No Whining Week Update

On Monday I announced “no whining” week to the world.  Our home was beset with a spirit of grumbling, murmuring, and complaining.  It also had a serious case of the tattles.  Combined with the standard sibling rivalry and summer boredom issues, it was almost too much.  This mom was rapidly losing her happy mom status.   I recognized the complaining spirit as a stronghold in our home, and we’ve attacked it accordingly.

On Monday, we made the Child Training Bible and put it into immediate use.   Nice!  I quickly figured out that part of my frustration as a mom was caused by not knowing what to say when my kids were in need of correction.  I was correcting them, disciplining them, and redirecting them but I knew it wasn’t as effective as I wanted.  Using the CTB gave me immediate relief because I could rely on God’s word to reach my kids’ hearts.

On Tuesday, I made the glitter jar time out thing.  I posted it on my Facebook page if you are curious.  I verified what other moms have said.   Glitter in a glass jar is a bad idea.  We ended up with two glitter jars made in plastic bottles.  One has about a two minute timer, and the other is about three minutes.   Both of them do the same thing for me.  They buy me a brief period of time to collect my thoughts and pray before correcting my children.  Angry children can’t hear very well, so giving my kids a moment to calm down is good for them too.

We’ve worked on scripture when appropriate.  The kids and I are well on our way to having four new verses memorized.  I’ve banned a television show I felt modeled the quippy disrespect that had invaded my child’s mouth.   I spent time examining my personal happiness list and made a few tweaks to my daily routine.  I’m doing my best to remove “unhappiness triggers” where I can.  I continue to focus on thankfulness and gratitude as an antidote to whining.  And I have prayed.  Oh how I have prayed.

Monday was rough.  Giving my kids a “no whining” edict was an invitation for trouble.  I knew that.  I knew they would test me.  Declaring the situation a stronghold publicly was an invitation for trouble too.  I knew that too.  I also knew that God was bigger than all that stuff.  He is bigger than my challenges.

God started by changing my heart.  I knew early Tuesday morning that the heart-change was happening.  That’s when I got up to go to potty in the dark.  I tripped on a pile of my winter socks the kids had left on the floor.  Last week, my response would have been irritation at the mess on the floor.  I would have complained about the extra laundry generated as I (once again) washed winter clothes and put them in storage.  Instead, I smiled at the memory of my kids playing together, using the socks as part of an animal costume.

When my heart changed, my mouth changed.  “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34).  When my mouth changed, my kids hearts changed (OK, it wasn’t just my mouth, God did it).  When their hearts changed, their mouths changed.

It’s Thursday.  In four short days I have seen about a 50% reduction in the whining, grumbling, complaining, arguing, and tattling.  I’m not satisfied with 50%.  I’m pressing on toward the prize.   There’s still far too much “mouth” and not enough “heart” in my home.

I’ll keep using the tools that are working (prayer, CTB, deliberate thankfulness, positive scripture in, removing negative influences).  I will continue to work on being a happier mom that has happier kids.  I’ve figured out how I want to implement that “complaining jar” I wrote about in Monday’s post.   I have a few exercises in mind to hammer home the “no whining and no tattling” message to my kids.  What I’m doing right now is sustainable, and it is getting results.  That makes me happy.

I’d love to know how your week is going.  

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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