One thing I promised myself I would never be was too busy, and yet... here I am. Trying to carve out some time for myself while caring for my two boys, keeping house, and giving my husband all the time he needs to plan Stardust Series (it's a charity event to help raise money for the local women's shelter).
But, even though I am pretty busy I still found time to read Quick Tips for Busy Families: Sneaky Strategies for Raising Great Kids by Jay Payleitner. Although, as Payleitner points out in the introduction, just because these tips are quick to read, doesn’t mean that they are easy to put into practice.
But, they are helpful. They also cover so many different topics from how to teach your kids a "mad skill," to using rites of passage to usher your children into new responsibilities, to ways to convince your children that they need a haircut.
Out of all the tips he has these two are my favourites:
Answering Questions with Questions
I’ve started doing this with my oldest. And since he is in the why stage, there are ample opportunities for me to answer his questions with a question every day.
Turning the question back to him no only takes some of the heat off of me when he asks questions I don't know the answer to, or don't want to answer, but it also lets him have the chance to think and come up with an answer all by himself.
He's always so proud of himself when he comes up with the answer. He's eyes light up, his smile stretches across his cheeks, and, if I'm really excited, he'll do his adorable happy dance to celebrate.
Sometimes he needs a bit more guidance before he comes up with an answer, and sometimes he can't come up with one at all. That's okay though, because I'm not answering every single question I'm not annoyed or stressed, which means I can help him figure the answer out or give him the answer without snapping at him.
The other tip I loved was about Grandma’s Spin. According to Payleitner, the idea behind this one, is that grandmothers tend to put a positive spin on things. This positive spin encourages and excites kids, which means they are more excited to do something they need to do anyway.
One of the examples he gave is to say “Finish your broccoli and we’ll have dessert,” instead of “No dessert until you finish your broccoli.” But Grandma Spin can work for anything, you can tell your children that "Once you have your pajamas on, we can read the story," or "As soon as we mail this letter we can go and splash in the puddles on the way home."
Now with 144 tips you’re not going to like all of them. There were a few tips that I just said "Yea... no" to when I was reading them, but because there are so many different tips you will find many that you do like and want to add to your parenting tool box. So it's definitely worth the read.
This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.