Q. Hi Lisa! I could use a little Titus 2 help from some one who has been there, done that.I have 2 small children. Olivia is 2 and a half. And my son, Wesley, just turned one. Ever since he became mobile (last 6 months or so, I feel like I am on a roller coster)! Some days are GREAT! The last 2 days have been quite enjoyable. I am a realtively new mom, and I am constantly learning more about discipline. I am not organized by nature (and I AM trying to work on that, it just doesn't come naturally). They do not entertain themselves well, which can make housecleaning, making dinner, etc. a challenge. This also makes popping in a dvd very tempting. We don't have cable, and we are very selective on the dvd's they watch, but I don't want to over use it. Many days I just feel like I am surviving motherhood- but not thriving. I do realize this is just a season, and they will grow up (but I have a feeling we will always have a toddler around here for a long time). However, in a few years, my oldest will be of more help. Any tips for the meantime? Thanks! ~ Paige T.
A. You are SO RIGHT in that this is just a season. Honestly, this could very well be the biggest obstacle in your mothering career! When they get older, IF they are trained right, they will be such a "hands-on" blessing to you! Just train them well and diligently NOW and you will reap so many rewards in just a short time! I promise!
First, try to develop a routine for yourself (with housework, etc.) and then for them. If they see you enjoying your household tasks and including them when you set forth to accomplish them, they will develop a positive attitude toward chores and work. Also, don't underestimate how little ones can help you in the kitchen or while doing daily chores and tasks. Yes, it will make your jobs take longer right now, but I PROMISE you that when you teach them how to do small tasks and chores that you will be developing their work ethic and their willingness to help out around the house, which will in turn make your workload lighter down the road and your household more peaceful. When they feel needed in accomplishing your daily tasks (even at those ages!), you will find that they are more joyful about being around you when you work or cook, and this will be so beneficial NOW and later on down the road.
Secondly, if you train your children to think that they "need" you in order to be content and happy, you will end up with lots of grief (for instance, when making dinner). I would definitely begin now in training them to play contentedly by themselves...or together...just for a few minutes. Start out with 10-15 minutes twice a day. Have them play with each other and entertain themselves. If they whine or act needy, reprimand them by going to their eye level and speaking sternly. Explain to them that they need to play together right now while you do _______, and that you’ll be finished in just a few minutes. Even if they don't fully understand what you're saying, they'll eventually learn that whining and demanding attention in whatever ways they do, will get them nowhere and soon enough, they'll be playing contentedly on their own!
Also, have you heard of the book Raising Godly Tomatoes? If not, PICK UP THEIR BOOK! It's excellent for child-rearing. I really think you'd benefit a lot from reading it!
Hope that helps!