COUSIN MOMS ◽ TIPS
Mom of Three
If I’m being honest, date nights – going out – are few and far between. We were in a season for a long while where we really didn’t want to leave the kids, because free nights were few, and we wanted to include them. Date nights are definitely important, but there is also a balance. For us, we do a good job of connecting on a daily basis – at night when the kids are asleep we chat and talk. Other times, we get a random night when kids are at a sports practice or with grandparents. This past season, while the kids were in school, my husband and I had lunch together because we both work at home! I do know that having time with him, dating him, is important. But only “date night” connections every so often is not enough, and we also have a budget, but day-to-day connections work as well.
It’s the day to day connections where we chat and spend time over coffee, or even a ride in the car to pick up the kids, that works for us! Our date nights don’t have to be big or fancy or every week. They can be a simple lunch or a shopping excursion to pick out wood floors for the house!
When we do have a designated date night, we often stay in (to save money). We watch a show we enjoy together, and have dinner at home, and make it cozy. If we do go out, it’s a coffee date for sure – and sometimes bowling! Our love language is coffee, and we sometimes play a game. We don’t visit the theater a lot, because we watch enough shows at home. We like to go somewhere that we can talk and do something, or even just walk around!
Sometimes we plan our dates nights together, or sometimes we surprise each other – especially on birthdays.
So both – date nights out and daily connections – are a great balance for us! I’ve been so grateful for this season. Finding time with toddlers is hard, but now that the kids are in school we have more time. We also love to serve together, and call that connection, because we are super compatible that way!
THREE MOMS ◽ TIPS
Kids hear things, watch movies, listen to shows, hang out with others, and often pick up habits that perhaps aren’t allowed in their homes. It shows up as sass and attitude, neither of which is fun to deal with, as a mom. So we asked our moms to talk about how they deal with those words and those looks and those frustrations…and they were honest in their answers!
Our girls are at the age where they don’t quite know some of the things they say and the meaning behind them, but they’re figuring them out. There are many influences around them from school and television, as our two oldest are ages 6 and 4.
The biggest words are “whatever” and “hate,” and that is what we’re working on currently. Regarding to sass, with having three girls, there will be a lot of that!
We address it, we talk about it. When they started saying hate, we tried to point it back to, “Does what you say bring joy to others, and does it reflect Jesus?” If the answer is no, then we shouldn’t be using these words. We try to explain instead of just saying NO. Do these words put a smile on someone’s face?
Of course, we say one thing and sometimes it goes in one ear and out the other ear!
We do punish for bad language or sass. Sometimes, it’s time out. They’re older now, so there are not as many spankings, but we also take away television time. The girls enjoy TV and tablet time, so taking that away is effective. And at the same, too much TV and screen time affects their attitude. So we do try to limit that time on the screens, as it often affects their moods.
We talk with them about consequences to their actions of being rude. We emphasize how we want to pick people up and not bring them down. We want our girls to think about this and realize the consequences if they don’t obey.
One example was our oldest told her sister that she hated her. Sadie had to write “I’m sorry” about 20 times on a paper and give it to her sister. Writing out what they’ve done is also a good thing…in the apology process.
Movies and TV shows and all the things our kids watch and hear, we haven’t noticed that our kids have picked up any bad language. We do have conversations about words we do hear, when they are occasionally in the movies.
However, we do see attitudes from YouTube videos once in a while. Mindless scrolling seems to cause the kids also to “check out” and they seem irritated or disconnected. That might be more the issue, so far, and I’m thankful…and that’s been interesting. So we have cut down with putting parameters on YouTube, they have time limits, and be present with the kids.
We only have one television in the house, so we can hear and see what they’re watching. This is important to us. And we’ve taught them to ask permission before watching something new. In fact, they’ve even called us when they’ve gone over to friends’ houses and been asked to watch a movie.
Now, we aren’t into teen years yet, but are thankful that they are learning early to call Mom and Dad, and I’m praying that sticks!
If we do feel like there is an attitude issue or talking back, we send the kids to their room. Sometimes we also take away the cell phone or ground them from YouTube.
With words, we try to talk more about the attitude behind words and how they’re directed toward people. They do hear things at school, and when they were tiny they repeated things. But now, it’s definitely more attitude with frustration and anger, especially with the boys. Talking back sometimes occurs with our daughter.
Conversation is the key, and we talk about removing things, and discuss having no friends over, etc.
We try to maintain “innocence” with watching family friendly and kid shows. Bigger movies at the theater, we don’t go much.
I just read recently to not just say NO and then administer discipline, but talk and understand where and why with the kids, and listen to them. It’s easier to just send them away, but listening to them is valuable. We have seen a huge change when we listen, especially with our youngest. Same with our daughter, and sometimes talking back is not knowing how to express herself.