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Take Care of You Challenge

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Thank you Care.com for the picture.

This is a new parenting challenge.  If not kept in check, it can get out of hand, but I’m assuming that if you’re reading this blog, then you are probably, more than likely, a mom that gives too much of herself and doesn’t hardly ever refuel.  This too is not good.  Just like almost anything, trying to keep it in balance is the key!

 

I have learned (oftentimes the hard way) that I am a better mom (and wife) when I am intentional about taking care of me.  Now, I still don’t get a shower everyday, but I do my best to find some time for me!  I tend to be a home body, thrive on a lot of quiet and still (which doesn’t happen much with 5 kids)!  I’ve learned that when I keep a few things in check, I get to maintain my inner peace more often throughout the day!

 

Water, Week 1

My first challenge for you is simple, it’s just not always easy!  DRINK MORE WATER!  I know that sounds too simple, but I promise, your mind and body will work so much better if it’s running on water!  Try to drink a full glass (10-16 ounces) first thing in the morning.  First thing!  (Ok, I usually hit the bathroom first, but then it’s water time)  It’s actually better if it’s room temperature or a bit warmer, but if you like it cold and it will go down better for you, then drink it cold.  Your body will just absorb it faster if it’s room temperature.  Want to amp up your morning water even more?  Add in some fresh squeezed lemon juice or Young Living Lemon Essential Oil (make sure it’s a glass cup when using lemon oil).

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Start slow.  Start by replacing just one drink with water.  Then you can slowly work up.  It’s a good “rule of thumb” to drink half your body weight in ounces of water (if you are trying to detox at all, add another 10 ounces).  So, if you weigh 150 pounds, your goal is to drink 75 ounces of water in a day.  I like to put the amount of water I’m striving to drink in a pitcher of water in the fridge.  It seems to be easier for me to stay the course and it’s a great visual reminder and cheerleader through out the day!  I also will “reward” myself after reaching half of my water.  I will let myself have a cup of tea (or sometimes pop) to kind of break it up.  I’ve also found that when I put my oils (my favorite is Citrus Fresh) in my water, I consume more too!  On the plus side, when you start drinking more water, it naturally curves appetite and cravings.  Win, Win!  😉  I could go on and on about the benefits of water!  So start today, and start by replacing one “other” drink with water.  Slowly increase your intake each day so that by this time next week, you are at half your body weight in ounces.   Good luck and here’s to a happier/healthier parent!

drinking

Please know where your oils come from!  Not all are acceptable to ingest!  Do your research!  Talk to your physician!

How did you do with drinking water this week?  I did great for three days and then I started to wean a bit. But I’m still drinking more than I was, so that’s a great place to start!

 

Be Still, Week 2

I know this lends itself more to some personalities than it does others, however, we are human BEINGS, not human doings.  I’ll admit, this doesn’t always happen on the weekends, but during the week I’m up to about 20 minutes of just being still.  Sometimes I fall asleep, but I am quiet and still.  I like to do this right after I do my afternoon Bible Study, that way I can mediate on my study.  I try my best to clear my mind.  I usually say a prayer asking God to clear my mind for me and to give me the thoughts He wants me to meditate on.  However, I do have some paper near by in case things pop into my head that I want to remember or do and the thoughts become nagging and impossible to ignore.  I will just jot those thoughts/to dos down and then I can  try to refocus on a clear mind!  I started with 5 minutes and have slowly worked up.  The Bible Studies that I’m currently doing are: Keeping in Balance, 21 Days of Prayer for your Business (you don’t need the book, but it’s nice to have.  There is a Facebook group that I can add you to if you let me know that you want to be added!), and In Touch, where I’m planning on reading through this New Catholic Answer Bible: New American Bible Revised Edition (NABRE) in a year.

So your challenges this week are to continue to drink your water and to take time (hopefully) each day to just. be. still.  It’s kind of like the water and after a while, it will become something you crave instead of something you try to avoid!

I did a pretty good job this week of being still.  I missed Friday and only got in a teeny tiny bit on Saturday, but something is better than nothing!  😉  How did you do this week?

 

Sleep, Week 3

I know that it’s so easy to cut into sleep in the name of productivity.  But please be warned, not getting enough sleep will have detrimental consequences if it becomes a regular routine.  I know a lot of people think that they can “sleep when they’re dead,” but if you don’t get enough sleep, that will come much sooner than later!  Sleep is vital!  At minimum, get 6 hours each and every night.  Naps are also good.  I read something the other day (sorry, I can’t find the actual article I read) that said our bodies are actually designed to nap and that those who emulate a sleep routine similar to that of a child are actually healthier.  So there you go, justification to take a nap!  Plus, naps usually refresh you and can lead to more patience and more mental clarity!  All good things when striving to be the best parents we can be.

