Family Meeting Part Two

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Well, lets see...we had three family meetings. The first as I talked about here, went pretty decent. The second went a little worse, the third, I can't even talk about. Let's just say it ended in tears (Olivia) and my feeling a bit bad. Not one of my best parenting moments, but we've all been there after a rough week, right?

Anyway, last night was supposed to be a family meeting, but we were having so much fun with our weekend and the weather was great that I didn't want to stop enjoying ourselves to start the meeting. So, we had my mom down and we roasted marshmallows instead...good plan, right? While Olivia was getting ready for bed last night she asked if we could talk about family meetings, so I said, "sure." If she wanted to talk about something serious, I was listening!

She thought that the family meetings were not working. Owen doesn't pay attention (very true) and he was forgetting what we were working on in the week (so was she, but I let that go!) so she didn't want to do them anymore, but she had a new suggestion. I liked where this was going...communication is the whole goal of the family meeting and she was communicating with me and well! She thought that we should have one final family meeting where we make a poster of all of our rules that we need to work on (examples, no hitting, no screaming, being kind, using manners, etc.), then in the course of a day, if they do something they shouldn't, they get a strike. Three strikes in a day and they get no prize. Less than three and they get to pick from the bucket. She felt that the poster would be a good reminder, and I agree! At least for her, she can read...Owen is a different story, but maybe we can find some icons for him.

So, I appreciated and agreed with her suggestion. I think Owen is a little young to fully understand the family meeting and frankly they weren't going that great! So we will try this new route and see what happens. I just want to enjoy my summer with the kiddos. I don't want to feel like I am yelling at them all day because they are fighting with each other. Neither of them is innocent, they both have things to work on, and if we are being honest, so do I.

When we make the poster you can see everything that the kids need to work on and here, I will list the things that I need to work on....
  1. I need to work on my patience with Olivia. I do not have the same compassion for her as I do for Owen. I feel that by her age she knows better for 99% of the stuff she is doing and of course at Owen's age he is still learning, but I am sure she feels that difference in my attitude and I want to try to change that.
  2. I need to keep getting up earlier. Even in the summer when we don't have any time schedule because I want to get my stuff done early so that I can enjoy the day with the kids. This summer we are going to have fun! Unlike last summer when were in the middle of this renovation.....
  3. I need to stop saying "hurry up." I need to work on better time management for me so that I don't always have to rush my kids. There are definitely things that are important that we need to get to on time, but there are a lot of times that I am saying "come on, lets go" when it isn't really necessary. For example when we are walking home from picking up Olivia at school, unless we truly have something to do when we get home, what is the harm in Owen stopping and looking and picking up everything? Nothing right? Except that to me it is annoying, I want to keep moving, keep walking and for what to rush home? Why? He should be able to explore and be slow if he wants, right? That is being a kid. I need to accept that!
  4. I need to start talking to my kids and not at my kids more. It isn't all about the day to day grind. There is so much of  "do your homework, brush your teeth, stop hitting your brother" going on that I don't stop enough to really talk to them. Olivia's face lights up when I talk about when she was younger or better yet when I was younger. I need to do more of that!
  5. I need to lose the schedule a bit this summer. I like a routine, my kids like a routine, but my kids are getting older and I think we need to be a bit more spontaneous. Owen no longer naps other than the occasional falling asleep in the car, but most days he takes a rest. Over the summer I am not going to worry about it. If he rests great, if not I am not going to stress. I am also going to throw bedtime out the window. If we want to go for a walk after dinner, we will do it, even if it is past bedtime. Summer movies in the park that run past bedtime, oh well! Fires in the backyard, S' got it! We are going to enjoy summer to the fullest this year and when we get tired, we will rest, but until then we Litchers are going to have some fun!
While we are talking about fun, I will leave you with a few pictures of the fun we had at our house this weekend!
 Yes, we had a tractor....I am not sure if Owen loved it or not?
 Can you tell by the look on his face??
We did a bunch of yard work! Not the most fun, but it was beautiful outside and we just enjoyed being outdoors all day...and did I mention we had a tractor??
And a couple of big holes in the ground...
I didn't get in the hole...but I totally should have :)
Look at that smile and tell me it doesn't make you smile?? Happy Wednesday!

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