Whew! It feels like it has been a long week, and it is only Tuesday! I have been experiencing a battle of wills while babysitting. What happened to the perfect little angels that I had the other day?
The kids I watch after school are still working on picking up toys, eating all of their snack, and being responsible about daily tasks that I know they can handle. Constantly offering a "Pretty please, with a cherry on top?" when something needs to be done hasn't been cutting it. I am not a fan of threatening kids with timeouts, but there are not a lot of options when you are only the babysitter. I need to establish some authority with them. If I am not successful, the next 160 days are going to be tough! I recently made a small rule chart to hang on their playroom cabinet, and it has already been a useful reminder to them.
At Ladies Bible Study, I was babysitting some kids in the nursery. A three year old was tantruming over a Pooh Bear book for what seemed like an eternity. Eventually, he turned things around and apologized...just in time for his mom to pick him up. Let's just say it wasn't the quiet night of book reading that I had planned. ;)
What do you need to have, especially when dealing with disciple? Patience and Persistence! These two things are both optional, but they also go hand in hand with each other.
Patience is a choice! Kids will be kids, and we all have our difficult days. Always discipline out of love, not anger. I will frequently check my tone of voice. There is a difference between talking in a way that is serious, and harshly yelling out of frustration. Are you straddling the line in between staying calm and losing your temper? Remember: A person often falls in the direction that they are leaning.
Do we really need persistence? YES! It is so important to follow through with what you say. I'm sure you have seen a parent give into what their child wants just to make the screaming and kicking stop. While this might be the easy way out, I never feel good rewarding bad behavior. I can almost hear the child thinking, "Hey! That actually worked!"
On this lovely Tuesday my patience was put to the test, but I am happy to report that the right actions were eventually accomplished. I am going to look past the not so pretty moments, and find the small diamonds in the rough. Let's hope the rest of this week goes a bit smoother!