If you are a mother of little ones I whole heartedly recommend you read Rachel Jankovic’s book Loving the Little Years: Motherhood in the Trenches.

Reason #2: Because the average chapter is only 5 pages long. Some chapters are only 2 pages long. And in those 2 or 5 pages you will laugh, receive encouragement about change (not just what they need to change), and get real, practical ideas. In only 5 pages. Or 2.

We have developed a little system for talking about this in our family that is called “Thanksters or Cranksters.”The basic gist of it is quite easy. Thanksters look for things they do have; Cranksters look for things they don’t have […] Thankfulness is a great antidote to fussing–but it is hard to get your kids to feel thankful right in the middle of a fuss, right?

Sometimes we use the trick of saying, “I know, it is so sad for you that you don’t have any brothers or sisters!” or “Too bad you don’t have any legs so you can’t run.” or “I am so sorry that you don’t even have a home.” This always make the kids laugh, but it teaches a good lesson too. There are abundant things to be thankful for that are not on our radar at the current moment. So you have a headache. So the kids are fussing. Well, are you looking at what you don’t have (energy and quiet) or what you do have (a head and kids)? […]

You might be thinking to yourself that you would be happy if only you could get a coffee and the kids would stop. Well, they are back in the back seat thinking that they would stop fussing if only the parents would let them have a milkshake and go to Pizza Hut. There you are the both (or all) of you doing the same thing.

~ from Loving the Little Years, page 36


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