Busy brain, idle hands?

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Do you ever have a mind full of ideas and wishes and goals and projects, but get hung up in the execution?

It’s so easy to get distracted. In some ways, I guess I’m like my own kids, and when there’s too much to do, I shut down a little bit and do … too little. That’s what I’ve been struggling with lately. I am getting things done, but we know ourselves and know when we can and should do more. Then we get frustrated.

I think it’s important to forgive ourselves in these situations and pat ourselves on the back just for being aware and being willing. I loved Elder Scott’s recent general conference talk when he said that the Lord sees weakness differently than he sees sin. I’ve been thinking about that a lot. When we sin, He wants us to remove it from our lives. Get rid of it. Go clean. With weakness, though, we have to stare it in the face and work on it. Like repentance, work is hard, and in both cases, we need the help of the Atonement.

I recently found this talk by Elder Maxwell (love him!) about weaknesses. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

Now may I speak, not to the slackers in the Kingdom, but to those who carry their own load and more; not to those lulled into false security, but to those buffeted by false insecurity, who, though laboring devotedly in the Kingdom, have recurring feelings of falling forever short. … Even prophets notice their weaknesses. Nephi persisted in a major task “notwithstanding my weakness.” (2 Ne. 33:11.) … Thus the feelings of inadequacy are common. So are the feelings of fatigue; hence, the needed warning about our becoming weary of well-doing. (See D&C 64:33.)

And then, he said some of the coolest things ever about how to deal with those common feelings and yearnings to do and be better. So the rest of the credit for this post goes completely to Elder Neal A. Maxwell whose inspiration helped me out again today.

What can we do to manage these vexing feelings of inadequacy? Here are but a few suggestions:

1. We can distinguish more clearly between divine discontent and the devil’s dissonance, between dissatisfaction with self and disdain for self. We need the first and must shun the second, remembering that when conscience calls to us from the next ridge, it is not solely to scold but also to beckon.
2. We can contemplate how far we have already come in the climb along the pathway to perfection; it is usually much farther than we acknowledge. True, we are “unprofitable servants,” but partly because when “we have done that which was our duty to do” (Luke 17:10), with every ounce of such obedience comes a bushel of blessings.
3. We can accept help as well as gladly give it. Happily, General Naaman received honest but helpful feedback, not from fellow generals, but from his orderlies. (See 2 Kgs. 5:1–14.) In the economy of heaven, God does not send thunder if a still, small voice is enough, or a prophet if a priest can do the job.
4. We can allow for the agency of others (including our children) before we assess our adequacy. Often our deliberate best is less effectual because of someone else’s worst.
5. We can write down, and act upon, more of those accumulating resolutions for self-improvement that we so often leave, unrecovered, at the edge of sleep.
6. We can admit that if we were to die today, we would be genuinely and deeply missed. Perhaps parliaments would not praise us, but no human circle is so small that it does not touch another, and another.
7. We can put our hand to the plow, looking neither back nor around, comparatively. Our gifts and opportunities differ; some are more visible and impactful. The historian Moroni felt inadequate as a writer beside the mighty Mahonri Moriancumer, who wrote overpoweringly. We all have at least one gift and an open invitation to seek “earnestly the best gifts.” (D&C 46:8.)
8. We can make quiet but more honest inventories of our strengths, since, in this connection, most of us are dishonest bookkeepers and need confirming “outside auditors.” He who was thrust down in the first estate delights to have us put ourselves down. Self-contempt is of Satan; there is none of it in heaven. We should, of course, learn from our mistakes, but without forever studying the instant replays as if these were the game of life itself.
9. We can add to each other’s storehouse of self-esteem by giving deserved, specific commendation more often, remembering, too, that those who are breathless from going the second mile need deserved praise just as the fallen need to be lifted up.
10. We can also keep moving. Only the Lord can compare crosses, but all crosses are easier to carry when we keep moving. Men finally climbed Mount Everest, not by standing at its base in consuming awe, but by shouldering their packs and by placing one foot in front of another. Feet are made to move forward—not backward!
11. We can know that when we have truly given what we have, it is like paying a full tithe; it is, in that respect, all that was asked. The widow who cast in her two mites was neither self-conscious nor searching for mortal approval.
12. We can allow for the reality that God is more concerned with growth than with geography. Thus, those who marched in Zion’s Camp were not exploring the Missouri countryside but their own possibilities.
13. We can learn that at the center of our agency is our freedom to form a healthy attitude toward whatever circumstances we are placed in! Those, for instance, who stretch themselves in service—though laced with limiting diseases—are often the healthiest among us! The Spirit can drive the flesh beyond where the body first agrees to go!
14. Finally, we can accept this stunning, irrevocable truth: Our Lord can lift us from deep despair and cradle us midst any care. We cannot tell Him anything about aloneness or nearness!

