Sunday, February 28, 2016

12 Ideas to Motivate Kids

How do we get our kids to do anything?  I've been pondering this after someone recently asked me how I get my little kids to do things without constant nagging.  Made me wonder, how is ANYONE  motivated?  How am I motivated?  Really, no one is going to do anything unless THEY want to for themselves.  Maybe out of fear, rewards, attention, necessity,  etc.   How do we use this in parenting?  How do we get our kids to be independent?  I am NOT an expert.  I do not have all the answers.  I have to ask kids to do things over and over and over.   l loose my cool.  I need to improve my parenting.   My kids are all different ages and very unique personalities.  They are inspired in different ways. 

1.  Pray.  Be specific when praying about a child or concern.  God knows His child.  Ideas will come.

2.  OWN IT.  When my kids start to blame or make excuses, I tell them to own what they are doing.  Help them to be responsible for their own actions.  They won't improve or change if they don't ever acknowledge that they need to change what they are doing.  When someone steps up and owns it, then they are removing the need for  nagging and prompting from others.  That is HUGE!  Get them involved in choosing their plan and possible incentives.  When kids make choices for themselves, they own the plan.  They care more.

3.  What motivates them?  USE THAT!  God blesses us when we do what is right.  We can do the same for our kids.  Give them something to work towards.  It teaches patience and not instant gratification.  When rewards are not getting results, then I turn to punishments.  Taking things away that they like WILL motivate them.  Every kid has something; a phone, computer time, friend time, etc.

4.  Develop good habits.  I'm talking repetition.  Get them doing something over and over and over and it will become something they are used to.  They will know what is expected and have a new standard.  We want good habits.

5.  Positive words.  Instead of, "Don't hurt your brother!"  say, "Can you help him feel happy?", "Be kind.", or "Be soft."  Try to find the positive.  Sometimes that is hard!  Look for it.  What are they doing right?  Point it out.  Show them you notice the good.  Be encouraging.  If they are struggling through something "cheer" them on.  "You thought through your math problem and kept trying!  You are a good thinker!",  "I like that you didn't quit trying.",  "That was hard for you, but you figured it out!" , "That was a tough word!  Nice sounding it out!", "Thanks for practicing!  That sounded like a hard song, but I could hear you figuring it out.", "You got this!", and "You are doing it!"

6.  "Is that the best you can do?"  If it works when I'm trying to get a great deal, then it can work on my kids.  The question gives them some self reflection.  My kids often do a job, but fail to finish it right. This question makes them think.

7.  Keep it simple!  Start small.  Keep goals and tasks at their level.  We want them to succeed!  Help them to accomplish things.  Then ask them how they feel when they do.  Hopefully they feel good!  We want them to recognize that! 

8.  Be polite.  Say please and thank you.  I often think about how a good boss treats employees and how that motivates the workers.  What makes people  work hard for someone else?  Not rudeness.  Work along side your kids when you can.

9.  Look around you.  Help kids to see other's needs and wants as well.  Especially when they are working towards good things, but might need to wait or do something differently to be courteous to others. Notice OTHER'S feelings.  "If you don't let him have a turn, how does that make him feel?"  When kids need motivation to behave better, help them notice that what they are doing is affecting others too.   If a child is making everyone late, they need to learn that their actions don't just affect them.  Help them to be aware and kind.

10.  Change.  If something is not working, stop doing it!  Go with the flow!

11. Keep on keeping on!  My husband and I have kind of an inside joke.  When a child is really having a hard time one of us will ask the other, "What are we going to do with him!?"  The other always replies, "Keep him."

12.  LOVE! love! love! Make sure they always know that they are loved.  Even when they are driving you BONKERS!! No matter what they are struggling through. (or WE are struggling through) They need to know we are always there!  Love moves people to do GOOD things!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Trust in the Lord

Midterms were the worst.  I always felt like they were worse than finals because school continued after they ended.  After a really long week of midterms (tests, projects, presentations, little sleep, long hours in the drafting lab, and stress), I was glad it was Friday.  I walked into my dorm to meet my roommates heading out for a fun evening.  On their way, they mentioned that I had gotten a mark from the dorm mother.  My room was too messy, they told me.  They seemed a little too happy to tell me.  They left. 

I hurried into my room.  I had my laundry piled on my bed and projects, markers, and papers stacked on the desk.  I was so upset.  I couldn't believe I got a mark!  The irony of the whole thing was that I had privately asked the dorm mother to do random clean checks because my roommates were FILTHY.  I was starting to worry about what might be growing on their beds.   I got the mark! 

