Practically Speaking Mom: Intentional Mom, Strong Family

209 Siblings, Connection, and Family Bonding Activities

November 20, 2023 Val Harrison, The Practically Speaking MOM Season 4 Episode 209
Practically Speaking Mom: Intentional Mom, Strong Family
209 Siblings, Connection, and Family Bonding Activities
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Need a parenting pick-me-up?  Join in an episode to encourage and equip intentional parents to build strong families. In episode 209 you'll find
*More HELP for sibling issues
*Emphasizing CONNECTION in the family
*Family Bonding Activities Through BLESSING Others

Whether you're stepping into motherhood or have years of parenting under your belt, there’s something here for everyone. Join our growing community of intentional moms and strong families. Let's navigate this journey together.

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"May the Words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my Roc...

Val Harrison:

THIS TRANSCRIPT WAS GENERATED AUTOMATICALLY AND HAS NOT BEEN EDITED OR CORRECTED FOR ACCURACY. Welcome back to the podcast. This is Val Harrison, the Practically Speaking Mom, and your friend for this journey of motherhood. Now, last week in episode 208, we talked about how to help the intentionally pestering child and how to help the tattletale. I want to add two more tips for you mamas who are dealing with those issues. Then we will also talk about connection and we'll wrap up today with some holiday headspace help. So let's get going with more intentional right now.

Val Harrison:

Last week we looked at the child who is intentionally irritating or intentionally pestering usually their sibling and we also looked at the child who is the tattletale. Let's dig into just one more aspect of both of those. Now. I gave you some possible reasons why the child keeps pestering and I told you that you want to be getting to the bottom of it so that you can help the root cause. There was one cause that I didn't bring up that I wish I would have. So I'm bringing it up today, which it's kind of cool. God works this way. You know he weaves together our lives when we don't even know he's weaving or that we need that aspect of our life weaved. But I left off two things I wish I wouldn't have last week, one about pestering, one about tattletales, and both of them have to do with the theme that he wanted me to talk about today. So that's so cool, god is awesome.

Val Harrison:

One more reason why they might be pestering is for connection. They may be wanting to connect with that sibling and don't know how. This would be common, especially if, like they're, the younger sibling who's pestering the older sibling. They don't know how to express I want to connect with you. They don't even necessarily realize themselves that that's what they want, but that is definitely a common reason why they pester. So, helping both of them identify this issue that's going on and by both of them I mean the one being pestered and the one pestering help that pester. See, hey, when you want to connect with someone, here's some appropriate ways to do that, and then you know, tell them some different ways.

Val Harrison:

And then, with the one who is being pestered, when you've identified I think it's that the pester wants some of your time, then here's what I would really recommend, especially this is the case if the younger one is the pester, something that I did with my kids growing up. You know I'm a mom of seven. Of course, they were always all at different ages and stages from each other, and so I helped them get in the mindset of fill the love bucket of the one who is younger than you first, and then do your thing. This is something I practiced as well. I would try to fill the love bucket of the youngest one, which gave me some time to help the next one, which gave me some time to help the next one, because you see, a full love bucket, or one who has received some quality interaction on their level, some mental and social stimulation connecting between the two of you, they have less of a need then for that connection and they stop pestering. That's, of course, not always why someone is pestering, but that is a common reason why. So help that one who is being pestered, help them have a list of things that they could do with that other one, with the one who is pestering, before that ever starts.

Val Harrison:

Now, I'm not suggesting do that when they start pestering. Well, you have to kind of be tricky about this, because you see, you don't want to reward bad behavior, so if they are treating someone wrong, they shouldn't get rewarded with it. However, when you identify that they have this need for connection, you don't want to withhold it either. So what you've got to do is have this little space and time in there where you teach them a better way, and because they practice that better way, then they get that connection time. So don't just immediately jump into connecting when they start pestering. Instead, have them practice. Okay, say I would love some time with you. Would you have time to read a book with me, or is there a time today that you could play outside with me? You know, teach them some appropriate ways to interact, to express that need, and don't just you talk about it. You actually have them say it, have them practice it. Then reward that. So provide that connection after they've given that little moment of practicing.

Val Harrison:

So now I want to add another tip for you, for the tattletale, and I want to start first by saying please don't call your child a tattletale or a pesturer. Labels matter. I only am using these terms because, without any further explanation, you know then immediately what I'm talking about. But I do not ever refer to my child as a tattletale. I don't ever refer to them as a pesturer, because labels matter and we are helping them know who they are not, who they are not. You know, yesterday my daughter was not handling an aspect of her school very well attitude wise and I was like how you are being right now, that's not who you are. You are resilient and smart and capable and positive and joy filled. You find solutions when you have problems how you're behaving right now. You are someone so greater than that. So let's find better ways to deal with how you're feeling right now than the way you're behaving. You see, I'm trying to pull my kids away from those negative behaviors. Not saying you are that that keeps them connected to that negative behavior. So that's the first thing I want to say is don't call them a tattletale.

