Practicing: Its what we do in the Minter household. We practice everything where there is a certain expectation of behavior on the kiddos part. For example, practicing for a wedding may entail going to the location before the wedding starts, sitting still in the chair, and talking through everything that is going to happen while practicing the expected behavior. Practicing bedtime routines means going over the rules and then practicing those rules over and over until they have them down. Practicing coming when I call ends up being almost like a game of hide and seek except they come running to me when I call. And so on...you get the point =) But we practice everything! And of course practicing is a great game around here with lots of dancing, clapping, high fives, and jumping up and down. Practicing expected behavior eliminates frustration on my behalf, and I think it 's freeing for them to know what is expected of them.
For this weekend though, I was a bit nervous that just practicing wasn't going to work. Being in someone else's house who has a small baby is such an abstract concept for such little minds to grasp.
This is the story book I created for the weekendStory books: My friend and mentor gave me a suggestion to create a story book for the trip. Something where the girls could actually see my expectations and read them and reread them. So this week, I created such a book. I took actual photographs of the girls and wrote a book for them about the weekend. It only took me about 30 minutes to put it together b/c I already had pictures of everything I needed on my computer. After I designed it on the computer and printed it, Brent took it to Staples for them to bind it. That last step probably isn't necessary, but it sure makes it look cool =) It may sound like a lot of work, and I guess it is, but I want to use every possible tool I have to help my children succeed as they enter into new situations in life. We'll see if this is one of those tools that work =)
Here I am reading the book to the girls for the first time. They have now read it at least a dozen times today. They have taken it everywhere with them today. I think they like it =)