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A bent nail

To two certain little children my name is "mom" but to the rest of the world my name is Spring, unless you are my husband and who only calls me random nicknames. He's stuck on Spring Drops right now, much better than Springclops, I didn't like that one so much.

Last week I attended a funneral of a wonderful lady. Her 9 children spoke and they all talked about her amazing nurturing abilty, her way of making anything fun, her great shot with a gun, and her love for her children and grandchildren. I tried to describe her to someone and the best description I could give was "She was a mom." Sometimes I try really hard to define myself as more than just a wife and mom, but I walked away from that beautiful funeral with the overwhelming feeling that the best description and label you could give someone is a "mom." 

Change of subject

Before I had children I worked with children with developmental disabilites and then with children with special emotional and behavior problems. The later was the hardest, because most of the children were a product of their environment. One certain young man had it rough. He had a violent temper and was big for his age. After about a week at work I had no idea how to handle this young man. The therapist explained to me that postitive reinforcement worked wonders on him. I rememeber thinking "I can't think of one positive thing I could say to this boy." But one day it happened. He was the only one sitting and I quickly said, "Everyone look at how well Sam (name has been changed) is sitting, can you guys try sit like him." Imidiatly Sam's shoulders came up and he looked a little more proud. The rest of the day I ignored his little acts of disturbance and quickly praised any good behavior and by the end of the day he followed me around asking what he could do to help. I couldn't believe it. It wasn't always that way. Some days were rough but this kid blossomed under positive words. I have seen this method work over and over again on the hardest, most stubborn children. Their hard, protective shell falls off under kind words of encouragement, but the catch is, you have to mean the words you say. They aren't dumb, they have to know you mean it.

My mom often said this quote "A child is like a bent nail, you get more with a pat on the back, than a thump on the head." This is a handout that could be used for teachers, parents, etc.

While children need structured discipline, their self worth is built at home. 

Being a parent is a teeter-totter of being physically exhausted (especially in the early years) to being emotionally exhausted. Doubting every decision big and small.

And while I fail miserable over and over again, and have given my children more thumps on the head (figuratively, of course) than I should have, I try remember this quote "you get more with a pat on the back, than a thump on the head." So very true.