Tuesday, August 7, 2012

A Day of Accomplishments (repost)

This post was from July 31 2012 but still is very relevant to me this week. Still feeling the negatives from Facebook and struggling with a social life and also still witnessing the rewards of Bella's chore system. So I'm reposting it. 

Writing has been what my heart and mind have needed! They feel satiated and content, for the first time in months. Seriously, thank God. 

I’ve been able to pinpoint sources of toxin and have been working slowly but intentionally at removing them. One of them is Facebook and the negative and hurtful things people can say on it - and how easy it is for them to say it in a passing comment. I wrote a long, angsty and pitiful post basically crying about all the many , many times people hurt me with their words. Who isn’t hurt by words almost on a regular basis?? But what has astounded me and what prompted the rant was how many people feel the anonymity of Facebook makes it safe and even appropriate to spew that out to other people? Cutting remarks and questionable comments don’t affect someone any less because of it’s virtual nature. What also baffles me is that people DO feel somehow safe and anonymous on FACEBOOK. Does it get much more public than Facebook? Your face, information and pictures of your kids are laid out there for everyone to see underneath all those toxic words. I simply don’t get it. 
Anyway, that was one major toxin I’m slowly draining from my life. I plan to use my blog much more and Facebook much less. Apart from the direct comments on Facebook being hurtful, the other part of Facebook that leaves me slightly depressed is the feeling of being left out. I am fully aware of how juvenile that sounds but I will still admit it. It resonates well with a quote I read a while ago - “Don’t compare your behind the scenes life to everybody’s highlight reel.” (I’m notorious for misquoting things, but I think I summed it up well enough.) That’s basically what I was (and am) doing. I’m craving friendship and to see what looks like everyone else’s great and publicized friendships brings me to believing I’m incapable. I spend too much time feeling that way and I’m thankful to recognize how I can help it. 

All of this to say I’m in a good place this week. Bella has been sick which makes her tantrums less frequent but escalate insanely fast. It breaks my heart to hear her hoarse and raspy little voice talk to me. On top of that, she’s talking more clearly and frequently which I love but again, hearing her talk to me more and more in that sweet little sick voice makes me want to make her all better even more! 
We introduced a chore system last night that she was obviously intrigued by. 
On a side note, that is something that astounds me about her. She has the demeanor and intelligence of a grown woman sometimes. When we do something that seems to challenge her abilities slightly more in any way, you see on her face a look you would see on an adult. A look of interest, working comprehension and if eyes can smirk, hers do in those moments. 
So in this moment of explaining her chore tokens, her interest was piqued and she studied the tokens while I explained how they worked. Today we actually implemented the system and it went very well. I was so happy. It was a small, satisfying accomplishment in motherhood and it had been a while since I’ve had a successful attempt at creative discipline/parenting/whatever you want to call it. 

Her chore system consists of earning a token, which I made from used cds covered with scrap booking paper that has the listed chore on one side, and when she completes a listed chore then she gets the corresponding token to put in her “bank”. She later can redeem these tokens for whatever she wants, really. A TV show, extra snack or even candy. It took me a long time to decide on the reward system. First off, should I even have one? I’ve heard parents argue that children shouldn’t be rewarded for doing things that should be expected in their family unit. I agree with that, but at the same time I also believe in kids learning how a simple economy works. I work, I earn this, I save some and I spend some. When she’s older and she earns money we’ll have fun learning about that. Right now, I think things like cleaning your room or picking up a massive mess you made is something that is expected in our family unit. (I say that, but I had already made a token for cleaning her room, so we'll use it for a little while until she's old enough to clean her room without as much help, maybe.) Most everything else can be a job you earn something for. 

When Daddy got home today we made a giant fort in the living room that surrounded the TV. (Pictured in previous post). Bella used one of her tokens so that we could all watch a show in the fort together. That I think was when I felt most accomplished. I finally was able to establish a system where I don’t always have to say “No” and that at the same time challenges Bella to act like the big, smart girl that she is. 
I love my little lady. 

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