Purpose Statement

MOPS Purpose Statement: MOPS International exists to encourage, equip and develop every mother of preschoolers to realize her potential as a woman, mother and leader in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Triple P Positive Parenting Program - Common Causes of Child Behaviour

In our last newsletter I summarized 5 Keys to Positive Parenting. Today I am introducing the factors research shows are the most likely causes of common child behaviour problems such as tantrums, disobedience, talking back, non compliance, problems at bedtime etc. These factors can be grouped into three areas: A child’s genetic make-up, their family environment and the community in which they live. These factors shape the skills, attitudes and abilities children develop and also influence whether they develop behaviour problems. We may need to consider both what initially started the behaviour as well as what may be maintaining it or keeping it going today.
Genetic Make-Up: What is the child “born with” before the world has a chance to influence them (try looking back at the first 6mths of life). Is there anything organic or medical to consider? What traits or temperament may have been passed down or inherited genetically from parents/first degree relatives. Remember though that some of these things (e.g., “short fuse”, “shyness” or “anxiety” ) can be LEARNT (nurture) rather than INHERITED (nature).
The Family Environment (the easiest domain for you to influence and change!):
Accidental Rewards for Misbehaviour – you unintentionally reward a misbehaviour by giving the child something that INCREASES the problem behaviour. This may be a Social reward (talking, lecturing, yelling, touching, wink, smile, eye contact, giving in to demand, giving your time or presence), Material (toys, possessions etc), Activities (distracting a child with a game, putting on a video, taking them outside to play etc), Food (treats, biscuits, ice creams and lollies). The issue here is the timing. Problem behaviour occurs and parent follows misbehaviour with something that rewards child and in turn INCREASES the Behaviours likelihood of occurring again in the future.
Escalation Traps – child or parent escalates (yells louder, whines more, raises voice, ups the ante) to get what they want
Ignoring Desirable Behaviour – child is doing appropriate behaviour (e.g., playing well) but is ignored, receives no attention for appropriate behaviour. Usually then plays up and gets attention for misbehaviour
Modelling - Learning from watching others
Way we give instructions - Too many, Too few, Too hard, Poorly timed, Too vague (e.g., just giving a look, or saying their name, or “Don’t be silly”, or using a question such as “Would you like to have your bath now?” rather than an instruction such as “It’s time for your bath. Come with me to the bathroom please”), Mixed Body Language (laughing at the misbehaviour but telling them off at same time), Lack of Proximity (need to get closer and get down to child's level not give instruction from other side of room)
Emotional Messages - Name calling (stupid, baby, sissy) and Guilt-inducing messages (What would Grandma think if she saw you carrying on like this) may lower self-esteem &/or make children angry, resentful and uncooperative
Ineffective Use of Punishment - Punishment threatened but not carried out (empty threats), Punishment given in anger, Punishment as a crisis response, Inconsistent use of punishment
Parents’ Beliefs and Expectations - Common Unhelpful Beliefs (It’s just a phase, He’s doing it deliberately, just to annoy me, It’s all my fault she’s the way she is), Unrealistic Expectations (Of self, Of partner, Of child, For perfection, of change)
Other Influences on the Family – Parents’ relationships (inconsistency, conflict, separation/divorce, domestic violence), Parents’ emotions (Stress, Anger, Anxiety, Depression)
Outside the Home - Peers and Friends (modeling, social skills deficits etc), School (trouble adjusting, academic struggles, learning difficulties, bullying), Media and Technology
Other – Can you think of anything else apart from what is listed above that you feel may influence your child’s behaviour?

For more information about Triple P—Google the terms Triple P Positive Parenting Program or see www.triple.net. You can also speak to your GP or Child Health Nurse. Child Health Maroochydore is at 100 Sixth Ave Maroochydore. All Child Health Nurses and specific Social Workers and Psychologists working with Child Health are trained in Triple P and can be contacted on (07) 5479 2288.

