If you have visited here before, you can probably see that I have changed the name of the blog again. I started blogging at 4URuthie to tell the story of our journey to adopt our 1st daughter. I changed it to Mountains for Maggie when we were praying for God to move mountains on behalf of our 2nd daughter. Well now it is no longer just Ruthie’s or Maggie’s stories. It is now our family's story, and the stories of those we share life with, as we Conquer Mountains together. Both ConqueringMountains.net and 4URuthie.blogspot will lead here.

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I am a pastor's wife, mother of 4 kids (2 adopted and 3 with special needs), physical therapist, and photography junky. This is where it all comes together for me. Feel free to join along as I process life out loud.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Lessons From A Play Date- 5 Best and Worst Things to Say to Your Kids

My kids play with the neighbors, their friends at church, and their friends at school, but we really haven't had many true play dates at our house. This past Wednesday we picked up Jack's friend Kyle and brought him home with us for a real tried and true planned play date. I think Jack and I were both equally nervous and excited. I so wanted this to go well for him because Kyle is a great kid and we really like his family.

Immediately, I found myself snooping into their activities and several times I wanted to step in a correct Jack as he would tell Kyle what he could and could not play with. I felt the need to show him how to be a good host and it was killing me to hear him occasionally say things that I thought might make Kyle feel anything but completely welcomed.

After Kyle left I began questioning if I should have stepped in more or just let them work things out more. It really wasn't anything big at all, but it wasn't perfect. I called my wonderful sister in law to discuss how we as mom's are supposed to handle this new freedom of our children's and she gave me great advice about letting the kids work it out during the moment and then saving my teaching time for before bed. We laughed at how we are so much harder on our first borns and how we hoped that one day they wouldn't hold that against us. That prompted her to share a piece of literature with me that I thought was really interesting and worth sharing with you.

5 Best and Worst Things to Say to Your Kids:

1. "Act Your Age"- Because you are issuing a blanket criticism instead of acknowledging why they may have been acting that way.

2. "I Was Only Teasing"- You should never disguise insults with humor or teach your child to. If you don't mean it, don't say it.

3. "Why can't you be more like your sister (or brother)"- Feeds sibling rivalry and makes them feel like 2nd class.

4. "Don't run or you will fall"- You don't want to communicate that you expect him to fail. Give more specifics like "your shoe laces are untied". I think this can be viewed in a much bigger picture too.

5. "What did I just tell you?"- Communicates that they are too stupid to remember and then if they do answer, it is viewed as sarcasm. Choose your words better and communicate why you are frustrated.

If you felt convicted by these, trust me, you are not alone!

1. "Please make a decision"- communicates that they are responsible for their own actions

2. "I love you but I don't like that behavior"- separate the deed from the doer

3. "I want you to help me solve my problem"- he sees that his input is invited and is less likely to see you as his adversary. This was advised too for when you want your child to quit something that is annoying you.

4. "What did you really want to tell her"- A redirection for inappropriate reactions to conflict. Helps them develop an emotional language.

5. "Different people have different needs"- helps you deal with the complaints of lack of fairness.

Ruthie and I got away today to my aunt and uncle's house on the lake and of course we worked in a little photo shoot. Tomorrow we are going to feed the ducks and then go into town for some shopping.

1 comment:

kimberlysink said...

i should tell you that kyle had a great time. i asked specific questions about their time together and all he could say was, "it was so much fun!" according to him, jack was a great friend and shared his toys well. not perfect to you, but a perfect play date to him! (we did tell him that next time he would eat the spagetti!!) you were right...he also had lots to say about ruthie! have a great weekend with your family!

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