Michelle Duggar, the mother on TLC’s 19 Kids and Counting, recently spoke at a conference where she shared some of her parenting wisdom. Even if you’re not a fan of the show or of her, she has done an amazing job at raising well-adjusted, respectful, and seemingly happy children.
What we really love is the way she makes it a point to love her children by praising them often and disciplining them with patience instead of anger.
So here are 3 things Michelle Duggar gets right.
1. When Angry, Whisper:
I have a temper from time to time. I admit it. I also admit that when my toddler was a still a baby, I lost my temper with her and yelled at her. Since then, I have learned to communicate my anger in a healthier manner because the last thing we want our children to remember is mama’s temper, right? So whisper. Not only does this help you in controlling your own anger, but it can really get their attention more quickly! Keep your strong, loud voice for outside play and to keep them from danger.
2. Teach Attentiveness:
Attentiveness is a crucial skill kids need to learn and the earlier the better. Michelle Duggar says, “[Attentiveness is] showing the worth of a person by giving undivided concentration to his words and emotions.” Wow. With this in mind, teaching children to not only stay near you when you are talking, but to look at you, listen to you, and respond to you, is an important skill and courtesy. Duggar also mentioned teaching obedience and self-control, but it all begins with attentiveness. A child who listens attentively has a much easier time learning obedience as well as self-control.
A child who listens attentively has a much easier time learning obedience as well as self-control.
3. Practice Good Behavior:
There are always behaviors in our children we don’t like: demanding behaviors, destructive behaviors, you know what I mean. However, once kids start talking a bit or communicating in general, practicing good behavior is better than correcting poor. Michelle says when her children demand something (“I’m thirsty!”), she has them repeat the correct way to say it (“May I have a drink, please?”) five times. You don’t have to make it boring. You can make it a game: role-play with toys, use silly voices… Be creative!
Above all, we need to remember one more thing Mrs. Duggar said, “These children are God’s, not mine.” This is so true. We are only given these children for a limited amount of time to train up, and it is not for the fainthearted. So focus on teaching one thing at a time and then shower them with love and kisses.