Triple P Positive Parenting Program - 5 Keys to Positive Parenting

As seen in Feb 6 newsletter repeating here for those that want a copy to reference

Are you looking for ways to manage child behavior and improve your parenting strategies? It can be really confusing and difficult to wade through all the parenting books and programs out there. Can I recommend the Positive Parenting Program (Triple P)? It is an Australian based parenting program that has been rigorously evaluated and actually proven to work. Results shows both child behavior improves and parenting stress decreases when these strategies are used.  One of the first things Triple P talks about is 5 Keys to Positive Parenting. These are:
Ensuring a Safe, Engaging Environment: Having a safe environment means that you can be more relaxed about parenting and your child can explore and keep busy throughout the day with less risk of being hurt. Children need an interesting environment that provides plenty of opportunities to explore, discover, experiment and develop their skills. A home that is full of interesting things to do will stimulate your child’s curiosity as well as their language and intellectual development. It will also keep your child engaged and active and reduce the likelihood of misbehaviour. Creating a Positive Learning Environment: Parents need to be available to their children. This does not mean being with your child all the time, but it means being available when your child needs help, care or attention. When your child approaches you, stop what you are doing and spend time with them if you can. Help your child learn by encouraging them to try things for themselves. Encouragement and positive attention help motivate children to learn. When you see your child doing something that you like, pay attention. Show your child that you like what they are doing and they will be more likely to do it again. Using Assertive Discipline: Assertive discipline involves being consistent, acting quickly when children misbehave and teaching children to behave in an acceptable way. When parents use assertive discipline, children learn to accept responsibility for their behaviour, to become aware of the needs of others, and to develop self-control. Children are also less likely to develop behaviour problems if their parents are consistent and predictable from one day to the next. You can value your child’s individuality and still expect reasonable behaviour.  Having Realistic Expectations: Parent’s expectations of their child depend on what they consider normal for children at different ages. Remember, children are individuals and develop at different rates. Children need to be developmentally ready before they can learn new skills, such as using the toilet, dressing or feeding themselves. If you are unsure whether your child is ready to learn a new skill, seek professional advice. Problems may arise when parents expect too much too soon, or expect their child to be perfect. For example, parents who expect that their child will always be polite, happy and cooperative or always tidy and helpful are setting themselves up for disappointment and conflict with their children. It is also important for parents to have realistic expectations of themselves. Trying to be a perfect parent will only lead to feelings of frustration and inadequacy. Do not be too hard on yourself. Everyone learns through experience.
Taking Care of Yourself as a Parent Parenting is easier when personal needs for intimacy, companionship, recreation and time alone are being met. Being a good parent does not mean that your child should dominate your life. If your own needs as an adult are being met, it is much easier to be patient, consistent and available to your child. 
To find out more about this program see www10.triplep.net..au or visit your local Child Health Centre for tipsheets, seminars, groups and one-on-one sessions (all free of charge). You can also contact Parentline on 1300 301 300 and they can give advice over the  phone as well as send out tipsheets on over 40 topics relevant to child behaviour and parenting.


Saturday, February 21, 2009

So true ...

Just read this about motherhood and it was so true thought would post it here. Short and sweet and very true

"The days are long yet the years are short"

From MOPS International

The need for Identity: Sometimes I'm not sure who I am

The need for Growth: Sometimes I long to develop who I am

The need for Relationship: Sometimes I long to make a

connection and be understood

The need for Help: Sometimes I need to share the load

The need for Perspective: Sometimes I lose my focus

The need for Hope: Sometimes I wonder if there's more to life

Journalling - Your Very Own MUMMY Diaries

As part of the years theme Adventure in Mothering we are referencing the book The Mommy Diaries (available for $13.50 through MOPS - leave your name with Natalie S on the registration desk to order a copy at this price). The book is designed to uplift and encourage mums in this busy season of life and has short stories (usually only a couple of pages) written by other mums. The stories are clustered around those MOPS 2009 topics of Identity, Growth, Help, Relationships, Perspective and Hope.

