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)