My Yell Free Morning – despite kids doing their best to not go to school

I can’t say I’ve turned a corner.  I just took one step in the right direction, and it feels so good!  No best parenting awards here, but I feel I did my best.

From ModernDayDads.com

For some reason, both kids sleep late.  Instead of the normal 6:30am “mommy!!!”, at 7:40am I had to start waking them up as the bus comes at 8:45, and preschool starts at 9.  Now, I hate waking them up.  Our daughter does everything on her own time, so it usually never goes well.  With our son, I try to provide him with as much sleep as possible as it might, might, lessen his anxiety and SPD issues.   I’ve learned that with him, it is best to crawl up into his loft and snuggle with him, and he calmly wakes up to a gentle voice, a loving presence, and kisses.

Not today.  His first response was to move away from me.  His second was to tell me to get out as he never told me I could get up there.

Uh-oh.

I got down from the loft quickly, apologizing.  We’re in the process of selling our house, and his personal space in the loft has become even more important than I thought. I left the room, hoping he might relax.  No luck.  Sounds of shuffling stuff and other clatter drifted out.

After thoroughly cleaning and reorganizing his loft last night at his own initiative, he now had completely messed it up.

“I messed it up because I’m mad.  It’s your fault.  I’m staying up here all day and not going to school.”

The clock was quickly ticking on when the bus would arrive.  But there was no use in fighting.

I was also sick of hearing myself yell at the kids.  I was also tired of hearing all the Adrian Peterson stuff in the news.  I understand the neurological reasons why as parents we yell or hit our kids, but fortunately we are more advanced than giving into our primal gut reactions.  So I had a choice.  Yell and make the morning only worse, or strategically move forward getting the kids and myself ready.

Our daughter woke-up, and I followed her routine without changes.  While she decided she wanted to stay home too and watch Brave, we slowly worked it out that she could watch it when she got home (as long as I didn’t start watching it without her).

I did not contradict him, but kept moving forward.

I prepared his regular morning drink, which he accepted eagerly from his perch.  I packed their food.  Got out their clothes.  Got myself ready.  Called his school to let them know that he would be a bit late.

Eventually he made his way down from the loft, telling me he was only coming down for a bit.  The bit turned into a bit more.  Then turned into asking for breakfast.  Then turned into a bit more conversation, all while saying he wasn’t going to school and would go back up into his loft soon.  By 9 we were out of the house and in the car.  They were both dressed, bags packed appropriately, and no yelling.

Dropped off our daughter, then headed to the elementary school.  Once we got close, he once again said he wasn’t going to school.  But as we parked and he noticed there wasn’t buses, he asked if we were early.

“No, we’re late.”

He responds: “Well, we stopped at preschool and I stayed in my loft too long.”

Small victory dance commences in my heart.

I put out my hand which he took, and we walked into the school.  He wasn’t thrilled, and as we got closer to his classroom he held on tighter wanting me to stay.  But within minutes I was back in the car.

It could have happened much differently.  I could have yelled.  Shoved him on the bus.  Rushed around.  But I did have the luxury of time, which I am thankful for.

I decided being late and providing him with the calmest morning possible in the hopes of him having a decent day at school, was the only option.

Now if I can only keep this up!  I know I will yell again.  I know I will be in a rush again.  But today, right now, it feels good that I did something right.

But today, right now, my kids know I love them.

 

Additional posts/articles by others on the topic:
The Orange Rhino Challenge – blog & book about not yelling
It’s Not Too Late to Stop Yelling at your Kids
Learning Not to Yell
Is It Possible for Me To Stop Yelling at my Kids?
Seven Tips of Practicing Positive Discipline
The Important Thing about Yelling

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Why Sushi Matters to our Marriage

My first ever experience with sushi was at a party hosted by one of the staff during my internship.  The seaweed seemed to get caught in my throat, and the feeling did not disappear for a week.  While I have tried many things, I would not try sushi again.

 Well, not until over 15 years later and into our 10th year of marriage.  My husband, knowing my disdain, would get it on work trips, on the very occasional evening when the kids and I weren’t around, would get it for dinner.

Mostly out of pity and partly of not caring where we went to eat, I agreed to go to a local sushi bar on one of our rare nights out without kids.

It was wonderful to see how much he enjoyed it.  Now, this man is our primary cook at home as he has definite tastes, including meat, and my meal preferences don’t always mesh with his.  So to see him enjoy his food and not have to cook, was great.

I tried a few things that he geared me towards, knowing what I would probably like.  It worked, slowly.

After a few more years, I actually had a yearning for sushi!  Having no real food in the house and being alone for lunch (a rarity), I headed out to our local gourmet grocery store and grabbed a few selections I could identify.  After eagerly eating my meal, I was excited to share with him this big step.

It wasn’t a fast change, but through patience and understanding, my husband helped me actually enjoy another aspect of this amazing life.  One of many things I have come to enjoy from knowing him and sharing my life with him.

When two people are in it for the long-haul with an open heart and mind, we can help each other for the better.

What has your spouse brought into your life that you first refused, but now enjoy?  Have you thanked him or her?

Gracious God, thanking you for bringing others into our lives so that we may find happiness in unexpected places.  Help us to have patience, humor and courage as we move forward, knowing that we are always changing and changing others.  Amen.

 

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