I could go on for days and days about how to handle the poor choices and bad behaviors. Yet, today, I want to stop and celebrate the good.
We have had a really - REALLY - rough couple of weeks. Yet, today, things switched. The sibling birthday was over. The holidays were long gone. The weather shifted a bit. It was so sudden and so abrupt, it threw me for a loop.
I had to celebrate and acknowledge the effort. It is so important to do this with all of my kids. However, when a child tells me one day that the thought of loving me fully completely freaks them out ... and the next day they hand me schoolwork done perfectly and with the most immaculate handwriting I've ever seen in my life (background: this child loves to make my eye twitch through very sloppy schoolwork - I had no idea it was even POSSIBLE for their handwriting to be so meticulous - it was GORGEOUS!). Well, you have to say out loud, "WOW! I love you, too. Thank you for showing me love in this very special way!!"
I am crazy picky about sweets in my house. I limit the sugar, making it a wonderful way to share some Mommy love. So, this was the perfect opportunity to give a hug, a kiss on the forehead, and then say, "You have two very tiny corrections. I'd like to give you some sweetness, as well, while you finish up. Why don't you grab a mini candy bar out of the cabinet."
My other healing kid ALSO flipped the switch today. It is so rare that they would both move to a better place at the same time. I'm not complaining - just making an observation (and thanking God - what a treat for Mom!). So, this child also got some chocolate lovin'.
Then later in the day, I sat down the other three kids at different times, and pointed out their positive choices over the last several weeks - because it was tough on everyone. A chocolate bit here ... some Skittles there.
Look for the positive! Send yourself on a treasure hunt this week to find the good. Did they make a bad choice, but eventually tried a do-over or at least gave a hug or put love back in somehow? Did you see them stop themselves and control their mouth (or their facial expressions), instead of "losing it?" Did they show love or kindness in some small way?
It's not all bad. Find the good! Point it out! Reward it! Celebrate the positive! Appreciate your kids! Go! GO!!