Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Parenting with pizazz.

My kids have been fighting one another like two male betas in a tiny tub.

Enrolled one semester in a recreation course, I recall learning of the relationship-healing power of working together towards simple, common goals, and the opportunity we have in our families to intentionally create these team-building scenarios:
a camping trip purposefully planned to limit resources and encourage problem solving,
an obstacle course only achievable when working along side teammates,
really anything that pits the family against an exterior element, uniting them in purpose.

Today we were given a free team-building exercise..

Elements of today's recreational activity:
a new, unexplored and totally vacant park out in the country with too many confusing trails
a mother who thinks every plant could be poison ivy
a realization, upon reaching the summit of the giant mountain of a park, that scary animals could be watching us
oh, and did I mention slippery mud?

This open field seems peaceful enough from the photographs but I tell you by this point my mind was racing with maneuvers to smash cougars with my camera whole protecting my babies. I was yelling for the boys to come back and stay close to me, my overactive imagination picturing creepy hillbillies popping out of the trees and running off with them.

It may sound ridiculous but I was more scared than I've been in quite some time.

Imagine the venerability of trudging through a seemingly endless expanse of country forest with children whose cries call to hungry predators and you will know my terror.

Sensing my fear, they were scared, too. So scared, in fact, that they held hands the entire trip through the forest. And they've been a little nicer to one another today.

Happily reunited with our car, we unpacked our bag... Yes, I carried Fitz in our hiking back-pack, having forgotten his carrier.

Can anyone tell me an easier way to help them be nice to one-another, please?


communikate. said...

awesome camping trip!

pst. love your hair dark!

Trapper and Suzy said...

I'm glad you didn't see any cougars! I have nightmares like that sometimes.
I'm also trying to get my boys to be nicer to each other. I think you have the right idea in mind though--teaching them to work together on a common goal. I think even if they do work together for just a small moment, the consistency of that over time will help them grow closer, I think. Siblings will butt heads. I sure did with mine and now I'm a lot closer with them than I thought I would be. You're doing a fantastic job. Keep it up!

*Lesli* said...

such a brave mom you are! i love your red TOMS...mine are gray. And I love that you carry the baby in your hiking bag :) And I REALLY REALLY love your bangs. I'm obsessing over getting bangs and you may have just made my decision for me.

chelsey meyer said...

that area does look amazing. my husband and i are moving up to portland in a year or so and can't wait to explore...sorry no tips on being nicer :( but it is sweet they held hand.

teamBoo said...

We have a "good deeds" chart that we put check marks on when a nice unprovoked action is spotted. For instance, clearing a dish without asking, doing something nice for the other, Elyott reading sheamus a book, Sheamus comforting the baby when he's fussy. It makes them feel great when their good deed is noticed, and a lot of times they are surprised to have me point out that what they did was a good deed in the first place. I think it helps them recognize the good choices they make and makes them more aware of the importance of caring for people outside themselves. Once all the check marks are filled, they get to do something special.

Boys are tough though. I have an nurturing older sister and almost three years younger brother dynamic. come back and ask me in a couple years when Sonny is old enough to fight with Sheamus :)

Kat & Paul said...

i heard a great tip from a mom of 3 soon to be 4 boys last sunday. i have yet to try it out my bunch...when the kids fight make them do something silly together like...walk around the block holding hands...(probably when they are older this would be funny) but anything that would make them laugh....like make pig noises...something silly...when they are laughing make them hug....now wish me luck....another idea i'm going to try...good habit/service cards...when they are fighting they have to pick a card with a "service" written on it and then perform that service for the person they were fighting with....another idea from last sunday.

Margaret Alexis Tuinei nee (Dennison) said...

sorry...wish i had a magic wand for you and me, but i just take comfort in the fact that at least my children aren't plotting to kill each other like Laman and Lemuel do in the B.O.M.

So i tell myself...if Mother Sariah can do it...then i guess i have a pretty good chance at it...

So check back with me in about 5 more years and i'll tell you how the wilderness is doing...lol

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

I love everything about this post :)

Bridget said...

these pictures are so great.