Tag Archive | discipline

My Heart, Mind and Habits

Regrettably, I have taken a long break from blogging recently, as I have been preoccupied with some personal issues and have been forced to concentrate on that. I am not and have never been very good at multi tasking. I can easily become consumed with a certain task and my brain cannot switch to anything else until that task is resolved. It is not a nice quality because sometimes it can take a few weeks to resolve, as with this past issue. I have still been fortunate enough to accomplish a few things this month, however have neglected quite a few of my goals. Unfortunately, I have been forced to compromise my kids and my own daily structure and I am working towards getting this up and running again.

I find it extremely difficult to split my attention and concentration on my children and other people. Whenever I am speaking to my children, I usually slip into some type of acting mode, either the ‘stern’ mom or the ‘affectionate’ mom. I cannot seem to speak with them the way I would to people who have known me as a child or during my ‘pre-kids’ days. Unfortunately, I even feel uncomfortable sorting out issues with my children in front of others because of how my actions may be judged. It seems that when I am reprimanding them, I am seen as being too harsh to my children and when I am praising them I am either too soft or showing off. I know in my heart that I shouldn’t worry about what other people think, but I cannot seem to stop the worry in my mind, maybe someone can share their own experiences or advice?

I need to incorporate a good amount of ‘me’ time into my schedule this week. By ‘me’ time, I mean a good quantity of alone time at night when the kids are asleep, in which I can reflect on myself and my life. I’m feeling slightly lost at the moment, like everything is up in the air, which I think is due to the fact that I have been concentrating on these ‘issues’ for quite some time and neglecting myself in the process. I need to sit down and reflect upon where my life is leading now and the person and parent I am now, and think about the life I want and the type of person or parent I want to be and create for myself the goals needed to get there. I need to purify my heart and mind and be clear about the goals I have in life as well as purifying my intentions. I need to renew my focus and create structure for myself and my kids. Its time I built new habits for myself and my children and be diligent in their practice.

“Serve, Love, Give, Purify, Meditate, Realize.”

Swami Sivananda

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Homeschool – Second Week Of January Overview

ImageI have had an incredibly busy last few weeks. We have been getting back into the hang of things with our homeschooling this week. It has been a very rocky start back after the holidays. Even though this is quite common with many children, especially seeing as my kids have been without a set routine for the past month or so, it isn’t any less frustrating.

At the beginning of the week I gave a small review quiz of the previous months work and they did not score a satisfactory enough mark for me. So we have taken this week to really review and revive their school routines in the process. I have also begun the Writing With Skills curriculum by Susan Bauer this week with my son. Its a bit sad that the eldest child is the one we all experiment on and practice our parenting skills with. I’m hoping if I like this writing curriculum then I shall incorporate it with my younger daughters. So far it is very good as it reminds me of the very basic skills, which I don’t think I have taught my son. I love the fact that it shows how other writers organize their work and gives practical tips on how to organize and summarize your own writing. It even includes extra tidbits that slip my mind when teaching my son about writing, such as superscripts and footnotes.

We have completed and reviewed our weather, air and water unit from last month and our nouns work. Therefore, I am happy now with their progress to begin our Solar Systems unit next week as well as learning about verbs. We are still going to be continuing our fractions work this week, as the multiplication and division of fractions has taken quite a few more lessons than I had planned. I have been reviewing different teaching methods in order to make this easier and will try a few more approaches to this next week.

I have been having a slight problem with my disciplining technique recently. I have said before that I have needed to update my techniques quite a lot as the kids have gotten used to them and end up arguing and disobeying them. Therefore, I really want to stick this one out but am at a loss as to how to approach this new development. I am currently disciplining by rewarding good behavior and ‘correcting / punishing’ bad behavior. This has been working great for a while with the kids eager to earn points and receive their rewards. However, recently they have become great negotiators. They have been asking me what the punishment is and deciding that its worth taking. As well as negotiating their rewards, saying they will obey as long as they get … I have not yet lost my temper which I am very pleased about and want to keep that way, but it ends up turning into a serious (and sometimes long) negotiation. Where I am convincing them that there is no choice in the matter you either complete what I have asked, whether schooling or chores, and as a result you will receive a reward. They are in turn attempting to convince me that the reward isn’t worthy of the task and I should therefore increase their rewards.

I am astounded by this. I honestly don’t understand what the difference was between my parenting and my parents’ parenting, however I would NEVER even consider talking back to them let alone negotiating rules. I don’t know how to overcome this current hiccup in their behavior. However, I do want to nip this in the bud before it gets worse. This technique has been working so far so I need to try to find a way to keep this reward and punishment system but perhaps include harsher punishments and sweeter rewards. This requires more studying and researching. I will need to go back and read more of Positive Discipline by Jane Nelson this week.

