Heart-to-Heart with Diane

Hello and Welcome! Isn't raising a family the greatest!? I know I've got the best job in the world, just being Mom! I love sharing things I've discovered that make being "Mom" better, easier or more fulfilling, and that is what this blog is all about. Welcome!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

5 to 1

"Come pick up your stuff"

"You need to practice!"

"Don't say that word!"

"You didn't do your dishes"

"Get your coat off the floor"

"That doesn't look good"

"Take out the garbage!"

"Haven't you done your math yet?"

As moms, it is our duty to teach our kids to behave and to work, and we do need to follow-up and supervise their work. That is part of teaching and training. But sometimes, I slip into a pattern and feel that I am somehow being diligent if I remind/nag my kids. I forget how much everyone needs to be complimented, noticed, praised and appreciated for the good they do.

I've heard that for emotional health, we need a 5 to 1 ratio: five positive remarks for every critical or nagging "reminder". More than this is destructive to a person's self-worth. I do believe that! But it is easy for mom to get into the habit of "reminding", without really being aware of the negative influence it is having. What a happy effect it would have if we could remember to verbalize all the positive and good we see in our children—and there is so much that is good!

A little prayer for myself today—that I will tell them what I see that is wonderful about my precious children! And that I ask myself before I remind them: is this going to build them up and produce the change I am hoping for, or is it just another negative, nagging reminder?

To a happier new year!

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  • At December 31, 2009 at 1:07 PM , Blogger Paula said...

    I'm working on this one too. I grew up in a wonderful family, but criticism/negative type comments probably overwhelmed positive ones at least 20 to 1. All the positive things were just expected and therefore taken for granted. I'm trying not to do the same.
    I love your blog and have visited your store. I'm from an old Salem UT family, and was homeschooled when we lived there in the 80's.

  • At January 1, 2010 at 5:50 PM , Blogger Dragonmyst said...

    Hi Diane, good post here. I have been working on positive comments in our household and the change it has made is wonderful.

    Off topic, I have a question for you, I was over at the website looking over the Saxon Math. I'm a little confused by the 'meeting books'. I get the work books, the cards and the teacher manual but what is the meeting book for?

    We are planning on getting Saxon Math books for our crowd (7 kids & counting) and I am trying to determine whether or not the meeting books are really necessary.

    The site is awesome btw :D

  • At January 2, 2010 at 12:14 AM , Blogger Diane Hopkins said...

    In Saxon Math younger grades (1-3), the Meeting Book is what the teacher uses in a classroom setting to help warm the kids up to mathematical thinking. It includes calendaring, skip counting, a "number of the day" and other math-type play/practice. I don't find this necessary and instead I had my children check the weather and mark it on our Pocket Calendar (see it here:http://www.lovetolearn.net/catalog/detail/calendar/0 ) and say the date and day of the week, etc. Then I would just go around the circle of children and give them a spontaneous oral math problem geared the their level, so the oldest might get the problem: 9 x 7 = and a younger might get 2 + 3 = , and the littlest migth be asked to count to 5. That seems to be enough warming up. So, for grades 1 and maybe 2, skip the Teacher's Manual and the Meeting Book. The Meeting Book in not used in grades 4 and up.

    You can read more details about the Saxon Math program on my website here:

    Glad you like the blog!

    ; 0 ) Diane

    P.S. Have you considered Sinagpore Math? I like it and the kids liked it more than Saxon. You can see it on my website:

  • At January 6, 2010 at 9:23 AM , Blogger Dragonmyst said...

    Thank you so much. :)

    I appreciate you taking the time.


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