November 08, 2013

Filling the space.

Snow is blowing out my window.
Not the kind that stays, just the kind that inspires hot chocolate and warm novels.

I only have a minute, but wanted to tell you a little tactic I've adopted in my own little war on terror.  :)

This week I realized that one of the main things I hate about drama or arguing or contention at home, is that it takes TIME.  I have so many great things I want to do with my life, I hate wasting my hours being a referee.  Too much of my time was being spent shushing contention or encouraging kindness... I came up with some evasive action.

Two main conflict areas were the car and the dinner table.  My strategy-- fill the space with good, so there is no time to bicker.

On Sunday, I brought scriptures in the car.  (We always miss scripture time on Sunday morning.)  When the kids took turns reading aloud, they were listening and not cranking.  Church was much better after a calm ride.  We have also always picked songs to sing on the way to church.  

Telling the kids what to do, helped to keep me from telling them what not to do.  Duh.

I've also thought of topics for the dinner table.  I'm using that time as our 'family council' time.  We have always done two goods and a bad (sharing about our day).  Recently we've talked about Christmas and our family budget.  We spent one dinner talking about the pros and cons of getting a dog.  

Last night, we talked about the Three Little Pigs.  We talked about tricky straw salesman and how we can build our own house of bricks.  The kids came up with great ways we have our pot of water boiling in our fireplace.

I feel strong as I spend my afternoons thinking about things I want to talk about at dinner.  I'm taking back control of my home.  I'm choosing what gets our attention.

When I realized too much time was spent on kids talking about TV shows (mainly quoting old Psyche episodes or funny YouTubes).  We played one fun game where I would ask someone a question.  They would answer and then ask someone else a question.  I'm trying to teach them  how to talk on a date.

Anyway--  fill the empty spaces of your life with goodness.  Because, they don't stay empty.  If you don't fill them, Old Scratch will.  
Just sayin.

Off to enjoy my day.
Day 5 of no husband, filled with parent teacher conferences and all my kiddos at home.
I love my life.


Peggy said...

A friend has her kids pick dinner music. She will occasionally post on FB what music the family had at dinner. Love it!

Evaly said...

Thank you for sharing this. While I haven't been out of commission for as long as you, we lost our baby recently and I've been out of it. Now I'm trying to regain some order and stability and it is HARD. I feel like chaos is reining and mostly I want to go hide in my room. I wish they had bereavement pay and time off for mothers! Anyway, I appreciate your insights while you take over your responsibilities again, it helps me.

Rachel said...

Needed this solution at our house too! It is difficult to stop the bickering. Thank you!

Carrie said...

So simple I never would have thought of it. Love your perspective.

Anwar Ahmed said...

Great ideas jen ilike the dinner talk 2 goods and bad i will try it to about me my doctor thinks i need another surgory for the hrnia in my tommy im a little scaired praying that every thing will be ok need your prayers.

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