House Rules

House Rules

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Every home has its rules.

I purchased this set of lovely limitations from the bargain bin at Target. Each day I find myself creating new rules for my rowdy household. Rules like: Don’t put your feet on that, don’t put that in your mouth, we don’t use those kinds of words, NO you may not use knives. The list could go on and on.

The more I find myself repeating the mantras of motherhood; the more I believe them to be true. I really do want my kids to buckle up, keep their rooms clean, eat their vegetables, and keep their feet off the table. I really, really do believe that “Because I said so” is a reason for completing a task.

Often my husband and I discuss our fears about parenthood. Are we strict enough? Are we too strict? How does so-and-so deal with their child’s behavior? Whose side gave our kids their crazy habits? ūüôā I think all parents have these concerns and I believe that all families have to work their way through the perils of parenthood.

The best thing we can do for our kids is to establish expectations. If we set standards for behavior and communication, our children will grow into adults who value hard work, respect, and healthy relationships. We may feel like the meanest moms and dads in the world but in reality we are making the world a less “mean” place when we guide our sons and daughters to act and interact with appropriate behavior. Manners, pleasantries, common courtesies are all elements of civilization that must be upheld. If we don’t expect our children to demonstrate these basic behaviors, how can we expect society to reflect kindness and compassion for all?

Take time to establish your house rules. Take even more time to uphold them. If your kids see you stick to your guns, they will know it is important to you and that will make those rules important to them.

Put your energy into raising families that consider dedication and courtesy to be the standard. Demonstrate clear intent when it comes to showing your kids how others should be treated and how work should be completed. Giving positive feedback for appropriate behavior will only encourage¬†children’s understanding for the importance of respect and reliability.

By: Melanie A. Peters

 

 

Mama Catches Happiness

Mama Catches Happiness

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After I caught this crappie at Truman Lake, my husband told my kids, “Now Mama is happy.”

I made them take my picture. I was proud of my catch and I wanted my kids to see my pride.

Heavy storms with lots of thunder and lightening blew through two of the three nights we were at the lake. The storm fronts seemed to have scared off the fish because we only caught about 15 fish the entire trip. My contributions to the fishing came in the form of this and one other fish caught, keeping the boys from falling in the water, and having minnows ready to bait my daughter’s hook. I just happened to catch this guy during one of the quieter moments of our excursion. I fished with my¬†youngest son on my lap so he could “catch” one too, but he couldn’t stand the wait so we never snagged one for him.

Fishing with my kids is stressful and scary for me. I am afraid of water.

Water has frightened me since I was a teenager. As a camp counselor, I had to rescue two girls after they tipped over their canoe in a deep and restricted part of the camp lake. A year later I had to provide first aid to a man who sustained a head injury at a local water slide when he flipped off the mat (on which he was supposed to remain seated). People who are not afraid of water get hurt. I am afraid of water.

On our fishing trip, safety precautions were my number one concern. Appropriately fitting life jackets, secured seats, swimming lesson reminders, and safety whistles were all in place. ¬†The waters were calm and my always zen husband sat confidently as he drove the boat. I clutched my youngest son for dear life. Continue reading “Mama Catches Happiness”