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Crabbiness and Rats

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Posted on : 5:14 PM | By : Nic | In :

We had a rat climb into our dashboard and eat some wires!  YUCK!  In the middle of the night last night we discovered the intruder.  We knew we had a rodent, so we set some mousetraps.  We kept hearing them go off, but nothing was ever there.  So this time when we heard the snap, we ran up to the trap and there was a HUGE rat.  No wonder the little mousetrap wasn't working. And she was bold, and angry.  She ran back into her hole in the dash while I sat with a hatchet ready to kill her if she came out, while John ran for something to do her in with.  I think we've killed her, but now we have an electrical problem.  The starter isn't working which means our bus (which started up like a dream just a couple of days ago), no longer starts.

I've also been a little crabby.  Sometimes I use my little internet confessional for some parenting accountability and I admit that I have yelled quite a few times this week.  The problem with yelling, however, is that when you yell, you can't listen.  Today we made peace and had a wonderful homeschooling day reading stories, memorizing the Pharaohs of Egypt and the poetry of Longfellow.

I need a new strategy for not yelling when I am frustrated.  It seems as though on those days I am tired they push me harder to make sure I am still consistent.  But I'm only human... and it's tough to be consistent when I haven't had enough sleep and the power goes out because of record-breaking windstorms and rats invade and children start fighting because they've been cooped up in the rain.

We started a little morning ritual... we light a candle and pray for peace and love throughout the day, and express gratitude for what we have.  I am hoping this helps keeps us all mindful that peace is something we make ourselves.

I think that one way that I have interpreted continuum parenting differently from most other continuum parents is the concept of authority.  Most families take what is referred to as a 'non-coercive' approach, where they will never try to coerce their child into any kind of behavior, whether positive or negative.  Often this is exemplified by asking a child something, and if they don't want to do it, then it isn't pushed or forced, and simply dropped.  We, on the other hand, require obedience.  When I read The Continuum Concept, the children of the tribe obeyed unquestioningly and instantly.  They wouldn't dream of simply ignoring a request or simply deciding not to do something an adult asked.  It is true these children are treated as free individuals, and have much more choice and decision making over their lives, but obedience to an adult who says, "Do this," is unquestioned.  This is the kind of authority I am striving to have in my home.  My girls have a heck of a lot of freedom and very little censorship, but we require a few things.  They have to study hard, do some chores every day and learn how to do a good job at it, and go to bed when we say.  We demand that they respect everyone in the family.  That's pretty much it.

Even when we say to go to bed, it is usually pretty late.  We have to say it because they are night owls like us and would have the power to stay up forever, lol.

I mention these things because I was recently watching some parenting styles of some friends, and also watched Away We Go not too long ago.  In the movie they make fun of some kinds of continuum parents, but unfortunately there is some accuracy to their portrayal.  It's funny, too. :)  Anyway, lots of children I have met who are parented this way are very mature and calm and wonderful.  Many are also out of control and desperately seeking some boundaries.  This is because each child has different needs, and that's what continuum parenting is all about.  My girls want me to give them the responsibility of fulfilling a demand, which both puts me in a leadership position and makes them feel in control as well.

At the same time they want to choose to wear pajamas all day and wake up in the middle of the night to hear about the rat, and that's fine with me.

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