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True confession: When my two oldest kids were little, I read aloud to them three to five hours every day. (Well, some of it was devotions and bedtime stories with their daddy too.) My husband worked twelve to thirteen hour days, and I had several small children. So I read. And read. And read.
Through the years, our reading time went down to two to four hours a day. And we all look back fondly on those days—even my thirty-four and thirty year olds still talk about all of that read aloud time. And how wonderful it was to have that much time to read and learn together.
When you need to get things done might seem like a strange time to recommend as a talk time, but hear me out on this one.
Not long ago, my twenty-one year old son stopped by as I was cleaning vegetables. He said, “Oh, you’re cleaning veggies. Remember when we used to bring a big tub of fruits and vegetables into the living room and we three boys would gather around them and peel, slice, dice, stem, and “julienne” pounds of produce while you read out loud to us for hours.”
“I’ll never forget,” I replied, getting a little misty-eyed.
Every fall I want to share this….and every fall I make my way through the poem again, look at pictures, cry, and put it all away until next fall. Then I repeat the cycle.
Until this fall. Seventeen years ago today we lost our last child, a little girl we named Carly Grace at twenty-one weeks gestation during an intrauterine blood transfusion. The details are in the free verse poem that I wrote seventeen years ago this winter.
I don’t have answers for mamas who are grieving such devastating losses. But I do know this…writing this poem, reading it over and over through the years, talking about Carly with family and friends (especially our children), and thinking about her really have helped me.
So if you are suffering a current loss or a loss from long ago, don’t be afraid to share it. Don’t be afraid to talk. Don’t be afraid to tell that it hurts like mad. Because it does.
Rules Without Relationship is the final ingredient—and probably the most critical of all of the ingredients to avoid. (Of course, without relationship, we as parents have no desire or motivation to try to explain rules, listen to their appeals, or remain consistent in our parenting.) Relationship must be in place in order to keep our children from rebelling against us.
Quiet Questioning: Let Your Kids Question You Without Being Disrespectful
“Mom, that’s not fair!”
“Why can’t I…..”
“It’s her turn!”
One of the ways that our children begin the disrespect spiral is when we let them “talk back” to us. At first, this can be simply questioning us with a slightly raised voice. But before we know it, it can become full-fledged disrespect. And the more we allow it, the more it happens.
Welcome to another Wondering Wednesday video episode!
This is a special episode as the question came from a young mama who was a student of mine several years ago in language arts and writing classes. When I get a parenting or homeschooling question from a former student, I run, not walk, to get it answered for them. It brings me such joy to have helped these students with language arts, writing, speech, or debate—and now to help them with parenting.
When you want to avoid rules without repetition….you need to repeat and be consistent!
Recipe for Rebellion
Rules Without Reasons
Rules Without Response Rules Without Repetition
Rules Without Relationship
Our last couple of times to talk have been times in which we avoid the first two ingredients in The Recipe for Rebellion (Rules Without Reasons and Rules Without Response). In other words, they were talking to give reasons and talking (or not talking!) in order to allow a response.