Wednesday, March 21, 2012

creative approach to positive parenting

Parenting school-age children (in fact parenting any age children) can sometimes feel a bit like a car rally.

To manage the variable terrain you need to have a robust and gutsy 'engine' and a tough, all-wearing 'exterior' to manage the stones and assorted other crap that will be tossed up as you negotiate the straights, turns and curves of parenthood.

I could and indeed will (note to self) do a lengthy post of how parenting is a bit like rally driving but for today my focus is on the aspect of parenting/rally driving that you need when you've hit a bit of a bumpy're down in a valley with a long stretch of road ahead of you and the next rest stop is still a few K's down the track.

In our case, a major contributor to this difficult stage is the fact that we don't seem to be able to get the 'car' into fourth gear.  In fact at times it feels like we need the mechanic as we're revving up a storm and it feels like we're still barely out of first gear!

We started the school year full of vim and vigour.  It's a big year for oldest KAT as she's in Year 6.  As a result, she's been garnering lots of attention...lots of activities on her plate and therefore ours.

We've also been focused on a rather lengthy netball grading process for Middle KAT and have resumed swimming, basketball with training and game times needing to be slotted into the weekly schedule.  
As a result of all this 'stuff', our home routine has been in a bit of flux.  Actually, that's probably puttting it kindly....we've been struggling to get out of first gear at home for this entire term. 

Middle KAT in particular does a LOT better with structure and routine.  Both of which have been a bit lacking and as a result her homework is suffering and I'm struggling to get 'buy-in' from her and her sisters on getting them to pull their finger out when it comes to jobs around the house and getting organized in the mornings to get out the door.

Does this sound familiar??  I'm sure it does :)

Anyway, getting back to the rally driver analogy, there was nothing to be gained by pulling over and having a bit of a sob about it.  No, we need to harden up, gird our loins and push on til the next rest stop (which thankfully is not far ahead!)

In order to get there feeling like we can head into the next 'stage' enthused and motivated I decided a rethink on my positive parenting strategies was in order.

Which is where the picture at the top comes in....

................presenting my creative visual aid in the pursuit of a happy household.......................

The Glass Half Full!!!!!!

Glass 'vases' and marbles courtesy of the $2 shop.  Washi tape courtesy of my all time favourite store Pulp Creative Paper.  Pink letters via Fiona Kate

The rules of engagement:
  1. Each girl has a unique color of glass balls (not that I don't trust them but it avoids any pilfering of someone else's marbles!)
  2. Mum and dad are the only ones that can 'award' the balls/marbles
  3. As they reach each 'clip level' they will earn a reward
  4. Ultimate reward for filling up their glass is attendance at horseriding camp next school holidays
  5. balls/marbles can be removed for unhelpful behaviour and indiscretions (I know MEAN mummy!)

I am so pleased with this is a total HIT!  Middle KAT and Youngest KAT are already completely on board and I feel guilty that I started it whilst Oldest KAT was on camp but she will be super motivated when she gets back!!!

I'm even toying with how I can 'commercialise' my idea (first mistake = putting it on my blog for someone to steal???) What do you think?  Would you buy something like this if it was packaged up/safe/not so 'home-made'???

Friday, March 16, 2012

Grateful for disposable wipes

This week I'm grateful for disposable wipes. 

I know they won't win me any environmentally friendly awards but in the ongoing war waged against 'ickiness' they are my saving grace!

A stalwart in our house since we started on the long road of raising small humans they have had a resurgence on the shopping list of late.  They're my 'go to' helper in the battle to contain the special gifts bestowed by our newest family member!

Yes, that's right....Salvadora (or Sally as she is now thankfully called ALL the time) is wandering energetically everywhere but on the path of toilet training.  Every day we are blessed with many and assorted 'gifts' left all over the house :))

Fortunately she's only a small dog.

Fortunately that means her presents are usually small and quite easily contained!!!!!!

Most of the time we are able to keep her on the floorboards so it's no big deal....but the little monkey is finding it a hoot to drop her bundle in all three carpeted bedrooms as well.

We love her to death and hate to look a gift-dog in the mouth but for goodness sake, enough with the pooing on the carpet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am struggling to loosen my vice-like grip on the anxiety named 'where has the dog's arse been' when she so lovingly plants herself on me.  It usually follows this pattern:

a) discover that she's left us a pressie and after cleaning it up....
b) check to see that her backside isn't covered in remnants of the 'gift'
c) if it is, then out come the baby wipes whilst I remove said remnants in a loving but forceful fashion
d) if a baby wipe won't do the trick, she's been receiving a 'half bath' in the laundry sink (think the puppy form of a bidet!!!!!)

Before you ask, YES we've been to puppy school and I do know that she is currently unable to control her motions so patience is indeed a virtue in this case!

Is it annoying to be going through a copious amounts of the things every week?  YES!

Am I still in love with her?  YES!

How have you gone about toilet training your four-legged friends??  I'd love some advice :)

As you can say, I've got my act together to do Grateful Saturday this week....swing on over to Maxabella's and show some love to some other bloggers who've also got their act together this week!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

lazing about

A tincy post about nothing much at all. 

Completed before the business of a new week begins to cloud the sunny skies of the weekend that was.
A recipe for a relaxing morning

No Nippers = a sleep in
A long chat with my sister in the UK
Hot coffee delivered in bed by Saint Mike straight from the cafe to moi
Hot shower uninterrupted by any small people insisting on using the loo
Sonoma soy & linseed toasted with unmentionable types of fattening spreads!!
Sitting outside in the sunshine on our deck chairs reading the paper

Too bad the rest of the day had to intrude - household chores, tidying up our back patio, traipsing off to Netball development afternoons! 

The glow of the morning persisted for quite a while though :)

Here's hoping you had an equally fine Sunday morning!  Was it as good as mine?
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