We are also encouraging you to start your own MUMMY Diary.
At our first meeting on 6 Feb all the mums received two exercise books. One was a place to record all those milestones and/or funny things our children say and the other was a Mummy Diary, a blank exercise book in which to record your experiences of motherhood.This Mummy Diary also had some tips on journalling on the inside cover. If you didnt get a copy or missed this meeting please speak to Nat M or Nat S about getting one.

We would love to hear your stories from your journey of motherhood. Any that you wish to share at a meeting (read them out or have one of the team read out = please let us know). We would also love to be able to compile our own MOPS at MBC Mummy Diaries to distribute to you all at the end of the year. If you have written anything that you would like to be included in the MOPS at MBC Mummy Diaries please email it to Michele (address on the back of each newsletter) or post here on the blog (you may want to remove identifying information such as surnames, address, phone etc first as this is a public blog open to all).

You may want to capture your story of how and when you decided to become a mum for the first time, the journey to become pregnant - was this easy, did it take longer than you expected, fertility issues and so on, discovering you were pregnant, pregnancy, your birth story, adjusting to becoming a mummy, the daily adventure of mothering, things that have surprised you about motherhood, what you have learnt about yourself since becoming a mother and so on.

From time to time we will add journalling prompts here on the blog and in the newsletter to keep you inspired.

Heres some info off Amazon about the book The Mommy Diaries:
Product Description
Mothering is an adventure to be sure--from diaper changes and potty training to car pools and soccer games, a mom's life is full of adventures with her children. But it's not only about the kids. Mothering is also an adventure in personal growth. And that's what moms are invited to enjoy as they read The Mommy Diaries. With contributions from a variety of authors and speakers familiar to today's moms, as well as insights from fresh new voices, this book will encourage women to catch a fresh glimpse of who they are and how they can grow in the midst of the mothering process. Organized into six sections, each focused on a particular aspect of personal growth as a mom, The Mommy Diaries points moms to the lessons and insights that can be found in their experiences.

From the Back Cover
Guess what--it's not just about the kids. Mothering is an adventure to be sure--from baby's first kisses and cute messy faces to trips to the playground and pushing a grocery cart with a screaming toddler, a mom's life is full of adventures with her children. But it's not only about the kids. Mothering is also an adventure in personal growth for every woman who undertakes this important role. The Mommy Diaries is a collection of encouraging, heartwarming, and funny true stories from moms just like you. These honest and open reflections on mothering will help you rediscover yourself amidst the demands of motherhood. The stories cover all the issues that are close to your heart as a mother, including • reclaiming your identity as a woman • remembering your own personal growth • cultivating meaningful adult relationships • asking for help when you need it • gaining perspective on the everyday demands of motherhood • keeping hope alive The Mommy Diaries is your chance to catch a fresh glimpse of who you are and how you can grow in the midst of the mothering process. You may be too busy on the adventure to write in your own diary, but you'll see yourself in these stories and be encouraged on your own daily adventure!

Summary of Feb 20th, 2009

One of the components of the MOPS International Curriculum for this year is

Today we started to explore this concept of identity - something that sometimes gets a hammering when we enter the journey of motherhood.

What is Identity? I guess a short answer is WHO YOU ARE, a sense of self, the unique things that make you you. It may encompass your roles, bbies and interests, objects and possessions, likes and dislikes, traits and habits, choices made, values, beliefs, experiences, appearance, behaviours, relationships, connections and so on.

Today we watched the Identity segment of the DVD and discussed what our least favourite and most favourite roles are, what surprised us the most about motherhood, what has changed and what has stayed the same about our identity since becoming a mother, and asked you to think about (for reflection) is there a part of you that you feel you may have lost since becoming a mother that you deeply desire to regain. What part is it and what steps can you do to get that part back?

Our morning tea theme was "Your Favourite Things" and we also did a Get To Know You Exercise/Ice Breaker so we could learn everyone's name and a something about each person.

Our craft was a simple but creative one today - we learnt how to make the little windmills like you see at the Ekka. Thanks Tracy for doing all the prep/cutting templates etc so we could fit this craft in today.

