Wednesday, October 27, 2010

What type of tribe are you creating?

I realize this morning as I watch TOM AND JERRY with my five year old
that I must leave and speak with the Thirteen Year old about his behavior
after this weekends football game.

He doesnt want to hear that he played well, when his team lost and I know
that I can not console his 13 year old hormones, or ego with anything that
even smells of mothering but I know that there is a lesson to be taught here
in setting boundaries of acceptable behavior.

I dont immediate respond as I want to finish :Parenting with Boundaries< a book I have been reading by Dr. John Townsend.

When it is ok to be disrectful to your parents? When you loose a football game
and your in a bad mood? Can we teach that all the feelings our children have are ok but it is how they respond to them that makes them who they are, and what is allowed as acceptable in OUR HOME ?

There will be LOTS of defeats, understandable. But what about your actual preformance, did it change much during the entire game just because the other
team scored in the last quarter of the game. Cant we still speak about the great play you made?

Here is the time to set boundaries with an OPEN HEART to his perdictament. For I have noticed where the lines of disrespect are crossed, its hard to return to the original starting point.

Its like once your child has seem a Pg-13 movie, there is no going back !

I realize that playing football, raising all these BOYS in NYC, I have a hunting tribe, WE MUST WIN, we must be great, we must compete against our classmates for that spot in high school, we must complete for the highest test scores, the best football positions, the most playing time,....the most loved in our house.

In hunting tribes they leave the old behind, and where will your advice be then ?

Yet, in gathering tribes, you are an elder, the holder of the wisdom, someone to
be respected and listened to.

Where do you want to be in ten years from now with your children? Set boundaries with love !

Friday, October 22, 2010

"I" Statements Only

Wednesday night I sit on the floor of the nursery 4's classrooms and learn about the activities my youngest is doing in his classroom;

Thursday afternoon I am in Alexandria, Virginia singing hymn 482 at a Chapel with my fourteen year old by my side as we tour a high school for his 9th grade.

And as we sing praises to god, I feel blessed to be in all my positions beside all my children in their life right now.

I have had a very full day, and whether you work in an office or in the community
of service and friends, we all have very full days.

And so do my children, with their teachers, sports classes, pressures of other children, haves and have nots they are dealing with.

Lets rememeber we are the adults here and our love for our childrens' best interests
has to out weigh our need to be simply in the role of parents.

We play a game of texas-hold em (the four older boys)

after dinner
after homework
after listening to their stories of the day
after reading books, pj's and bedtime for the 4 and 5 year old

and i know, the best advice I can give to anyone, to be in this wonderful place,
sharing special nights like this with your children, and sharing the unfolding
wonderful and beautiful life that you are sharing together and they are experiencing
is to work on yourself......not work on them !

"I would feel so much better if you didnt say that to your brother"
"I want you to stay up past your bedtime, I want you to stay up all night!"
(as i walk them to bed)

"I will feel better if you stayed in your bed. I get tired when you keep getting out"

Today, speak only "I" statements and eliminate any YOU statements.

One simply goal a day....can change so much !

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

On nannies

This school year I am blessed to have all SIX children at the same NK-8 School. The same drop off and basically the same pickup (though the staggering dismissal times
put me infront of their school for about 60 minutes, and what a great chance to see

Can I take care of my children all by myself and hire assistance in everything else;

Everything else.....
*Taking care of the house, laundry, groceries and pets
*Taking care of the paperwork, repairs, appointments,reservations

Well it was working, until the cirriculum nights, pot luck dinners and NK--
First Grade--Fourth Grade--Fifth Grade--Seventh Grade and Eight Grade parent nights started to fill the evening calender. The exmissions visits for High School, I needed another body at home !

So I placed an ad on Craigs List in the Education Section of the Classified and advertised a nice hourly salary for a teacher who wanted to earn extra money working from

I got a few fabulous candidates, medical school students, teachers. Then I narrowed
the list down to the people with the easiest commute. For someone who lives 3 blocks from me will fret less when I return home a half an hour later than expected.
I did a few trials.

I remember one trial, my child was in the playroom marching around with a whistle in his mouth and the "nanny" was telling him "No blowing a whistle inside?" then presented me with the whistle as it a trophy she took to show me that she was in control.

Later I explained to her, that my children live in a world where everywhere they go, people are telling them what they can not do. So many adults need to have control over them,** cant we create a safe space for them here at home, in their playroom and release some control to them ?**

Here is this house I want a safe space for things like blowing a whisle. No one was being bothered (it wasnt the dining room table) it was the playroom and why not grab a drum and march on behind him !

In raising one child, two children or six children, EVERYONE NEEDS a different amount of help, but make sure you are hiring people who can be your partners in raising your children and value what you value,

truly be an extention of who you are and what you want to teach......