Thursday, March 29, 2012

Boundaries With Kids

I've read quite a few parenting books.  None of them have been super helpful...I don't know why??  However, I recently checked out another parenting book with hopes that maybe this one would shed some light on the struggles of parenting a four year old & a two year old.  Yep, I found the book! Boundaries With Kids by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. This one is a winner!!  I'm seeing results as I implement the suggestions, hallelujah!  The biggest one for me is giving consequences while showing empathy instead of anger...that has been very effective with my four year old son.  You can read about showing empathy while giving consequences starting in chapter 4: The Law of Sowing and Reaping.  I think I'll need to read the book over quite a few times to let it all sink in because I need to change my perspective and how I approach certain situations with my kids.  I wish this book had been required reading instead of some of the other books I had to read before we adopted. (Yep, they require that you read parenting books if you want to adopt!) What I love about this book is that the authors are Christian psychologists (they understand how people tick), they incorporate scripture into every chapter (so I know they are giving wise advice), and they give lots of real life examples that make sense (which keeps me interested and connected to the text).  Of course, I'm also learning a lot about myself and areas where I need to establish better personal boundaries.  I checked the book out at my local library and then decided to purchase a copy on Amazon for around ten dollars.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Four-Leafed Clover...

For me, seeing was believing...  I found this in my backyard last summer.

Happy St. Patricks Day to you.  Did you do anything fun to celebrate?  We didn't (not even green eggs!)...but all of us wore some shade of green today.  I'll never forget the time I went to school (in the first grade) without green on my clothing and got pinched all day.  I told my son about the silly tradition and he was quick to remind my husband to put on a green shirt before he left for work.  :)

About the picture of the clover...I'd never believed that there was such a thing as a four-leafed clover.  During elementary school recess, we'd sit in a giant soccer field and look for clover with four leaves.  We never found any, therefore I assumed that it was a myth just like pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.  Well, in July I happened to be sitting with my kiddos in a patch of clover.  Remembering the long ago hunt for four-leafed clover, I looked down and the first thing I spotted was a real four-leafed clover!  Although I don't believe in good luck, it was such a rare find that I decided to photograph it.  It got me to wondering, how many other things in life have I written off as not real because I'd never seen living proof?  

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham

St. Patrick's Day is coming up on March 17th.  Here's an idea to try with your kiddos- green eggs and ham.  I've been on a health kick trying to sneak a fruit or veggie into every meal.  Recently, I was making scrambled eggs and the thought popped into my head to add some mashed avocado to the eggs.  My kids love avocados, so I thought they'd probably eat the eggs.  It turned out to be a success, although the eggs needed some spices since the avocado is sort of bland.  (Maybe pepper, salt, garlic, or onion powder?)  I'm certain that part of their willingness to try the eggs was that we'd been listening to an audio version of the Green Eggs and Ham book by Dr. Seuss not long before.  Once again, we brought a favorite book to life and had a fun time trying something new.  

Our Green Eggs and Ham experiment, with green plates too!

Will she like them?  "Try them, try them and you may!"

Another participant in the green egg experiment...

He approves!

She likes them too!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Kentucky Fried Chicken Books

Some books that I read are just for fun.  The content is seriously lacking in depth, the plot is implausible, and the characters have "super powers" that those of us who live outside the pages of fiction don't possess. (Like they live on three hours of sleep, eat candy bars for breakfast, and the lead male seems to be able to read the lead female's mind at just the right moment.)  Nevertheless, every now and then it's fun to read a book like that.  I've affectionately dubbed them Kentucky Fried Chicken books.  I guess because they are sort of the junk food of literature.  I find myself reaching for KFC books when I'm really stressed out, or on a long plane ride, or on vacation- who wants deep, heart-wrenching books at times like that?!?

Well, the three books I recommended in my book club post (Want to Read Along?) are not KFC books.  Recently at nap time, I found myself craving a KFC book as I just wanted to unwind after a cranky morning with the kids.  However, I don't have any shallow and vapid books to read!  Bummer.  Instead I chose to read Choosing to SEE.  Actually, it was probably just what I needed as it reminded me that the moments I have with my (sometimes cranky) kids are fleeting.  This book has also helped me to slow down a bit and not rush through the nap and night time routines with my little ones.  Plus The Read Aloud Handbook has reminded me to not short change the reading times with the kids as reading aloud to them is so beneficial.

Anyway, I was just pondering how some books can add so much to our lives, and others are just a source of entertainment.  When I was a teen and in my early twenties, almost all the books I read were KFC type books.  Now that I'm getting "older", I find myself choosing literature that will enrich my life rather than just entertain.  But, we all need balance and some time to just let our brains rest from real life now and then- right?!  Here are a few fiction writers I've enjoyed reading, some are KFC and others have more depth... Dee Henderson (extremely KFC but enjoyed her O'Malley series), Kristen Heitzmann, Lynn Austin, Francine Rivers, Tamera Alexander, Julie Klassen, Lisa Samson, Jane Kirkpatrick, Lauraine Snelling, Tricia Goyer, & Elyse Larson (Women of Valor series is a favorite).  If you have any fun KFC books (or good fiction writers) that you'd like to recommend, please share in the comments.  I look forward to hearing from you!