Natalie M mentioned a great resource that can help us talk about tragedy with our children. It can be found on the Australian Focus on the Family website click here to get to this website.

If anyone wants to read more about the role of motherhood and life BC (Before Children) and AC (after children) there is an excellent website called Mothers Be Heard (Finding the HER in mother) and also one called Beautifully Ordinary Mother.

The author of the Beautifully Ordinary Mother blog writes:

"I am a mother, an ordinary mother. Sometimes I find myself feeling that there is something wrong with that, and that I need to be something more. Of course, I'll continue being a mother, but I want to be something else as well. Something amazing, inspiring, incredible and worth talking about. Sometimes I find myself putting undue amounts of time into thinking about being something besides ordinary. As I do this though, I am always impressed again and again that being an ordinary mother is the most amazing thing I could do, and if I put all I have into being that mother, that ordinary mother, then indeed I am something more, something amazing, inspiring, incredible and worth talking about. Not only is it beautiful and okay to be an ordinary mother, it is imperitive. This highest honor is a noble calling and upon fullfilling it, the ordinary mother is truely extraordinary indeed."

We also have an excellent guest speaker Jodie Hedley-Ward coming next MOPS (6 March) who has written the book You Sexy Mother about how she adjusted to becoming a Stay At Home Mum and her strategies for not losing yourself in the daily adventure.

So don't miss our next MOPS! Is should be a great morning.

Morning Tea - for those that wish to bring something to share(please bring along something starting with the initial of your first name (or last name if you are struggling, i.e., A=apple juice, C = chocolate, M= muffins).

* a note about morning tea. It is not compulsory to bring something for morning tea by any means. Please know that you wont be turned back at the registration desk if you turn up empty handed. If you don't have the time to buy/make/bring something then dont worry we all have mornings/days/weeks like that and we are more interested in having YOU there so please dont feel pressured about it just come along

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Summary of Feb 6th MOPS

What a great start to the MOPS year. Thankyou all for coming along (and bringing friends too - lovely to see some new faces this year)
  • We introduced the theme Adventures in Mothering
  • Met our "new" table mums. Once again this year we will be sitting at set tables each week with each table having a "Table Leader" so we can get to know each other and look out for each other as mums a little better. We will also ensure there are lots of opportunities to meet mums from other tables throughout the year
  • Completed registration forms (please hand yours in or ask for one to complete if you haven't done so already)
  • We received our very own "Mummy Diary" to record our own journey as mums this year. See the book "The Mommy Diaries" for inspiration. This book has short easily readable stories from other mums (well "MOMS" as it is from the US) based around the theme topics of Identity, Growth, Relationships, Help, Perspective and Hope. We will refer to this book "The Mommy Diaries" throughout the year. Copies are available for $12.50. See Natalie M to order a copy.
  • Viewed a slideshow that introduced the 2009 team and their roles
  • We watched the first of 6 DVD segments related to the theme of Adventures in Mothering
  • Enjoyed a "Roll Up Roll Up" themed morning tea
  • Completed some Goal Setting/Goal Achievement exercises
  • Scrapbooked covers of our Memory Books for jotting down childrens milestones and all those funny things they say that we forget if we don't capture them
  • Introduced a new way of doing our "Classifieds". Rather than appear in the newsletter, there will be noticeboard displaying anything for sale or giveaway. Please note it is your responsibility to keep the board up to date. Any items for sale or giveaway must be relevant to MOPS Mums. Please provide details in your ad of what it is you are selling (photos are great), what condition it is in, price, how to contact you etc.
  • Want to advertise your business (relevant to MOPS Mums). Look out for further information on how to in our next newsletter
  • Introduced a new prayer card relevant to the theme (called a "Maintenance Check") . Just a great way to think about your week and your needs as a Mum. Anything you need prayer for? Look for prayer cards on your table and a box to place them in near the Classifieds board. Ask your Table Leader for a prayer card if you can't find any. You can put your name on the card or your prayer request can be anonymous if you prefer. Prayer requests will be kept confidential at all times.
  • Our next meeting will be held on Friday 20th of February. The topic will be IDENTITY: FINDING YOURSELF IN THE DAILY ADVENTURE . Morning tea theme for those that wish to bring something to share is "Your Favourite Things". Hope to see you there.
  • P.S: Do you have any feedback for the team, a topic you wish us to cover, a suggestion for a great guest speaker, or perhaps you would like to offer to help out with one of the Team roles. Please speak to our Coordinator Natalie M. Your contribution would be welcome.
  • P.P.S: Do you have something you wish to go in the the newsletter or on the blog. Please email to Michele. Email address in every newsletter

