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.
Christmas story read aloud was truly one of the highlights of our year. I collected beautiful, amazing picture books that we read out of each afternoon during story time. Then as the kids got older, I began collecting story “collections” or “anthologies” to read short stories aloud at the dinner table, during unit studies, before bed, and while traveling by car. Still today we read aloud at least one Christmas story on family decorating night and one story on our family Christmas even—with all fifteen of us gathered around. We never tire of the same heart-warming stories year after year (though when the kids were younger and still at home, we did many, many different stories).
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.
This is funny….but you know this wise old mama of seven has to give advice to counteract:
(1) Tell, don’t ask. If you ask, expect and accept a no. You did ask, after all.
I prayed for you today, though I didn’t know your name,
I saw a hurting look, so I had to stop and pray.
I prayed for you today, when I saw you on the street,
Playing on your trumpet, for everyone you meet.
That is the first verse of a song I wrote that we sang together as a family during family worship and in the van driving (especially on trips). It was our empathy song—the song that reminded us to try to put ourselves in others’ shoes and understand how they are feeling.
We wanted our children to ask questions–and lots of them! We wanted to be their answerer as much as possible. Thus, we “trained” them to ask questions–by answering them freely and endlessly.
Ray is the best answerer I have ever met (honest!). He is the one who made me come up with the little acronym that we teach at our parenting seminars. I have watched him day in and day out, year in and year out, answer a question. Then he paused and continued on with more answers and more answers and more answers.