Welcome sunshine! This week we have thoroughly enjoyed the sunshine and being able to be outdoors everyday. Jacob is such an outdoors kid. He is in his element exploring, investigating, climbing, running, splashing...... being a child! The Charlotte Mason Method promotes as much time outdoors exploring nature as possible, so this week we have been exploiting that :-)
Our local park is Eastrop Park (Eastrop Park). It has a play area, boating lake, stream, open space, nature trail and children's paddling pool- plenty for fun! We have spent most of the week there just hanging out! Jacob loves the stream. he paddles, splashes and explores. He brings me every item he finds for close scrutiny. We discuss his findings- mini-beast, pond weed/stone and litter! It's been a fab way of learning about rivers and streams. Our local Home-Ed group meet there weekly. This week I listened as two other children explained to Jacob about currents and how it effected the stream. Amazing! He remembered every detail because he was so enthused by his peers. Brilliant!
All of the fun from this week leads me too think over and review last weeks post- Loving our kids on purpose. If you missed that post you can go back and read it, but I will give you a summary below.
Our goal as parents is to teach our children about and how to have healthy relationships and at the heart of these relationships is love. Love requires choices. So our children must be skilled in making choices and realising consequences of those choices.
I believe in order to achieve this we must follow a 3 step rule.
1- Take care of and manage ourselves as adults.
2-Set and enforce healthy limits by giving choices and consequences.
3- Help our children understand how their choices affect your relationship with them.
Big steps huh?!
Over the next couple of posts I will discuss each step, starting today with step one- taking care of and managing ourselves.
A really simple way to sum this up is the 'airplane analogy'. When the air stewards run through the safety demo they always remind you to 'place your own mask before helping children or others'. Unless your breathing your no use to anyone! 'We can only offer to others what we have ourselves'- Danny Silk.
As parents (and humans!) we need to take the time to look at our own behaviour, what it communicates and our actions towards others. Communicating to your child you have no 'limits', in terms of what is acceptable behaviour, shows no self-respect leading them to loose respect in you.
A really great (I think!) method for helping younger children understand respect and self control is the 'Fun or not fun' technique.
Fun or not fun technique- by Love and Logic
Teaching your child from an early age that there are two people in a relationship will help them develop the skills needed for making wise choices. A relationship has two sets of needs. Now, as parents we want to be fun to be around. Children need to know the same- they need to be fun to be around! When they are having tantrums, are rude, fight with siblings etc it's not fun! Follow the flow below and you should be able to demonstrate being 'fun' to your child.
(Parent to say)
Imagine your child in full flow of a screaming fit! 'YYEEEAAAKKK' (think squawking seagull!)
'Whoa! hey no fun. fun or room?
You decide or I decide (giving a choice)
No problem!(choices have consequences) take child to time out space or bedroom. When you get to the room, inform your child- ]
You can come out of the room when you are fun. You then leave the room. Likely that, if it's a small child, they haven't stayed put! So..
Fun or room?
No problem- take them back to time out space or bedroom. It's likely that your child will have taken themselves back, because they are born to be free and will be thinking ' that's right, I took myself here, you did not put me in time out!'
They may now stay in time out. If not the process repeats!
After their time out is up (usually a minute per year of age e.g age 4= 4 mins) you go to retrieve them and say-
Fun??? WITH A SMILE
The child may not be ready and may choose 'room' again, but it's likely they will return your smile. 'There's a smile, there you go! That is fun to be with!
This is a lesson in self-control. We all need to know how to control our emotions in order to make sharing an environment harmonious! Small steps such as these will help your child hugely in the future. Kids are quick to learn, and are clever! Your actions speak louder than any words, yet your actions do the talking and teach them what you say you mean- and follow it through! Saying what we mean, meaning what we say and doing what we say we will do demonstrates we are trustworthy. Show your children they can trust you! That is your challenge for this week........................
Thanks to www,loveandlogic.com and Danny Silk- Loving our kids on purpose.