Theme Scripture

Psalm 139

1 You have searched me, LORD, and you know me.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways.
4 Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely.
5 You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me,”
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to you.

13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them!
18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand — when I awake, I am still with you.

19 If only you, God, would slay the wicked! Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, LORD, and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 I have nothing but hatred for them; I count them my enemies.
23 Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Annual MOPS Participation Fee

The annual MOPS Participation Fee of $10 assists MOPS Australia in covering the cost of training for Regional Coordinators to help other MOPS groups to develop around Australia. It also allows more MOPS group leaders around Australia to access regional training.

This will go a long way to helping MOPS Australia bring MOPS to more Mums around Australia.

When you register for MOPS each year, you will be handed an Annual Participation Fee form, and we ask that if you are able to pay this $10 participation fee, please do so before the end of April 2011.

The payment options are...
1. Direct Debit to MOPS Australia bank account
2. Credit card
3. Cheque payable to MOPS Australia
4. Cash to MOPS@MBC front desk

Thank you, from the MOPS@MBC team.

How did MOPS begin?

It was a Tuesday morning, at about 9.30. They each had faced spilled cereal, tangled hair, and a few had even been forced to change their outfits due to a last-minute baby throw-up on a shoulder or lap. They had driven, or pushed strollers, to the church and had dropped their little ones off in the creche. They had made it!

And now they sat, knees almost touching, in the circle of children's chairs from the Sunday school room. Hands held hot cups of tea and biscuits in utter freedom because this treat did not have to be shared with a child's sticky fingers. Mouths moved in eager, uninterrupted conversation. Eyes sparkled with enthusiasm. Hearts stirred with understanding. Needs were met.

That morning in 1973, was the first morning of MOPS, or Mothers of Preschoolers. Little was it known that from this small beginning in a church in Colorado, USA, the seeds of the MOPS concept and format had been planted. The needs of the women were met even then, through the opportunity for friendship, creative outlet and spiritual emphasis. MOPS International now charters approximately 2,500 MOPS groups in churches in the United States and 13 other countries throughout the world.

How did MOPS begin in Australia?

How did MOPS begin in Australia?

Nineteen years later and thousands of kilometres away, the same mutual need for sharing was realised by a group of mums with children under school age in Melbourne. After reading about the MOPS concept in the US, leaders introduced the program to the Clayton Church of Christ Fellowship in early 1990 and MOPS was born in Australia. From this small beginning, the seeds for future growth were planted, resulting in the formation of an affiliated body to support the ever-increasing number of Australian groups and the mums they served.

Since its formation in June 2000, MOPS Australia, Inc has grown rapidly and there are currently over 100 groups throughout Australia. In the last year alone, 35 new groups have commenced, with groups starting up regularly throughout different Christian denominations. Groups now meet in every state and territory in Australia, with an estimated ministry to approximately 2500 mums and 3000 children.

How did MOPS begin at MBC?

A Brief History of MOPS at MBC by Karen Askey-Doran (COordinator of MOPS til 2008 and currently Regional Coordinator).

In 1999, the leader of MBC’s women’s ministry caught the vision of MOPS. At that time I was a new Mum with little inclination to help; I was interested but not convicted!

Roughly a year later another meeting was held to generate interest. At this time I had another little baby girl, a 16-month-old toddler and, although I was unaware of it, Post Natal Depression. And once again people were interested but not compelled to lead.

