Friday, November 16, 2012

Advice: Sister Lucille Erickson

Hi there! It's me again. :)  As you're expecting (after reading my title), I have requested the knowledge of another of my mother's (and my) friends for the object of making wise the up-and-coming generation of mothers. This time, I have focussed on child training!
Sister Lucille is a Mom of three young people (they're nearly grown, so I daren't call them "children") Nathan, Lauren and Justin. She also serves as a faithful wife to her husband, Brian. Hope you enjoy her! Do leave us a comment, won't you?
Hello Anna, I feel honored that you would ask, but I know for sure that I know nothing except what wisdom the Lord has graciously imparted or learned from experience. So all glory to Him.
The easiest way for me to start is taking your questions and going from there. Maybe will insert other things as I think of them, or may do this in sections as things come to mind because of something jogging my memory.
I know that creating a Godly atmosphere in your home is incredibly important with how the children act, etc. How do you go about that?
Letting the life live through us at all times is the greatest way to keep an atmosphere, also keeping godly music playing, listening to a Message, praying/singing with the children, or by yourself...just keeping God in mind throughout the day in all you just happens. Sometimes when I listen to a Message and It speaks to me, I just can tell the atmosphere around me is different...the quickening of that Word in my life.
How do you deal with fussing/how does one go about preventing it? That is hard to cover as a blanket because it comes about in many different ways. With young children is it impossible to keep it from happening...or preventing it, but the person in charge has to keep positive in all situations. Like when sharing becomes a problem, everyone wants life to be fair...sometimes you can make things fair without making a big deal about it and other times you have to teach them that life isn't always fair to us, but we have to be tough and get through it. Finding something to teach in every situation is very important. We want to plant all the seeds we can.
When they fuss from boredom, give them something to do. Let them know how working together as a family makes a happy family. I wish I would have started even younger in having them help in all things be an everyday event not just when it was mine/or their idea. Everything takes much longer, doesn't get done as good, but when they are young and want to please and get used to being at your side with all chores, it makes them more responsible and less fussing over chores later on. Always making them feel like they are doing a big part and being a great help. I always fixed things if could do it without them knowing or seeing because I remember a lady telling me she grew up thinking she could never do anything right because her mother would fix everything she tried to do.
How do you go about training your children? (Giving them a choice, giving them discipline, leaving them to work it out?)
That's a tall order and so much ground to cover...praying for daily wisdom is best school I know. I don't believe in giving kids choices all the time. Sometimes it comes in handy to can have "this" or "that"...but not...what do you want, do you want to do your chores, do you want to ?? What I mean is that a child is not wise enough or have experience enough to make wise decisions and they need the parent to be in control...however, the balancing factor of that is giving them some choices so they can learn to think things through, decide some things, or even learn consequences to bad choices (i.e. play now, work later or work now, play longer...teach them that playing after work is done means they don't have to think about the chores waiting on them and can play more enjoyably) Can't think of a specific example at this time. All our parenting has to be balanced...too much of anything, even if it's good could have a bad side too....all work and no play is not good, however too much play and not work is not good either and making work fun teaches good things too.
Sometimes if I felt they could come up with someway that would work on their own instead of using me to be their judge and jury all the time is I would have them sit on opposite sides of the room and they were not allowed to get up and play again until they could discuss and decide how to deal with sharing or the problem that they had while they were at play when things went bad. When they came up with the answer to fix their problem, I would hear it out and if I thought it would work and it usually always did...I told them I was proud of them for figuring out how to make it work so that they could both be happy in playing again taught them alot.
The time for discipline is when they do something that they know is wrong, or disobeyed, disrespect, etc...sometimes allowing a consequence for wrong choices, etc is good too so they can learn that following rules and obeying are important.
How do you build a good relationship with your children? This is very important because you can punish, correct, etc and if have no relationship then you are creating rebellion sometimes in their heart. They need to see grace sometimes, they need to know that they are more important to you than your work. There were times when we had lots of guests and busy days and they would be fussy or grumpy and when would ask for me to read or play with them...I would remember how they had been put on back burner. I would tell them that I had a lot of work to do, but they were more important to me than that work...I didn't mind losing a little sleep and play with them for now instead. It was a way to remind them that though life got busy for a little while, they were still more important and I loved knowing that they knew that. When it was crazy and I had so much to do, I would try and warn them ahead of time and see if I could incorporate them into being my big helper...sometimes just giving them a useless job to make them feel important and needed, but mainly to keep them busy and out of the way so I could speedily get things ready. Whenever I could in between, I would hug, reaffirm...whatever I could manage to do. It definitely isn't easy and some days you feel sick or no energy, but if you know they need it, you just go ahead and be there for them, fix a snack (if one of their love language is food) etc. Nathan was my reader/talker, so after the other two younger ones were in bed, me and him would stay up awhile and read/talk. Lauren love to be held and read to or just spend time with her, so I would have to leave my work and see what she made or sit on floor and play with her...just spending that quality time with her would make the world wonderful again for her. Justin loves food and hugging or doing things for him when he was little would make the world right again. You learn what they need to feel special to you as they grow and that is creating a relationship with them...something you share with them.
Do you believe it's important to play with your children, or do you feel that working with/training/teaching them in the every-day setting is enough? Oh I think it's just as important to play with them as teaching and training. You can't be successful at the work and training part of it if you don't have the play time too...that doesn't mean it has to be given the same amount of time as work...just that you do it, share laughs, games, life, wonders...etc. For instance, I always tried to make sure sitting around the table a positive experience. You never brought up negative situations, or bad things that happened during the day, or griping about isn't good for the digestive system for one thing but the meal time is the time to let all else go and share each others day of accomplishments, stories, laughs...focus on each other and be a family and make memories at that table. To be realistic, it wasn't always that way, but that was our goal. Some days if there was something very sad, like a death of someone in church, or something that effects you...hard to be happy when so many are suffering...but you just can't help but eat more quietly during those times...but what I'm saying is the goal to make meal times electronic free and share positive things with your family and care about one another while you eat together.
