Thursday, November 21, 2013

The One Where I Talk About the Label "Strong Willed Child"

I detest labeling children.  One of the terms I dislike the most is "strong willed child" because of the negative connotations it brings with it.  It is never said it in a positive way and is often an excuse for a poorly behaved child. 

There are some children who do exert more will than others. It may take them longer to come around to a new idea. They may 'rebel' against everything you say at first.  However, being negative about it and giving them a label of "strong will" is not going to help them. 

God created each of us with different personalities.  How boring it would be if we were all the same!  I have 2 children who would be labeled 'strong willed' if I believed in such a thing.  Instead, I believe in viewing their will as a gift God has given them.  Think of the people in the Bible who were strong willed and what awesome things they did for God! 

While a stronger will may be more difficult for parents, it is better to embrace that will.  They are still teachable, you just need to learn what helps your child to overcome the negative aspects of his strong will and embrace the positives.  Humor works for both of my children who struggle with this.  Also spending quality time with them and keeping up a fairly  consistent routine helps when they are younger.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

The One About Commnity

     Community.  This topic keeps coming up in my life.  It comes up in my Theology class.  It comes up in my conversations with friends. It comes up in sermons at church.  It just keeps on popping up and in my experience, if something keeps on popping up, God is nudging me to explore the ins and outs of it.

     Community seems to be something that most people are lacking.  Even in the church and family communities, people are too busy to make connections.  We work side by side; we share smiles; we share pleasantries.  We rarely go deeper and show who we are.  We rarely allow ourselves to open up.  Life has taught us that people are untrustworthy. We have to protect ourselves from being hurt.  People fail us time and time again and walls are built higher and higher each time.  This breaks down the opportunity for true community.

          The book of Acts depicts a true community:

So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added. They were devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. Reverential awe came over everyone, and many wonders and miraculous signs came about by the apostles. All who believed were together and held everything in common, and they began selling their property and possessions and distributing the proceeds to everyone, as anyone had need. Every day they continued to gather together by common consent in the temple courts, breaking bread from house to house, sharing their food with glad and humble hearts, praising God and having the good will of all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number every day those who were being saved.

     Today's life isn't set up for this type of community.  However, community is still achievable.  If people can put themselves out there; not be easily offended; be gracious, kind and giving; and follow the Lord's example, community is achievable.  
     A friend recently challenged me by saying "now the question becomes are you to search for it [community] or be the facilitator?"  It is *hard* for me to be a facilitator.  It goes against my introverted core to put myself on the line even by simply inviting someone to dinner.  But I am going to take steps to seek opportunities to facilitate it more and see what comes of it...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Rocking My Baby to Sleep One

As a parent, every day you're faced with the choice of how to parent numerous times/day whether you realize it or not.  The 3 y/o has a massive meltdown and you have to choose to ignore it, redirect, address it, or discipline it.  I've written before how important it is to assess each situation that arises because sometimes you can easily "cure" the problem by realizing that they are just really hungry or tired or stressed & all it takes is a snack or a kind word to calm them.   People who feel bad, act bad... so sometimes it's as easy as a gentle reminder and hug to calm them down.

Last night I ran into such a situation.  My 4 y/o was completely melting down over the fact that my 9 y/o wouldn't talk her before they went to sleep.  Lights out had already happened and 9 y/o was sleepy from a sleepover the night before. I was already in bed because I haven't been feeling well... gluten withdrawal.  Matt went in and tried to calm 4 y/o down, but she wasn't having it, so I went in. I realized that over the past 2 days we have been out of the house 14 hrs on Friday & 8 on Saturday.  Late nights and crazy schedules had pushed her over the edge.  So I scooped her up in my arms and carried her downstairs.  I rocked her and sang to her as she clung to me.  Within 30 seconds I felt her body relax.  Within 3 minutes I heard her soft sleepy breathing. Withing 5 minutes she was completely out.  I carried her upstairs and tucked her in where her sister was already fast asleep.

