In this video, mom of seven (ages 18 through 33) and author of seventy curriculum books and dozens of workshops, Donna Reish gives parents five surefire tips for avoiding the Terrible Two’s: (1) Discern between wants and needs prior to the twenty-four month mark; (2) Mean what you say (“Don’t say no unless you’ll go”); (3) Don’t sweat the small stuff—discerning between truly bad behaviors (behavior absolutes) and childishness; (4) Provide consistency; and (5) Tell, don’t ask (unless it’s okay if the child disobeys or doesn’t listen). Learn more about the Raising Kids With Character parenting seminar and products at our Character Ink store.
We had some definite advantages to raising children and homeschooling during “the stone age”! 🙂 For one thing, we didn’t have many choices of activities, so it was much easier to stay home and build good study habits, household work schedules, and family time. (Obviously, it can still be done today, but we were forced to stay home more in general.) Secondly, we were blissfully unaware of the demanding academics of today. We didn’t know that our kids needed to know everything that is now required to graduate and go to college. We didn’t do labs, advanced math, and other more strenuous academic pursuits with our first born at all. (I’m not saying this was good–I’m just saying it gave us more of a precious commodity that everyone longs for today–time.)
In my last blog post, I talked about how to determine which traditions to keep for everybody and which traditions will likely go by the wayside. These are obviously very personal decisions – and you will probably want to discuss these with your older children.
There are some other traditions that we have kept in part. These traditions are ones that we still do with our at-home kids, but we invite the olders to as well.
One of the things that was difficult for me in having college and adult kids with Christmas was not being able to continue all of the traditions that we had formally done. I mentioned earlier that through homeschooling, we actually spent a lot of time on Christmas. Our entire December was centered around Christmas readings, unit studies, Christmas baking and cooking, and more.
In a previous blog post, I discussed the importance of finding out those traditions that mean a lot to your college and adult kids so that they do not feel left out of the things you are doing in your home – especially the things that you used to do when they were little. In another post, I talked about the invitation versus obligation. (Read that here…that’s important!)
This post will focus on the latter. We try to continue many traditions with our high school kids and our college kids living at home, but at the same time, we don’t want to leave out the adult children who are away from home–or impose upon them either. This is a fine balance. Because of this, we recommend that you invite them to some of those things, but be sure that they do not see those things as obligations.
One of the ways that we make our Christmas Eve super special is through special gifts and games (besides the traditions from long ago of singing carols, reading Christmas stories, and having the sibling gift exchange). Our Christmas Eve is a full evening of food, fun, fellowship, worship, reflecting, reminiscing, and play!
In the past few years as our family has grown, we could no longer fit around the table for Uno, Kemps, or Pit, so Ray did some research on group games and discovered something called “Minute to Win It” (we have been without television for years…and only in the past few with Netflix and Hulu do we know what’s out there! LOL). Anyway, he found things online, our daughter found some things for him on Pinterest, and he was off with new Christmas Eve traditions—Minute to Win It games.