Thursday, August 13, 2009

Letting Go

Our schools started July 30th. It's way to early for me. We need at least 2 more weeks of summer but this time I wanted to delay starting for another reason. My third child, and my daughter, was starting the first grade. Last year she went to 1/2 day, 4 day kindergarten at our church. I also work at the church so I saw her constantly. This year: new school, all day, all new kids, knows no one in her class, etc... I have dreaded this day for at least a year. I almost thought about it every day while she was in Kindergarten. The first day did not go so well. "Please stay with me Mom. Do I have to go to school today? Can't I wait until tomorrow?" Our mornings were not so good either. She did not like anything. Her hair, her teacher, the day is too long, etc.. I struggled every day to remain screamfree. Calmly talking her through each issue and telling her I know how she feels. (I even let her ride the bus-gasp!) Day after day-and then she got sick. Yep, after 6 days of school. She missed 2 days and when she returned on Tuesday the teacher had to peel her off of me. I thought I would just lose it. Couldn't I just stay with her? Why did she need to go today? Why not tomorrow? All the way to the car I cried. And I prayed. I thought long and hard about letting go and how now it's her time to experience this world, make new friends, and learn so many exciting things. I can't stop that. The words of Hal kept ringing in my ears: "You are to be your child's tour guide through life." It's time to let go. She made it through the day and got a great note from the teacher. Today was our first day of her waking up and not telling me her stomach hurt. We went to school peacefully, walked to class and I walked away. After 14 years all my kids are in school all day, every day. My two older sons are in middle school. They are both out of the house by 6:20 a.m. It's my middle child's first year in middle school. He is doing great. I thought I would never get him out of bed in the morning. He jumps up, gets a shower, and is out the door. What a shock. Isn't this what we prepare them for? Letting go. It's not that easy.
By the way, Jenna is putting her arms out for our dog-not for me!

Friday, March 13, 2009

ScreamFree Birthday

I was contacted recently by ScreamFree and asked to do a one hour presentation on Sunday night, March 8th (my birthday). I originally thought I didn't want to do it on my birthday but the more I thought about it I really wanted to do it. I was nervous about it being for youth parents. What do I know about youth (my oldest is 13) that I could contribute? I realized I could combine the two by eating dinner first at one of my favorite restaurants, Provino's (just one minute from the church). I was also excited about bringing David with me and getting his imput on my presentation. We had a very interesting night and the parents were excited about the message. When the youth minister divided the kids up I asked him to have the kids do an exercise: write down on a piece of paper this sentence-"I wish my parents..." then bring the responses back to me. When I told the parents what the kids had done the looks on their faces was pure shock! What had my kids said? Here are the responses:
I wish my parents...

-would understand that I worry about what kids worry about and not what adults worry about.

-would stay just he way they are.

-would stop making me go outside.

-wouldn't dance in public.

-weren't crazy about my grades.

-would lay off school work.

-didn't bug me about school. I can pass by myself.

-would believe in me with class work.

-were more understanding.

-let me do what I want.

-knew when I was in a bad mood.

-were less invasive.

-let me be.

-would understand me more.

-would be easier to talk to.

-acted like adults.

-would get off my case and stop yelling at me.

-give me more privacy.

-would not think I was yelling when I am not.

-would buy me a halfpipe in my backyard (I had to ask what that was-for skate boarding.)

-would not get irritated so easily.

-knew that I had sex and they would understand.

-would live forever.

I can't tell you how much this exercise has meant to me as a parent and a ScreamFree Facilitator. It has reminded me to walk side-by-side instead of toe-to-toe with my children.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Craig Elementary PTA

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to do a one hour presentation of ScreamFree Parenting at Craig Elementary in Gwinnett County. It's funny because getting in front of people scares me to death! BUT when you are speaking about something you are passionate about, and believe in, it makes it a lot easier. It's really hard to compact a 5 -6 hour DVD series into one hour but we hit the highlights and everyone walked away with some good tips. We had about 40 people in attendance and everyone was so excited to hear about the ScreamFree principles. It was a pleasure to work with them. I hope I get to do many more PTA meetings!

