Behavior Modification

You know that old saying, “People don’t change”? Well that’s incorrect. Before posting those memes or quotes do yourself a favor and fact check them. Who said that? Were their words evidence based? What credentials does the person posting hold?

I testify that change is possible. The relationships you have can be mended, whether with your children, spouse, coworkers, friends, change is possible. You also have that extra tid bit added onto the saying, “people only change if they want to”… hmmm. That’s part of it but it’s only a half truth. People can change with a nudge in the right direction, encouragement, support, advice, and most of all RESPONSE!

One of my very favorite movies is War Room. If you haven’t seen it, add it to your watchlist! The story line is based on a married couple who are in the thick of it, constantly bickering, forgetting why they ever got married in the first place. An older woman comes into play to counsel the wife on how to create change in her relationship. The thing that happens here is that the counsel given to the wife was to change her own behavior. She had to change the way she acted and responded, she changed her life and worked on herself before her husbands behavior followed. And if it had played out another way she could’ve just left high and dry with her new found self. I think this is very wise information. No it doesn’t work every time, but it’s the best fighting chance for that change to happen.

Find it, watch it, live it.

If we have people in our lives that have continued behavior that effect our own lives, our response to that can change everything. I once went through a behavior modification course to work with people suffering from developmental disabilities. We were taught how to modify their behavior because most came from rough situations and displayed negative responses to situations, such as self mutilation when they felt they had done something wrong. The system for correction was categorized by cognitive function. I took this information home with me and practiced it on my own kids. It worked! It included praise, correction, consequence, and a way to respond to the situation in the future.

I feel like we too often forget our children are still learning, they need to know how to respond to future situations they are disciplined for. Instead of doing this do that! The way we respond to behavior displayed can change EVERYTHING!

It also works for behavior we want to see more often too! I remember being a young girl and having to do chores, one night I wiped the kitchen table off. I wasn’t expecting it but my mom walked by and said, ‘You did a really good job cleaning off that table Annabelle!’… you better believe that for the next week I cleaned that table every night even if it wasn’t on my chore list because I was the best dang table cleaner in the house! Praise the behavior you want to see more often. Change the way you respond to negative behavior, provide correction and consequence when need, and give an alternative for future mishaps.

Too much estrogen in here

Four females in one house… FOUR! Let it be known now that I used to pray for 10 kids and I wanted all girls. What I didn’t know I was getting at the time was all my dang clothes missing. Where’s my makeup kids? Has anyone seen the hairbrush? Why are you crying… why are you angry? What emotion is that?! Is that fingernail polish on the mirror? Oh honey, those are waxing strips not stickers, eeekkk!

Ignore the fire alarm on the wall… I smashed it with a hammer.

My washer malfunctioned last week and so on Sunday when my amazing self fixed her right up I did TEN loads of laundry! Ten loads and this morning I wake up to not 1 but all my kids prancing around in my clothes.

The kid told me to buy those pajama shorts cause they made me look like Kim Kardashian… I see your trickery kid… well played 😑

You may think well you have little Maleah and she into sports and picks up hulk mask at stores to chase people around, almost all her friends are boys and she’d be the first to tackle anyone messing with her but the girl has an extreme feminine side. She cries while watching full house, loves to model and has a very nurturing personality! Don’t let her fool you, I’ve seen her scavenging through my stuff… nothing is safe here.

Look at that sweet ball of emotions 😭

And who the heck is this Jo Jo chick with the big bows? Why do we need all her stuff and why does it all look like something the 80’s puked on? Kali, on the other end of the spectrum wants all this Billie Eilish crap, blue hair, baggy clothes… mom can I get my nose pierced… no ma’am. Then I get the clap back, well you have your nose pierced! You don’t want to have this fight with me kid. You won’t win.

We comprised on a Jo Jo bow that wouldn’t push her head off her neck.

I couldn’t tell you if boys are any easier because I have none. However I grew up with 6 brothers and I feel like I escaped death on a daily basis. A friend of mine has boys and has sent some photos of daily activities like climbing up trees and sorts, it gives me angina… go on girls, you go right ahead and paint that bathroom mirror to match your toes, I’m cool with it now.

Thanks for reading my morning mom rant. I know I’ll miss these days when they are off to college, living their adult lives… or perhaps I’ll be sitting on the beach writing a novel without the worry of the neighbors calling the police for a domestic violence dispute over the screaming sounds of little children fighting over who was looking at who first. That was the longest sentence I’ve ever wrote.

Author of little things

IMG_4164My kids love to create stories.  I often wake up to small drawings such as the deathly hollows symbol above, as they like to take the drawings and create another story.   My favorite thing to do with my kids is to let them hear new music.  Instrumental music from movie soundtracks are our favorites!  We take the long way home every time we fall in love with a new song. Each of us take turns telling a story to what we see with the music.   They have become experts at creating these elaborate short stories!  So I have decided, this is the year I write their stories down!  I want to make a book for them to keep.  I’ve never done this before and I’m sure I’ll have to have someone proof read and edit it but I’m excited!  To me it doesn’t matter if these books sale or go big, I am doing this for my girls.   I want them to always remember and cherish our time spent together.

The losing battle of the single mom

Restraining kids to their beds isn’t an option is it?  I need advice on how to keep my 4 year old from leaving her bed at night that also allows me to achieve a sane number of sleeping hours.  I told her that she could no longer sleep in her older sisters bed.  I want her to start sleeping in her own bed each night.  I spent an entire weekend painting and remodeling her room for her, I bought a bed, dresser, and a nightstand with a small tv.  The kid has it made, I slept in a sleeping bag my entire 2nd grade year and I didn’t have a dresser until I bought one when I was 18.  But does any of that matter? No.  She sneaks out of her room every night and crawls into her sisters bed.  I’ve tried to guard the door, I caught her twice last night but she is a night owl and always out last me!  I resulted to threats last night, I told her if I woke to find her in her sisters bed she would be punished.

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I woke up, went straight to her room, No Hailee?  Go to her sisters room look in bed, no Hailee?  Small heart attack, as I catch a glimpse of a small people on the floor.  It’s Hailee, sleeping in her sisters room on the floor.  I’m losing this fight.

Four year old grown up

Mornings are the busiest part of our day.  As I rush around reminding each kid of what they have left to do to get ready, I try to do various house chores.  I usually clean when I come home from work or school but throughout the night the kids get up and roam through the kitchen, Hailee may have an accident and change clothes, they secretly create a fort… whatever the case, there is always more work in the morning! A few days ago while we were in our morning rush my 4 year old daughter Hailee decided to change her clothes and leave them in the floor.  Fet up, I told her that she needed to pick her clothes up and walk them to the laundry hamper.  Then I continued to lecture her about how she needed to start taking care of herself because no one was going to clean up after her when she got older hahaha, I realize now how crazy I sound.  Well it turned out that Hailee took my words to heart.  Yesterday she made her own lunch, cleaned up her own messes all day and then she decided to make me dinner.

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She calls it lettuce soup.  It has celery, fruit loops, and milk in it.  She stood there with this super excited face just waiting for me to take a bite. So I did, I really did.  Oh my goodness, the things we do to make our children happy.  Needless to say, I won’t be giving Hailee anymore lectures until she learns her way around the kitchen.