Effortless Parenting Article

Happy Halloween everyone. I sit here waiting for little kiddos all dressed up in their costumes to come and ask for some candy. We have had a few more than last year, but still our neighborhood is not that big on Trick or Treating.

Anyway as I was sitting here I pulled up my Google Reader and was browsing through some articles. I came across an article titled The Rules of Effortless Parenting by Leo Babauta. I had never been on his blog before, but I totally agree with some of his rules. They were used when I was a kid and we try and use them with Micki as much as we can.

Here are a few of them and some comments from me,

Teach Kids To Be Self-Sufficient – My mom raised four of us and she got tired of doing multiple loads of laundry per day. She taught each of us how to do our own laundry and then stopped doing it for us. If we did not have any clean clothes it was our own fault.

My mom also taught me how to cook some basic meals. Cooking is something I enjoy even today.

My father taught me some basic car mechanics. When the brake pads need changing I fix them for the cost of the parts instead of $100 an axle. I can even do it probably in the amount of time it would take me to drive to the shop and have them do it.

Teach them to solve problems – Too often today I see kids who can’t think through math (or other) problems. In school they are just taught a method of solving math problems not how to think things through. My father was the person who I went to when it came to my math homework. He taught me how to think things through.

Read with them and read in front of them – There were quite a few times growing up when I remember my mom reading. Most of the time it was for some class that she was taking to further educate herself to try and make her life (and us kids life) better.

In our house we have a bookshelf full of books that Jenn and I have either read together or separately. We also read the scriptures (Bible, Book of Mormon, etc) every night as a family. We also like to talk about what we are reading as we read it. This is probably the most important part of any scripture reading.

Anyway there are a few more tips that the author gives. I am not going to spoil the whole thing, but you can go and read it on his blog.

Pumpkin Patch Time

Yesterday we continued our fairly new tradition. We took a trip to a local farm for a hay ride and pick some pumpkins right from the field.

This year we went to Brad’s Produce.They have a nice size farm with all sorts of fruits and veggies available. We headed out and waited a little while to hop on the hay ride to the pumpkin patch.

Hay Ride at Brad's Produce

Micki loves the bumpy ride and had a smile the whole way there and back. When we got out to the patch we saw lots of beautiful pumpkins. Jenn wanted to find a regular pumpkin shape with lots of warts. I liked the green (under ripe) one because they are different. Micki walked around a lot and finally just before we got in line to get on the hay ride back to the barn to pay for our finds she found a white pumpkin.

We are going to carve our pumpkins for Family Home Evening tomorrow. And use them for the Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat at church on Wednesday and then use them for Halloween. Unfortunately we do not get that many trick or treaters in our neighborhood, but we will have fun anyway.

Discipline in Our House

As a couple we believe that there is no type of discipline that works for every child. With Micki we totally believe in bribery rewarding good behavior. Bribery Rewards for good behavior really helps her to get things back on track.

Let me give you an example. Micki has an awesome teacher at school. Mrs Baker really knows how to keep Micki on track and knows how to keep her behaviors under control. Unfortunately Mrs Baker broke her arm and has been out of work for a while because of it. Well lately Micki has had some problems at school controlling her hands. Whenever that happens the teachers aid takes her to the resource room and she has to do some learning tasks that she does not normally like to do. Then she comes back to the classroom. Well she had quite a few days in a row where she had multiple resource room trips per day. We would talk to Micki to try to see why she was hitting people.

Well last Wednesday I sat down and talked with Micki. I offered a bribe reward if she could go a whole week without a resource room trip. The bribe reward was that she would get to go to the restaurant of her choice with daddy and would get to go to one of her favorite toy stores (5 Below). Well she came home Thursday and Friday and had good reports from school. Each day we would remind her of our deal. Monday and Tuesday came and her report was that she had a great day. When she came home today I brought her in from the bus and sat her down for her afternoon snack. I pulled her folder out and took a look. She had a great day. I made a really big deal out of it and told her what a good girl she was and how hard she had worked. (It is really hard for her to behave sometimes)

I pulled out her iPad and launched her communication software (Proloquo2Go)  to ask her where she wanted to go to eat. She chose Baja Fresh.

We took off just before dinner time and went to 5 Below. Micki picked out a basketball. Then we went to dinner and had a wonderful evening.

Bribery Rewards work!