Weekly Virtue: Recap Restraint, Prep Courage or Fortitude

The week started with me yelling at my daughter to go faster, finish her meal, get her boots on, stop fussing about the wrinkle in her sock, and generally stop slowing things down.

Definitely something I need to cut back on, but restraint is nothing without something to replace the old behaviour.

Greene’s book The Explosive Child came back to mind. It was a good book. The premise is that when a child starts reacting, either by fighting or withdrawing, everyone has lost. The goal is to sidestep that reaction, or, failing that, shorten it. Then you can discuss it, bring up both people’s concerns, and come up with a plan. That’s only what I remember. We’ll go to the library this weekend.

I’ve put what I remember into practice, and it’s helping. A calm voice for “I’m worried that if you stop every time your sock slips we’ll be late,” or “It’s faster if I get that, may I?” usually gets a better response than telling her there’s no time. The total time of one more sock fix then running is less than a sock fix while moving and dragging her feet while crying.

Still need to work on restraint when replying to blogs. Too many cases of “one more sentence” or “Yes, the timer buzzed, but the way this is written overstates the case.” Must learn to either send or delete when the timer goes. Also helps if I actually set the timer.

I’ve also been bad about skipping the computer until the housework is done. Both times I had an excuse, but it still leads to more messing around on the internet than progress on the housework.

My life doesn’t appear to need Courage or Fortitude at the moment, beyond the seasonal routine. We’re a lucky family. All of the relatives are flexible about dates, and the excitement is spread over several small events.

Let’s hope nothing unusually stressful happens to change the routine.

I go mostly internet-free over the holiday. Not totally, but my parents have a painfully slow connection, and the kids usually want my attention. It’s nice to reconnect with non-internet life.

My normal schedule will resume sometime during the first week of January.

Hope your holidays are wonderful!

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