Every Friday we will share some ideas on how to improve your family values or life. The hope is that as you end a busy week and enter the weekend with your family that you can reflect on these ideas and connect as a family through them. If you ever come across something you think would be great to share, please share with us on our Contact Us page:
I’ve mentioned before that we fostered two brothers for six months. Those six months were impactful in so many ways…sometimes I think for us more than them. As I mentioned their language skills were a little behind and we really focused on trying to help them develop their speech. But we also wanted to help them with respectful language. Their answers were filled with lots of “yeahs”, “yups”, “nopes”, “nahs” and “umms”. We figured out they were hiding their shortcomings in language with using these short words and also trying to control the conversations.
Well our boys loved to talk, even if it was half sentences and a lot of made up words (as most kids do)! They tried to tell us all kinds of things about their lives before coming to live with us; or how they were better than each other; or fill in the day with imaginary things that some kids their ages never imagined. So we came up with a way to deter any unwanted words in our house….Two Minutes of No Talking. If ANYONE said any of the offending words then there was no talking for 2 minutes for that person. At first they didn’t understand the concept of minutes so we would show them on a clock how long it was and they would sit there and watch the second hand moving around waiting and waiting…all while their brother got to talk and enjoy conversation with us.
In the beginning it was so hard for them, they would start to talk and we would reset the time. Time sometimes dragged on 2, 4, 8, 12 minutes. It was also tough on us from a parenting point of view but we stayed the course and it got much easier. Eventually, it turned into a fun game for them both as they tried to get the other one to say a certain word. Slowly, through the six months, we realized we didn’t have as m uch silence in house and it was filled more and more with encouraging and thoughtful words and stories, but most importantly laughter WITH one another.
Our Family Friday Challenge is to think about a challenge in your home, maybe action(s) or word(s) that could be addressed with a Two Minute Game. Maybe it is like ours where you stop talking or maybe you have to stand on one leg or cannot leave a room for two minutes. But the idea is to address the behavior with something impactful and challenging, but not in a demeaning or damaging way.
What challenge areas do you have in your home? How do you think you can address them? What are some other fun “games” you can play to deter bad behavior?