And that is why we should read something from the scriptures or words of the prophets every day. My busy brain feels so much better.

I hope it makes you feel better, too.

Checklist for Clarity

It’s been a rough morning. Want to see the list? Of course you do.

  • I have a headache.
  • The pile of laundry I need to fold covers a space on my living room floor approximately the size of a Volkswagen.
  • In a moment of profound weakness, I gave in and let my children adopt a kitten that our neighbor found. I actually like her a lot more than I thought I would, but I took her in for initial shots and exam yesterday, and let’s just say I was not prepared for that kind of investment. This morning I got the notice-of-overdraft email from my bank.
  • We had our family picture taken last night, and my children were suddenly possessed by demons. Keep in mind that I do not have any more toddlers or even preschoolers, and yet… YET… I found myself asking them to stop flopping around on the floor and ignoring every bit of instruction offered by the photographer. Here is a photo I snapped with my camera phone during the studio process.
  • We are headed out of town (which is a great thing), but the process of getting everything ready is stressing me out.
  • I keep remembering last-minute tasks that I should have finished before we go.  (When?? will I get them done?)

So while all this stuff was swirling around in my head, I had to stop myself and change the list. I had to look for and recognize the reality that’s happening alongside my stress list.

  • Natalie is putting up Halloween decorations and singing Christmas songs. ?? Whatever, she’s festive.
  • Clark is curled up on the couch reading a book.
  • I still have some leftover caramel sauce that I made for a Relief Society activity.
  • Grant has been helping me switch over the laundry loads.
  • Some parts of the house are mostly clean.
  • We all kind of like each other, and everyone is pretty much content (if you ignore my own personal bad attitude).
  • Our home is warm and cozy, and we’re all enjoying decent health.
  • In less than 48 hours, I will be taking that cruise I WON over the summer. [You do not need to tell me to shut up already; I am at this very moment in a process of self-correction.]

Anyway, that was my clarity checklist. My stress (and probably my headache) is the result of looking at my life in an unbalanced way.  President Uchtdorf JUST said last weekend (I’m a slow learner):

Brothers and sisters, no matter our circumstances, no matter our challenges or trials, there is something in each day to embrace and cherish. There is something in each day that can bring gratitude and joy if only we will see and appreciate it.

So as I hung the picture on the wall today, it struck me as funny how we always look at family pictures and make all these assumptions about how lovely and put-together that family is. We can’t see the behind the scenes meltdown at the photo studio, nor can we see the laundry piles and headaches at home.  But despite all that, I look at it on the wall today and think, “You know what? It really IS a beautiful family.” Because even though I know every single detail of the back-story, I can still see it for what it truly is– the whole package, the gory and the glory all wrapped up in one.  My day will still be busy, and I’m bound to handle things more stressed-out than I’d like to, but I feel my eyes just a little more open to things as they really are … and there’s plenty there that’s better than fine.

Mothers and Nurturing, by Allison Kimball


When I was growing up being a mother was not something I aspired to be. I loved my mother, still do. She was an amazing mother, still is, but I wanted something more out of life. I had degrees to earn, a career to pursue, exotic places to visit.  Motherhood, although something I would eventually do, was not in my 10- or 15-year plan after graduating from high school.

Imagine my surprise to meet the man of dreams, more importantly the man of my list (you know that impossible list of qualities that your future spouse must have) just 9 months out of high school.   I was so young, we were both young, but we immediately started our family.  Now 20 years later I find myself a mother of 9, reflecting back on that beautiful path the Lord has taken me on.  I am so thankful I was wrong about motherhood.  The Lord had a greater plan for me.

However, being a mother is hard!

The Proclamation on the Family says, “Mothers are primarily responsible for the nurture of their children “.  Well the secret is out, I am not naturally a nurturing person.  It’s a struggle for me.  I don’t do it well.

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Some days are endless.  I know there is great joy in motherhood, but sometimes I want to scream and pull my hair out at the monotony and chaos that accompany keeping a house, not to mention the children.  I’m  a very selfish person.  I want a little bit of time alone in a day, time when no one is calling my name.  Time when no one is touching me or demanding something of me.  Quite often, unless I find time between the hours of 12am and 5am, I don’t get that time alone.  My life is filled with teenagers, toddlers, and everything in between.  No one’s schedule matches, and everyone needs mom.

