Sunday, March 31, 2013

Spring Break pictures and Why I choose not to spank my children

You may have noticed, I am no writer.  I fill this blog with the pictures I take in hopes that it will be a sort of scrapbook for my family, both near and far, in the years to come when sleep is in greater supply and I have time to look back at the precious beginning of my children's lives.

But, I feel led to share with those of you who keep up with us here a few of my thoughts about the choices Dave and I are making when it comes to parenting our children.  Specifically why we choose not to spank.  These are really my thoughts, but I would venture to say Dave's reasons are at least similar to my own.  I'll throw in some spring break pictures for good measure so you don't get too bored.

1.  I believe in non-violence.  I would not hit another adult no matter how angry, frustrated, or desperate I became.  Not even if I was trying to teach them something really, really important.  Why wouldn't I treat my precious children with the same kindness and respect.

2.  Most of the time when I'm at the end of my rope with my children's behavior, if I walk away for a few minutes and get a fresh perspective on the situation, I realize that that either (a) I haven't properly explained my expectations, (b) I have let the children become too tired or hungry to be at their best or (c) I'm just upset about something else and I'm taking it out on them.

3.  Those times when my kids have really misbehaved, I have often realized shortly thereafter that they are getting sick.  I can't imagine how badly I would feel if I spanked a child who was acting out due to an illness.

4.  The American Academy of Pediatrics has spoken out against corporal punishment of any kind.  I trust my doctors advice about their physical health, and I trust it about their mental health as well.

5.  I want my children to know that they can come to me with any problem, or to confess any wrong without fear and know that, no matter what, their home and family is a safe place.

6.  Children are like mirrors.  They absorb everything around them.  I believe that children imitate our behavior for better or worse.  My children know that there is never, ever an excuse for hitting.

7.  There is always a consequence for bad behavior that will better teach good behavior than a spanking.  A spanking leaves an impression, to be sure, but writing a letter of apology to a friend your child has wronged is more likely to mend a broken relationship and teach important life skills that will carry them into adulthood.

8.  If I am ever mistaken, and falsely accuse one of my children of wrongdoing, I'm sure it will be easier  for them to forgive me if I have asked them to perform an act of service than if I were to administer a spanking.  After all, doesn't God ask us to be in service whenever possible?  You can't go wrong by asking your child to perform an extra act of kindness.  

9.  Being little is hard.  My toddler is simultaneously learning how to communicate, how to get around, what dangers lie in her world, and what is expected of her in many different situations.  Even climbing onto the couch to sit by her sister is a challenge.  I know that she wants to please me, and that she will learn the things I am trying to teach her if I'll only remain patient.  I also know that it will be easier for her to remain clam through the difficulty if I do.

Let me add, if you're still with me, that these are simply my thoughts on the matter.  I know so many amazing parents of amazing children who have made different decisions than I have.  Parenting is hard.  I am making mistakes every day and trying hard to learn from them.  Feel free to leave me your thoughts on the matter, but please be kind and respectful.   I know that this is a sensitive issue and I do not wish to hurt anyone's feelings or be overly critical of others' opinions.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Church Egg hunt

I have lots of pictures and a few blog posts brewing, but for tonight, I thought I'd just throw up the photos from our church egg hunt on Palm Sunday.  We're in full Holy Week mania, so I'm afraid that's all I can manage tonight.

waiting to charge

Gorgia and Zadie

Love all the parents and grandparents with cameras ready

Andy with Georgia and Elizabeth

Rosie was totally robbing Zadie's Easter basket while she was distracted posing for a picture with Hannah.  

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Salt Dough Easter Eggs

We've been spending a lot of time puttering around this house, the girls and me.  It hit me like a stampeding buffalo a few weeks ago that Zadie is really, actually, no backing out going to kindergarten in the fall... all.  day.  every. day.  How did this happen?!?!

So, we've been skipping out on preschool to, you know, go shoe shopping, play in the backyard, finger paint.  All those essential, need-to-miss-school type activities.

Last Wednesday we made salt dough, rolled it out, cut it with cookie cutters, baked and painted these adorable easter ornaments.  We found the tutorial on Pinterest (of course), you can find it at designmom  She does a great job of walking you through the steps.

I can remember making salt dough ornaments with my mom when I was little, but I had never thought to do them with cookie cutters.  It made the project totally doable for the under 4 crowd.

Zadie is so proud of our little Easter tree that she drags all visitors into the dining room to admire it.  And they better admire it properly.

Hope you are having a happy first day of Spring and joyfully awaiting the Easter season!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The trouble with moving

During the 8 years that I have been a parent, our family has made three major moves.  It's normal to the kids, and they know that another move could come any time.   Some days it's just our life and it's exciting and okay.  Some days we hate it.

Here's what I've figured out about moving that I didn't know until recently.  I fall in love with my kids' friends and leaving them behind is harder than leaving my own friends.  And not just because it hurts my kids.

Let me explain.  When I go a month, or a year, or even several years without seeing my friends (and  I have wonderful friends all over the world that I don't get to see nearly often enough)  we can pick up right where we left off.  A year isn't so very long when you're 34.  When you're 2, now that is a different story!

It really hit me this weekend that it has been nearly three years since our last move when our precious friends from Florida came for a visit.  They had changed so much!  Zadie's friend JoJo was 2 when we left- chubby faced and silly.  Now she's 5!  Long legged and funny, smart and curious.  And the boys!  Tall and independent, capable and cool.  I've missed too much!  It's not fair!

The beautiful part is how they pick up right where they left off.  They don't grieve the lost years; they treasure the rare moments together.  They laugh and have adventures and play dress up and make memories.  And I take pictures and pictures and pictures and beg them not to change too much before their next visit.

We better make that very soon!