Wednesday, March 16, 2011


So, we have the hit phase of life that is ever so widely known as the terrible twos.  So far, I do not think there is anything terrible about it.  Is it hard some days?  YES!  Do we have some power struggles in our house with our strong-willed child?  SURE!  But I love this age!  There, I said it!  It is so so fun to watch an inquisitive little toddler just soak up life like a sponge!  I mean, she takes in EVERYTHING!  She repeats everything.  She can do just about anything...that she wants to do!
Back in September, Michelle Duggar spoke at our first MOPS meeting.  Although I do not fully agree with her on some of their family and parenting philosophies, she had a lot of great insight into parenting...especially discipline.  If anyone would know....she would!  What is the count right now?  19 Kids?!?!  I must say, she is the MOST soft spoken woman and you can tell that it is truly her heart's desire to train her children in the way they should go!  For that, I admire her and can definitely learn from her!
She spoke about instilling Godly character in your children.  Which just happens to be the desire of my heart! 

Michelle gave out this handout that shows the operational definitions of character qualities. I really liked the way each one was defined. Here are a couple of examples:
Contentment-realizing that God has provided everything I need for my present happiness.
Punctuality-Showing high esteem for other people and their time 
Patience-Accepting a difficult situation from God without giving Him a deadline to remove it.
That is just a few...there are 49 of them. I just really think it makes you think of those words in a different way.  Couldn't we all learn a little from some of these?!?!  I know I could work on each one of those qualities in my daily life.

She also said that the three she felt were most important to emphasize with her children were:
1. Attentiveness. She said that she always has her children look her in the eyes before she talks to them to show that they are listening to her.  I try to use this with Cilla and it makes all the difference in the world!  Michelle said that when you have a child's eyes and ears, you can get into their hearts.  I am definitely I believer in this now after putting it into action!
2. Self-Control. She said it doesn't do any good for them to be attentive if they don't follow through with self-control and of course...
3. Obedience. She said obedience needs to be instant, cheerful, thorough, and unconditional. Wouldn't that be awesome!  We are still a work in progress on this one.  But in our house we believe that we should set the bar high and expect great things from Cilla.  
I thought it was was interesting that she referred to "correcting" as "encouraging".  She also pointed out that rather than lifting up our children with praises such as "You are such a little Princess" or "You look so pretty" she challenged us to look deeper and praise them on their character qualities!  Tell them that we love how they were kind to their friends or how wonderfully they respected their teachers.  WOW!  I have lots to work on.  I want to share some more of the qualities sometime.  It is my goal to try to incorporate a couple every couple of weeks in my time at home with Cilla.
As an overall philosophy on life, Michelle said that as a parent, you have to "choose joy" even on the rough days. She is spot on!  It is a choice and we have to make it daily!

Here a few pics of the day with the Duggars.  
The camera crew was there and some of the footage actually was aired.  It was funny to watch as the room was scanned- to see a room full of my friends!
I was a little too embarrassed to get my picture with her so, I borrowed some friends' pictures!  Her oldest girls were also there and played their violins.  It was beautiful music.
My friends, Sara and Jenna with some of the Duggar girls
Sydney and Sara with Michelle Duggar


The Allens said...

I am loving this age, too! I am so glady ou were brave enough to admit it. :)

Unknown said...

I am loving this age too, too. I read the above comment.
Mrs. Duggar spoke at our church once but I didn't get to attend because I had strep throat. Stupid strep throat. Anyway, I bet she was great.
I loved this post. I am definitely going to starting using some of these techniques.

Linds said...

I have a love hate relationship with this age. Sometimes I think "please don't grow anymore" and sometimes I think "oh my word. I may not make it to your 3rd birthday. haha! I did appreciate Michelle's words. Have you read Don't Make Me Count to Three yet? SO good. Similar to Michelle's philosophy... getting to the heart of the matter. And good applications for strong willed children :)

Janette @ The Johanson Journey said...

Love this post... I have to totally be more diligent about doing the whole eye contact thing! I would love to have picked Michelle's brain. Did anyone ask, "are you crazy" to have so many little people!? heh... wild!

Unknown said...

Thanks for posting. We are doing a Bible Study right now called "Effective Parenting in a Defective World." by Chip Ingram Really good stuff and videos are wonderful...high recom. for a church group etc. I'm sure Flint remembers doing character qualities at Kankauk...I enjoyed doing this and learning them there.

TulipGirl said...

Two is such a fun age! Seriously, one of my faves. (Though, really, now that mine are all big -- so much fun, still!)

Just an FYI, the pdf you linked to is from ATI / Bill Gothard, who is known for misusing the Bible. I think that the character quality definitions can be encouraging -- but so easily take our focus off of our need for Christ and put our focus on performing for God/others.