Thursday, August 27, 2009

" Oh Mom, not chores again"

I cant stress enough the importance of teaching your children good work ethics at an early age. As early as they can bend over and pick up a toy you can start training them to put it away.
This begins to teach them responsibility for their actions also. "If you take it out, you can put it away" If we make a mess we can clean it up" This is where the real training begins, not just telling them but training, showing,teaching them how by instructing them step by step until they master the skill. I think so many times children become so frustrated when we as parents "bark out" commands and expect things to be done "just so" without the proper instruction. Remember they are in training so we can't expect them to do it just like we would. It takes time, patience and practice. Practice doesn't make perfect,practice makes progress. We are doing our children a grave injustice when we do not teach them the "how too's" of everyday life skills. You can begin by typing out their daily chores based on age and ability and then put it in a place that is visible for them. It really worked well in our house when dad got involved and wrote out the chores. Something about answering to dad always makes them work a little harder. Children truly do want to please. Whether we believe it or not they do desire structure, organization and boundaries to live by. It is security for them followed by consistency that produces the desired results.
The KEY is that we are fair in our expectations. Don't forget to encourage and praise them as they make progress in mastering each required task. It may be as small as putting a book away or making their bed, whatever it is ,they need to be corrected if need be but always praised for a job well done. This doesn't always have to be verbal, you can leave a note under their pillow or in their lunch box. You will be amazed at how this kind of encouragment will change a childs attitude towards work. All because we as parents take the time to notice and make a big deal of their accomplishments. I also would encourage siblings to offer help when needed and recognize each others efforts by speaking words of kindness. This will build strong relationships between them that will carry over for a lifetime. Remember as parents we are in the "TRAINING BUSINESS". There is no greater job on earth whereby we can watch a life change before our eyes ,knowing that we had a part in shaping this once young child into a responsible, hard working adult that will always be able to take care not only of himself but also have the skills to independently provide and care for his own family in years to come. What a priceless gift we can give our children if we just take the TIME!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"Character" Is it caught or taught and whose job is it anyway?

Well, It is that time of year again where all school age children will start back to school soon.
For many stay at home mothers it is a welcomed relief from having their children underfoot day in and day out. For others it is back to a more structured routine of chores and schoolwork. Summer days are fun but everyone will agree that order and routine are a healthy and welcomed reality. I am a homeschool mom and have chosen to school all of my children through High School. I have 1 left and can then retire after 26 years. It has been quite a journey along the way with ups and downs but through it all I would not take anything for being the primary influence in my children's lives. Whether or not you homeschool we as moms are called to be the primary influential person in our children's lives. Yes, reading ,writing and arithmetic are important but not as important as teaching a child character. This is something that is our responsibility as parents to instill in our children. It begins in the home with loving and nurturing parents that take the time to TEACH what it means to be, truthful, honest, obedient, hardworking, kind,selfless. patient, and the list goes on.
It is a purposeful effort on our part to teach and live these qualities out in front of them each day.
A good place to start is Gods word. Through parables and characters in the Bible you can teach your children how to live a life of integrity and moral conviction. To me this is what truly successful parenting is, not what grades they make in school or how well they preform in a sport. These are all well and good but it is the heart that really measures a successful life in the eyes of God. What comes from a childs heart will overflow into all the other areas of their life. This is just another confirmation of how important it is that this is taught in the home and not expected from teachers and youth and children workers.
I pray this will be a challenge to each of us this coming year as we seek to" Train up our children in the way they should go." I encourage you to seek out resources and plan time in your day to day lives to make this a priority. Men and women of good and Godly character will have world changing influence for generations to come! This is my prayer for my children I pray it is yours.

Ps If you go on the link to the left of my blog and click on the Duggar family. She has a great Character teaching chart you can use with your children. There are also great resources at Lifeway and Family Christain bookstores.

PSS. Check out my daughters blog and pray that these children will be taken into loving and caring familes.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Being Kind "What it really means"

I want to first begin with the definition of "Kindness: The joy of meeting someone else's needs before your own simply for the sake of the relationship." In these busy days and "Its all about me attitudes" even we as Christan's are guilty of not being kind. This tarnishes our witness for the Lord and can sometimes prevent us from ever being able to share Christ with an individual. Kindness is a heart matter and a choice. If we are going to become truly kind people ,we need to have a change of attitude. The false self of self centered living says" I'll be kind to you if you will be kind to me." The true self of authentic love says, " I'll be kind to you regardless of how you treat me." How do we experience a change of attitude so that we are inclined to be kind to others even when they are strangers or when we know them well and they treat us harshly? First we must realize that "kindness changes people" ,it softens a hard heart and tares down walls of hurt and despair. We need to express kindness as a way of life. Picture yourself putting on your coat of kindness each day. When we wear kindness as a part of our clothing, we don't stop to think about whether we should be kind in a certain situation. Wherever we go kindness is our constant companion. Pray that you will touch others with acts of kindness each and every day, expecting nothing in return. Be on mission and ask the Lord to show you specific people in your life that need a touch of kindness. We have countless opportunities to show kindness everyday, on the phone, at the drivethru, waiting in line and in your own home.
Make a point to do some specific out of the ordinary acts of kindness towards your husband ,children, neighbors and yes even your enemies. If acting kindly does not come natural to you it doesn't mean you are an unkind person it just means you need more practice. Be aware of the importance of your words. My mom always said "If you can't say anything nice don't say anything at all" There is a lot of wisdom in that saying. Do your words reflect a kind heart? Be quick to ask forgiveness for unkind words and pray that the Lord will fill you with kind and encouraging words for others. Kindness generates kindness. When we make kindness an intentional habit, we are more likely to see the worth and value of each person. As our new vision of people clarifies, we want to be kind simply because every person we meet has value and is worthy of affirmation. "Use me Lord to further your kingdom through my acts of kindness towards others." "Be ye kind one to another" Eph. 4:32

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Marriage "Is it worth the effort?"

As of August 2nd I have been married 29 years to the love of my life. I have to tell you that it has not always been easy or fun but YES it has been worth it. My heart is so heavy today as so many couples are giving up on the most precious relationship outside of that with Jesus Christ. I do realize that there are exceptions but 98% of the time we just quit making the effort. How can we encourage our sisters in Christ to not give up just because they think it will be easier or greener on the other side. First they must see it lived out in our marriage relationships, the good, the bad and the truth. So many times women see other couples as having it all together and perfect. We each know that is far from the truth. We need to be transparent and open about the struggles we each face in our own lives. We need to pray with each other and commit to mentor the younger women as Gods word calls us to in Titus 2. Most importantly we have to be at a place in our Christan walk where we can empathize with and receive one another just as we are without judgement and condemnation. WOW, just think how powerful this could be in saving our Godly homes that the devil is so determined to destroy. Pray with me that the Lord will bring revival in this area and women will see the JOY of having the marriage that God so desires for them. It is work, hard work. It is allowing love to overlook faults. It is realizing that it is not about me but about us. It is serving.It is choosing to love not based on emotion but commitment to a lifelong journey that will bring honor and glory to our Lord! Is it worth the effort? After 29 years and looking forward to 29+ more, YES it is! It keeps getting better and better with each and every passing year! It is a choice. I pray it is your choice too!