Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Under construction and...some thoughts

Either I've lost my sense of taste or this site is "under construction"...you decide. :) No, John has figured out how to work with the html code for this blog so now I get to create my blogs look - however I want it! John was playing with the options and has left me with how it is now...I still need to decide how I want it.

I had a thought the other day as I was driving. I'm pretty sure the spirit led me to its discovery. (It's a simple thought, really, but it was profound to me). I worried for a minute that a cop might have been around because I realized I was driving faster than I should have been. So, I slowed down. Then I thought, what if cops pulled people over because they had been watched or followed and found to be an excellent driver? And instead of handing over a ticket showing some outrageous balance you suddenly owed he handed you a check for $50!

Seriously, let's think about this. People would drive more politely and courteously, obeying the rules because they'd like to be noticed for being a good driver. I'd like to be! I'd try harder, knowing that I may be rewarded for my "good behavior".

This thought led me to something I've been thinking about doing. It stems from a book titled, "Positive Parenting" written by a Dr. Latham. Along with giving great wisdom and advice he also helps us by giving us even further assistance through assignments. (You can view his assignments by going to www.amiutah.org, click on Dr. Latham's lessons and view his lessons from there).

Assignment #1: Give positive attention to your family when they are doing things that are right. A soft pat on the back, a hug, a high five, or a "Way to go!" will nearly always assure the behavior will be repeated. For one hour, when most of your family is home, give yourself a mark for each positive interaction you have. Try to do it for each member of the family, and keep track of the data. Record any interesting experiences you may have.

Here's more: The second part of the assignment is to LEARN TO IGNORE AGE-TYPICAL, "JUNK" BEHAVIORS! Dr. Latham feels that about 95% of the things kids do that drive their parents crazy should not be given any attention at all. Just turn and walk away. Ignore it. Most likely, it is normal for the age and goes with the territory. When we jump into every argument, it gives them a great audience and encourages the performance. Ignoring such behaviors puts it on "extinction" and it will soon lessen. Then, when the battle is not raging, continue to teach what the right behavior is and watch for a time when they are doing well and comment on it.

Assignment #2
Walk away from a negative behavior. Temper tantrums, quarrels, etc. qualify as long as life or limb is not threatened! As soon as it has died down, watch for a time to compliment the person on working it out and doing the right thing. Try it. You have nothing to lose but a lot of unpleasant behaviors! Record any interesting findings below, or on the back of this page.

I often wonder, if Jesus were the parent of my children how would He be parenting them? It seems obvious to me that he wouldn't be standing over them waving his pointer finger at them threatening them if they act out again...I only know about this because I've seen other parents do it...I sure don't. :)

The cop thought made me realize how much I, even in my adulthood, would like to be rewarded or noticed for good behavior instead of ONLY being chastised and punished for "bad" behavior. How annoying is it to have someone watching you to see if you do something wrong and yet all the good things about you go unnoticed? I grew up that way and I hate it!

That's why cops are so annoying...they do good things and are a necessary part of our society but isn't it frustrating to have someone looking for your flaws and imperfections instead of focusing on how well you followed the road rule one step behind or in front of your minor slip-up?

I believe in positive parenting. I remember an enrichment activity I went to a few months ago. We had the opportunity to listen to a mother of 11 (all temple married) children speak of how she raised her children. I asked her what she did when her children fought. And she simply replied, "I just ignored it. That kind of behavior didn't deserve my attention."

Otherwise she was constantly there. Giving praises, sharing, giving love, teaching through simple lessons and creating opportunities for her children to win...sorry to keep rambling but this story is cute. One day her and her son were driving somewhere. She said out loud, "Oh no!" And her son curiously asks, "What?" She answered, "We need more gas and I forgot my purse at home. I don't know if we'll make it to the gas station." Her son became concerned and so she asked him to say a prayer that they'll make it to their destination. Low and behold they made it to a gas station and her son found her purse in the car, get this, in a spot close to his seat where she had placed it! She planned the whole thing! She says that to this day he thinks he is SOOO spiritual.

I'm not quite sure how I feel about setting up blatantly fictitious situations like that but it's cute and it gives me other ideas as how to set up situations where the child can "win" and come away from it feeling like a winner.

Those are my thoughts...oh, that and I LOVE www.greensmoothiegirl.com. We've started drinking these green smoothies every morning and are changing our diet all together so that we may be more healthy, energetic, think more clearly and be more alive!

Life is good.


Emily said...

I think that $50.00 reward is an excellent idea!! Let's get it going.

Heather said...

Your site looks great! It's fun to look around and see all of the pictures you have painted. Very creative! It is so nice to be recognized for the good things you do in life. Thanks for the reminder!