Thursday, November 21, 2013

Keeping it simple

As parents Jeremy and I have been noticing that our kids are motivated by the smallest things. We are realizing that positive motivation works much better than negative...the things they get to do rather than having an object taken away from them. They don't respond well to time outs. But they do respond to not getting "kettle bell swings" from Daddy. They never want to miss out on those - He takes them and swings them up into the air. Oh the bawling that takes place when one of them misses out on this fun after one is mean to the other or stole the other's toy. Or the smallest privilege of a quick trip to the store with Daddy to buy eggs and bananas. These are some of the most powerful motivators for our kids at this age. To miss out on the smallest outing or fun game is a tragedy. My kids are entertained by the smallest things. They are rarely bored. We are learning that we do not have to come up with super creative ways of discipline with our children. We are learning what truly motivates them.

There is one chore my kids are all too excited to take responsibility for...feeding Jasper. Those little feet come runnin' to Jasper's dog food bin in the kitchen at any mention of feeding him. If only they could get as excited about other chores like picking up their toys and messes!

As their momma I am learning that keeping things simple is best. The fancier, more interesting food dishes I come up with, after looking online and on pinterest, the less likely they are to eat it. What do my kids like to eat best? Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, ants on a log, bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, and apples. Simplicity goes beyond our food dishes. As a family we have decided that we cannot afford, money or time-wise, more than one kid activity or sport at a time. So I am not shuttling my kids constantly from one enrichment activity to the next. Right now Hudson and Annalise are in swimming lessons, and that is it. When these lessons are over, later this winter they may be in a nature class, or crossfit kids, but not all at the same time! Next summer I hope we can focus on riding bikes, once we get bikes for them.  Simplicity is best for our family :).

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