Val Harrison:

But what I wanted to add specifically, an additional help for you regarding the tattletale is I want to explain an important reason why we don't allow tattling. Now. We do encourage kids to come and talk to us about any issue that they're having, about any concern in their life. Talk to us all day long. That is awesome. Bring us your need anytime.

Val Harrison:

But the reason why I told you guys last week that if they're in a conflict with their sibling and they need to come and talk to mom or dad about it, they need to tell their sibling. I am going to talk to mom about this and you're required to come. So that's the reminder to the other sibling. Hey, mom requires both of us to be there Now that other sibling may choose not to come and I'll address that with them separately, but yeah, with this one who is coming. The reason why I require that they both be there is not just so that I get both sides of the story or each of their testimony. That does matter and it makes a huge difference in us getting to the bottom of what really happened and why things happened.

Val Harrison:

But another key reason why I require both to come is because of connection with their sibling. I want to preserve that relationship and if the one is coming and tattling on the other one and the other one isn't present to hear the testimony, isn't present to hear me ask questions and talk about it, more resentment can quickly grow in that sibling who was a present, resentment towards me, resentment towards their sibling, and I want to preserve that sibling relationship. So it's very important to me that they're both there for that. It's also important because I don't want them to feel thrown under the bus by their sibling, misrepresented, taken advantage of or that their sibling did something behind their back. I'm encouraging a strong sibling connection and if there's any of those kinds of things that I just mentioned that can build resentment, that builds walls and those walls keep their relationship separated, and that is the opposite of what we're wanting for these kids. So I just wanted to add those two little elements to last week's podcast. If you didn't get a chance to listen to it, I hope you will go back and listen.

Val Harrison:

But what I want to mention today is about connection. The longer I parent my children of every age, the more I realize that we need to anchor all of our parenting tasks in connection with our kids. That's one thing I'll be talking about a lot next season that there are several important ways that we should be helping our kids connect. I want to build my connection with them. So how am I handling parenting tasks in a way that builds connection or breaks connection? I want to be very aware that, yes, I need to grow their stamina, their creativity, their resilience, their stick-to-diviveness, their positive attitude, they're all these things. But I don't want to just do that through compliance. I need to be careful, which sometimes you know. Obviously, parenting has to happen through getting a job to comply, but I do what? Always be mindful of connection. So that's one connection. Another connection that I want to always be building is their connection with God. And then I want to build their connection within the family unit with their siblings.

Val Harrison:

What are some other connections we want our kids to make? We want them to have a connection with the body of Christ. They are part of the church. What role are they playing? And then also they're part of a community. So how are they participating? As a citizen, as a neighbor, as a volunteer? What are they doing for their community on a larger scale, for the world around us? You know we're all part of the world. What role does God call us to play in connecting with the world? So the more they understand their irreplaceable role in all of those connections, this helps them understand their purpose and their callings. So connection is going to be one of the themes that will be coming next season.

Val Harrison:

Speaking of that, I will be taking a break for the holidays. Thanksgiving is this week and then Christmas is right around the corner and I want some family time, so I will be taking a break for the holidays. I want to finish up by talking to you about the holidays in connection. I want to help you get in the right headspace for the holidays. So here's what I want you to know Don't get caught up in the busy performance aspect of the season. You know we feel this pressure to be at every Christmas party and to bring the neatest appetizer to the party and to fix our house up just great and to create a magical Christmas morning and to make everything perfect about Christmas time and to cook all of the food for Thanksgiving in an amazing way. But I want to encourage you to keep the holidays about connection, connection, especially between each other, and helping our kids connect with God at this special time.

Val Harrison:

Be intentional this time of year. Set a time to sit down and brainstorm about Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ask yourself what traditions are the most valuable to our family. How does that tradition impact us and how much work is it for me? Does it keep me from joy? Does it keep me from connecting? What focus do you want to have for the next two months? Now? Consider this from a standpoint of how do you want to handle this holiday season mentally. How do you want to handle this holiday season physically? How do you want to handle this holiday season socially? Like both protecting ourselves from too much social and also making sure that the important connections happen. And how do I want to handle this holiday season spiritually? So get your game plan and keep your focus there. I want to share with you some meaningful ways that you can help your kids to connect by helping others, and so I want to just give you a quick list of things you can do, things that we've done.

