Mama Miller Parenting

Passionate parenting and homemaking.

Broken Ears and The Mean Mom

Last Night:
“Please go get ready for bed.”
“…”
“K, please go potty and get ready for bed.”
“…”
“Oh my goodness! Look over there!”
“What?!”
“Oh, so your ears are working. Go get ready for bed.”
“… *sigh* Okay…”

Today:
“Are your ears broken? You haven’t been listening to mommy lately.”
“Yes, they’re broken.”
“Do you need to go to the doctor to get your ears fixed.”
“Yes. The doctor will fix my ears.”
“Okay, Let’s go to the doctor. she can give you a shot to fix your ears and we can take lots of naps too.”
“I don’t want a shot.”
“But I thought your ears were broken?”
“They are working now.”

Anyone else have broken ear days?

We’ve had a weekend of broken ears. K has decided to flat out ignore me on several occasions. I’ve had to be the mean mom a lot- imposing time-outs and taking away privileges.

It breaks my heart for my kids to miss out on things. I don’t like being the bad guy. It gives me absolutely no joy to have them miss out on the fun things we have planned.

(Ok, occasionally the toy taken away is super annoying and it might make me just a little happy to see it go for a while.)

As a Christian, I often wonder if God feels that way about us. Does it make Him sad to see us miss out on potential blessings because of our sin and stubbornness? Does He mourn when His plans for us are put aside when we go our own way? Parenthood has definitely brought a deeper level of thought to my faith.

This is K sitting in the high chair at Nonna’s today:

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Despite urging and pleading he refused to eat his lunch today. He eventually ended up in the high chair because he would not sit up and eat like a big boy. He missed out on time playing with his cousin. Only when the choice became eat and go play or we would go home and nap, did he finally relent and happily scarf down his food.

It was all food he liked but he wanted to play instead of eat. I hope he learned that doing what you are asked the first time will get you what you want faster. Hopefully his little ears will heal this week and we can do all the fun things we like to do.

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I don’t negotiate with terrorists

terrorize- to coerce through intimidation

terrorist- a person who terrorizes or frightens others

I am in no way claiming my son is on par with terrorist groups or making light of the horrors of true terrorism. However, by those definitions what toddler/preschooler has not to an extent terrorized their household?

I have a strict policy of not negotiating with terrorists. When stomping, screaming, hitting, or destruction of property are taking place I will not try to rationalize. I will carry the little ball of anger to his room. The message is always the same…

“I cannot understand you when you scream like that. It hurts my ears. When you calm down, we can try talking.”

K now will put himself in timeout occasionally. He’ll tell me he needs to calm down and goes to his bed. Learning self control isn’t easy. I’m proud of him when he calms himself down.

Kids have to learn how to negotiate and take no for an answer with out going crazy and inflicting harm on themselves, others, or household objects. It is much easier to start this process when they are young. Prevention and cure and all that.

A nicer K story:

We worked on the house we are renovating yesterday. K came with us to the “old house” and helped me prime what will be his bedroom. (Here help is defined as occasionally repainting things I had already painted and playing with his hammer and goggles.)

We eventually got tired of paint fumes and went outside to see what Daddy and our friend and pastor, Scott, were doing. He watched Daddy and Scott haul brush to the dumpster and quickly joined in.

Throwing a branch in the dumpster:

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I love that he is getting to invest in our soon-to-be home. On the way to pick up sister (who is doing much better) he sleepily jabbered away.

“Look! There is Fort Worth! I can see the tall buildings! Where is Texas? Here Texas! You waiting at home Texas? Look we went under a train Mom! That is awesome! It is Thomas and Percy Dad! Can we ride that train Dad? I love Fort Worth.”

I love that kid, even when he really needs a time-out.

P.S. Thanks again for the prayers for E. She is eating well and hasn’t had a fever in over 24 hours. I think the antibiotics are doing the trick!

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No free passes

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I saw this quote and fell in love. It perfectly sums up what we are dealing with today.

We are on day two of a plague ridden household. K feels just well enough to run circles but is still in a sickly, grumpy state of mind. It has not been a pleasant combination.

I feel bad that he is sick. I really do…

However, I will not tolerate total disobedience and disregard for others. Feeling bad doesn’t mean it becomes ok to push sister, yell “no”, or whine incessantly.

It is so important for parents to teach children to separate their feelings from their actions. You must acknowledge their feelings as valid while correcting their behavior.

It is not always easy.

If you child is throwing a fit over losing a toy you can start by telling them, “I understand that you are sad and angry over losing your toy, but we do not scream or hit. Please take a breath and calm down.”

Kids have to know this because they will be the next generation of adults.

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When my husband is having a bad day he does not get to yell at his boss, treat customers badly, or act like a horrible human being. Yes, we all have emotions that sometimes show through but we cannot take it out on our fellow man.

I have rough mom days but I still have to function as a mom. I don’t have the option of refusing to do my job.

It all comes back to life skills. Calming yourself down and separating emotions from actions are skills you need as an adult.

Our house is getting a big dose of life skills today. We all feel bad but still have to treat each other with respect.

Hopeful E will learn that teething doesn’t mean she gets to bite mommy…

Here is our little teether with some of her birthday presents.

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Just look at that little stinker with all her goodies!

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Battle of the Bites

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My son comes by picky eating naturally. I tease my husband that he didn’t start eating real food until college. Consequently, we started dating in college and I wouldn’t let him eat like a man child anymore. Andy now gladly eats a varied and balanced diet but our son inherited the picky eating tendencies.

We have tried everything to get K to eat. I mean everything; bribes, threats, trying to make him open his mouth, begging, pleading, yelling, sneaking foods into things he likes…. Last summer I made a lot of green smoothies.

I’m not always the mom I want to be. It is hard to have that kid at family functions that won’t eat anything. I was tired of mealtime battles.

The past few weeks have been our first big break through with K’s eating habits. He has been a totally new kid at meal time and family dinners are running smoothly.

Here are a few things that worked for us:

• Stop making special foods or meal substitutes for your child. K usually gets to choose his breakfast and parts of his lunch. Dinner has become nonnegotiable. Get grandparents on board too.

• Aim for new foods to be introduced at dinner instead of the middle of the day. It is much easier to get him to try new things at night because of bedtime leverage.

• Have a good evening routine in place. It helps that he knows what happens after dinner. If he eats well, he gets more time to play and read stories.

• We have a “bite or bed” policy. There is no begging, pleading, or crying. He can choose to eat or choose to go to bed and miss out on story and play time after supper.

• I don’t make all new foods in one meal. I have one or two familiar foods to each one I am getting him to try.

• Praise good eating and trying new foods without fuss. We stopped making a big deal about not eating and started quietly reminding him of “bite or bed”. He gets more attention for eating well. We’ll even let him call his Nana or Nonna to tell them about what he ate if he wants.

• He is three, so we make him try three bites of new foods. It cracks me up when he tries something and tells me, “That wasn’t too bad mom!”

• We let him help with making dinner, setting the table, and clean-up when we can. Kids love helping and they need to learn their way around the kitchen as a life skill anyway; why not start young?

So far these new rules have been working well for us. He is eating so much more than he was a few weeks ago. He still has a long way to go but I’m a proud mama.

Any tips that have worked well in your home?

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