How I Survived Yellow Paint on The Floor: Creative Discipline

Yesterday was one of those days.

You know those days.

When the kids seem three times as loud and they get into everything! Where they torn apart the homeschool room I had just got done putting together! Or sneaked into my closet and took my stash of gum.  Or scatter little beads to a craft project all over the floor. Or got into my homeschool closet in the office and took yellow paint and put in on the floor in the sun room..

Yes I was done yesterday.  The thought of yellow school buses crossed my mind.

The paint was the last straw, and I yelled-loud-you all are getting spankings.  Their heads popped up like uh oh.  I walked away, I was just mad.  Then the idea came to me.

Forget the spankings.  They don’t work, it is only the anticipation of the spanking that gets them.  So I let them simmer for a while and walked in with two BIG garage bags.

Me: I am not going to spank you.

Again little heads popped up.

Me: Instead you will fill these bags with weeds.  (ok so our garden had gotten a little weedy this year-I didn’t plant anything.)

They looked at me thinking mom had lost it.

Isaiah: So no spanking, just pulling weeds?

Me: Yep

Isaiah: I’ll take it.

20 minutes later I had two big bags of weeds and two children who have been listening better.

It is a good thing I have a LOT of weeds.

What creative discipline has worked for you?


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Living with Explosive Children-20 Tips to Help

Living with Explosive Children

I love my children.  I would not trade a moment with them in for the world!  BUT our daily lives are not quiet and at any moment of any day my children can explode!

Now I don’t mean like in a cartoon, where you will see “BOOM” all around.  And I am not talking about every day tempers or melt downs.  I am talking from 0 to 10 in seconds.  I am talking one thing can set them off.  I am talking about having to parent with another voice inside guiding me when these out burst occur.  Even this does not fully describe them.

When I read about other homeschooler families-I see order and every now and then I see things go crazy.  In my school day, ever day my children have explosive behavior.  Screaming comes with our territory, and objects being thrown are not uncommon. Now before I go on, let me make this clear.  This does not make my kids bad!  My kids are amazing kids, sweet, servant like, love God, willing to help, gentle hearted. But there are moments-I hold on for the ride.

For example:  AnnieQ (7) was playing with Play dough.  Her plastic knife broke and I told her to just keep using the broken side because we would be cleaning up soon.  That was a trigger-just like that she threw the knife, threw the play dough, her attitude change, she started screaming.  I could have given in-Yes.  But even then she had hit a point of no return.   So at this point I put her in time-out, on the way to time out she destroyed stuff as she went along-not to mention the  high pitch scream.  Mind you this is all from a broken knife.

She started screaming louder now she was horribly  hungry and has not eaten anything all day.  Now she has, they got Kentucky Fried Chicken for lunch, as been snacking all day-even had fresh pineapple.  The screaming is beyond what I can handle right now.  So I make a PBJ sandwich and warn her that she will also be going to bed early.  When she saw the sandwich she started crying I want real dinner.  Not this.  And other note: my husband was at a church meeting and I wasn’t planning on making dinner-sandwiches worked well.  She screamed for about 20 minutes how she wanted real dinner.  I finally walked away.

She finally ate the sandwich, apologized and got dressed for bed.  And just like that she was fine again.  I deal with about 2-3 explosions like this daily from her.  Triggers can be simply asking her to find her shoes, cleaning, doing school work, to many unknown things.

Another example is Isaiah (5-almost 6).  Isaiah, Isaiah, Isaiah.  (Yeah many days are like that!)  I know little boys are active and active and well active.  But there is something else about him!  One day we can get math done, no big deal, but if my breath smells to much like coffee-it will be a struggle. (And he likes my coffee-even drinks it!) Like today, they were outside playing and Robby got some mud on him.  Isaiah came in all mad.  I told him to shake it off and go back outside till he was done playing.  He then went, and got undressed, had other clothes and was getting ready to take a shower.  I stopped him cause I told him if he took a shower he wasn’t going to go back outside, that he was done for the day.  And there it was-the ugly explosion -screaming and words.

The other day I had to carry   drag him out of Home Depot, because he wanted to show me something and could not wait till I was done.  This turned into a whole scene, which now everyone knows we were in the store.  I just calmly go pay for my items I had already picked out, respond fine when the cashier still ask “how are you today?” As I am dealing with a screaming child.  How do you think I am? “Fine.”