So, I challenge you to get at least 6 hours of sleep every night and if you feel like you need one and can make it work, slip in a 20-30 minute nap!

 

 

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Setting Expectations 5

 

Setting expectations are vitally important when raising children. As a whole, children will almost always rise or fall to our, often UN-communicated, expectations. It is best to do some research on child development before setting certain expectations. I have also found that the more kids we have, the longer the younger ones get away with lower expectations, mainly because I’m just in the habit of doing things myself, instead of letting them do it.

 

Setting the Bar Too High

Just like almost everything in life, there needs to be a balance and setting expectations is no exception! There can be some detrimental consequences when we constantly set expectations way too high for our children. Doing so can lead to poor self-esteem, social dysfunction, a bad parent-child relationship, a negative attitude towards authority, disrespect, etc. When children are required to perform tasks that are too difficult for them, they constantly feel like a failure. Before long, they do things only out of obligation and not out of longing.

 

Setting the Bar Too Low

This too can have detrimental effects. If a child isn’t ever held to any expectations, they can develop many of the same concerns that are listed above. Being expected to do nothing oftentimes communicates a perception of incapability and unworthiness. The children often feel like their parents think they are worthless and not capable of accomplishing remedial tasks.

 

Finding the Fine Line

As I mentioned above, doing a bit of research on childhood development couldn’t hurt. However, there is a lot out there and it can be very overwhelming. I recommend thinking about areas that are particularly stressful for you or just areas that you feel like you need some assistance. Think about ways a child might be able to help lighten the load. It’s also vitally important that a child learn how to take care of themselves, so if you have no expectations, then start with that (dressing themselves, feeding themselves, picking up after themselves, etc).

Set up some expectations and give them a trial run for a week, two weeks and/or a month. After a certain amount of time has passed, evaluate the situation and see if anything needs to be tweaked, if so, try a few changes, if not, add on another! 😉

Don’t beat yourself up if you realize that maybe you really were asking too much. Just change it up and see if it helps. For example, when I started the chore chart for the older boys, my daughter wanted to do it too (you know, she can’t be left out). However, she got very frustrated because she didn’t understand the days of the week, how certain chores were assigned to certain days, that when you were done completing a chore, you turn the chore card over and put it in back. Honestly, I got a little frustrated too, because I didn’t understand why she wasn’t understanding the card turning thing. So, I took a step back and thought about it for a little while. Then it dawned on me that she really doesn’t have any calendar skills yet, so that would make things hard to understand. I also did a little research online and almost every place I went to that had a chore chart said for ages 4+. Now I understand. So my husband and I would go to the chart, tell her what she needed to do, when she was done, we would turn the card over and put it in back and tell her what was next. It only took a couple of times doing this and she started understanding and is now able to do it on her own and she is almost 4.

 

How to Set Expectations

Usually the biggest hurdle in having expectations for children is that often they are never actually communicated to the child! How unfair is that?! How would you feel if you got fired for not completing a project at work, but were never told that it was your responsibility? Same goes for children. They need to be told BEFOREHAND what is expected of them. It’s not fun to play a game if you have to find out all the rules as you go along. So communicate your expectations to your child before you expect them to adhere to them.

If your child starts to do something and you haven’t set expectations for it yet, talk about it right then and there. Say something like, “I know we haven’t talked about this before, so it’s okay right now, but next time you will need to ….”

 

Upholding Expectations

Consistency is of utmost importance when enforcing and upholding expectations.

Communication is also an integral part, especially if there are other children in the family. It isn’t fair to expect the same thing out of a 2 year old as you do a 7 year old. Remember, equal isn’t always fair.

Reviewing the expectations will also help.

 

Challenges

Week 1: Read the post and think about the expectations you have for your child(ren).

Week 2: Communicate your expectations to your child. It’s usually good to do a reminder before an event happens. For example, if I am shopping with my kids, I review my expectations (stay close to me, keep hands to yourself, don’t ask for anything if you didn’t bring your own money, etc) and the consequences if expectations aren’t met before getting out of the van.

Week 3: Especially if your children are older, sit down and have a conversation with them about expectations that THEY think they should or should not have and why. Make sure to listen to your child before explaining your side or sharing your input. If at all possible, come to a peaceful agreement about implementing some changes, if your children were reasonable in their wishes. If your child wasn’t reasonable, calmly try explaining your reasoning behind such expectations.

