Thursday, December 17, 2009

Teaching VS Yelling

I was just returning an email to someone & I felt inspired to start writing my post for tomorrow. (It is still Wednesday, even though you are reading this on Thursday. I am sneaky.) I know that this blog is titled, "Women's MARRIAGE Ministry" but I want to talk about something today that I think helps our marriages by helping us personally, helping our children, & therefore also helping our marriages. Really, anything that helps us personally, will have a positive effect on our marriage relationship, right? So from time to time we may talk about other things that could help our self image, parenting, etc. 

At the end of last quarter the kids brought home their report cards. Allyson's had a note saying that she needed to be more focused on completing her homework. Apparently, she had been missing a decent number of assignments. Now, every single day I ask Ally what she has for homework, & before bed I ask if it was all done. This is without fail, every day. So, you can imagine my surprise when I saw this note. We sat down Allyson & told her that this is not acceptable & there would be a punishment if we saw a note like this again. We asked her why she wasn't completing her homework & we got her "regular" answer of, "I don't know." We reiterated that this better not happen again.

Fast forward to last week. The kids got their mid-quarter reports. Although Allyson had brought up almost every single grade by a letter, there was a note. Any guesses? "Allyson needs to turn in all assignments." It appears that they had a reading wheel assignment where she was to read 4 books & she only did two. I was steaming mad. She knew the rules, yet she didn't care. (at least in my mind) I asked her why she didn't get this  work done & she just sat there. I asked her if being on the computer or watching TV was getting in the way. She said, "yes". Well, that shocked me. LOL I reminded her that I ask her every day if she has homework or if she is done. I asked her if she is lying to me every day. She said, "Yes." She knew at that moment that she did wrong. I told her that I would have to discuss this with Adam & we would talk to her after dinner. This was a BIG move for me because I hate punishing the kids & I knew that Adam would probably be harder on her than I would. But, in my journey to be a better wife & to show that Adam & I are a united front, it was necessary.

We sat at the table & came up with all of the normal punishments. No computer, no TV, more chores, etc. Then I remembered that type of punishment NEVER taught me anything. My dad would scream, yell, make me feel like crap dirt, & the only thing that I got out of it was hating him. I did my punishment & then often violated the same rule again. I didn't learn. How could I? Nobody was really teaching me.

Adam had a great idea. First, Allyson would have to apologize to her teacher for not completing the work that she assigned to her that would help her learn. We explained that it is her teacher's job to teach her & it is important to her. Not doing her assignments might show her that you don't care about her job or her investment in your education. This killed Ally & she cried about the thought of it all night. I told her if it upset her that much, then she just might work harder to not have to go through this again. She also had to ask her teacher if she could still complete the work & get credit. If not, we were going to make her do it anyway. Thankfully, her teacher is going to give her partial points.

Adam also found a solution instead of just a useless punishment. The yellow notebook. Ally is now required to write in this notebook every single day. Every single assignment MUST be written. She is not to cross it off until it is totally 100% complete. If there is a longer assignment that lasts for several weeks, she still has to write it every single day until it is done. No excuses. This will give her organization & will eliminate her saying that she forgot about the work when her next report card comes. This conversation took about an hour of patience, understanding, & care. Obviously, yelling & punishing could have taken a lot less. We realized that night that we have to teach our children how to be better, not just yell at them when they aren't. If we don't teach them, who will?

So, this got me thinking tonight. How many times do we yell at our husbands for the same things, over & over? How many times do they yell at us? We end up hating them & they end up hating us, just like when we cursed our parents under our breath when we were little. Maybe hate is an extreme word but it doesn't feel any better in my heart than resentment or dislike. It is still terrible & not an appropriate way to love & respect each other. Maybe we need to sit down & teach each other how to make us happy. What YOU think makes him happy may not matter at all. I could do 100 things for Adam each day, but if I leave out the one thing that really mattered, I have failed. Haven't you ever felt that way? Have you ever yelled at your husband for doing things for you, but forgetting one thing? Maybe he didn't know that you needed that one thing the most. Maybe we hurt his spirit when he did those other things & they weren't good enough for us. Maybe that is why he doesn't do anything anymore. He is going to get yelled at anyway so why even bother.