The other day as I was slamming the dishes in the sink that were left to soak (without any water) feeling sorry for myself, tears streaming down my face, I said, “Sometimes I don’t really like being a mom.”  Of course, the instant the words came out of my mouth I regretted them, because I love my job as a mother. It is my chosen profession, one that has challenged me in every way imaginable.  It’s a job I still don’t do well.  I’m not a perfect mother, far from it. I make mistakes every single day, multiple times a day, but my love for my children keeps pulling me up to try again.

“We must have the courage to be imperfect while striving for perfection.”  (Patricia T. Holland, “One Thing Needful: Becoming Women of Greater Faith in Christ, Ensign, Oct 1987)

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The beautiful thing about each of our lives is that we are imperfect, and the Lord loves us and continues to bless us despite our imperfections.  He knows how to succor me personally when I am doing the best I can do and when I don’t think I can put one more foot in front of the other.  He knows how to give me snapshots of who my children are, their value and worth after a long day when all the wrong buttons have been pushed.  The Lord in His wisdom has filled my imperfect life with tools to teach me how to nurture and love my children in ways that are beyond my own ability. He allows me to fulfill my role as mother.

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So today as I look out the window and watch the children play I am so thankful for this calling from the Lord (see L. Tom Perry, “The Importance of the Family,” Ensign, May 2003, 40).

“Husbands and wives should understand that their first calling—from which they will never be released—is to one another and then to their children. One of the great discoveries of parenthood is that we learn far more about what really matters from our children than we ever did from our parents. We come to recognize the truth in Isaiah’s prophecy that “a little child shall lead them.”4 (President Boyd K. Packer, “And a Little Child Shall Lead Them”, Ensign, May 2012)

He has taught me once again, patiently holding my hand through the temper tantrums, the mounds of laundry, and the endless dishes. I have grown in the last 20 years in ways I never thought possible.  I still have a long way to go before nurturing and patience come naturally for me, but I have faith that the Lord will take this weak thing and make it strong to bless the lives of His choice children.

Allison Kimball:
I am your basic run-of-the-mill mother.
I have 9 amazing children.
I am wife to 1 magnificent man who loves and supports me.
I used to have 13 chickens, traded them in for 1 puppy.
I praise God whenever I can.  I would be nothing without Him.
In my free time I quilt, paint, design digital scrapbook kits, and read.

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Click here to read a complete version of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The celebration will continue through Sept. 30.

Every time you leave a comment on any of the Proclamation posts or participate in any of the Blog Hops, you are entered in a drawing to win a giveaway prize.

← The giveaway this week is a gift certificate from Family Tree and Me redeemable for any of their Photo Family Proclamations, including the shipping cost. Readers of the Family Proclamation Celebration can receive a 25% discount off the price of the print if you use this code: Family Proclamation Celebration.25 The discount is good until September 30th. All those comment on posts will be eligible for the giveaway. Family Tree and Me delights in creating customized keepsake family photo art and would love the opportunity to make a meaningful art piece for you to display in your home. You provide the pictures and we create the art! We have four categories of art with a variety of options available within each one: Photo Family Trees, Photo Family Proclamations, Missionary Photo Art, and Photo Family Mission Statements.

When Founded upon Christ, by Becca Riding

Cover me, I’m going in…

I am a mother of 4.

In Jim Gaffigan’s most recent stand-up routine he says “Want to know what it’s like having 4 kids? Just imagine you’re drowning…and someone hands you a baby.” Mother of Four is a new title for me, having only recently acquired that Fourth, and I’m still getting used to the water, as it were.

It is a Thursday. I get up bleary eyed and stumble to my kitchen to dig out some stale cereal for the hungry masses to eat for breakfast. There, on my kitchen counter, is a box of peaches waiting to be canned. Half a bushel. Staring me down. “Yes,” I think, “I will get to those today.”

Cue the shrill cry of a distressed newborn. I throw a handful of cereal in my mouth, take a gulp of milk, and go scoop her up. And what’s this? Crying baby…who….won’t open her eyes?? This is new. Four kids, and the surprises keep coming. Quick call to my pediatrician to take advantage of the fact that I’ve now paid enough co-pays to buy him a car. Baby who won’t open her eyes? He has no idea. So, you know, we’re figuring that out. As I’m talking on the phone, holding Baby Four in one arm, I’m using the other arm to wash peaches in the sink.

