Saturday, July 7, 2012

Michelle Duggar's Methods

I know there is some controversy about the number of children the Duggars have, but I find the show fascinating because of the calmness the parents consistently show.  It seems like the parents never scream or "lose it" with the kids.

I was also forever amazed with them when I watched their reaction to the premature birth of Josie, who was only 22 ounces at birth and had an uphill battle just to live.  When all of Josie's siblings were brought into the NICU to see her for the first time, many cried because she was so tiny.  When Catherine was in the NICU, she was a full term baby who happened to have complications.  But the majority of the babies there were tiny, and looked very non-human.  Josie's siblings were shocked and saddened when they first met their tiny sister.  Jim Bob, their father, said "There is no need to cry.  Josie is exactly what and how God wants her to be."  I have had that thought with Catherine many times.  I know God could miraculously fix Catherine or have prevented her from having all these complications.  I have often wondered why she would have so many medical challenges.  The only answer I have ever come up with is that God wants her that way.  I was so pleased to see Jim Bob Duggar teach his children (as well as the television viewers) that same truth.

In the book A Love That Multiplies, the mother Michelle writes about what happens when she ignores her children's misbehavior.  She writes that if her child misbehaves and she is making breakfast, she may ignore the behavior.  Ten minutes later the child will misbehave and she may still be busy, so she may ignore it again.  Without correction, the child will likely continue to misbehave and frustrate Michelle.  When she finally addresses the issue, she may be short tempered and overreact. 

She writes that she tries to address misbehavior the second it occurs, so it doesn't escalate or annoy her.  But, when she does feel like overreacting, she says to the child "God never intended me to be so frustrated with you.  I should have talked to you when you did X, and then when you did Y.  I should not have waited until you did Z and am mad at you.  I apologize for not helping you with your behavior earlier today."

What a mature, calm way to deal with our children's annoying behavior!!  I, of course, am in the same situation with my kids all the time.  I tolerate certain misbehavior because I do not feel like disciplining them at that moment.  I reason with myself that their misbehavior is fairly minor and I do not need to correct every single thing they do.  Yet, their misbehavior will continue and likely escalate.  So will my frustration level.  So when I do respond, it will likely not be pretty. 

I like Michelle's approach, where she takes some of the responsibility for her short temper.  She also reinforces with her children her role in correcting her children's behavior.  This helps them not have anger towards her, understanding that she should correct their behavior.

This post was inspired by A Love That Multiplies by Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar.

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