Wednesday, May 14

Works-for-me Wednesday

Good morning! I'm back for another edition of Works-for-me Wednesday, hosted by Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer. Check out her page for lots of other great WFMW ideas. :)

Today, I'm going to cover practicing with your kids. Practicing what? I'll get to that in a minute. But first, I have a confession to make. I haven't been so good about doing this lately with my kids. I've been too busy curing cancer solving the world hunger problem developing an AIDS vaccine adopting children making speeches at important places making micro loans and fixing the global economy following the election campaigns wrapped up in life and neglecting things that aren't on the #1 or #2 spots on the to-do list. Just a little disclaimer.

And this is an idea I got from the Jeubs. They have 13 children. If they say something works, you can bet I'm going to try it! Anyway. Practicing with my kids. Evie has never been very skilled at going to bed politely. Translation: Evelyn has a complete and total nervous breakdown each night around 8:30. It's great, let me tell you. A ton of fun. A barrel of monkeys.

After reading Love in the House, I decided to try this 'practicing' thing on my kids. The basic principal is this: you take time during the day, when nothing else is scheduled or planned, when you (the parent!) are calm and relaxed, and you practice area that could use some work. We started practicing going to bed in the middle of the day. Like 10 in the morning. I would say, 'Ok, kids, we're going to practice going to bed with pleasant attitudes. I can't wait for Dad to see how well y'all do the next time he's here at bedtime!' (John was working a long stretch of closes, so it was going to be three or four nights until he'd be around for bedtime.)

So for three days, two or three times each day, I would randomly practice making the children go to bed. They thought it was the best game ever. And they were doing a great job. I was so excited to show John. And nervous. I really hoped it would work!

Then next evening John was at home, 8:30 rolled around. John told the kids to brush their teeth, and was surprised by the lack of whining and the general air of obedience. But he had no idea what was in store. When teeth were brushed and we had finished the chapter of the book we were reading, I told the kids, 'Ok, y'all go up, turn out your lights, get in bed, and I'll be in there n five or ten minutes to say your prayers.' John gave a sigh and winced, waiting for the wailing, chest beating, and hair ripping crying to begin.


The kids gave me a great big (if not slightly conspiratorial) grin, said, 'Yes, ma'am, I'd be glad to!' kissed us goodnight, and ran upstairs and got into bed. I pretended like nothing out of the ordinary had happened, and said, 'I'll go say their prayers. Can I get you anything on my way back?' He was still a little dumbstruck, so he didn't answer. When I got back downstairs, that's when I got the third degree. I finally broke down and told him how I did it, and he was amazed.

We've used practicing for lots of things. All the kids stay with us during church service (families are supposed to worship together!), and it's hard to control three banshees for that long. We started 'practicing church' here at home, and haven't had many problems since then. It's been great!

So that's what works for me. Practicing stuff with my kids. Any comments? What works for you?


Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

WONderful idea! I've got to try this, and soon. My 3 girls have gotten less obedient lately, and their Mommy is about to have a nervous breakdown!

Tonni said...

Hello! I just wanted to say, I LOVE this idea... I'm several years from being able to apply it, but I'll definitely use it in the future!
I also sent this to my sis-in-law, I think she'll appreciate it!

Anonymous said...

What an amazing idea! Once Anja's old enough to try...I'm all over it. Oh, and I hope you're having fun on your trip! Better be lots of photos...

Jessica said...

What a super-fantastic idea!

Love the idea of a dumbfounded --and indubitably impressed-- husband!