In 2005 Holly, caught the vision of MOPS and began to sow the seeds of interest throughout the young Mums in our church. Robyn Robertson came to our first meeting and inspired us into action…the seeds Holly planted took hold!

People came slowly at first to fill the positions, it seemed there were a lot of blanks for a long time! Holly was going to be our Coordinator and when she filled out the charter she realised that a Mother of Preschoolers should really fill that role…. So she called me! Very graciously, Holly took a side step into a Mentoring role (very appropriate really).

God was moving in our midst, we had been blessed with an inspired team of 15 Mops Leaders and 9 Moppets Leaders, each one having a testimony about how God had lead them to this ministry!

I suspect that God has big plans for our group. I still feel very inadequate sometimes but I do trust God and I want to serve him and to reach out to Mums who are hurting, to support them. I want to encourage, you know, to build up… to make a difference in people’s lives, especially my children’s!

I know I’m not alone… In Romans 8:28 it says “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” He planned for my girls, my twins, my battle with PND. He planned for MOPS - at this time - in our church! The door has literally been flung open!

What happens at a MOPS meeting?

When a mum enters a MOPS meeting, she is greeted by a friendly face and escorted to MOPPETS, where her children enjoy their special part of the MOPS program. In MOPPETS, children from infancy through to school age experience a caring environment while they learn, sing, play and make crafts.

Once her children are settled, the MOPS mum joins a program tailor-made to meet her needs. She can grab something to eat and not have to share it! She can finish a sentence and not have to speak in words of two syllables!

The program typically begins with a brief lesson taught by an older mum who's been through the challenging years of mothering and who can share from her experience and from the truths taught in the Bible. Then the women move into small discussion groups where there are no "wrong answers" and each mum is free to share her joys and struggles with other mums who truly understand her feelings. In these moments, long-lasting friendships are often made on the common ground of finally being understood.

From here, the women participate in a craft or other creative activity. For mums who are often frustrated by the impossibility of completing anything in their unpredictable days, this activity is deeply satisfying. It provides a sense of accomplishment and growth for many mums.

Because mums of preschoolers themselves lead MOPS, the program also offers women a chance to develop their leadership skills and other talents. It takes organisation, creativity, and management skills to run a MOPS program successfully.

By the time they finish the MOPS meeting and pick up their children, the mums feel refreshed and better able to mother. MOPS helps them recognise that mums have needs too! And when they take the time to meet those needs, they find they are more effective in meeting the needs of their families.

Meeting the needs of Mothers of Preschoolers

The MOPS program is dedicated to meeting the needs of mothers of preschoolers. These needs have been identified by Elisa Morgan and Carol Kuykendall in their book, What Every Mum Needs:

The need for Identity: Sometimes I'm not sure who I am

The need for Growth: Sometimes I long to develop who I am

The need for Relationship: Sometimes I long to be understood

The need for Help: Sometimes I need to share the load

The need for Perspective: Sometimes I lose my focus

The need for Hope: Sometimes I wonder if there's more to life

Here's How Some Mums Describe MOPS

"MOPS means that I am able to share the joys and frustrations and insecurities of being a mum. Our meetings provide the opportunity to hear someone else say, "I was up all night," or "They're driving me crazy!"

MOPS mum, Perth

"As a single mum, this is the first group I've felt accepted in for who I am."

MOPS mum, Canberra

'On my first day at MOPS, I knew my life had changed forever! The women made me feel so relaxed. I had a peace I hadn't felt for a long time. They were so caring, pleasant, helpful…the list goes on! I just want to say, "Thank you MOPS!" If it weren't for MOPS, I wouldn't be where I am today.'

MOPS mum, Melbourne

'When I first started MOPS, I was very, very lonely. MOPS gave me a chance to get out of the house which I was grateful for. The talks were very informative. I found out a lot through these talks. My problems seemed to become smaller. When I first started at MOPS, I thought I was a Christian. I wasn't. Through MOPS I can now say, 'I am a Christian.' MOPS to me is not only Mothers of Pre Schoolers, but My Own Private Salvation!'

MOPS mum, Canberra