The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Se7en Practical Ways To Say Yes…

January 27th, 2010 · 31 Comments

Well last week my 30 minute post was Se7en Silly Reasons Why Mom’s Say No… and did you guys all have something to say. Go and read the comments folks, they are well worth the read!!!

So I thought I would write a follow up with “se7en sneaky ways to say yes to their silly requests…” Let’s face it they do have silly requests and lots of them!!!

  1. Meet Them in The Middle: Our priorities for the day are not their priorities!!! They are looking for a fun day and we are looking to get things done!!! Seriously, I am looking to get up and get going with school in the morning and my kids are looking to hang in their pajamas as long as they can. I meet the little guys on the couch for a story each and that gives my older kids a chance to catch up. Once we have listened to a couple of stories we are ready to roll. Just getting up and go, go, go never works and always takes longer.
  2. Slow and Steady: Sunday nights are my favorites… My three big kids go to church with their “father person” and I am left home with only five (and the oldest is six) we do a long bubble and play in the bath and tackle a mountain of stories until we just can’t do anymore… the panic of the nightly “get through the shower and bed routine” is so gone. And here is the shocker. I always thought it took hours longer, it doesn’t. It takes the same time to be slow and steady as it does to be frantic – we get to bed the usual time, just far more relaxed. (I could learn something from this – really!!!)
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  4. Give Them the Power: Nothing like taking the time to teach your kids a life-skill – big or small – and then leaving the task up to them. And I mean leave it!!! Turn the other way, grind your teeth and leave them!!! The job gets done because they have mastered the skill. You really need them to “be able to water the vegetable garden.” Oohhh the shock when those tomatoes didn’t (ahem) make it to the table… and the heady pride when the salad was from their garden. Kids spot the difference between a real task and a time filler straight away. (And I have to sneak in here: give them the great jobs too, not just “make your bed and tidy the socks,” kind of jobs)
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  6. Snack Attacks: My kids will say: “I am so hungry” when actually they want some attention, just before dinner or when they know I am going to be busy on a call. Now I could say NO, but it works better if I ask what they are after. Sometimes they say: “Well lets have waffles…” “Yea right!!!” But if I don’t say outright no instead I say: “What a good idea” lets make a list of what we need from the store, and we can do that later in the week. They are usually happy to comply, especially if I follow up instead of “forgetting.” !!!
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  8. Change the Game: If you are inside or doing something quiet, then go out doors and be loud… Mix up their day a bit. I get really bad at this during school time and some folk round here have a lot of ENERGY. If I don’t think about this then I will have a six year old leaping on the couch next to a “not so sleeping baby…” and my wheels will totally come off. If, as the little guy goes to sleep I say lets have some races and head out doors we might all survive.
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  10. Surprise Them with Little Things: While you are running errands go a different route, nothing tweaks their interest more: “Where are we going?” Not to mention stop at a park and let them run… I know madness!!! But that’s because our schedule is not their schedule… and lets face it the ten minutes spent running across a field will most likely put everyone in a much better mood and cancels out the extra ten minutes you won’t be spending whining and cajoling through the store.
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  12. Rock the Routine: Now you can’t do this always because then it wouldn’t be routine!!! But sometimes I will have prepared dinner in advance and instead of catching up on chores, I can do something obscure: go outdoors and pick flowers for the table, sit with my guys and draw pictures for place mats. It really is a little thing!!!

I could have, should have, written this post in one word: “Distraction.” – It is not a cop-out, we use it ourselves all the time. The trick is to not be too tired to really to engage your kids before things fall apart. It is so much easier to be creative and positive when you have had enough sleep – so good-night!!!

This Post was hammered out as part of The Thirty Minute Mom’s Challenge at Steady Mom. The photographs were taken from my flickr pool, so didn’t need load up time.

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Tags: Kids · Thoughtful Thursdays

31 responses so far ↓

  • 1 KIMBO1, SL Forums // Jan 27, 2010 at 3:00 am

    I have been challenged to say “yes” unless I really have a reason to say “no.” What a rewarding experience this has become!

  • 2 katherinemarie // Jan 27, 2010 at 4:04 am

    EXCELLENT ideas!!!! I didn’ even think about number four—- “I’m hungry” meaing “I really need attention now that you are fixing dinner and not paying attention to me!”

    Thank you so much for that insight!

    AND I love number SIX!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!

  • 3 Alishia // Jan 27, 2010 at 5:18 am

    This is a breath of fresh air. I like the thought Of you rushing and cajoling as it makes me
    feel normal. Thanks for this! Lots of good ideas. It is the little things.

  • 4 thekingsandi // Jan 27, 2010 at 5:24 am

    What a fun post – I like the ‘shake it up’ ideas – refreshing for everybody to have a change of pace.


  • 5 se7en // Jan 27, 2010 at 7:51 am

    Hi K, It takes a little longer sometimes but is so worth the effort!!! Hope you have a great fun week!!!

  • 6 se7en // Jan 27, 2010 at 7:54 am

    Hi K-M, Doesn’t “I need attention NOW” come in all sorts of disguises, shapes and sizes!!! You have a fabulous fun week!!!

  • 7 Dana D@BoysMyJoys // Jan 27, 2010 at 7:56 am

    Wow! Love this! Need to write it down and use these wonderful ideas! You are indeed a wise woman!

