31 days of training my kids: definitions, goals, plans

imageWhoo!  It’s 8:17 and I’m hoping the girls sleep until 8:30 which gives me thirteen minutes to do this.

Already this challenge has been a help to me because I’m up and ready!

No time for formalities!

Definitions (which will be shorter than I had thought)

Training is foreseeing circumstances or events that a small child will encounter and preparing them to handle those. This might be how to act when left with a sitter or going to bed when told. For me at the earliest stages it has meant teaching them to come when I call, stay with me out in public, and hold my hand while walking around.

It can also mean teaching through problems that have already happened. How many times do we wake up and watch our child “break new ground” in some unsightly fashion or another and think, “Okay, I guess we’re going to have to work on that.”


My goals for this month have less to do with my kids and more with me.

Am I taking the opportunities I’m given or missing them because something else is on my mind?

When I do see that undesirable behavior out in public, I know I probably wasn’t working as much at home as I could have been.

My main and super general goal is to spend time every day in training of some kind. And to really watch and think about what I see going on in my children’s hearts and behavior.


The plan right now is to get the girls up, work on Awana verses and eating quickly at breakfast, and try something new with homeschool which I’ll let you know later if it works. = )

See ya round!

Seven observations from the Social Security office

I was about to go...
I was about to go…

After marriage I made my dutiful visit to the Social Security office to request a new card with my new name. However, I waited and waited and waited and waited… and it never came. Five years later, I decided to brave the miserable experience again. This time in a new state, a new city, and with four little children.

Here are my observations after the experience:

1. Pulling into the parking lot only to find that you have to drive around for ten minutes before a space opens up is a real optimism killer.

2. You now check in at a computer; this computer asked me a question that really perplexed me. As I stood there thinking, the security guard came over to see what was impeding the “progress.” It took her approximately .8 seconds to say, “Ma’am, what are you here for today?” I explained my predicament and ba-da-bing-tap-tap-tap-b-dum-woo-woo-woo-whop her fingers flew through the touch screen questionnaire and my waiting ticket printed out of the machine. Observation: I don’t particularly like rude, impatient people, but I will take rude, impatient helpful people any day over sugary-sweet employees who have no idea what’s going on.

3. The Social Security office was not exceptionally social.

4. The Social Security office did not make me feel especially secure, except in the knowledge that I would be there awhile.

5. The TV running information regarding how you really should be doing this online and saving yourself (and them) the trouble of dealing with your matter in person actually suggested that you “Like” them on Facebook and “Follow” them on Twitter. I would love to meet the person who has done that.

6a. A big sign posted in plain view on the wall stated something like this: Any person displaying disruptive, angry, or violent behavior towards a social security worker will be subject to fines, arrest, or imprisonment.

6b. I’m pretty sure that some of the folks who packed out that waiting room had been diagnosed with manic depression, bipolar, OCD, and other disorders that cause disturbing behavior; even others had obviously done their time in the fields of alcohol and drugs. It was curious to me how nicely they all were behaving; of course we were all feeling impatient and a little upset with the system, but somehow we suppressed those feelings and made it through.

6c. A few strictly enforced rules do an amazing job of curbing bad behavior.

7. I do have to admit that although the two workers I dealt with directly were moderately rude at the beginning, once they found out that I wasn’t mad at life or at them (and that my children were being angels, thank God!), they were actually nice.

And the happy conclusion… my card came in the mail today: hooray! I’m real!