We need to show him how we like the counters cleaned, how to fold the towels, or where to put the groceries. He is doing it all wrong because he hasn't been taught. Of course, you need to teach him in a non-threatening or aggressive way. Let him know how much you appreciate his help & that you are so sorry for yelling in the past. Ask him if he would mind if you show him how you like it to help you not find unnecessary fault in him. Let him know that you have realized this terrible flaw in yourself & that you are going to work on it. You just might need his help, grace, & prayers. Ask him what you could be doing better for him. He may not give you a list just yet because he doesn't trust that a confrontation won't break out. Give him time. Be sure that when he does ask you to do something for him, that you ask if there is a specific way that he likes it done.

Be thankful for his help, his want to help us, & his courage to "try" to do it the "right" way. Or should I say our picky, obsessive compulsive way? Just like Ally didn't ignore those assignments to upset her teacher or upset us, your husband doesn't help you just to upset you. He helps to help & to make you happy. Lets all vow to appreciate that a little more than we do today. It will probably result in a lot more help. :)

Day Thirteen - 

"I am my beloved's, & his desire is toward me." (Song of Solomon 7:10)

The sexual relationship. It's one of those elements - along with money & children - that can derail a marriage through negative comments. Negativity destroys intimacy, but encouragement builds & strengthens the marriage bond. 

Let's get practical here. Is your husband a "good lover"? Have you told him so? Be specific. Let him know what pleases you. (teaching him the "right" way) Most husbands genuinely want to please their wives, especially in this important area of marriage. Especially if your satisfaction will lead to more intimate moments for them as well. 

In moments of intimacy, do you find your mind wandering? This can change as you focus on something wonderful about your husband. Realize that your husband wants intimacy with you....his desire towards you.

Does this area of your marriage need some work? Remember, that this is a sensitive area for men. Be sure to encourage his lovemaking & masculinity in positive ways. 

Day Thirteen Prayer - 

Pray that your husband will yield his sexual drive to the Lord & practice self control. Pray that your sexual intimacy together will be fresh, positive, & a reflection of selfless love. (Proverbs 5:15, 18; 1 Corinthians 7:3; Song of Solomon 7:10)

Aimee Freeman


Debbie said...

Aimee, your words are so so true...I find myself now trying so hard not to yell at my nearly 4 year old. I suffer from anixety issues and find sometimes it just gets on top of me. I am finding so much that kids really really do respond so much better to calm non yelling voices especially when you explain things out to them.

I had found myself in the past saying to richard not to worry about doing something around the house as i should do it and he had had a hard day at work. I am finding after actually listening to him that it helps him relax doing housework.

Michelle said...

I love this blog! While I do not always identify with everything you write about, I do always identify with something. Thanks for the great work!

thorney said...

Aimee, you and Adam have some great ideas for helping your daughter get through school and learn responsibilty and respect. Good job.

Blessings, Mari

TJsMommy said...

This post is awesome and was something i needed to read at this time.

I am at fault for yelling at my 5year old A LOT. Whether it's me expecting more out of him, my patience wearing thin, or something else - he doesn't deserve to be yelled at for silly things that go wrong. I am going to make it a point today to apologize to him, and make sure the yelling stops.

As for the chores and hubby helping - lol - you hit the nail on the head for me there. Hubby has even said in the past that he wont do a certain chore b/c i just go behind him and re-do it. I have gotten furiated with him b/c it wasn't done "my way"...I am definetely going to apologize for those past actions and see if he'll allow me to teach him my way...i mean the right way ;)

Thanks again, Aimee!!

Tammy On the Go said...

I grew up in a family that used yelling and shame, my parents loved me but it was an "old school" training. I am trying to be a "grace based" parent. To extend the same amound of Grace to them that my Father gives to me...but also discipline, correct and lead them...boy is it tough. YOu both did a great job showing your daughter a united front...thanks for your wisdom.

roadrunner201 said...

As a "retired" middle school teacher (retired to be a stay at home mom) may I suggest that you might want to consider having your daughter bring the yellow notebook to the teacher to put her initials and that it be written in pen? I just bring this up because we used to use this with some of our students and if the motivation to NOT do the homework was high enough, a few of them would try to erase assignments.


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