Val Harrison:

Distance bonding bags. Those are ones that I stick in the mail to my grandkids that live away, and I've got the same bags at my house so we can set up a time that face time for them and I to both be working on it. At the same time. You can turn on some Christmas music, you can have them working on this craft while you read them a Christmas story or just talk about some different aspects of Christmas with them, and I like to send the snacks in my distance bonding bags as well. And then I want to talk to you about blessing bags. These are bags that we've put together before that we take around to people that mean a lot to us. Maybe they mean a lot to our family, or maybe we know of families who need a little bit of love and encouragement this year. Maybe they have a soldier that is away, maybe they've gone through a hard time, but little blessing bags, they just have some Christmas treats in them or a little family activity or a family game, whatever you want to include in it that says, hey, we're thinking of you, we want to bless you, we love you. You could text ahead of time and say we're going to drop something off on your front porch. And that way, when you text them ahead like that, that way, if they want to, they can say, well, oh, ring the doorbell, come and visit. Or if it's not a good time, then they can just say, okay, thank you so much, that's awesome. And then adopt a family or adopt a widow. So we've done that before.

Val Harrison:

Where, in fact, I'm going to say with this? You know, I've had a few different people lose their spouses in the last couple of years and we as Americans tend to say how are you doing when we see them? Oh, hi, how are you doing? That's such a hard answer to give. When you have lost a loved one because you're doing terrible, you're also blessed, like you see God's hand of blessing on you and he's sustaining you. But you may still be doing terrible and you can't just say that everywhere you go and you know that that's not what that other person wants to hear, so then you just end up saying an empty, meaningless, fine or okay, or that.

Val Harrison:

What I'm saying is that I have learned that's not the best question to ask someone who's lost someone, so I have started replacing that with two different questions. The first question is what is a specific way I can pray for you right now? And the second question is what is something you don't have that, if you had it, it would be a help to you right now? I recently asked that to a widow, a new widow, a mom of nine children and she said well, our blender broke, our toaster broke and our plunger broke. And I was able literally it took me 10 minutes of shopping online after I was not with her anymore until it was on its way to her house, instead of saying how are you? And let me know if you need anything, because that question and that statement just doesn't get done what you really know they need. So instead, switch that up to how can I pray for you specifically right now and what's something that, if you had it, it would help you. The final way that I want to say that you guys can bond together while helping someone else is getting a group of friends together and going to a nursing home and Christmas caroling.

Val Harrison:

So what we do is we dress in Christmas clothes. I like to go to the Dollar Tree and pick up, like some. There's usually some kind of Christmas headbands that you can get. They have fun stuff on them. Maybe it's stars that are sticking out or twinkling lights or whatever. I've also found at the Dollar Tree, like necklaces that twinkle that you can put on at Christmas time, so anyway. So anyway, we dress festively, we plan the it just takes a few minutes to come up with a list of carols that we're going to do and then we take a laundry basket full of things that we have collected for them, so it can be lotion, socks those are two popular things some wrapped candy. Ask the nursing home if you're allowed to give the candy boxes of Kleenex, just things like that that helps them, and also including some Christmas cards. Now you can go to the nursing home and not take the laundry basket and you don't have to sound good when you're seeing the people are just thankful to see those kiddos there, to be able to interact with them. Okay, well, those are some ways to bond together while also helping others.

Val Harrison:

And now I'm signing off until our season five begins, while I'm gone on this Christmas break. I hope that you will go back to the very beginning and start there, listening to former episodes, because, man, that first season had so many building blocks for how to parent, and then later seasons had so much on how to build relationship between family and build dynamics and strengthen your marriage, and there's so many aspects to this parenting journey, and sometimes we need to hear things more than once before we actually start implementing them in our lives. So I do hope you'll go back and listen. This is the perfect opportunity for you to do that. I'm praying for you, mom.

Val Harrison:

No matter what season of motherhood you're in, god has a purpose for your steps and he's walking right beside you. When you weep, he weeps with you, and when you're anxious, he wants to be your comfort and your peace. And then, when your journey begins to reveal the redemption and victory that he was working on for you all along, god is going to be rejoicing with you on that day too. It's been an honor to spend time with you today If this podcast has been a blessing. Share it with a friend, leave a review and head over to practically speaking momcom. Join me on Instagram, a practically speaking mom, and in my Facebook group, intentional mom, strong family, and I will see you here in season five as we together build strong families. Love ya.

Dealing With Pests and Tattling in Children
Holiday Bonding and the Importance of Connection
Building Strong Families