Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Counting Down the 15 Most Popular Posts of 2015 #13

With 2015 coming to and end and looking forward to 2016, I thought I'd count down the 15 most popular posts of 2015 (not counting our Weekly Wrap- Ups, which always get a lot of pageviews thanks to linky parties!).

So here is post number 13:  (originally posted July 30)

Say Yes! More Often

   I'm making a concerted effort to say "Yes!" to my kids more often.  I find that usually I'm just saying no out of habit or convenience but saying yes has opened up opportunities for us to connect as a family, for my boys to grow and show me what they're capable of, for me to embrace my children's passions and interests. 

    Allowing them to do more and to see that their wants, needs and desires matter helps them feel confident, important and more grown up.  I know the teen years are fast approaching and I'm determined not to get pulled into all the angst that we assume is normal and necessary in those teen years.  I'm learning from lots of homeschooling moms of older kids that their teenage years were not nearly as bad as the teenage struggles I hear from public school kid parents.  I have no idea why that is but partly I think it's that homeschool kids have more freedom and less things to rebel against.  With that in mind I'm trying to get myself used to saying "sure"  instead of "no!"


 Here are some of the things I said yes to this week:
  • Can we go shopping with great gram?"  I love my grandmother but spending time in a store with three kids and a 90 year old woman with Alzheimer's is not my idea of fun so I often say no.  Usually I have a major headache by the end of the trip but this week I realized it was worth it if it means my kids and my grandmother have more time together and you know what?  We had a wonderful time.  Sure it was a bit stressful but it was a great way for us all to connect. 
  • "Want to play MarioKart with me?"  I don't hate video games but I'm certainly don't love them either.  I usually have the boys play together and then I'm free to do my own thing but this week I said sure and we had a great afternoon laughing and giggling over how awful mom is at keeping her car on the track.
  • Can we have a sleepover?" This is one I've been saying yes to a lot more often and it's led to wonderful times for all three of the boys.  Obviously they have friends sleepover at times too but usually they're asking to sleep in each other's room.  I love that my boys are starting to treat each other as friends first and brothers second. 
  • "Will you buy me..."  For obvious reasons this is one question I have to say no to often or else I'd go broke!  But this week I decided to say yes (within reason) and indulge them a little.  New Lego sets, video games, or toys that help foster their love of discovery and an occasional treat is not going to spoil my boys rotten or put us in the poor house.  When I don't have the money for it I remind them they can buy it or they can earn money so I'm still not saying no.  
  • "Can I eat...."  I've stopped the food wars in this house.  I pretty much let my kids eat what they want when they want (with in reason).  I do remind them what healthy food is, what proper nutrition looks like, and suggest good food I know they like.  That said I'm not saying not to the occasional treat like soda or ice cream.  I remind them that everything should be eaten in moderation but find that easing up on restrictions has actually led to them all eating a little less this week.  
  • "Can we say up late?"  My kids still have a bedtime most days.  I like having a routine and we've found that our kids do not sleep any later if they stay up later.  They get cranky and ornery the next day.  They usually only want to stay up to play video games or watch TV; something I often think they do plenty of during the day anyway.  But more and more this week I've allowed them to stay up late.  It's summer!  It's fun! It's not the end of the world if I have cranky kids the next day.  I find they're much more likely to admit to being tired and willingly go to bed earlier the next night when we relax about bedtime rules and let them self- regulate.  
  • "Can I play Video Games? (Or watch TV/ movie)" I try pretty hard to limit the amount of screen time that my kids engage in every week.  They're content to play video games for hours on end and it drives me nuts.  This week I relaxed about it all.  I think I said yes just about every time they asked to play and sure they played a lot more than usual but again, it's summer!  This is their time off and we spent plenty of time out of doors, swimming, running, hiking, and just doing things that a bit of extra "screen time" isn't going to hurt them.  It has led to them linking up and playing cooperatively, my two older boys fiercely competing on Trivia Crack and learning all sorts of new facts, and lots of new vocabulary.  

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