Saturday, October 30, 2010

The never ending challenge of parenting

Lately I have felt that I have not been doing enough for my kids in the development of their character and spiritual life. I asked my daughter some questions about Bible stories the other day and I was actually shocked at how little she knew. Not just stories from the Bible, but I really started thinking about other areas that all four of my kids could use a little polishing.

I have been doing a lot of self examination work in a few different on line programs and it seems that one of the biggest areas that I have been studying is "selfishness." Selfishness according to everything I am learning is the leading cause (and mainly root cause) of all conflicts....whether marital discord, conflict at work, or conflict in the family. My husband used to suggest that I could work on my own selfishness and I brushed him off for years. Mainly I used the "I was an only child so I just seem a little more selfish than I really am" excuse.

After much reflection though I realize that I had plenty of areas that fall within selfishness to work on. As I have been reflecting on this, I can clearly see areas that my kids need work. I pulled a book off the shelf called "The Book of Virtues" and started working with the kids and reading stories from this book daily. We actually started with the chapter called "Responsibility" and I can already see some major improvements.

Parenting is a tough job....but it is one of the best ever. On days that I have had the normal frustration from "refereeing" while my kids "played" with each other; I have often wished for them to get along better, share better, and all those other things on the laundry list of what we would like to see in our children's behavior. I have found that by being consistent and tough at times that I am seeing much better results.

A little self actualization really went along way too. I see that as I make changes that it is easier to shape my kid's behavior too. There are an amazing wealth of resources on the internet too for shaping stronger families and working on teaching specific virtues to kids like compassion, honesty, patience and a host of other qualities.

If your wanting to make some changes in your family, start with prayer, then find some resources for self improvement and also family building. Not only should you see great results with your children; I bet you will start to feel much more positive about life too! I know I sure have.

Friday, October 8, 2010

October has arrived!

Patrick has learned to ride his bike!!! It is still with his training wheels but he has learned the concept of "pushing" the petals. We were all very excited over this new accomplishment.
This perfect fall weather has been heaven sent for the kids to play outside. I bought them this heavy duty bounce castle off of Ebay. I decided that I would get my money's worth real quick just in the next few birthdays. They love it!
This is for all the home schoolers, parents of special needs kids, and just anyone dealing with a typically developing child as well. I think I am going through one of those times with setting limits with the kids where you start thinking "Is it just me or I wonder if all parents go through this?" It seems like manners, back talk, and "first time told" as Ms. Joni calls it have all kind of swirled together into a little funnel cloud. HA.
I am just trying the basic strategy of first time told and complete follow through. My daughter who is 8 sometimes likes to think she is 28. She loves to interrupt while I am on the phone or interject comments into adult conversation. Her Grammy and I have both decided this week that enough is enough. We commented today that we think she is doing a "little bit" better but we have a ways to go.
We are really hoping to be in our new house soon. That will help us so much with routine and setting limits with each child. I think the one thing the kids and I are looking forward to most is decorating for Halloween. We found a great yard sale with a whole treasure cache of super cool Halloween figures. Needless to say we have big plans. Little Bob is having a birthday party next weekend so we are hoping to be decorated and ready to go for his big day. We still have a lot to do so please keep us in your prayers.
Moms....some "me" time is a must. I think that it is important to carve out this time for yourself. Not just physical time for a work out or fun time for lunch with the girls but I am deciding that spiritual "me" time might be one of the most important things that we need to make time for. I really neglected this part of my life for the last few years; not to say I didn't make it into church most Sundays at a dead run and then rush home but I mean "real" quality spiritual time.
I am in the middle of a great book on this topic. More later!