Please feel free to share your disciplining techniques and what has worked for you.

“One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” 

Sigmund Freud

Discipline and Parenting

ImageI always look forward to when I am able to relax with my cup of tea, in a quiet and clean house at the end of the day, especially days like today where the children have completed their work joyfully. It is especially pleasing, seeing as it doesn’t happen very often. We’ve been wrapping up our nouns, fractions and weather units this week and will just be working on putting everything together over the weekend. The kids have been working well in order to earn their rewards, which is 15 mins at the end of the day on either the computer or the ipad. They haven’t regularly earned this in the past, however somehow they have managed 4 days in a row!  

I am currently studying a TEFL course which ends in February. I’m starting to feel the beginning tingling of pressure and have been working on it this week to try and alleviate that stress before it starts. I hate to leave things to last minute but there are many more priorities for us as mothers. I can’t help but marvel at my ‘pre-parenthood’ days, where I cannot remember what I did with my time or even full days.

There has been the odd argument or two, usually involving someone making funny faces at another. I am still working on finding the best disciplining technique, I currently aim to go the ‘praise publicly and discipline privately’ way. Yet, I do have a problem with my own self-discipline sometimes and resort to raising my voice, usually whenever there is the possibility of injury. This is because I have these weird flashes of a ‘final destination’ type accident. Am I the only one? I hate the disciplining technique of withholding certain things, whether toys or electronics, from one child and not the others. I have always wanted to be a fair mother regardless, as I was the middle child and had what my siblings referred to as the ‘middle child syndrome’. I have always felt that I was treated unfairly as a child, even though looking back, that was not the case. Somehow, a child’s mind can perceive things in astonishing ways. It seems like a battle sometimes, trying to prove your intentions to your child in a given situation so as not to have it misconstrued. Nevertheless, I find it incredibly hard to discipline any other way. I cannot reward or correct collectively as that too would be unfair to one or the rest.

I know that as new parents we usually want for our children better than we had for ourselves. However, as I go along this parenting journey I have been through about 20 different disciplining techniques in 10 years and still need to update them when my kids get too used to them that they are ignored. I have realised that everyone of us are just trying to do our best while utilizing what we are blessed with, including our parents. Nobody is perfect. I remember I heard someone say once that you should never say ‘you tried’ with a child as your time isn’t over yet and you still need to constantly be trying.

Please share your disciplining techniques and how they work (or don’t) for you.

“Self-respect is the root of discipline: The sense of dignity grows
with the ability to say no to oneself.” 

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Organizing and Serenity

I’ve been busy the past few days organizing and de-cluttering my house. I have somehow managed to clear out the dreaded hall cupboard. I was quite happy though to find a box filled with past years homeschooling records and work and I managed to sort them out according to the corresponding years and file them all away quite nicely. It has always been there at the back of my mind’s to do list, and it’s a huge weight off my shoulders to be up to date with the past years’ school records and we haven’t even reached the end of this year’s first semester. Yes! I know now I just need to file the work and keep up to date with the records as we go along.

The kids have been well-behaved recently with lots of smiley faces and less fights. I have seriously noticed that the reason for this is the added effort I have been putting in to their schooling and daily activities. I haven’t always believed that the more you put in, the more you get out. However, I have seen the fruits of my endeavours really paying off. So even though I may be suffering a little from lack of sleep, it’ll all be worth it in the end. It won’t be long until my kids no longer need me and leave me to have all the sleep I need and some.

It is so strange to imagine a time in the future where I will be free to do what I want. It’s a catch-22 situation though, where I will be happy to be able to sleep and socialize more but will be heartbreaking and distressing that my kids are out on their own.  In my youth, I rebelled just like many other teenagers and gave my parents quite a bit of stress and worry and I remember my mother constantly telling me, ‘what goes around, comes around’. I always thought that was just part of the ‘speech’ whenever I did something wrong. Unfortunately, I now understand that more than ever. I can see when I speak with my eldest, that he is so similar to when I was a kid. Even during the middle of giving a lecture about his behaviour, I have flashbacks to when I was in his position and my mother or father would say the exact things to me.

I am constantly contemplating my parenting methods, and I am currently happy with them. However, there really should be classes or awareness courses about parenting and important life decisions (such as household and financial management). I don’t know if they run in other countries, but here in London, there isn’t much for that. Everyone assumes that its basic common knowledge. They are all so afraid to form an opinion on parenting that they don’t want to discuss it for fear of offending or upsetting a parents’ current styles. I think they should at least create classes for self-control and self-discipline as these are the basis to a person’s character. These are just my late night ‘lack of sleep’ musings. Self-control and discipline shall be for another day.

‘Organize, don’t agonize.’

Nancy Pelosi