I realized how differently that could have gone if I had gotten upset with her (which has happened, believe me!) or if I had told 9 y/o to talk to her for a while.  It could have changed the whole situation.  I've always tried to make a point of calmly putting the kids to bed at night.  Oh, we've had those frustrating nights where I'm ready to pull my hair out, but I feel that kids get a deeper & most restful sleep if their bedtime is calm & relaxing.  *I* certainly don't sleep well if I'm full of turmoil.

I'm just thankful that we, as parents, have the ability to assess each situation individually and go from there.  There's no absolute rule that you must do 'x' every time the child does 'y'.  Don't believe it when the books tell you there is.  Each child, each situation, each parent is different than another, so why would there be one "pat answer" to fix everything?!  Consistency, Grace, Discipline & Kindness.... those will get you far in parenting in my opinion.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Lost One on Discipline

I found this post that I started a year ago and never finished... weird.  :)  It sounds good tho. :P No idea why I didn't finished..

Parenting is a game & you have to be wise enough to figure out the next play. You have to know which battles to pick.  What is the underlying heart reason your child is acting out? Is it truly a heart issue or is there some other reason that your child is acting out? 

My previous post about KT and the bonding time really made me think about these things.  Are are definite times where discipline is needed and warranted.  Times when they need to be removed from the situation.  Having worked with children since I was 12, I've seen so many types of discipline techniques, personalities and parenting ways.  To be honest, before I had children I thought I had it all figured out.  Then I had children and everything *I* knew flew out the window. I realized I needed to seek the Lord more. It's way more than just discipline. 

Too many parents are afraid to discipline these days.  I don't know why, but I see it a lot.  People don't seem to be teaching their children to be respectful.  They drop their kids off at events and wipe their hands clean of them for that hour or two.  Ahh... relief from the children is nice, but in the end your child is your responsibility.  Nobody else has been given the commission from God to raise your children.  

The Busy One

I haven't blogged in a while again.  I had lofty goals of keeping up with blogging, but man oh man, I'm strung right out with craziness.

 Here's how my busiest day goes w/ my "handful":

  1. Up around 6:30 to see the hubster for a few minutes
  2. Kiddos up at 7.  Breakfast & then school time starts. 
  3. See 6th grader off for trumpet lessons. 
  4. School the first grader for about an hour to an hour and a half.
  5. See 4th grader off for flute lessons
  6. Read to and "do school" with the preschooler. 
  7. Snack at 10. 
  8. Check over 4th, 5th and 6th graders work as needed.  Correct/teach things to them.
  9. Check on laundry/dishes/housework and do what I can. 
  10. Have lunch.
  11. Leave for work 
  12. Work until 5:30
  13. Set up classrooms at church for clubs. 
  14. Either help teach a class or work. 
  15. Home around 8:45 pm
  16. Tuck kids in
  17. Spend time with hubster
  18. Crash. 
Then there are the days we are scooting off to ballet or to homeschool group or church functions.  Is it any wonder that I'm exhausted?! 

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The One With Pros & Cons of Having a Large Family

*They have each other to play with.
*They help each other out.
*In order to run the house smoothly, children in large families tend to learn responsibility sooner. Mom doesn't cater to their every whim/need when there are 4 others needing her as well.
*The olders help school the youngers, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
*The olders teach the youngers responsibility & respect.
*The youngers teach the olders patience, grace & kindness.
*They are rarely bored because there is someone else to play with.
*If they ARE bored, there's plenty of chores to do!

*They share germs so a simple 24 hr bug can last for ddaaayyys... or even weeks in some cases.
*They eat a lot... time to own a small farm to keep up with their food intake!
*Sometimes one gets left out and that is the end of the world for them... so heartbreaking.
*If one learns a bad habit, you have to undo it in all of them & that takes time.

Mostly, the pros waay outweigh the cons & I LOVE having a large family.

For fun... here's a summer picture of my handful...