I had had a very hard week.  I missed my family.  I felt alone.  I wondered why I was here.  I wanted to cry.  I wanted my Dad.  He always knew how to ease my worries.  I went to the hallway and pulled out my calling card.  I punched the number to my parent's home into the phone.  It rang and rang.  There was no answer.  I really wanted to talk to my dad.  This was the first time in my life that I was feeling that there was no one for me to turn to.

A thought came to my mind that I have a Father in Heaven who is always there to listen.  It took the "opportunity" of me feeling alone and no answer at home for me to realize this in it's reality.  I went to my bedside and knelt down.  I prayed.  I told Him I was sad and all my feelings.  I felt at peace and knew that I was where I was supposed to be.

That experience strengthened me!  I learned that I needed to Trust In the Lord more often.
I recently felt impressed to have "Trust in the Lord" become our family theme.  We held a Family Home Evening and discussed how this knowledge can help us.  We talked about really simple problems to really big problems.  Problems with feelings, school, friends, testimony, sickness, and death.  Trusting in the Lord can help us with ANY and EVERY problem.  He knows what is wrong.  He knows how it will turn out.  He knows how to guide our hearts and thoughts.  He knows what will get us through.  He knows how much we can take and then adds His strength.  He knows the ideas we need to have.  He knows US.  He knows ME and He knows YOU.  He is all we need.

It seems, as my life has continued, that I have had more experiences that push me to trust in the Lord.  Times when no one else is who I need, no one else understands, no one else can give me the complete strength that is required.  I am learning.  The Lord is always there, always listens, always understands, always lifts and strengthens me.  Always.  I need to trust Him, more.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


Monday, February 15, 2016

Valentine's Day

 Some shirts I made
 Valentine's Lunch

 My funny heart pizzas made from french bread.
 My valentine.

 On our ride out to Gibby's.
Cousins house for Valentine dinner.

We were driving today with Reagan, Rylan, and James talking about nothing to interesting when James loudly told us, "I went to heaven."  I asked how it was and he replied, "It was cool."  He also told us it was bright.  It is high in the clouds.  He went there while we were driving one day, he said.  Brian said I must have been driving.
Tonight during Family Home Evening we were trying to decide on a reward for us after we did "no sugar" for a few months.  The kids had all kinds of ideas.  A new basketball hoop, ipads, trips to Disneyland and Hawaii, and even purchasing the field behind our house.  James said for us to get nice haircuts.  I said, "I cut your hair, don't I do a great job?"
"No, not really." He said.
Then Rylan says, "I know! I know! I know!  We could all take a trip to heaven!!!"
"We could take a plane there!"  he adds.
Eden loves to have you follow her around.  "Mear,  'mon" she says and curls her hand for you to come and follow her.  She doesn't want you sitting.  She loves gum.  She chews it and then takes it out of her mouth and says, "Garbage."  She loves to jump on the couch.  She calls a cat a meow.  The other morning I was getting kids out of the door and calling for them to get coats and homework.  My voice was louder and I was stern as the kids hurried around to rush out to their ride when I heard Eden's baby voice say, "Isaac."  I was holding her in my arms when she said it and I stopped in my tracks.  She said it again and pointed at the photo of Isaac on the shelf.  "Yes, that is Isaac your brother." I said.  It filled my heart!!  I was so surprised!

 Wesley wrote his name!  He'e been doing very well with writing letters and words.
 Rylan's choice of a book to read after school.  He lasted maybe a minute and said, "Mmm, I'm done."

 She let me put pig tails in her hair!  They didn't last long.

 Making cookies.
 Something is stuck to my leg!
 Eden found this in a store and really, really liked it!

 Fell asleep at the top of the stairs waiting for me to carry him down.  I wanted him to walk down on his own.
 Little kids talking selfies.

 My sick baby.  In January Eden and Wesley had a bad virus.

Waiting to see the doc for a killer ear.
 Grandpa Bryce and baby Silas.  He was blessed Feb 7th and we went to Idaho for that.

 Eden LOVES him.

 I'm not sure what was weirder, seeing a horse headed man buying pizza in Little Caesars or that nobody seemed alarmed or noticed.

 Matthew Bolingbroke and Reagan
 Aubryn likes to take selfies on my phone.