  • 8 se7en // Jan 27, 2010 at 7:58 am

    Hi A, Yup I am a regular mom, with regular kids and we rush and cajole like everyone else!!! But what a difference it makes when we take a moment to smell the roses!!! Everyone is better for it, most of all me!!! Have a good day!!!

  • 9 se7en // Jan 27, 2010 at 7:59 am

    Hay thekingsandI, Shake it up works for us!!! You have a good day!!!

  • 10 Susan // Jan 27, 2010 at 11:33 am

    I especially like how you put “forgetting” in quotation marks! Forgetting (a.k.a. lying) is always a temptation of mine.

  • 11 se7en // Jan 27, 2010 at 12:34 pm

    Hi S, You are so right… I tend to put things off, and put things off and I hate to admit it bit sometimes put things off for-um-ever… on that confessional note – Have a good day!!!

  • 12 se7en // Jan 27, 2010 at 12:36 pm

    Hi DD, Glad you like it!!! Hope you have a great day!!!

  • 13 Sands // Jan 27, 2010 at 1:43 pm

    Hi, hope all is well… I am the same, I tend to put things off and off until I forget… Well need to be more diligent regarding these matters. Also we are now embarking on our first year of HS so I just want the kids to get finished forgetting that some times it is more productive to let them get rid of the wiggles and then continue. Have a wonderful day…

  • 14 se7en // Jan 27, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Hi S, So true… it seems like it is taking longer to take a break… but actually it gets the spider webs out and we can all work better!!! Hope you have a fabulous day!!!

  • 15 jacki // Jan 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Could not agree more with the comments above. And could not agree more with your wisdom that in order to say yes I need sleep. So true. Will try and remember that once no 4 is here. Just loved the post!

  • 16 se7en // Jan 27, 2010 at 9:50 pm

    Hay J, Aaaaahhh sleep, people that are nine months pregnant are totally excused from being “yes-mom’s.” Just wait the cloud of fatigue will pass and you will feel better soon!!! All the best!!!

  • 17 Adele@simplelifemusings // Jan 28, 2010 at 12:12 am

    What lovely advice. And I love that for you, staying home with five is easy. You’re amazing!

  • 18 se7en // Jan 28, 2010 at 1:03 am

    Hi A, Thanks for stopping by… I only realize now how insane that sounds!!! Trust me on this everything is relative!!! And relative to getting eight through the shower, five in a lingering bath is a peace of cake!!! You have a fabulous week!!!

  • 19 turnitupmom // Jan 28, 2010 at 2:38 am

    These are some great ideas. What I got from this post is that kids want to be engaged, cooperate, and feel acknowledged and important- not too far from what adults want either! (only we’re easier to reason with, usually!)

  • 20 se7en // Jan 28, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Hi Turnitupmom, Yup treating kids like people always works for me!!! At least with kids you know where they are coming from, adults can be a lot harder to interpret!!! I hope you have a great week!!!

  • 21 Susan@improvamama // Jan 28, 2010 at 6:48 pm

    Oh #3, #3, #3…it is my challenge to really get hands off and let my almost 3 take on those real challenges all the way through. I want to, I intend to and then somehow I’m involved. Great reminder of that as a way to be saying YES!

  • 22 se7en // Jan 28, 2010 at 10:22 pm

    HI S, I so hear you – I wrote it after all!!! I have found a small baby needing to nurse and having to sit and nurse has kept my hands tied well enough for my kids to master things without me in the picture!!! Just lately I have been catching myself and saying: “Let me know if you need any help” instead of “Let me, let me!!!” Hope you have a great week!!!

  • 23 Victoria // Jan 29, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Thank you so much. I’m going to work on #1 and #2.
    Lately, my girl has been fighting me on the morning routine. I’ve been trying to figure out a better way instead of getting frustrated with her. I have the feeling that I’m just not getting the signs she’s giving and need to tune in a little more.

  • 24 se7en // Jan 29, 2010 at 10:02 am

    Hay V, again!!! Sometimes if you just change the routine a bit it helps them stay positive… dress then breakfast or breakfast then dress… And it really helps if I don’t get sucked in, but keep it light!!! And I still hope you all have a great weekend!!!

  • 25 Jenn @ Beautiful Calling // Feb 5, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Oh, great reminders. Their timing and schedule is definitely not the same as ours but when they look back, I want them to remember the little moments and not just that I was so busy.

    Thanks for sharing. This is definitely an impressive 30 minute post. Good job!

  • 26 se7en // Feb 5, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Hi J, Too true that we all want them to remember the fun stuff we do and not just the drudgery!!! It is so easy to be too busy and too “everything”… it takes a little thought to get everything done and not to be quite so “busy.” Hope you have a fabulous weekend!!!

  • 27 Nina // Feb 6, 2010 at 5:45 am

    great post. I often have to remind myself that its not going to hurt anything or take too much time to let my son run away from me down a hall when we go somewhere and usually it not only makes him laugh with glee it makes me and anyone else who sees him do the same. and tires him out…I always remind myself…they need to hear positive things and be encouraged to explore etc.

  • 28 se7en // Feb 6, 2010 at 8:28 am

    Hi N, You are so right… My kids were chatting up a storm in a toy store the other day and I could see the assistant thinking… “well it wasn’t good.” I was going to shush them, but really if you can’t get excited in a toy store then you can’t get excited anywhere!!! Hope you have a fun weekend!!!

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