Last night after our hectic day out, Anna and I sat at the table to get a "little" learning in:) I could tell Anna wanted to do some work but that I couldn't push her too hard....
So she did some fun activities and then I asked her to read our corresponding story and she was making excuses and getting fussy. Finally she said, "Mommy, this is going to take me 41 hours!!"
I knew I had to be gentle but wake her up to the exaggeration of her excuse. At these points MY character is tested.... am I going to fuss at her, be stern, be harsh, or throw in the towel?? Or will I respond in a way that calms the storm??
So I used some humor and exaggeration myself. "Oh, goodness," I responded as I slumped in my chair,"I'll be 100 years old by then!"
Anna stopped, looked up at me and gave me the funniest look. And then she just erupted in laughter and laid her head against me.... so much better than more fussing, crying or even tears. And definitely better than me "loosing my cool" with sharp words of frustration!
Let me also quickly say, that there are times to discipline and correct for whinning and complaining. But doing schoolwork at 8pm, for us, requires mercy, gentleness and a little humor:)