These explosion are daily in our lives.  Mostly from the two younger ones.  I have worked with a lot of kids.  I have learned to deal with it, and I am working HARD not to respond with screaming.  But that is hard.  Frustrating.  Some days I feel like all I do is scream-other days I bite my tongue to be better.

So our days with our children-are not always perfect but precious.  Our plans get changed and one thing shifts everything.  Many people see my kids as active and bad.   I see small children being raised to be adults who love and serve the Lord.  That that they do, love and serve the Lord.

A Note: None of my younger children are diagnosed with Explosive Disorder.  While there are things we are watching, my younger adopted children are still young-and many different issues could be causes this.  I am not in anyway a Dr. qualified to give out medical help-but more of a parent giving out ways to live with this help.  If you find you have a child that displays this-get help.  I have been told about a great book to read-it is on my list.


Here are 20 tips to help deal with explosive children.  Maybe you use another term.  Some are basic parenting.  If you have more, share them in the comments below!

Tips to Help

  • Keep track of Triggers
  • Use the same discipline where ever you go
  • Have a schedule, but be flexible
  • Remember it is not you
  • Love them
  • Tickle them.  (I know it sounds crazy, but sometimes attacking the screaming with tickles work-you just need to know when)
  • You take a breather when they get to much
  • Just know people will not understand you kids
  • Do not get mad at the people who don’t understand-educate them
  • Reward your kids every time you can!
  • Know what battles to pick
  • Teach breathing exercises
  • Train children it is ok to be mad, but not ok to hurt people or things.
  • Give them ways to be mad and express it
  • Know people will stare.  Smile back
  • Starbucks-for you.
  • Make sure your husband and you are working as a team.
  • Get outside help when you need it.
  • Allow children to be children-they need lots of outside time
  • It is OK to use iPhones or iPads to get peace-but use it wisely.


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When Kids Get into Trouble

Our Rule of Thumb

Time out-1 minute for every year

This does not start till they are quite.

What kid wants to get caught?

One tattles.

One lies.

One gets caught.

One gets mad.

But as momma’s we must hold firm to our plan, and I am not always good at this. They play these sweet little eyes at me and can melt my heart. Or sometimes I just don’t want to deal with it.

Today, one got mad because they got caught lying. Put in time out. Screamed for 13 minutes “cause they had to go potty and I was a poop poop head.” Me reminding them that they just sat in two extra time outs cause they were screaming, and I didn’t do that. They are quite now. But my nerves get frazzled. So I count, with my eyes closed, sometimes standing one my tippy toes (in hopes that maybe the crying child will wonder what I am doing and stop crying) to not hear it. And now I have two in the kitchen in time out.

Time outs. When I bring them out I ask them why they where sent to time out. We process it. We will process these things many times. It is a training period.

Sometimes my oldest sometimes tells me I am grounded to my room. I smile-thinking this isn’t such a bad deal for me and say “ok, see you in a while!”

What happens in your house when kids get in trouble?

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Makings of Strong Families-Teaches right from wrong

5.  Teaches right from wrong

Notice the word teaches.  I talk to many parents who expect their children to know this.  But like anything else there is a training period that lasts about 18 plus years.

You are the biggest example in teaching right from wrong.

Let’s face it even God knew this was going to a tough thing for us to know right from wrong.  This is why He gave us the 10 commandments. While he expects us to keep these commandments perfectly,  He knows we can’t so He sent his son Jesus to die on the cross for us.  This is the foundation for teaching my kids right from wrong.

A while ago I wrote a post on lying.  Why do they lie?  Why do our kids do the things they do?  We have many issues with Isaiah.  As I started this post, I had pause to do a time out with him for stealing his brother’s blue tooth.  And his chocolate Easter Bunny front he freezer.  And for food under his bed.  (it is bed room cleaning day!)   Isaiah is five, he entered our family at 3 months.  So he has been raised by us, same morals and values.  Same rules.  I keep teaching him right from wrong.