Monday, January 26, 2009

I Haven't Screamed all Year!

My two girls are in awe of this accomplishment so far. haha They have remarked to me several times this month that I have not "screamed" at them.

I started reading the book and what I have read has been so good and so practical.

After I first got the book, if I would get aggravated and fly off the handle at my girls, they would remind me of the book I had purchased. They were using it against me. But I'm glad they did. I believe every parent can benefit from reading this.

Joy, Texas

Thursday, January 22, 2009

My Home is a Hotel

Some time ago my in-laws redecorated their home and I noticed my son and husband carrying my father-in-laws old blue lazy boy chair through the woods (they live next door). As I stood there with my mouth open they carried it in the house and into my son's room. I could tell he was so proud of it. I immediately said: "Oh, no. That's going in our next garage sale." My son looked crushed and after I calmed down and thought about it and I realized it was just a blue chair and it is HIS room. The next day he came home from school, put on his robe, plopped down in his chair and said: "Ahhh...Jacob's hotel." I just smiled and walked away. You may be thinking at this point that a childs home should not be their hotel. Why not? A place to retreat after a long day at school and ball games, a place that is comfortable, a place to just relax. However, I do draw the line somewhere: there is no room service or maid at this hotel.

As he grows up and moves away, I hope he will always want to come home to his "hotel".

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

ScreamFree 2009

Happy New Year! We all know a new year brings new commitments and one of those usually always includes something about parenting. If you took our ScreamFree class, I'm sure you have said: "I'm going to get that book out and do better this year at not yelling at my kids!". Well, do it! Revisit the principles, determine this year that you will keep your integrity in place by not yelling at your kids. Let the consequences do the screaming! Don't forget for more information and great articles hit the link below!

On a personal note, I'm excited about upcoming opportunities to present ScreamFree Parenting. I will be speaking at Cafe' Mom (for our church preschool moms) and to my church preschool teachers. I'm looking forward to a great year helping parents calm their relationship at a time.

ScreamFree-learning to relate with others in a a calm, cool, and connected way, taking hold of your own emotional responses no matter how anyone else chooses to behave; learning to focus on yourself and take care of yourself for the world's benefit.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Living My Dream

(Picture from training in April)

When I went back to ScreamFree Training on Friday Neil was going over your "Life's Intentions" list. What do you want to do if nothing stood in your way? What do you want to do if money were no object? What is something you want to do within your reach right now (lose weight, mend a relationship, have more "me" time, ect...)? What do you want to do that is pie-in-the-sky (start a business, fix congress-someone said that, travel, climb a mountain, etc...)? This is really a neat exercise because by the time it is over people already have a plan for their pie-in-the-sky dream and they realize it can happen more than they think. From my class in April, one person went back home and started a children's home!

Well, when they asked me to COME UP FRONT and speak to the group I thought I was going to pass out. I thought my first class was bad but this was talking in front of the group with HAL RUNKEL listening. I started out telling them that I am living what we were just talking about. Four years ago when I read the book I knew God was going to do something big, through me, with this program. I did not know what. I started with word of mouth to friends, then a class at my church, and I find myself standing in front of Hal telling about what we are doing on Wednesday night at my church. My dream is not just to be Screamfree at First Baptist but to help build a ScreamFree Community.

Last week I sent out 7 letters to area churches offering to come and do a weekend class at their church. Please pray for me that the pastors would read the letter (only 5% do read it) and that they would call me about booking a class. This is my dream and I know God is in this. This is the scripture Hal quoted on Friday about ScreamFree:

"Look at the nations and watch-and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told." Habakkuk 1: 5

If someone told me four years ago I would be standing in front of Hal sharing about my class I would not have believed it.

What is your dream?? GO AND DO!