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In this life we can not always do great things. But we can do small things with great love.." :) Mother Teresa

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“I pray because I can't help myself. I pray because I'm helpless. I pray because the need flows out of me all the time- waking and sleeping. It doesn't change God- it changes me.”
― C. S. Lewis


I believe in the sun even when it's not shining. I believe in love even when I don't feel it. And I believe in God even when He is silent. (quote found on the wall of a concentration camp)

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Art of Discipline Part 7: What Does Correction Look Like

Alli has been home for 19 months.  I say often that she has come a LONG way.... But it is true! She HAS come  a LONG way!
We are continuing our efforts to learn how to use our tone of voice.  We have been doing really REALLY well, with a few little kinks now and then. 
Yesterday was one of those "kink" days.  And somebody was not in the mood to be corrected so early in the a.m. Soooo, instead of listening... she got defensive and said some things she shouldn't have said.  She talked back and she dug in..... 19 months ago, this would have turned into  a huge ordeal that went on for hours.  Today, it was resolved successfully in 30 minutes.
I quickly put on the camera with NOBODY knowing.... and just let it roll.  The reason is; many times she doesn't HEAR how she sounds.  She doesn't "get"it.  So trying to catch it is hard, and trying to explain it is harder! :)  Using video to see later, helps her to understand how she is sounding. 

I cracked up how everybody was acting so natural in the video.  Miss Alli was sitting right beside me. I told her she needed some mama time and then asked her.... "So what does scripture say?"  "Does it say Children be disobedient to your parents?"  Does it say children talk back to your parents when you disagree?"  "I wait for your answer while you calm yourself. "   She knows the answer quite well.

In the mean time, I made 3 videos so one wouldn't be so long.  I caught dancing, and playing and all sorts of things.....I tried to talk to her before she was ready and that did not work.  I am still learning that sometimes a few minutes to cool down works best.  Miss Alli was completely silent.  And then, she went from sitting next to me, to laying in my lap.  That is when I knew she was ready to listen.  I am going to post this video, because I want to show what gentle correction looks like.  

Our goal is always relationship.  Our goal is always a repentant heart.  I am really glad that I caught both of these on camera.  Miss Alli has given permission for me to play this.  I do not want to cause any of my girls embarrassment..... so I DO ask permission from them to use pictures or videos. I explained to her that I felt this one was important so others could see what we do.  And she agreed.

She really is a sweet heart. :) 

She was awesome for the rest of the day.  Fast forward to "Bright Lights"... The theme at bright lights was carrying the burden of sin.  There was a skit and then the discussion was about confessing when we do wrong so we don't bear our own burdens.  They discussed how it is refreshing in your heart when you confess your wrongs.

After dinner,  we were cleaning up and from the dining room, Alli said, "I want some ice cream!"
About 10 seconds later she came up to me and gave me a hug and said, "Mama, may I have some ice cream please?"  "I'm sorry I spoke in a demanding way."  I was so proud of her AND excited that she is really understanding!!!!


louisianaborn said...

Your daughters are all so beautiful. I love your blog. I just began to read it a few days ago. I love the way you write. I would like to read your daughters' stories from the beginning, for instance, I missed how Erika came to need prosthetic lower extremities. But, there are no years/months links to click on to easily go back to the beginning and it takes a lot of time clicking on Older Posts one at a time. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks! May God bless your wonderful family!

louisianaborn said...

That is just excellent! I love it when parents fine-tune their training and in such a loving manner! It seems that Alli speaks without a Russian accent. Is that true or did my ears fail me? Blessings! Tharen
PS: I'm a 72 yr old grandmother of 7 living grandchildren, another on the way in April/2013.

Christie M said...

Theren, I tried to reply to you twice, but your name doesn't give an email. Do you have an email you can send me, and then I have the low down to send to you! :)

Christie M said...

Congratulations on all those grand children! That is exciting.

Milena said...

Thank you so much for sharing the video! It was really interesting - although I realized I had to concentrate really hard to understand :-) (I'm just not used to your accent! It sounds so soft and kind and nice, but I sometimes just couldn't understand. Funny :-) )
We talk a lot to our daughter (bio) about tone of voice and she just doesn't get it. (Even our - Russian! - host child gets offended by her tone of voice sometimes! Just imagine :-)...) Maybe having a camera to make her listen would make her understand, but it would be hard putting on the camera without making her even more upset... I will think about it.

Christie M said...

Milena, the goal of the use of a camera should ALWAYS be for positive, useful instruction. Typically, if I get the camera out, I let my girls know that it is for MY instruction as well as theirs, so we can all learn to communicate better. :) This takes the pointy edge off of the idea of the camera. Honestly, I am surprised that nothing changes with it on or off. I have only shared video like this privately once, with a dear friend, because I wanted her to evaluate how I handled something. Alli knows the value of the camera, as it has helped her immensely.
The Misuse of a camera can be very real. What comes to mind is the 20/20 show I mentioned on my blog a few years ago. The little girl was OBVIOUSLY distraught and had only been home for less than a few weeks. She was walking through their home forlorn and sobbing. This guy was disgusted by her behavior and followed her around with this huge camera saying, "Look at her! I can't believe this." As if the child had no feelings or rights at all.
I would NEVER EVER want that to be what any camera is used for.

Milena said...

Yes, I understand, and that's how I intended it. The problem is that when our daughter is upset, it's not possible to get through to her. She has learnt well before from watching/listening to herself taped (that's how she learnt to do cartwheels properly!), so I think it would help her when it comes to behaviour too. The big problem is to make her understand this once she is upset though...

Christie M said...

Milena, maybe during a calm time when you are out and about you can bring up how she learned cartwheels from video, and you think it would be a good idea to learn about behaviors from video too! And then gently let her know that this will be a tool in your tool box to help her.

Autumn said...

Dear Alli,
Thank you so much for agreeing to let your mom use your video on her blog. You have no idea what a big help that was to me! You see, I adopted my children 6 months ago, and your mom's advice has always been something I have tried to follow. But I will confess something - I have not been very good at it! Before my children came home, I read all about good parents like your mom, and promised to be a good mom like that too. But, since I am a very new mom, it was harder than I thought to be a good mom like that! It was easier for me to yell and speak loudly and to do all kinds of things wrong. So, I started praying about it, because I want to be a good mom, just like yours!
Then, I saw your video. It reminded me what I can be better at, and I promised myself I would try harder. And tonight, when my daughter had an issue we needed to discuss (lying, stealing), I remembered your video and I was able to sit and talk with her calmly, and teach her like your mom teaches you. I was so happy! And so was my daughter! And I really think she understands her mistake, the reason behind it, and how to do it better next time.
So I want you to know that even though you don't know it, you are helping children from all over the world! I am so proud of you and I know your family must be very proud of you. Keep up the good work!!

Christie M said...

(((Autumn))), you are a good mom! ALL moms struggle at times, including me!
I am not perfect. There are times I too have to repent and apologize and remember to pray, breathe, and THINK!
The reason it is so hard is because some of the things our children do, we may have been in HUGE trouble for as children and it triggers that same emotion in us... (the trouble one) :)

I read your letter to Alli, and she had a big smile on her face. :)

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