Celebrating Our Successes

By Mary

A while back something ‘mysteriously’ got broken at our house. I narrowed down the suspects to two, but could not get a confession out of either child. This was frustrating for several reasons: first of all I wanted to know who the culprit was, but even more important, I want my children to be truthful.

Both children stubbornly denied the wrong-doing. Finally in a flash of inspiration, I said, “Here’s the deal, kids. I need to know who did this. If neither of you confesses, you will both be spending the afternoon cleaning out the garage. But if the person who did this is honest and confesses, neither of you will get a consequence.”

Ten seconds later, I had an embarrassed confession, much to my relief. I was able to have a serious talk with the guilty party, and I got to thank the child for choosing to tell the truth. It was one of those moments that left me thinking, “Wow, that went well.”

As a mom, I have so many moments when I feel like I am just stumbling along, making it up as I go, that I really need to spend more time dwelling on the things that I do right. Do you have a moment in parenting like the above story? A flash of inspiration that gave you an effective solution to a troubling problem?

I want to hear it.

It can be something as small as getting a baby’s diaper to fit better or as big as supporting a depressed teen, or anything in between. Now’s your chance: brag about a flash of brilliance you had that made you feel like an awesome parent, even if it was only for a few minutes!

Mary is a Mom of 10 blogging at Owlhaven.

14 Responses to Celebrating Our Successes
  1. Courtney
    October 12, 2008 | 8:30 am

    Ahhhhh…the BMM (brilliant mommy moment) i haven’t had one in awhile. I think i have just had a few weeks of dull muddel through days. Oh yea i did have a moment a few months back that still is hsowing its magic today. My kids stopped eating kale after they turned about a year old. So one day a few months, afte ri was so tired of fighting with them to get them to eat the kale, i told them they had to eat their greens so they could grow big muscles like daddy’s. That is all it took. Now they eat their Kale, Collard Greens, and Broccoli (dont know how that got there but it is green)any time i fix it without me even asking. It was a BMM for sure!

  2. feefifoto
    October 12, 2008 | 11:59 am

    First, congratulations on your breakthrough. It’s so important in the case of accidents to help your kids understand that their carelessness is not as important to you as their honesty. You did the right thing.

    One of my favorite mommy achievements is printing all my son’s kindergarten sight words on a labeller and sticking them to the front of our kitchen counter at his eye level. It took the burden off of me to drill his spelling, but I was still able to help him out in a fun way.

  3. Rachel
    October 12, 2008 | 2:35 pm

    Great Idea! We definitely need to focus on our successes more and our failures less. . .its just so easy to do it the other way around!

    One of my weirdest successes lately was getting my toddler to quit being panickingly afraid of the hairdryer. One day I randomly told her that it was a “happy hairdryer”, and ever since then, she gets a big smile and says “HAPPY hairdryer!!” every time she sees it.

    Funny how Mommy Successes often come from using methods that don’t exactly fit in the “logic” category. . .

  4. Guest post | Owlhaven
    October 12, 2008 | 3:44 pm

    […] Owlhaven I’m over at Five Minutes for Mom today. Weigh in over there and share your favorite Brilliant Mommy Moment, OK? Share and […]

  5. Monica
    October 12, 2008 | 4:39 pm

    This week I was shuttling my great aunt home from a hair appointment. I had my 4 & 5 yo girls with me. As we were trying to manuver our gang out of the beauty parlor with my aunt in a wheel chair, I realized I had no hands or shopping carts for the girls to hold onto. So in a split second I thought to have the girls each grab a back pocket of my jeans and we all slowly walked down the sidewalk and throught the parking lot to the car. It worked much better than I could of ever imagined.

  6. Jennifer
    October 12, 2008 | 6:53 pm

    I try to have the consequences fit the punishment, but sometimes that is easier said than done. One particular Sunday morning my ds said he couldn’t find any of his church shirts. I didn’t have time to look for it and just told him to wear whatever. He still hates to wear a shir with a collar.

    Well after lunch that day I went into his closest to find the shirts. I did find them – underneath several toy buckets. I instantly knew that he had hidden them and then lied about it. I also instantly knew an appropriate consequence that I knew would make an impact. He had to wear nothing but his church shirts for a whole week. It was a light bulb moment as to the appropriate consequence and it totally worked.

    Now if that kind of light bulb moment could happen every time I need to give out a punishment I would be good to go.

  7. Heather Bowman-Tomlinson
    October 12, 2008 | 7:39 pm

    My three and a half year old, Acer, has to get up at 6 AM to get ready for the bus at 7:30. We had to get up that early because he was so grumpy he would just sit in his chair and not eat breakfast. I’ve had two BMM’s about this. We now let him get out of bed and come snuggle with us for two snooze buttons, about the same amount of time he would be grumpy, and I hide two animal crackers in his dry cereal to inspire him to eat more quickly once we do get downstairs.
    Heather BT

  8. Carrie
    October 12, 2008 | 10:51 pm

    Hi, Mary! I have a two-year-old son and I have “brilliantly” come up with a solution on how to deal with his tantrums. Hugs! I get down on his level and give him a big, toddler squeeze when he is in the midst of a tantrum and hugging him is the last thing I want to do. It helps to assure him that he’s safe and that I still love him when he doesn’t have the words to express his frustration and it keeps my patience in check. Much to my amazement, the frequency of his tantrums have gone way down! 🙂

  9. Michele
    October 12, 2008 | 11:01 pm

    My Grandma had one….we refused to eat pea soup, and so it became Ninja Turtle fuel. We ate quite a bit of it after that.

  10. Anya
    October 13, 2008 | 6:52 am

    Same as Carrie – I discovered that stepping away from my and her anger during the tantrums of my 3YO worked like a charm. One day I just sat by her on the kitchen floor, holding her close and letting her scream her head off. (I did put in ear plugs before, cause no matter how much I love her, I do not want to pay for it with an hearing aid.) After half an hour or so, she calmed down, hugged me back and said: “Well, that’s that. What shall we do now?”

  11. Allie
    October 13, 2008 | 9:29 pm

    My most brilliant mom moment came 2 days ago. My 1 year old daughter was refusing to eat what was on her plate. So I had her put a bite in my mouth and then I did a “yummy dance” and I picked up a piece and she let me put it in her mouth and then danced around in her chair. We went back and forth and while I had to eat some of her food…she also ate some of her food…her most hated green beans. Yay Me!!

  12. Lynne
    October 14, 2008 | 1:15 pm

    Our then 5 yeard old picked up the lovely habit of eye rolling(Something I thought I had at least 5 years before deling with). Well, after about the third time one morning, I said “You know, there is something on the ceiling that you must really want to see, so for the next 10 minutes You need to sit in a chair and look at the ceiling until you figure out what it is and can look at Mommy when she talks to you.”
    No more eye rolling! and NO FRUSTRATION FOR ME! YAY!!!

  13. Janice (5 Minutes for Mom)
    October 15, 2008 | 12:50 am

    What a great idea Mary!

    Hmm…. trying to think of a success story… I remember earlier today, I thought to myself, “good job, Janice – that was a good parenting moment.” BUT I can’t remember WHY!!! LOL

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