Positive Reinforcement

I once read a quote from Peggy O’mara that says that “the way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”

That really made me take a moment to reflect on the words and the behavior that I use towards my children. It made me more intentional in my parenting.

Just as I have been dealing with a lot of transition as of late, so has my 6 year old son. That can be overwhelming for him (and me) at times.

During his kindergarten year, I began having morning talks with him on the way to school and always made sure to tell him that I loved him and to have a good day with the hope that he would actually have a good and tear-less day. My son is still learning to process his frustrations and that often results in tears. So as the year went on I tried to find more ways to speak to him in ways that instilled confidence, pride, respect and positive self esteem.

One of the things that I learned over the year is that it was very easy to teach him things by incorporating them in our daily routine.

Fast forward to a new life, house and school in Chicago.

Every morning as soon as we get in the car, I say repeat after me:

I am Kaeden (full name).
I am 6 years old.
My birthdate is January 9, 2009
My address is __________ in Chicago, Illinois. (it didn’t take long for him to know his address)
I am in the first grade.
My teacher is _____.
My school is ______.
I am brave.
I am responsible.
I am respectful.
I will pay attention in school.
I am confident.
I will try to make a new friend today.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (that prompted a small discussion).
I will have a good day.
I will have a day with no tears.
I will talk to my mom about my frustrations instead of crying in school.

Our drive is about 7 minutes long so we might have a little conversation as well but there isn’t much time for anything else.

I always end with you are awesome. I love you and have a good attitude and a good day.

One day last week, we got in the car and my mind was wondering and I just started driving.
As we were half way to the school, he said you forgot to have me repeat after you. I said oh, I’m sorry. Why don’t you tell me what I should say.
He begin doing his own mantra adding in or omitting a few things.
He said that I like when we do that.
After I dropped him off, I had the hope that the things we say in our routine becomes his inner voice.

What are some things that you do or say to your child to reinforce positive thinking and positive self-esteem?

Adjustments

I’ve had a lot of intense experiences in my life and I tend to adjust well and learn and grow from each one.

I must say that I am experiencing one of the most intense  experiences ever.

I found myself pregnant after 6 years and having a high risk pregnancy at 40. I got married and moved the very next day from Grand Rapids, Michigan to the south side of Chicago. Within one week of my move, I was admitted to the hospital for preeclampsia and my labor was induced at 31 weeks gestation. I stayed in the hospital for 10 days and my daughter born at 3lbs and 2 oz stayed in the NICU for the next 5 weeks.

During that time I was also a newlywed with a houseful of boxes, a 6 year old son and a brand new (supportive) husband.

Needless to say, this has all been a period of adjustment for me.

To top it all off, my addiction to the internet and my tendency to google every thought has led me to a host of things that are either new or just new to me.

I am breastfeeding. I am cloth diapering. I am wearing my baby. All new.

I have a desire to make my own baby food. Make my own natural hair products. Make my own natural household cleaning products. Learn to garden and grow some of the food that my family eats.

I also have to get to know the city that I now live in and make it my home.

All while being a new wife and mastering Motherhood 3.0.

I intend to blog about it all (well, most of it) along the way.