One of our foster boys I made up a little reminder sheet for him.  He had sticky pockets.  AKA as always taking things with him that were not his.  He did this a lot from his class room.  He would take things from other kids backpacks.  He could walk by something and just take it.

The reminder sheet simple said:

Is it yours?  Yes, then you may have it.  No, leave it be.

I think one of the best ways to teach kids right from wrong is to discuss it daily.  Talk about why what they did was wrong, not that it was just wrong.  Keep the communication open.  Discuss the 10 commandment.  Martin Luther’s Catechism is great to review the 10 commandments and their meanings.  There are many great ways to memorize the 10 commandments.

 teaching kids right from wrongHaving Family Rules also help.  This gives them guide lines to so they know what is right and what is wrong.   We have rules, but they have become unwritten down again.  Again a May project we are working on to update them.    I think rules should not be should nots.

You should not hit.  Instead say,

In this family/house we respect each other.  Which means we do not hit, kick, bite, smack, pull hair, spit, punch or hurt any one.  Including the pets.

This way is also better for new foster kids coming in. Using “In this family” get past the “well in my family we do it this way.”  I simple respond with, in this family we do it this was.  This also works well with friends who are over visiting.  Some with use the Lords name in vain.  We simple say, “In this family we respect God’s name.  Please don’t use God’s name in vain.”

Pinterest really has some great and cleaver ideas for making family rules.  I thinks families have embraced family rules beyond the “should nots”

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Walking out of Target

Yes I did it.  I took my 5-year-old to Target.  He wanted to come and I was happy to bring him.  But the minute I walked into Target he tested me.

I got the wrong cart.  He thinks we should have those big ones where he can sit.  It is great when he sits in them.  But normally he wants to stand, flip, flop and soon he is just walking and I am stuck push this huge cart.  So he crossed he arms and said he wasn’t coming.

Fine I said and started walking toward the apples, keeping a watchful eye on him.  Soon he came walking with me.  I told him he could have a cookie, walked over to the bakery for a free cookies, got one and gave it to him.  “I don’t want that one.  I want one from Starbucks.”  I reminded him “I told you coming in we were only getting the free cookies today.”  He again folds his arms, and refused to go.  I did my walking away and this time he didn’t come.  I gave him one more chance.  Then I picked him up stuck him in the cart and told him we were leaving.

And I left.

Tears are streaming down his face as he is screaming I don’t want to go!  Please stay.  I knew I had to get my point across, so we went all the way to the car.  And with the cart I stood there for a minute, not saying  anything. He stopped crying.  I waited a few more minutes.

“Isaiah, the way you behaved in there was unacceptable.  We are working on first time listening and I asked you many times to walk with me and you didn’t.  I told you why you were walking instead of riding in the big cart and why we are getting the free cookie.  Do you understand this?”  He responded, “yes mommy.”     “Good.  Now how many times do I need to ask you to do something?”  “One” said Isaiah.    “Good.  Now we are going back into the store.  You may ride in the cart or walk.  I have to get your brother’s prescription and if you can continue being good, we can go look at the toys.  We are not buying any toys, but we can look at them.”  “Yes mommy”

And I walked back into Target and we ended up having a pleasant shopping trip.

I find that each one of my kids respond differently to discipline.  And each one behave poorly over different things.  With the three younger ones, we are working on first time listening.  If my voice is raised and I am now screaming, I have said it one too many times!  The other day, after saying something 5 times, I yelled it, Isaiah says “Gosh mommy you didn’t have to yell!”

It is at those moments I want to pull my hair out!!  Since I like my hair I respond with “Gosh Isaiah, if you had listened the first time I wouldn’t be yelling.

Now AnQuenette worst issue is when her “fun” bubble is popped.  Like tonight, they were outside playing ball with a neighbor. I came out and told the two little ones it was bed time.  Isaiah “Yes mommy” and went up stairs.  (I think I made an impact on him today!) AnQuenette, broke into a whining, yelling, crying thing she does and flopped on the ground.  “I don’t want to goto bed. I didn’t have a turn.  It’s not fair.  boo hoo boo too.”  Me, “ok, boys can AnQuenette have a quick turn at batting.  So she gets up, smiles and says “I win” walking over there.  Ummm wrong thing to say!