Until Three starts puking on the carpet, raising the question: What in the world did she eat so early in the morning that is THAT color purple??? Awesome. But at least it didn’t seem to bother her; she never even took her eyes off “Yo Gabba Gabba.” Plunk Baby Four in her bouncer to fend for herself for a bit. I am on my knees, humming as I scrub the carpet.  The peaches on the counter roll their eyes at me.

I am going to get those darn peaches canned.

Two trips to the doctor and several hours later, I have pawned One and Two off on a Christlike Protestant neighbor, but Three and Four are both screaming at the top of their lungs. They are miserable. They want to be held, by me and only me. They cannot be comforted, but I alternate between one and the other, back and forth, as they continue to shriek. My eardrums are, quite honestly, over it.  I am trying, very hard, not to lose it utterly.

Which is when I lay them oh so lovingly and gently on the carpet, wrap an apron around my courtesy-of-your-children waist, and bottle those peaches. Happy little slices, sprinkled with Fruit Fresh, and packed neatly into their gleaming jars.  Perfect. Just like the good little Mormon I am, I am canning to the sound of misery and outrage, the soundtrack of this moment in my life. And as I stand here, white knuckle gripping my sanity and pouring sugar syrup into each jar, I think “Oh, please. Just let the Savior cover this day. Let Him cover my inability to do and be everything I need to be and can’t be today. Please let the atonement cover it.”

And the greatest thing is? It does.

Becca Riding was born and raised in Utah but calls North Carolina home. She served a mission in Switzerland, married her very best friend, and has four kids. She recently completed her first-half mile jog, which she’s pretty excited about, and she seriously needs a nap.

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Look at what you could win if you participate in today’s blog hop! You have until Sunday to add a link to your own Family Proclamation Photo Essay post at at We Talk of Christ, at Chocolate on My Cranium, or at Middle-Aged Mormon Man…  All you need to do is put up some of your own photos with phrases from the Proclamation. Better get busy!

Would you like a beautiful photo proclamation book? It uses the entire text from The Family: A Proclamation to the World to accompany your photos! Designed by Jill Means it looks great with color or black and white photos. You can see sample pages above.

Viovio is giving away a $50 gift certificate for one lucky participant in today’s blog hop to use in ordering their own personalized photo book! The Family Proclamation template is created for a square book, so the winner will be able to create a book from any of the square sizes – 3.5 x 3.5, 5×5, 8.5×8.5, 10×10, or 12×12. Viovio produces gorgeous, high-quality photo books and photo cards. With a variety of templates to choose from you’ll be sure to find the perfect fit to showcase your family photos.

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Click here to read a complete version of The Family: A Proclamation to the World. The celebration will continue through Sept. 30.

Every time you leave a comment on any of the Proclamation posts or participate in any of the Blog Hops, you are entered in a drawing to win a giveaway prize.

← The giveaway this week is a gift certificate from Family Tree and Me redeemable for any of their Photo Family Proclamations, including the shipping cost. Readers of the Family Proclamation Celebration can receive a 25% discount off the price of the print if you use this code: Family Proclamation Celebration.25 The discount is good until September 30th. All those comment on posts will be eligible for the giveaway. Family Tree and Me delights in creating customized keepsake family photo art and would love the opportunity to make a meaningful art piece for you to display in your home. You provide the pictures and we create the art! We have four categories of art with a variety of options available within each one: Photo Family Trees, Photo Family Proclamations, Missionary Photo Art, and Photo Family Mission Statements.

Maybe I’m the problem.

I have been experiencing a lot of frustration in the mornings.  Like the kind where I wonder if my children have brains?

In order to earn “ticket time” (30 min. of TV, Wii, or computer games) after school, they have to complete a list of tasks in the morning before they leave for school.

It’s not hard stuff, people, and it does not matter when they wake up, we are still scrambling to get out the door on time.  It makes me crazy.  Every time I check on them, they are doing something else.  “Oops.  I forgot,” after I bark an order to get back on task or we’re going to be late. “I can’t find my homework.”  “Why didn’t you put it in your backpack when you were done?!” (like I’ve reminded you every. single. time.)  “Can I just have lunch money today?  I don’t have time.”  “No.  I told you last night to make your sandwich before you went to bed, and you’ve been playing with stuffed animals for the last 10 minutes.” My Facebook status the other day said, “Teaching my children personal responsibility may be the death of me.”  I’ve been wondering:

Why can’t they seem to handle simple tasks that would make their lives (and mine) so much easier?  It’s not like I haven’t taught them.  They have an easy checklist, for heaven’s sake.

