Feral Animals - Summertime Blog Post #4

Updated: Sep 9, 2019



This Summertime Blog Series Post was originally named "How I Keep My Kids From Becoming Feral Animals" but every time I think I'm ready to share it, they become feral again. Seriously. So I've renamed it "Feral Animals" -- period.


But this is a side of parenthood, right? Raising em' up with as much wisdom and love as we can muster, sowing the seeds, watching them sprout and then in blink realizing they have withered and wilted (with a side of foaming at the mouth), and you know it's time for some water and sunshine.


For me, I can understand the withering and wilting (ahem feral behavior) when school is in session, or during winter's cabin fever, or when it's spring and we are restless for school to be DONE. But when it's summer and sunshine is a plenty and we are more than watered from countless days pool, lake or oceanside, I'm like, "Hello? Don't you know it's summer? Why?"

So when sunshine and water aren't working, we have to tap into some new strategies -- and ones that work best during the summer months! Here are my top 3...


Weeding

We have lots of gardens here at the farm, and let me tell you, weeding is not this farmer's favorite thing to do. So when the kids are wilted and stubbornly rooted in some feral behavior, it's to the gardens they go. I believe there are therapeutic benefits to getting their hands in the dirt. And when they are sweaty and filthy in the end, they can look at themselves in the mirror and ask if it was worth it, before washing it all away and starting anew.


Sentence Writing

I have my Mother In Law to thank for this one, together with Wes' childhood memories. When certain lessons aren't sinking in, or certain promises are broken, then there is no better way to write them into their own hearts and minds than with a pencil and pad of paper. We assign on average 50 sentences for the offense, but once declared 500, written in the finest of penmanship of course. {I will be loving and kind to my brother. I will be loving and kind to my brother. I will be loving and kind to my brother......x50 or x500}. The quiet, solitary and mind numbing act of writing the same sentence over and over and over again, often means that even the threat of sentence writing leads to immediate course correction. This is especially true when we are out in public and they know mom has packed the pad and pencils just in case.


Hand Holding

This is one that makes my heart happy and is really fun to execute as a parent -- even if it's torture for the children. During those times when they can't keep their little hands to themselves, or are having a difficult time showing love to one another, then I tell them to hold hands and go for a peaceful walk around the backyard three times, encouraging them to talk out whatever the issue is. If they can't do that with love or without hurting each other, then I simply add more laps. And if that still isn't working, then I extend the laps to include three loops around the neighborhood. And since they don't want to be caught dead in public holding hands with their sibling, they more often than not figure it out in the backyard.


So that's how we do it. I should say that there are definitely times times when we simply take away technology privileges or cancel fun plans. But often the feral behavior is persistent and therefore needs to be weeded, written or loved out...until the next time of course.


What about you? How have you kept your kids from becoming feral animals?


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