For those of you who may not know, I have three year old twin girls. I also have a precious almost six year old son. Our life is often loud, chaotic and stressful. Overall, we have a wonderful and fun life, but sometimes I let parenting become an annoying burden and not a faith-stretching, patience-bringing, joy-filling opportunity.
In these not-so-fun moments when I'm trying to get something done whether it be fix dinner, fold clothes, have a phone conversation and one or all of my children misbehave, my tendency is towards anger and impatience. Instead of getting mad at my precious babes, I have started to preach to myself these three words, "Calm, contact, cease." Okay, so this is what that means:
Cease: stop what I'm doing. My job is to parent these children and train them in the way they should go. My primary goal is not to get dinner on the table or fold laundry. I have to stop the secondary things to focus on the primary. This is so hard for me because I just love to get 'er done! Discipline takes time. But, it's worth it.
Contact: Go to the offending child or children, get on their level and make physical contact with them in a kind, gentle way while instructing them. This often is just me squatting in front of one of the kids, placing my hand on her/his shoulder and asking them why they are upset or helping resolve conflict. With a fit throwing miss or mister, this often means that I must physically remove the child from the room. Each one of my kids weighs over 30 pounds now. I'm as strong as an ox these days.
Calm: I just gotta keep it together! I cannot get mad or the kids will learn from my bad example and they will be stressed out by my lack of self-control. Sometimes I have to whisper to keep from raising my voice. Sometimes I close my eyes and pray. You get the picture.
I hope these three C's help you as they have helped me. I truly feel that the Spirit comes to our aid when we need Him and that He is "near to those who have young". Oh, and look at these cute kids. Seriously. They kill me with their cuteness.
Below: The Viv-ster with a sour cream stache. Hilariously serious face here.
My big boy is about to lose both of his top front teeth. I made him pose for these pics so I could capture his sweet smile before we transition to a snaggle tooth grin. :) Love this big boy!