Then I saw this article the other day.

It’s called, “Nicer Moms Have Smarter Kids.”

Oh good grief.

Fine.

Remember my goal for the year?  If I can stick to it, maybe my children will be smart enough to remember where they put their shoes.

101 reasons why I should have lost at least 10 pounds by now.

You may get to the end of this post and wonder if I was being a tad bit sarcastic and bitter.  Let me help you take the guesswork out of that:  Yes.  Today’s post ranks very, very low on the “Divinity” scale.

I am not now nor have I ever been obsessed with weight.  I’ve always been an advocate of Elder Holland’s advice to “please be more accepting of yourselves, including your body shape and style, with a little less longing to look like someone else.”  I am not the least bit motivated by Hollywood harlots starlets because they are not even real people.  (At least the almost always fabricated versions of them that are shoved in our faces.)

However.

Since I moved to Utah, for reasons I cannot for the life of me figure out, I all of the sudden gained 20 pounds. (Yes, I’ve had my thyroid checked and there have been no other changes in my normal health or any medications or anything like that.  I’m practically a psychic in anticipating your questions.)  I swear it’s Utah’s fault, but since I can’t really beat up Utah, I’ve got to figure out what to do about it.  It has nothing to do with wanting to compete with all the people around me who live for yoga, decorate their cars with 26.2 and Ragnar stickers, and shop for their jeans in the single-digit-number section.  I mean, despite the fact that they are probably part-alien and I kind of want to hate them, I’ve been surprised that many of them are actually really nice people.  Dangit.  So it’s not about that.  It’s just about wanting to be the normal kind of me and not a foreign-body version of myself.  Oh, and because I really want the clothes I already own to FIT me.  Is that really too much to ask??  Really?  Well, apparently it is.  I will now proceed to list the 101 reasons I should have lost at least 10 pounds by now.

  1. I have exercised at least 30 minutes a day for five days a week since school started NINE weeks ago.  I have never had that kind of discipline since my college days.
  2. I even started jogging a little bit a couple weeks ago.  As I stated in my Facebook status:  Cue the apocalypse.
  3. I created an account at myfitnesspal.com and I have tracked pretty regularly my calorie intake and exercise to try to keep it toward a healthy daily total of net calories.
  4. I switched to skim milk. That alone deserves at least a pound or two.
  5. When I’ve met up with friends for lunch or dinner, I try to order smaller and smarter.
  6. I’ve tried to make better choices for cooking dinner.
  7. Once a week, I do one-on-one dates with each of my kids and it’s usually to a cute little bakery or something.  For a while now, I’ve only ordered something for them, and I’ve just had a bite, or ordered nothing for myself, or like TODAY, my son got a sugar cookie and I ordered a half Spinach salad.
  8. During the entire week of Halloween, I only ate 6 of those little mini candies.  Okay, and one caramel apple (maybe two).  But let me tell you, that took some major restraint when sugar stuff is EVERYwhere.
  9. I started ordering green smoothies when I crave buying something sweet.  Did you get that?  Green-freakin’-smoothies.
  10. The Great Pumpkin came to our house on Halloween night.  Our kids picked out their 10 favorite pieces of candy, put the rest in a bucket in the back yard, and during the night the Great Pumpkin came and swept it away, leaving a small toy in its place.  ALL the candy gone from our house.  To clarify, the Great Pumpkin did not eat ANY of it.
  11. I have exercised rigorously enough in the last 9 weeks that at least a few days a week, I have sore muscles.
  12. Yesterday I went to an exercise class called “Boot Camp.”  I cannot, I repeat–cannot, do push ups, yet this woman made us do like 2,000 of them. And leg lifts that made my abs catch fire.  I can handle all the jumping jacks and fast running in place and such, but any exercises that actually require any muscle strength are a joke.  Last night I could not roll over in bed without pain.
  13. When I crave snacks during the day, I’m trying to eat stuff like a handful of nuts, some carrot sticks, Greek yogurt (I think it’s nasty), or whole-wheat toast.
  14. I almost never drink soda, diet or otherwise.  Maybe once a month I’ll have a root beer.  I always drink water and occasionally milk.  I should drink more water than I do, but I’m trying to do better.  (Actually, in the spirit of full disclosure, in the last week when it turned cold, I did have a couple hot chocolates.)
  15. Except for that one time at The Melting Pot like 10 years ago, when they dumped half a glass of white wine in my cheese fondue, I’ve never even tasted alcohol in my life.
  16. That’s not really 101 reasons, but whatever.

