Psalm 25:4-5, Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Here we are wrapping up September. This is year 3 of homeschooling for our family and it’s been the smoothest transition thus far. I attribute it to several things. One being that we continued some schoolwork all summer, but never missed anything fun that came up. Two being that it’s year 3 and in my experience year 3 is like a magic year. When I was a public school teacher, I found that year 3 of teaching the same grade level or same curriculum really finally came together for me. And, three, many of the changes we have made to handling discipline in our family, have brought about greater peace for us all. Amen to all of the above!
My Reading this Past Month
- Goliath Must Fall by Louie Giglio
- When Parenting Isn’t Perfect by Jim Daly
- Hinds’ Feet on High Places by Hannah Hurnard (I try to read this once a year!)
Our Reading this Past Month
- The Borrowers by Mary Norton
- What to do When It’s Not Fair by Jacqueline Toner
- What to do When Mistakes Make You Quake by Jacqueline Toner
- Story of the World Volume 1 by Susan Wise Bauer
1-2-3 Magic (123 Magic)
A very wise counselor shared with me the idea of utilizing the 1-2-3 Magic approach for stopping negative behaviors in my children. Think of any lower level behavior you want to stop: arguing, whining, badgering, and complaining, etc. There are many short youtube videos you can watch to learn more about this approach.
Here is how we are using it and finding it successful in our family:
First I set up the plan with the kids. I explained to the kids that we have been allowing behaviors such as arguing and complaining to ruin perfectly good days for us. We want to deal with the behaviors in a quicker way so that we can get back toward whatever God has called us to for that day. I told them that if they argue (complain, whine, badger), I will say, “That’s 1” and hold up 1 finger. They have a choice to make. Stop or continue. If they continue, I will say, “That’s 2” and hold up 2 fingers. If they choose to continue, I will say, “That’s 3” hold up 3 fingers and say (as unemotionally as possible), “It’s time for a break.” I will designate a spot for a break and tell them I will let them know when break is over (5-10) minutes.
After the first explanation of this plan, one little darling almost immediately thought she would test it out! Okay, here we go! Help me, Lord!
Darling child, “Can I have a snack?”
Mom, “No, it’s 30 minutes until dinner.”
Sweet, darling child, “But, I am HUNGRY. I haven’t eaten for 10 minutes! Why can’t I have a snack?”
Mom, “It’s 30 minutes until dinner. And, that’s 1,” holding up 1 finger.
Dear, sweet, darling child, “But, I am so hungry! Why can’t you tell me why?”
Mom, “That’s 2,” holding up 2 fingers.
Lovely, dear, sweet, darling, child, “Oh great! So you can’t even tell me why!? I just want a snack!”
Mom, “That’s 3, time for a break. Please go sit on the stairs. I will tell you when break is over.”
Precious, lovely, dear, sweet, darling, child, “Why did you have to talk to that counselor!” stomping off to the stairs.
I am not worrying about the behavior on the way to the stairs because my goal is to quickly and unemotionally stop the badgering and to reset. We are doing that by taking a break.
I set a timer for 10 minutes and then call to the child, “Break is over.” I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the child returned in a pleasant mood, ready to find something to do until dinner.
Flash forward to the next morning. Darling child, “Can I make pancakes for breakfast?”
Mom, “That sounds good, but we have to leave in one hour so there just isn’t time today.”
Sweet, darling child, “But, why can’t I make pancakes?”
Mom, “We are leaving soon. And, that’s 1,” holding up 1 finger
Child sulks off grumbling something under her breath, all the while developing self-control. We move on with our day.
For more serious infractions such as physically hurting someone, damaging property, or aggression, you go straight to 3 and the child takes a break. Usually a more serious infraction also involves some sort of restitution in our house…fixing what they broke, mending the relationship, doing something physical to get the aggressive behavior out appropriately.
Be Your Own Health Advocate
At age 25, when I first became ill with an ultra rare disease, aHUS (atypical Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome), doctors had little idea of what was going on or what to do about it. And, I didn’t know that when a doctor said, “Let’s try XYZ to treat you,” I should say, “Why? Explain this to me.”
I didn’t realize the doctor was not my boss. The doctor is not all-knowing. And my life is not in the doctor’s hands.
In a healthy patient/doctor relationship, the patient is free to ask questions, seek clarification, share about their own research, and discuss concerns. If a doctor does not accept this from you as the patient, you should strongly consider finding a different doctor.
I have had a few wonderful doctors over the years. Besides accepting questions and thoroughly listening to me, the wonderful ones are those that admit when they don’t know something and then they seek to learn.
What about you? What did you learn this month? Is that a tough question to answer? Don’t worry! God has an answer for that. James, 1:5 says, If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
Need wisdom? Need to learn something? Need to see a breakthrough in a certain situation in your life? Need greater understanding?
ASK GOD, the one who gives it to you liberally!