Saturday, November 28, 2015

How to Teach Your Child Respect - Part 2

Much of my "regailing" is a result of learning the hard way. And while I credit the Scriptures, the Holy Spirit, and my parents for giving me wisdom in child rearing, I have also learned by making mistakes. I was realizing just how much I was letting my children call the shots and take center stage the day I took them to the eye doctor.

One of the kids was getting a check-up, but since all four were too young to leave at home I took all of them to the appointment. The five of us crowded in the examination room, and while the kids were very quiet, they immediately took to the only available chair in the room. The "patient" of course was seated in the exam chair, the doctor took the back-less doctor seat, and two of the kids sat in the guest chair. One just quietly sat on the floor. That left me standing. I didn't even give it a thought. I was just glad they were all so quiet!

The doctor, however, made a pointed comment. "Why do kids sit in the chair and don't think to give their mother the better seat?"

Ooo. I was convicted. He was right! I was inadvertently reinforcing selfishness. I guess I thought I was modeling selflessness by letting them take the seat, but I wasn't teaching them how to show respect. I began to examine other areas where I was letting them take center stage... and the dinner table was one of them.

Dinner was always a lively occasion. My husband and I were committed to having dinner together regularly. It would be an unusual circumstance for us to not have dinner together. But I realized that our conversations were driven by the kids' yackety yack. So after we read aloud the Laura Ingalls Wilder Little House on the Prairie books, we implemented once-a-week "Little House on the Prarie" rule for dinner conversation. And if you haven't read those books I HIGHLY recommend you do. That rule is: KIDS DON'T TALK UNLESS SPOKEN TO. Now we didn't do this all the time - just once a week or occasionally. The experiment was golden! Steve and I could actually have a conversation! The noise level went waaaay down and I think everyone become more aware of what it means to respect your elders.

And now for a refashion...

I finished the T-shirt quilt! Or I should say, "quilts". I actually made 2 of them. After sewing the rows together (see precious posts for instructions on making the squares), I cut a piece of quilt batting to fit the quilt, as well as a piece of fabric for the back. I put the 3 layers together like a sandwich and began to stitch. I'm not a fancy quilter at all - I just sewed straight lines down the length, using the largest stitch size on my machine. Then I finished it off with quilt binding to hide the exposed edges.