Week 4: Continue to reinforce and review expectations (especially right before you expect them to comply).

Week 5: Continue to reinforce and review expectations (especially right before you expect them to comply).

What expectations do you have for your child(ren)?

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Setting Expectations 4

 

Setting expectations are vitally important when raising children. As a whole, children will almost always rise or fall to our, often UN-communicated, expectations. It is best to do some research on child development before setting certain expectations. I have also found that the more kids we have, the longer the younger ones get away with lower expectations, mainly because I’m just in the habit of doing things myself, instead of letting them do it.

 

Setting the Bar Too High

Just like almost everything in life, there needs to be a balance and setting expectations is no exception! There can be some detrimental consequences when we constantly set expectations way too high for our children. Doing so can lead to poor self-esteem, social dysfunction, a bad parent-child relationship, a negative attitude towards authority, disrespect, etc. When children are required to perform tasks that are too difficult for them, they constantly feel like a failure. Before long, they do things only out of obligation and not out of longing.

 

Setting the Bar Too Low

This too can have detrimental effects. If a child isn’t ever held to any expectations, they can develop many of the same concerns that are listed above. Being expected to do nothing oftentimes communicates a perception of incapability and unworthiness. The children often feel like their parents think they are worthless and not capable of accomplishing remedial tasks.

 

Finding the Fine Line

As I mentioned above, doing a bit of research on childhood development couldn’t hurt. However, there is a lot out there and it can be very overwhelming. I recommend thinking about areas that are particularly stressful for you or just areas that you feel like you need some assistance. Think about ways a child might be able to help lighten the load. It’s also vitally important that a child learn how to take care of themselves, so if you have no expectations, then start with that (dressing themselves, feeding themselves, picking up after themselves, etc).

Set up some expectations and give them a trial run for a week, two weeks and/or a month. After a certain amount of time has passed, evaluate the situation and see if anything needs to be tweaked, if so, try a few changes, if not, add on another! 😉

Don’t beat yourself up if you realize that maybe you really were asking too much. Just change it up and see if it helps. For example, when I started the chore chart for the older boys, my daughter wanted to do it too (you know, she can’t be left out). However, she got very frustrated because she didn’t understand the days of the week, how certain chores were assigned to certain days, that when you were done completing a chore, you turn the chore card over and put it in back. Honestly, I got a little frustrated too, because I didn’t understand why she wasn’t understanding the card turning thing. So, I took a step back and thought about it for a little while. Then it dawned on me that she really doesn’t have any calendar skills yet, so that would make things hard to understand. I also did a little research online and almost every place I went to that had a chore chart said for ages 4+. Now I understand. So my husband and I would go to the chart, tell her what she needed to do, when she was done, we would turn the card over and put it in back and tell her what was next. It only took a couple of times doing this and she started understanding and is now able to do it on her own and she is almost 4.

 

How to Set Expectations

Usually the biggest hurdle in having expectations for children is that often they are never actually communicated to the child! How unfair is that?! How would you feel if you got fired for not completing a project at work, but were never told that it was your responsibility? Same goes for children. They need to be told BEFOREHAND what is expected of them. It’s not fun to play a game if you have to find out all the rules as you go along. So communicate your expectations to your child before you expect them to adhere to them.

If your child starts to do something and you haven’t set expectations for it yet, talk about it right then and there. Say something like, “I know we haven’t talked about this before, so it’s okay right now, but next time you will need to ….”

 

Upholding Expectations

Consistency is of utmost importance when enforcing and upholding expectations.

Communication is also an integral part, especially if there are other children in the family. It isn’t fair to expect the same thing out of a 2 year old as you do a 7 year old. Remember, equal isn’t always fair.

Reviewing the expectations will also help.

 

Challenges

Week 1: Read the post and think about the expectations you have for your child(ren).

Week 2: Communicate your expectations to your child. It’s usually good to do a reminder before an event happens. For example, if I am shopping with my kids, I review my expectations (stay close to me, keep hands to yourself, don’t ask for anything if you didn’t bring your own money, etc) and the consequences if expectations aren’t met before getting out of the van.

Week 3: Especially if your children are older, sit down and have a conversation with them about expectations that THEY think they should or should not have and why. Make sure to listen to your child before explaining your side or sharing your input. If at all possible, come to a peaceful agreement about implementing some changes, if your children were reasonable in their wishes. If your child wasn’t reasonable, calmly try explaining your reasoning behind such expectations.

Week 4: Continue to reinforce and review expectations (especially right before you expect them to comply).

What expectations do you have for your child(ren)?

Share and Enjoy

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Comments { 0 }