Sunday, September 18, 2011

4 to 1

years ago the teacher and i worked at a residential home for children. we moved there when are oldest blessing was six months old. and we had been married three months. we had moved from michigan to illinois and left all of our support system. let me just tell you. this is not the way to start your marriage or your parenting experience. yet we needed to move where the jobs were and so we packed up and off we were.

its really every young moms dream. to move away from your sisters and your mom to a house with 12 teenage boys. yep 12. 12 at risk hormone driven boys. they had been living in these homes either for a better education. social skills. behavior issues. or family situations that they couldn’t control. however they got there they were part of our home. they became a piece of our family.they came from all circumstances and parts of the world. but for five years that we were there they changed who we were.these 12 boys along with others we cared for along the way taught us to be different parents. different people.

one of the main things that we did while living there is teaching social skills. it may seem like an odd thing to teach. however you wouldn’t believe how many children even adults i encounter that lack social skills. what is appropriate. what is respect. what is feedback. what is accepting feedback. what is saying thank you. what is boundaries. what is accepting consequences. i was even more aware of the lack of social skills after we left there. people. kids . who live in stable families. go to great schools. have every opportunity in the world have less manners than those who came from nothing. its really sad.

when we were trained to start working there one of the main things we learned was the 4:1 ratio. for every one correction or negative interaction you have with a child they need four positive comments. four things verbally spoken to them about who they were. what they did. who you see them to be. and today this got me thinking. about where i am today. for every negative comment i make to my blessings. to my teacher. to myself. am i making four positive comments. am i spending more of my day praising or pulling down? am i spending my moments building up or pulling away from who they are?

i know that i know that i know that children. people. do better when built up. when told who Christ sees them to be. i know that my blessings have such a better day when i remind them constantly that they are amazing children of the King. and my teacher is a better husband. dad. person. when he is told what man of God is turning out to be.

the teacher and i worked. lived. changed. for five years. five long. hard. years.we loved these boys. we cried with them. cheered for them. taught them. consequenced them. they left us laughing at times so hard. and when our time to leave came. our hearts broke. but i know. i know that even if for a short time. they knew they were loved. and that i am positive of.


Robin Dodd Photography said...

You are one of the coolest chicks I know.. Have I said Lately that I am better in this world knowing your out there.., I wish we lived closer!

Trish said...

I have one of those boys in my home. I needed this reminder today, thank you.