Friday, January 8, 2010


[Electronic Withdrawl]
So I have to kids have definitely been going through electronic gaming with drawl this week. A couple times I almost caved into their requests to play 'just once.' But I reminded myself of the way things go when I give in and I stayed strong. Like an alcoholic all my kids seem to need is just one Wii or Computer game and their imaginations and normal brain waves start to turn themselves OFF!! I'm so glad I stuck to it!!

[Our Family Standard]
One thing that helped with getting the kids off the gaming devices without a HUGE fight was the creation of our Martineau Family Standard. I got the idea from Nicholeen Peck who is AMAZING and I was so inspired that Scott and I drafted one for our own family. Our family standard is basically a document that outlines everything we do and do not do as a family. It covers TONS of stuff, and one of the things is covers is our family policy or rules on electronics. It covers computer time including its use for researching, blogging, gaming, etc... We presented and read the whole document to the kids at our New Year Dinner last Saturday. Then we had everyone in the family sign the bottom of the document as a sign that each of us will live by our family standard. It was AMAZING!!

So, my older kids knew what the Family Standard was on Wii, DS, and computer games. It was really interesting comparing the way my kids asked about playing electronics this week vs. other weeks. This week when my two oldest kids tried to ask if they could play a electronic device I would say something like, "What is our Family Standard on that?" or "No, you know what our Family Standard is on that." They would then say something like..."Oh ya," and drop it. My younger kids had a harder time with this logic, but realized that the older kids weren't pushing it and followed their lead. WOO-HOO!! What an amazing break through this was for our family. We've really struggled with the hold electronic gaming had on our kids and this simple, honest, straight forward approach has worked miracles.

One thing I realized I have been struggling with is holding my kids accountable for their chores. I have continued to do their chores for them, and then get frustrated with me and them. So, when we were writing our Family Standard Scott made sure to put something in about that. He wrote this section of our Family Standard:

"Work: People who know how to work hard have a much better chance of accomplishing their mission in this life. Doing your assigned chores will help develop your ability to work, and will also make the load lighter for others. Parent should allow children to develop the ability to work by not taking over their work jobs."

I've really tried to follow this counsel, and its been amazing. I have to admit sometimes, it takes us much longer to get the chores done than I'd like. But we're getting faster each day, and I know the kids will become more skilled and confident as they continue to practice their skill of working.

One fabulous accomplishment we've made in this department has to do with laundry. For some reason my kids have always been a bit overwhelmed when it comes to putting away their clothes. We've been working on this for a while. First I took out all the summer clothes and clothes that were too small out of their closets so it was easier to manage. Then I took time to teach them all what I expected when I asked them to put their clothes away. After a few weeks of teaching them what I wanted I pushed them a bit today. I asked Megan and Jarom to put their own clothes away, and help their younger brothers with their clothes. They did it...with only a slight sigh. I'll take it. So now my laundry room is clean, and it was a painless process. LOVING IT!!

[Loving the feeling in our home!!]
So even though my kids are having slight with drawls from electronic additions I know they are feeling good about the way their are feeling!! Its just awesome to have a house filled with kids who are happy, able to imagine and entertain themselves, and excited to learn.

One example of what this feels like is how spontaneous, happy, playful games are erupting like crazy all over the house. The kids did this before, but now its happening with increased frequency and its just becoming the way we live. Tonight while the kids were waiting for me to take care of the little ones so we could watch our family movie they started playing and laughing in the kitchen together...NOT fighting over the movie, complaining that it was taking to long, or something along those lines. NO they were happily playing in the kitchen and having a wonderful time. I just love how simple true leisure really is. I once heard someone say that true leisure or entertainment isn't about having something or someone outside yourself entertain you, but instead finding something within yourself that brings you joy and satisfaction. I love that!!

The kids and I are LOVING Latin. We don't know much, but we're learning together, laughing a lot, and trying something new. In fact we are having so much fun is CRAZY...yesterday the three of us got to laughing so hard that I almost started crying. What a hoot. After we finished the lesson I started thinking about just how lucky I am to have my kids home with me. What a blessing!!

My 7 year old is so adorable. She has a private blog where she writes down things she learns at school, or random thoughts she wants to share with her family. Today I just LOVED what Megan wrote on her blog about our Latin lessons...

"Here's a couple of things I learned this week. I changed my name to Claudia which is pronounce Clawdia. My mom's new name is Lavinia but you say it LaWEEneAAA. I think that is funny. Jarom's new name is Octavius, but you actually say it OctaWEEus. Isn't that funny. We are studying Latin this year, and so we all gave ourselves Latin names to call each other during our Latin lesson. We even put our Latin names on our Latin worksheet. SO FUNNY!!!"

My second to youngest is such a girl!! Tonight during her bath (which is also the big utility sink in the laundry room) she took a wash cloth and wrapped up her little Dora doll. She said she was putting her baby to sleep. Man I love her cute little girly personality. :)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I'm so excited to see how you're applying Peck's stuff. I'm right behind you!