Thursday, August 29, 2013

A Parenting Review

This is not my typical book review. Rather, this is a preface to a review I will be writing in several months. 

Many of you know I have three small children, Luke, age 6; Aubrey, almost 4; and Ellie, 6 months. I knew before the importance of consistency and structure required for successful parenting; I considered myself fairly consistent and structured…until child number three came along. While adjusting to three children went much smoother for me than adjusting to two, there is one area where I am still extremely weak: my memory. Yikes! I swear I lost more and more of my short-term memory with the birth of each child. And it’s not just with my children where my memory is bad; it’s in everything, and it’s frustrating. It is my inconsistency, in conjunction with my lack of memory, lately that has gotten me disgruntled.

In the past, I have used Behavior Boosters to encourage appropriate behavior in my children. I LOVE Behavior Boosters! One of my main goals in parenting is to back up all of my consequences and rewards with scripture. The Bible gives parents everything they need to know about parenting. For me though, it is knowing how to apply those guidelines properly that is tricky. That is where Behavior Boosters came in. I still plan on using Behavior Boosters to encourage positive behavior in creative, scripture-based ways, but lately, I have been needing something more.

It was at Bible study last Monday night where I learned about Doorposts! Eureka! I think am hoping my consistency in parenting has met the means for change!

I am always giving my children “if-then” statements: “If you continue to talk back, then you will loose the privilege of playing the Wii today.” I also LOVE charts! Doorposts combines both of these and provides an excellent “if-then” chart as well as “The Blessing Chart” for rewards. These just came in the mail today, and I am beyond eager to begin using them!

In addition to these wonderful charts, Doorposts also makes a “Brother-Offended” checklist. This is the parenting manipulative I am most excited about! My six-year-old is becoming the most diligent tattletale. This is one area where I am at a loss. I want him to tell me if his sister is doing something that could hurt herself like running into the road, or if she intentionally hurt another, but I do not want to know every time she throws rocks in the driveway, goes up the stairs with her shoes on, or rolls her baby sister over. So, beginning today, we are going to go over the Brother-Offended checklist and booklet as a family and start implementing this strategy for tattling.

I am super excited about this new regimen we will be implementing! I will keep you posted as to my progress and if these manipulatives are going to be better for my memory and, subsequently, my consistency than any amount of gingko biloba. 

I'm always looking for ways to improve my parenting. What have you found to be successful ways to discipline and reward your children? Have you done anything creative? Do you have any suggestions to offer?


  1. This sounds like a really neat method and I hope it works well for you. I especially like the Brother-Offended checklist! I don't have kids but I've spent a LOT of time around them and I think consistency is really important. It kind of drives me crazy (usually at work) when I hear a parent say "If you don't stop, we're gonna leave. If you don't stop we're gonna leave." (repeat 12 times and then buy the kid a large ICEE). I just want to say "your kid doesn't believe anything you say because you never mean it!" And every kid has their own "currency" that motivates them. I never cared if I got a time-out because I was more than happy to sit in the corner and make up stories in my head.

    Adorable pic of the Leatherbabies (can I call them that? lol) and now I'm just wondering what MY .excuse is for my bad memory! ;) Here's a tip - just write whatever you need to remember ON your kid. That way you'll see it and they can help you remember! lol ;)

    1. Oh, yes, I get so amused when I see those parents at the store as well. :)

      I bet you sat there waiting for your punishment with your fingers crossed thinking, "timeout, timeout, timeout!"

      LOL! Great idea, Monica! I will have to keep a sharpie in my pocket at all times! ;)

  2. I achieved some success with "natural consequences." When my daughter refused to wear a coat in very cold weather, I let her walk to the bus stop without one. She begged me to go back to the house and get her coat, but I just shook my head. It was very difficult, but she never did it again! (She had to stay in for recess which really ticked her off.) Another thing was validation. When something went wrong, I validated their feelings, but life does throw curve balls, so you have to adjust.

    1. HI Mary! :) Yes, I am a HUGE fan of natural consequences. I feel like I say to Luke, "that is a natural consequence for _____." Thanks for sharing that story about your daughter. Sounds just like something that would happen here. ;)
      Validating their feelings is something I try hard to do. Sometimes I struggle when one of them gets hurt though. I find myself asking, "did that really hurt that bad or is s/he just being dramatic and needs to toughen up?" Still learning! ;)
      Thanks so much for stopping by and chatting! :)

  3. Hi, Jakki

    What a lovely photo, they're so adorable! I'm very impressed by your methods and I think I'm more likely to learn a thing or two rather than come up with anything creative. I'm currently bringing up two and muddle along with good days and frustrating ones - and dreading the impending teens :) Hope they won't be as bad as they're made out to be! All the best and thanks for sharing!