With her I just have to put her screaming in her room.  Little things set her off, like her fun bubble bursting, or finding shoes.  I don’t know what it is about finding shoes, but saying the words sets her off.  Sunday, all I said was “AnQuenette, go find your shoes and put them on.”  Screaming, rolling on the floor, yelling.  Over shoes.  Which where on the floor by her feet.

Oh when she is mad at you cause you burst her fun bubble, her eyes speak of meanest and hatred!  But by the time the screaming is done, she is happy and acts like nothing happened.  The best punishment for her is no TV, cause that little girl loves her TV.

What I have learned about parenting and discipline is each child is different.  What works for one, does not always work for the other.  But being consistent is the key.  Remember that parenting is a process of trail and error (my kids can’t read this right!) and you just have keep trying till you find the right combination.


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What are we going to do with Isaiah?

The song from “The Sound of Music” What are  we going to do with Maria is flowing through my head.  But I changed Maria to Isaiah.  Cause I just don’t know what to do with that boy!

He can on one hand be the sweetest, kindest servant heart type of kid.  Like yesterday he spent time carefully putting legos into the easter eggs to hide for Robby.  He was fine.  He went to preschool.  With in 30 minutes I got a call from my husband to come and get him.  What happened between point A and point B?

I’ve wondered if I should just let him stay home instead of sending him to morning preschool.  Maybe it is just too much.  I was hoping to have him make it to the “moving on up” party.  I think we just moved on up now.  I’ve been thinking about sending him to kindergarten, like I did with his sister.  But I think he needs more time to explore and grow than to be confined to a class room. (And me less time in the principles office!)

Then I have thought, isn’t this why I started homeschooling Robby?  To let him develop and thrive on his own pace?  And I believe that we have done a pretty good job with him.  Maybe it is time to reevaluate what we are doing here for education.  And why we as a family homeschool.

Today Isaiah had a pretty good morning.  We have worked on listening the first time.  I have had a few activities for him to do.  He played with the dog a while. Did his own thing.  Gave him lunch.  Sent him to a nap.


foster care adoption

And in the 5 minutes Jeremy (my oldest) was ironing his clothes Isaiah managed to go into his room.  He smeared Vaseline all over his desk.  Pushed all his books off and ran off with his phone.


Me….keeping my cool…..I will not scream.  And in my firmest “parent voice” told him to get up and go pick up the papers and books.  Clean up the Vaseline.  And then we had to find the phone.

The funny thing was is Dan had just called to see how is was doing.  I was like fine and while I was talking to him Jeremy was motioning for me to goto his room.  How quickly that boy moves.

So what are we going to do with Isaiah?  Love him, nurture him, discipline him, mold him, pray for him, and did I mention love him.

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I have 6 kids in my house, from 4-17.   And with each child comes a unique discipline plan.  Some of them are easy going, and don’t get into trouble too much.  Others are in trouble daily,  and other seems to bring it on in heaps at a time.  One thing is for sure, there area consequences of actions in our house.  If you break a rule, there are consequences.

Our 4 year old little boy is testing boundaries right now.  He has a little bit of an anger issue going on when he gets caught.  So we had to get really strict right now with him.  He only gets one warning.  When things calm down we will slowly release the reins.  We do spank Isaiah because he responds to that.  
Our 5 year old little girl has gotten her first grounding.  She gets time outs, and when her “fun bubble” is bursted she has huge melt downs,  I just put her in her room and let her scream, and scream…and scream!:)
Our 9 year old boy has “attitudes” that need a “time out” to calm down.  Most of the time he is really good, but every now and then he just needs a time to reflect.
Our 17 year son losses privileges.  Most of the time he doesn’t even understand why, but this is normal for teenagers.  Communication is a big thing, he will lose cell phone usage, computer usage, and other things.  With him it is always hard to define what grounding is for what because he always seems to group getting into trouble all at once.  
Each of our foster boys we deal with in basic discipline, re guiding. 
For the younger kids we use time outs, a minute pre year.  
Some days this gets exhausting.  It seems I correct and guide more than I do other things.  But over all, I feel good about taking my kids out.  Most of the time they behave well.  My favorite time is when they tell me I am grounded. And I think “YES”!  I am going to my room and chill!  But never does my groundings last long!

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