Anyway, yesterday having formulated my question for conference, I was at the library with the kids so Cooper could pick up a book report book. (Who am I kidding? we are at the library every few days, book report or not.) I came across a book by Wendy Nelson, wife of Elder Nelson, about asking great questions. Aha! Just what I had been thinking about: trying to come up with a great question for conference. So I got it and so far the book is great, but what I mostly have gotten out of it is that I need to ask questions much more often as a parent, not just tell the kids what they need to do. Supposedly, not only will this help me be gentler and less drill-sergeant, it will ALSO help the kids to think and act for themselves.
I decided to do a little experiment. Since I had come to this realization this morning, when the kids were still sleeping, I decided to see if I could get them through the before-school rush-hour by ASKING questions gently and kindly, without sarcasm or anger, (and not just pointed questions like, "Will you PLEASE eat your breakfast!!") instead of TELLING as often as possible. This took some fast-thinking, and I didn't entirely succeed in coming up with a question at every point of communication, (and some of those questions were definitely "leading the witness") but I did pretty good.
Instead of berating Macy for not being dressed yet, I asked her what she was going to wear today.
Instead of casting alarm about how late it was getting, I asked Cooper if he thought he could get dressed and have breakfast in time to make it to school for his field trip. (And I remained calm.)
Instead of demanding that Boston come upstairs and eat his breakfast, I sat on his bed and asked him if he was going to have one of the few remaining blueberry muffins. (Okay, I may have exaggerated a bit about the number of remaining muffins, but it lit a fire under him alright.)
"If you can't finish your muffin, do you have room for a cheese stick?"
"Which cup is yours?" (This actually worked. He didn't answer but found his cup and drained it.)
"Do you know where your bike helmet is?"
"Are you going to be able to leave with the other kids? Do you have time?"
"Do you think you could manage chewing on this at the same time as you are tying your shoes?"
"What pretty should we put in your hair today?"
I also noticed that I sort of perked up when someone asked me a question, since I had been so intentional about my words and questions. Unfortunately, the question was, "Why do I have to eat breakfast?" Oh well, he got an answer, and he asked for it!!
They all got out the door on time, fully clothed and fed, helmets on, and I felt like mom of the year.
This has been a fun and busy month. We had parties and picnics, house and landscaping projects, three birthdays along with several football games (flag and watching BYU) and also Leslie's marching band performances.
|Last month at the Utah County fair. Luke loved this little choo-choo ride. I loved the lack of crowds (and I admit, I tried the deep fried cheesecake. eh.)|
|Luke playing with Boston and his friend Ben while it was their turn to be on the sidelines. (Only 8 of 12 on the field at a time, so each player rotated out.)|
Speaking of, here's Cooper's latest. Happened when Boston was procrastinating sweeping off the patio and was swinging the broomstick around in a circle instead. Leslie and I were at the General Women's Broadcast, and when I came home to an empty house with the bathwater still in the tub and Luke's shoes in the middle of the floor, I thought something might be up... He gets them out on Saturday. Has it slowed down the football 24/7? Of course not.
|I like this one of Boston. Number 2.|
|Boston waiting for the kick.|
|Boston in huddle. His coach reminded me of cross between a pirate and Santa Claus--he had quite the laugh. We wish they could have had more wins (and more than two plays), but I was proud of Boston's good attitude and that he played hard every game.|
|When Mark was so sick I took him to the doctor for the first time since we've been married. We kept Luke happy by taking his picture. Several times. The little ham.|
|The kids have had a great time with the big piles of dirt in the empty lot next to us. I'll be happy when the dirt is gone.|
|When Mark was recovered, we had crepes one Sunday. Macy got a little frightful with the Nutella.|
|He also asked if he could do some deoderant. Usually I tell him no, but what the heck. It was his birthday.|
|I thought his new Leader of the Pack shirt was particularly appropriate. Vroom Vroom!|
This Saturday was crazy with Father's and sons campout, Cooper's semifinals football game (he was late getting back, only played half the game, and they lost by one. Drat!) I hurried a little too quick back home (got my first spding ticket here--right behind our house--so lame!) so I could chaperone Leslie's marching band competition. Missed that bus so I drove, but it worked out well because we didn't have to stay for the whole thing. Mostly I stood around in the hot and helped move props. They did a great job on their performance. Here is a short clip I took of one of the movements--I didn't know if I'd have enough memory on my phone to film the whole thing (plus I forgot until it was half over anyway...) This is from ground level as I was crouching under the bleachers with the other parents waiting to cart away the props. Leslie is one of two flutes--the taller one. I tried to center the camera on her when I could pick her out. During the last bit she is kind of behind the gong. And yes, she does bust a few moves on this, pretty fun to watch. Sorry you aren't getting the from the bleachers up above full view.