Do you think it is necessary to teach children patience by not giving them what they ask for immediately, or do you feel that it better to meet their needs as soon as they are voiced? That depends...I think there are plenty of times to teach them patience in many different ways, but there is definitely a danger in giving to them each and every time they have a desire. There's a time to say no and have a reason and there are times that they have to learn to trust you and except your no without an explanation. I think you just keep all ways of teaching and training in mind to keep it BALANCED. To much of anything is not good. There's a time to show grace...let them know they deserve a punishment, but you are going to give them grace like God does for us sometimes, and then the next time there is punishment. There is a time to give to them right away when there is a need and other times to teach them a little patience.
Also Bro. Branham mentioned about mothers letting their babies cry and cry, and how it would create neurotics. That comforted me when people got on my case for not letting my babies cry. However, I did learn when they were crying or just fussing it out. Some I was able to teach to go to sleep by themselves, others I was not able...maybe I didn't do something right, but I couldn't handle them crying hard or that broken hearted cry. One just needed to hold my hand and would go right to sleep. I don't know whether that was right or not, but I couldn't handle the other. I think it's safe to let them fuss it out if that is all they do and usually doesn't last long. We want to be aware and make sure our babies are fed, warm or cool enough, dry diapers, etc and then there is no need for them to fuss except when tired and we can tend to them in such a way that we don't spoil them and teach them to cry for everything.
What's your view on letting babies cry through the night vs. getting up to feed/change/etc. them? I got ahead...Ha! As for getting up and feeding them in the night, that is a given when they are for later on, I would still change them if they were really wet or dirty, maybe give them some water, but I avoided rewarding them with food unless they were very young and I knew they were going through a growing spurt and was still only nursing. Some mothers start feeding foods sooner, rather than later, but for me I think it's best to give them our own natural food until 6 months if can. Each mother has to decide for herself, but for me I figured God knew what He was doing and also breastfeeding longer helps get rid of built up fat from pregnancy, bonds you and the child all the more, etc. At six months their immune system kicks in and they tend to get sick easily to build it up. I always tried to do as much naturally,in feeding them, as I could, staying away from sugars ('cept natural sugar in fruit), much salt, other ingredients...but each baby is different and some are very sensitive in their tongues and you have to put a bit of salt in something to help them take it. I would use natural sea salt. I liked cooking my own and blending it myself, however, you have to be realistic when traveling and take along some jars or something. With my first one, I had time to make my own, freeze or whatever I needed for travel as well as freeze up extra breast milk for times it was needed when they weren't in a growing spell and nursing as frequently. With each child I had less time and so I did what was necessary for functioning better with ease.
Do you have anything in particular that would really help future mothers with raising their children? Anything imperitive that we need to know?
I could come up with a lot of things, but for now I will mention a few...and as other things come to mind, maybe I'll write them to you as I think of them in the near future.
Here are some guidelines that I thought was important based on my observance, etc. I decided that when my boys turned 5, I was going to tell them they were big boys and too old to wear shorts anymore. That got them used to wearing long pants in the heat of the sun at a young age when they weren't thinking on their own to ask "why". It made them feel big to change over, start school, etc. I thought it was a good age to start that and get them to think that way. For my girls, I felt it very important to work with them to sit like a lady, keep dress down, as soon as I knew they could understand. I even came up with code words, so that in the midst of company I didn't have to embarrass her but get the reminder across. I also feel very strongely that you don't change their undies or dress for bed in front of are they to develop a sense of nakedness and realize the importance of keeping dress down if you change them in front of people?  I have seen that over and over... and then the mother wonders why her daughter won't get the idea of keeping her dress down and sitting like a lady. I do know that some girls are harder than others to accomplish this with if they are more energetic, busy or tomboyish, but I still think it's important to work on. I also don't care for girls wearing pants under dresses...especially after they are 2. To me it doesn't look right for one thing, not girly and I think thick tights are just as warm. I remember going to school in just knee highs when cold out. I usually don't get cold if legs are bare when outside for awhile. I wonder if it's because I got used to the cold at a young age. I don't know, but that was something I have always felt strongly about because we lack real ladies like yourself these days. I did have some girly outfits that had blousey pants when Lauren was crawling. I wasn't crazy about those outfits (they were given to me) but they were girly, protected her knees/tights when crawling and served a purpose for everyday.
That's it for now. Thought about relaying Duggars thoughts and training on teaching kids to be quiet and still in church. Maybe another time. Another pet peeve of mine. Ha! But I know that mothers just don't know and since they don't seem to care or ask, my thoughts stay to myself. Ha!
I sure haven't been a perfect Mom and wish I would have had more wisdom when my children were younger, but I guess kids just don't come with a manual on how to raise them. Hope some of these things give you food for thought.



Zoë said...

Wow. so much wisdom :)
I love how you do this Anna!

miss you :)

Lily said...

I wish I would have had this post for a reference when I was raising my children. So many good points and I'm very interested in how she trained her children to be quiet in church. The only thing I ever heard was to turn on a tape at home and hold the child facing forward, whispering quietly in the child's ear if he fussed. It did help with the girls, but not with Mr. Wiggly Worm. (I was never sure if that was because I was playing the piano and he was held by others through part of the service or simply because he was more active.)
Wonderful words of wisdom!

Gracie said...

Wow. This is wonderful advice. It's so important for us girls to know these things before we come to having children. We need to be prepared. Thank the Lord for women like Sister Lucille who will share their wisdom!