ago, Stephmodo shared her quote of the day- something her husband passed along to her.

"Your toddler will do what they need to do, and not necessarily what you say. If you're patient, then they will be patient. If you speak gently, then they will be gentle. Whatever you want them to be, you have to start becoming."

-Helen Hunt

5. I am not Helen Hunt's biggest fan, but that quote, along with Stacie's advice has made all of the difference in raising my kids this week.

True story; this week after baseball practice (more on that to come), the (little) boys and I were standing in the kitchen discussing what we should have for dinner. Whiny voices were starting, and I could see the melt down beginning. Thinking back on those recently inspiring quotes, I, in jest and with heavy sarcasm, clasped my hands together and in a very sing song-y, cheesy, I-should-be-on-the-Wiggles voice, said to them "Okay boys, this is what I want you to do. I want you to take off your shoes, put them in the basket, then go wash your hands and your faces, and I will make our dinner!"

Max looked at me dumbfounded, and then a big smile grew across his face. He said to me "when you talk like that, it makes me want to do what you say."

Mom: Seriously?
Max: Yeah.
Mom: Okay then, I'll make you a deal- I will talk like this, but you have to do whatever I ask you to do when I talk in this voice. Okay?"
Max: Okay!

And off they went. Melt down averted.

And after a few days of being the new, nice Mommy, I have seen an overall improvement in my boys. They mostly respond when I ask them the first time. They are nicer to each other. And we have had a string a peaceful days in our home. We go to bed always with the goal to do better tomorrow. And we say that out loud. I am learning that to change my children's behavior, I first need to change mine. Which is difficult, at 34 years old. But not impossible.

Please know that when I share this, there is no soap box. In fact, I feel very vulnerable in admitting to what a crappy mom I am. And I fear a return to those days, which I am sure is inevitable. But this much is true; I am trying, things are better, and maybe Helen Hunt isn't so bad. But mostly, you guys are the best blog friends a girl could ask for!

Thanks again!


Carina said…
Sometimes, talking to my kids in my Elmo voice is the only thing that gets them to do anything.
Neva said…
Best advice I can give is to not be your mother and use that sweet tender voice......ALWAYS
Sara said…
First of all, my couch looks like that just about everyday. Chad hates it when Mason does that to the couch, but I don't care for a fight with the kids, so I let them do it just about everyday. Shhh, don't tell on me!

Second of all, thanks for this post! I love the advice and needed to hear it today of all days. The kids have been whiny and it's been hard not to loose my cool. Today I've definitely been a crappy mom. But I'll make the goal to do better tomorrow.
JennyLee said…
Really, really good advice! I haven't quite made it to the couch destruction yet...I'm super paranoid about my furniture. Just wait right? haha :)
Jaime said…
I loved this post. Michael and I had this conversation the other day at lunch and he told me I needed to change me first and they would follow. It is so hard to hear that but I do know it is true. I love reading about other people having loud children because I then know I am not alone. I wish you the best and hope I can try to have a sweet kind voice with my kids also.
Ashley said…
I also loved this post. First, your boys are so dang adorable. Second, I have a remarkably similar green couch and it is always, always in disarray. It hurts my spirit but I am--of course--too tired to fight it. Third, such wise advice. Reminds me of the old "insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results" quote. I am always barking at Charlie to "come here!" and he always ignores me. Today I told him to chug on over like a train and he immediately did it. I am sure you are being way too hard on yourself and your mothering! The fact that you care enough to even do these posts says a lot.
brooke said…
This is all such good advice. It really scares the crap out of me when I hear my daughter talking and yelling exactly like me "When is dad going to freakin come home."

You're right my kids yell more when I yell a lot. I hate that I'm a yeller. I wish I could stop.

Can't wait for the Red Iquana!
Heidi and Rich said…
I totally needed to hear those words of advice tonight. I am going to try the "new mommy" voice and see what happens. Good luck - you are not the only yeller - I hate to admit that I raise my voice too often. Let's pray for strength - little boys are hard...but worth it.
Your kids are what you make them. Congrats on finding that "even" ground! As long as YOU maintain your authority, they will be obedient!
grandma jojo said…
i love the look of your sofa in this picture. it means happy boys. what is a sofa good for if you can't make a fort?
mine never looks like that anymore. there aren't blankets all over the place making really cool forts. i miss it.
i want to hear your wiggles voice.
bwt is there a mom out there that hasn't yelled? i have yet to meet her.
The boys will leave you alone if you have them create their own forts.
Anonymous said…
From what I've read are far from a crappy Mom! I think any Mom that cares enough to try each day to be better, get up and get going, loves her kiddos...and not lose a great Mom. You rock, my diet coke loving, awesome Mom, blogging friend!
alexandra said…
This was such a wonderful post for me to read today. Such great advice. Thank you!
Boy, I sure wish I had an elmo voice! Im a little nervous to have another boy...

I agree though...any mom that prays to be better each night, is a TRUE mother sent from HEAVEN!

Even though I had a melt down while reading, i loved your post!
Kathy said…
Okay, so sorry if it seems a little blog-stalky, but I came across your blog on Marie's. And this was exactly what I needed to read today, Mandee! Thank you for sharing!

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