I am going to be writing a bit more about what our family is made up of. For starters, this is my second marriage. Three of the kids are from my first marriage, and the other four are from this marriage.
We entered the teenage years 4 years ago, and though we both love teenagers, we are being hit with things we just aren't sure how to handle. So we decided that we would find a class to take so we are a class at the Child and Family Support Center that focuses on Step-families. It is a class funded through the university by the government.
So far we have mainly heard the same things we heard in the Marriage and Family course we took Sundays during Sunday School.
The main thing I would stress is to communicate with your children. And not just about how was your day. Get feelings into it. "I am upset when you aren't where you said you would be." "I feel sad when your share of the chores don't get done." Then listen to what they are saying, and repeat it back to make sure you are understanding them. "I just want to hang out with my friends." "You just want to hang out with your friends?" "Yes." "I am the only one who does anything around here." "You are the only one who does any chores around the house?" "Yes."
Then there was another thing we discussed that I disagreed with. You'll have to let me know your opinion. We discusses anger management. There was one family where the father was having a hard time with the kids yelling and throwing tantrums with out any punishment attached. The point was made that you should let them throw tantrums. That it is appropriate for children to throw fits. Then one of the women said that you can't expect the children to act any better than you yourself would act. That is when I spoke up.
Now, in our 8 years of marriage I have heard Tony raise his voice only maybe 5 times. He may get angry, but he doesn't express it in that way. He will get the kids attention in other ways. If you are being dangerous, if you are being disrespectful, if you are hurting another person, he will get your attention in another way. Usually by getting in their personal space. By looking them in the eye. By picking them up. He will talk to them about what they have done wrong and what the punishment is for this action.
He has this saying. "Be happy 'cuz Christ lives." Does it really matter? Is this going to ruin someones salvation? Pick your battles. How important is it? Kids make messes, break things, get all the toys out. Teach them what is okay to do, then help them clean up their messes. If they are in one of those moods, put them in their room, the back yard, or buckle them in their high chairs so that you can gain control of the messes.
For example, Katia will hit her sister. Daddy will pick her up, tell her that hitting is not acceptable, and that she will have to sit on the stool for 3 minutes, then say "sorry" for hurting her sister, followed by a hug from Katia to her sister, and from Daddy to Katia.
Now, I didn't always express my anger in the way I should have. But I have learned from DH how to control myself. And I expect the kids will do the same. We do not feel tantrums are okay. If you are throwing a fit, then you need to go to your room until you calm down.
Some tips they did give us for calming down are:
Go for a walk.
Ride your bike.
Count to 10 (or 20, or 30, or...).
Talk about it with a person you trust who is a good listener.
Take a bath or shower.
Do something that helps you calm down. Watch the sun set, gaze at the moon, sit by a lake.
Say "I am angry because..."
Write a letter or in your journal.
Draw, paint, or sculpt.
Listen to relaxing music. (Don't listen to "angry" sounding music, or watch movies. These usually will not help to soothe.)
DS age 11 made a bottle with oil and colored water. You shake it and watch the colors separate while you settle down. A great idea.
So, tell me your opinion. Should you just let your children throw fits? Should there be a punishment attached? How do you teach them to control their tempers? How do you control your temper?