Anyway, I’m pleased really, really ticked off to announce that after almost 3 months of this kind of regimen, I have actually gained almost 4 pounds.  Don’t try to be all “Oh, that’s totally because you’ve gained muscle,” because if that’s true then why are all my clothes just as tight as they were when I started?  So basically this post is just me saying that I’m mad at the universe and I’ve been robbed.

I know you’re dying to give me advice like go Vegan, eliminate carbs, train for a marathon, drink protein shakes, put all your food in a blender with ingredients you can’t buy at normal stores or whatever.  Just to keep it real, though, I probably will not listen to you unless you are actually a nutritionist, personal trainer, or certified seer. Because, trust me, the kind of effort I’ve put in should have brought about some kind of difference.  So I’m pretty skeptical right now.

I’m not going to quit, mostly because I’m stubborn.  I just needed to vent. I just got off the phone with my sister, and I told her I’ll probably feel humiliated after I push the “Publish” button.  So be it.  This is the part where you say stuff that’s either encouraging or empathetic.  Otherwise, I remind you that I am a grumpy woman who is denying herself chocolate at the moment, and I hold the power to the delete button.

I am acutely aware that on the blessings vs. trials continuum, I am still riding very high.  My life is abundant, and I don’t face the thousands of horrible thing that many others are suffering.  I’m still giving myself permission to be bugged, though.

Ahem.  Have a nice day.

Fight or Flight

So yesterday was a hard day in a mothering sense.  By 3 p.m. I wasn’t really fond of any of my children anymore.  Something deep down inside of me (the love child of anger and frustration) really, really wanted to:

A)  Beat people up,

or B)  Book a private jet and escape to a Carribean island.  Alone.

Option B would probably make me feel better, but Option A is a lot cheaper.  I didn’t do either, but I wanted to.  Instead I just lost my temper and barked my disappointment and sent people to their rooms indefinitely.

I hosted a Relief Society Spiritual Literacy meeting at my house last night and we studied some of the recent conference talks.  My study partner and I read “What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye to Be?”  I know what you’re thinking:  It made me feel all guilty and penitent.  It probably should have, but it didn’t (except for that one little part about “Discipline comes from the same root word as disciple and implies patience and teaching on our part. It should not be done in anger.”).  Honestly, the talk gave me some hope, some advice, some direction.  I’ve been really frustrated with my kids lately.  I feel like we’re in a cycle of the same mistakes over and over again — both theirs and mine.  I’m losing patience with them and with myself.  What I loved about this message was a fresh new perspective.  It gave me a better way to look at discipline and at praise and at my children themselves.  Here are a few of my favorite quotes.  Don’t be lazy and skip them; read them:  :)

When children misbehave, let’s say when they quarrel with each other, we often misdirect our discipline on what they did, or the quarreling we observed. But the do—their behavior—is only a symptom of the unseen motive in their hearts. We might ask ourselves, “What attributes, if understood by the child, would correct this behavior in the future?…”

—-

Through discipline the child learns of consequences. In such moments it is helpful to turn negatives into positives. If the child confesses to a wrong, praise the courage it took to confess. Ask the child what he or she learned from the mistake or misdeed, which gives you, and more important, the Spirit an opportunity to touch and teach the child. When we teach children doctrine by the Spirit, that doctrine has the power to change their very nature—be—over time.

—-

A sweet and obedient child will enroll a father or mother only in Parenting 101. If you are blessed with a child who tests your patience to the nth degree, you will be enrolled in Parenting 505. Rather than wonder what you might have done wrong in the premortal life to be so deserving, you might consider the more challenging child a blessing and opportunity to become more godlike yourself. With which child will your patience, long-suffering, and other Christlike virtues most likely be tested, developed, and refined? Could it be possible that you need this child as much as this child needs you?

Anyway, as I read these quotes and the rest of the talk, which is excellent, I felt some of my anger slipping away.  I felt the Spirit telling me that these principles are true, and there is a better way to approach our recent trend of disobedience and disrespect.  I felt like I could (with the Lord’s help) do it the right way and get the results I’ve been wishing for.  And isn’t it the truth that our children have the greatest power to develop God-like attributes in us … if we will let that happen?  I’m going to work on this.

I might buy some boxing gloves just in case, though.  Unless anyone has a private jet I can borrow.  Anyone?