Monday, October 12, 2015

Car Buying or Parenting?

Purchasing a car is definitely not one of my favorite things to do!  I do not like the back and forth, the haggling, the negotiating, the "whining" etc.   In car buying, both parties are expected to haggle until an agreement is met.  In child-rearing that is NOT what we want to engage in.  

The scenario:
Mom:  Susie, can you please pick up your toys in the living room?
Susie:  After this show is over
Mom: Well Susie, we have company coming over in 30 minutes and I need you to be a sweet girl and pick up all your toys, so our house will look nice for our friends.
Susie:  Whahahha! I'm watching TV.  This is the best part.
Mom:  Ok, when the commercial comes on, I need you to pick up the toys.  Please do this for Mommy and be a sweet girl.  If you pick up your toys during the next commercial, then I'll will let you have a cookie.
Commercial comes on...Susie is still watching TV.
Mom: Ok Susie the commercial is on...clean up your toys please.  Remember we are going to get a cookie if you clean up the toys and be a good girl.  
Susie:  *sighs* picks up one toy
Mom:  Good job Susie...pick up the rest
Susie: *whines* no, mommy please I'm playing with them.  *starts making more mess*
Mom: Oh Susie, do you need mommy to help you?  *Mom starts cleaning up*
Susie hops back on couch and continues to watch TV as mom cleans up
Mom: Susie, you aren't helping mommy.  You won't get a cookie if you don't help Mommy.  
Susie: *crying* I don't want to help you.  I want to watch TV and play with my toys...*Crying*
Mom: No cookie then! 
Susie: picks up last toy (after mom picked up the rest)
Mom:  Good job Susie, thank you for helping, Let me get you a cookie for being a good girl.

Susie is an expert negotiator and Mom just bought the biggest lemon on the lot!  And believe me, this happens multiple times a day in different scenarios.  But Susie always wins.  What could have Mom done to make this situation end differently?  

It could and should have gone like this.

Mom: Susie, it's time to clean up your toys.  
Susie: After this show is over.
Mom: No, its time now (turn off TV).  And turn back on Susie - end of argument
Susie will probably throw a big fit and whine and cry, until she realizes Mom is not changing her mind and there's nothing to watch on TV.  

We as parents have somehow decided we aren't the boss anymore.  We are taking orders from our kids!!  I read a blog once about this concept.  3 simple words to quit nagging!  We are the parents and we would never allow another adult to run over us....we must stand up and be the boss!  No negotiations, period.  

*Give a direct command
*If they whine, give a direct statement (ask and answered or similar)
*Walk away
*Do NOT negotiate! - you aren't buying a car! 

Some folks may not agree with this....believe me, I've read tons of books on the subject of parenting, behavior modification, etc etc.  But I believe wholeheartedly that we must teach our children two things:

Self Control and Respect for Authority!

Let me know if you've seen a similar scenario play out?  Would you have handled it differently?  


Monday, September 28, 2015

Teacher Treasure Trunk

Over the summer I attended the Texas School Ready conference in Houston.  While there, I took a class entitled "101 Ways to Motivate Your Staff".  Kristy Thornton was the instructor.  She had some awesome ideas.  The main thing I took from the class was the Teacher Treasure Trunk.  When I returned home from the conference, I contacted my wonderful school board and shared this idea.  I also asked the church that AFDS is a part of for donations.  We've collected and purchased a LOT of goodies for my staff to buy!

Buy?  How do they afford to buy anything?'s not real money!  They earn BONUS BUCKS.

They are able to earn these bucks for doing a variety of things:
Perfect Attendance
Great Customer Service
Completing Training
Going beyond job duties
Participating in extra events
Etc Etc Etc

They then can take these bucks and purchase the things in the treasure trunk.  There's everything from candy to a paid day off!  The prices also range from $1-$80!  It's a fun way to keep them motivated!  Some spend their money as soon as they earn it...some are saving up for a paid day off.  Some are saving for gift cards (Walmart, Outback, Massage, Starbucks, etc)  We've got some great prizes!  And they deserve this and much more.  Pre-K teachers work so hard, yet get paid so little.  This is the least I can do for them.

This is a photo of all the goodies they can choose from:

I am also planning other fun things to do together.  On our first staff meeting of the year, we had mini facials by a local Mary Kay lady.  Some other ideas that we are doing include:
Girls Night In - Craft Night
Lunch on the Boss (we've done this several times)
Lunch on the Board (also always a hit)
Staff Christmas Party (Ugly Sweater and Scavenger hunt - fun years)
etc etc

I hope this makes AFDS a fun place to work.  Happy Staff = Happy Kids = Happy Parents = Happy Director = and on and on it goes!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Environmental Print

My pre-schoolers can read!  But before you think I am bragging....all pre-schoolers can read!  They can read Environmental Print...which is just a fancy way of saying, all of the print that surrounds us.  It comes in the forms of signs and logos.  You find it everywhere around us.  I  think they know the Golden Arches stands for McDonalds, from the womb!  We recently did an activity in our four year old classes that involved Environmental Print.  We gave each 4 y/o a sheet of construction paper with the following instructions:

Our class is making an Environmental Print book.  Environmental Print is the print we see all around us (signs, logos, labels, etc). Please assist your child and allow him/her to cut out pictures of things that start with the first letter of his/her name.  These may be found in magazines, newspapers or photos.  

The parents did a great job of helping their child find items starting with their letter. We are now binding each page to make a class book.  This activity promotes:
  • Letter Recognition
  • Family Bonding Time
  • Early Literacy
  • FUN!
These were a few examples:

You will be shocked to see how many words your kiddo can already "read".  Make a game of it...have them read all the signs they know on the way to school.  This is a great intro to literacy!  



Monday, August 31, 2015

Parenting with a Purpose

As a pre-school director, I'm not often in contact with law enforcement officers.  On occasion we've needed their assistance and we've had some come and do presentation for our students.  But the majority of the time, my world of glue and crayons and glitter do not collide or intermingle with theirs.  But in my personal life, I'm very connected.  I am the wife of a police officer.  As I watched and read the news this weekend, my heart was heavy. For the entirety of my 16 year marriage there has always been a nagging worry in the back of my mind for my husband's safety.  I do not and cannot dwell on that worry because it can be consuming.  But this weekend it has been brought to the fore front of my mind.   The stories of the policeman killed chilled me to the core.   Are there bad cops...absolutely.  Are there bad pre-school directors...absolutely.  But I hope I am not judged for their actions.  It seems that police officers have become targets because of the actions of others.

What needs to be done to make things better in our country?  As an educator and a parent I say the following, we must teach our children two things:

1) Self control
2) Respect for authority.

Respect for the authority of man and of God.  If we respect God, the other falls into place.  Self control is a hard thing to learn, but once we master that we have no issues with respecting authority.

How do we teach children self control?  This article has some great tips and games to play  Try them out at home!  We do lots of practicing in the classrooms too.

I know in my heart we have teach our kiddos NOW to be good and productive citizens.  We all want the best for our kids and want them to succeed.  We have to start young.  Has your parenting been focused on teaching self control and respect for authority.  We need to be mindful to include those two things in everything we teach and everything we do.  We ourselves must have these two qualities in order to model them to our children.

Just some things to ponder as I begin my morning.

PS...thank a police officer today!  It means a lot to me, I know!