Sunday, February 27, 2011

6 Month "No" and Teaching Self Government

I have felt the need for a 6 month "No", for a short while now.  (Technically, this isn't due until April.)  This is easier said than done!  It's extremely difficult to say "No" to something in your life, when everything in your life is important!  This is the dilemma I've been grappling with lately.  I have always felt that there are seasons in life.  I can feel the seasons starting to change, but am unsure of the direction for myself and my family.  This is something that just needs more intense pondering and prayer.  I recently heard  part of a talk from the Relief Society presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  It was about the "Essentials" in our lives--those things that must be done before the other "have-to's", "need-to's" or "would like to do's."  I made a list and put it on our wall.  It's a good sized list.  Sometimes it is daunting.  It takes a lot to keep our family life running smoothly and to keep everyone well and happy and our environment clean and inspiring.  It takes a lot of daily adjustments, to keep us on our "flight plan", so to speak. 

  I have recently been studying more from Parenting: A House United, by Nicholeen Peck.  I am trying to get all of her great tidbits of Self-Government under my belt and sealed into my brain, so we can implement the "extra chore" part into our family.  It has been extremely difficult to get our children to do an extra chore when one is given (as a consequence for poor behavior.)  After all, you can't make them do it.  I had previously given up on this idea for our family.  It just wasn't working.  However, the kiddo's have grown and changed a bit and circumstances warrant a second look at trying to implement this into our family culture.  We have been focusing on Family work, and what I call "Job Training", and the children have learned how to clean various different things and areas in our home.  They have felt success in doing so, and I have felt confident in their abilities.  So...this week, I will study more from this amazing book by Nicholeen.  I will seek inspiration about how to apply these self-governing principles in our family, and find new approaches to things like: whining, lying, disobeying and tantrums.  We will celebrate the family successes we are having, like: "Job Training", speaking sweetly and responding appropriately to each other.  I'll let ya' know how it goes!  :0)


  1. Ranee,

    You are so inspiring! Thanks for sharing your journey with us. Consulting the Lord is always the best way to make new changes at home. As far as the work thing goes. Family work is the BEST way to teach children to love work. Remember that if your child doesn't do a chore when he has earned one that means he isn't accepting his consequence. There are other things you can use for negative consequences, but if your children struggle with wanting to do extra chores, that probably means that is the perfect negative consequence for the family. They will learn a lot of self-government doing chores. Last thought, remember to only assign chores which they know how to do and that are appropriate for their age. For instance, you would never assign a three year old to clean the garage. Putting books away would be more age appropriate. Work with your children a lot until they grow confident with a chore. This will strengthen your relationship and increase their security with that job and work altogether. In no time your child will be tackling hard chores without you even telling them to.

    You determination and commitment are motivating. You are a great example to us all.

    Nicholeen Peck

  2. Thank you, Nicholeen! I so appreciate your feedback about this! I really believe we are on the right track! Our oldest daughter was out of instructional control yesterday, and I simply reminded her about some of the things she'd be losing if she lost 24 hrs. of privileges. The next thing I knew, she had put herself into time out to calm down, and completely stopped the whole issue. This told me two things:
    1. She understands that she is in control of herself.
    2. She believes that I will follow through with whatever consequences she earns.