Children

10 Ways to Show Your Children Love

Good Morning

How do you wake your children up?Do you stumble bleary-eyed into the kitchen and point them to the cereal? How about instead waking them up with a cheerful good morning in a happy voice. Or even with a good morning song. I love Wake Up you Sleepyhead by Rappin Rabbit. Make sure they know you’re glad to see them.

Say I Love You

Even your teens need to hear this. And the prickly one who doesn’t want to be close to you, they need to hear it more than most. Tell them I love you frequently.

Encourage Them

Encourage them every day.  I heard from Nancy Cambell at Above Rubies to make a chart and put a check mark each day when you encouraged them. That way you didn’t forget. And let’s face it, even Mom’s need a reminder sometimes.

Model Good Behavior

There’s a saying more is caught than taught for a reason. Because children follow in our footsteps and copy us. Are you modeling what you want your child to copy?

Feed Them Healthy Food

Make family mealtimes a priority. Have healthy meals for them so they will grow up liking to eat salads and vegetables. We’ve always had a garden, even in an apartment. And the children will want to et what they grow. That goes for cooking too.  Your child will develop an appetite for what you feed them so if you want them to grow up with a love for wholesome foods, serve them instead of chips and soda.

Treat them as an Individual

None of my 10 children are the same. As a matter of fact, people are surprised at how diverse they actually are.  Each child has a special purpose made by God that is different than any other. Your job as a parent is to discover what that is and give them the resources to develop that talent. Each child is different in how they respond to ways of discipline, encouragement and they all have different gifts and love languages.  For instance, one child is sent to his room as a punishment. I have another child who tried to get sent to her room because she liked being sent to her room. So we had to find a different method for her.

Look, Listen and Touch

Please put the cell phone down and look at your child while they are talking. Really listen to them. I know sometimes I hear the same story over and over but it’s important to them. I have trouble too sometimes.  Look them in the eye. Touch is important too. A hand on their shoulder while your talking, a hug. As our children get older, we forget they need to be touched too.

Spend Time One on One

Make time to spend one on one with your children. They need to be valued as an individual not just as a group. This morning my son and I got up early and went to Walmart. Another time might be doing nails with my daughter or going out. When we had 8 children at home we used to rotate errands and grocery shopping with one of them. There are times you will seek them out, times they would rather withdraw. These are the times that they need you most. Even if they don’t think so.

Make Home a Happy Place to Be

Make home a great place to come home to. Make their friends welcome. Be happy and smile. Smiles are contagious you know. There’s another saying “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t’ nobody happy.” Are you a happy mom? Can other people tell it? I love being a mother. People always guess my age as younger than I am and I tell them “My children keep me young.”  Do you have a home they want to come home to?

Pray with Them

I know you pray for them, I know I do too. But there is something very special about praying with your child. It’s something we do when they are younger but as they grow up, it’s easy to lose track of this habit. I know with jobs and activities it is harder and harder to keep any kind of schedule with them. There are times I’m in bed before my children. Even if you can’t do it every night, try and do it once in a while. And let them know you’re praying for them. Ask, what specifically can I pray for you? even adult children.

10 Ways to Show Your Children Love

I know I don’t do all of these perfectly all the time. But these are the 10 ways to show love to your children. I hope they’ve been a blessing to you. What other ways have you found that show love to your children?

 

 

 

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Waiting on the Lord

Decisions and Busyness

These past two weeks have been so incredibly busy I don’t know which way to turn. Have you ever felt that way? We were doing and planning instead of waiting on the Lord. We are planning on moving. Our lease is up the end of May and we are not planning on renewing it. We have been looking for rentals and we found one  We thought. Because at the last minute my husband received a call that changed all that. His brother called on the way home and asked if he was interested in living in their old family home. He thought I wouldn’t be interested, I thought he wouldn’t. We were both wrong. I looked up the school in the area. It was really good.  And small. When we talked about class size, the entire class of… my son said: “my choir class is bigger than that.” My daughter’s high school class is larger than the town’s population. And it’s a good thing.

Small Town vs. City Living

Right now we live in a good-sized city that had the good-sized crime to go along with it. I never thought I’d want to live in a small town again. And I like being 5-10 minutes from anywhere. I can get to the mall, Costco or as much shopping as I want. A lot of them are even 24 hours. We are moving where the only store in town is a Dollar General. The closest stores are 15-20 minutes away and Costco will be 45 minutes. And it’s okay. Because I won’t hear sirens every night. I won’t have code blues at my children’s schools on a several time a month basis. We won’t have letters sent home telling of a threat they deemed uncredible and still you worry. They had a code blue at the small school last month. It was the first in 5 years. 5 Years! That’s unfathomable to me. And what I want.

Children and Meaningful Work

I want my children to learn about hard work again. Apartment living has made all of us a little soft. Someone else fixes everything, mows the yard, shovels the walks. They have Chromebooks for homework and play.  They do snow days online instead of making them up. My daughter found out they don’t have Chromebooks there. “what do they use? she wailed. Seriously. My husband told her with a straight face. “Stone tablets.” They might have to write it out. Look up a word in the dictionary instead of Okay Google.  I’m fine with that.  I believe our children should have meaningful work. Work that makes a difference. Not made up, busy work, but work that benefits other people or self.  Not so much that they have no time to create or explore. But enough that they are not so self-centered or video game addicts like so many this generation.

Unfixable

We’ve spent an inordinate amount of time and money fixing things and emptying out the house and trying to see what needed to be done.  Driving back and forth almost daily to try and put the house in order. Have you ever been in an older home where if you put a marble down it would roll to the other side of the room? Now imagine it had waves…So we knew we would have to raise the floors. We didn’t know how bad it was underneath. My husband and son opened the floors to find water, rotten wood and mold underneath. To fix them was probably more work than the house was was worth.

Waiting on the Lord

So now we are waiting on the Lord and His timing.  We have had lots of advice on what to do next; turn the garage into a house, put a mobile home on the property, find a different rental.  We had peace about moving and many prayers that felt it was God’s will for our lives.  There is never a wrong place to be if it is inside God’s will. So right now we have 9 weeks to move and no plan in place. It should feel irresponsible and I would be lying if the thought didn’t cross my mind to just hurry and find something. But I feel in my heart that God has a plan for us that is better than any could come up with. He has a plan for your life too.  Jerimiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

What are you waiting on the Lord for?

 

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Making Birthdays Special on a Budget

Making Birthdays Special on a Budget

We have 2 birthdays coming up next week. I have 2 children only a day apart. I love to celebrate birthdays but I also have a small budget. So I’ve learned to get creative. So I look to see what each child likes and they get to pick the meal and dessert. They also get to pick who they would like to come over. We don’t have birthday parties every year with friends. But they can have a friend or two. So let’s look at the different things we need to budget to making birthdays special on a budget.

Food

I let each child choose what they would like for supper and dessert. Usually, they’ll pick a favorite we don’t have very often. Mostly because of the time it takes but I’m glad to make it for their birthday. One daughter loves fried chicken but with everyone there, it takes about 4 chickens and a long time to make them. As my children have gotten older though different ones are glad to help and do something for the other child’s birthday.  Next comes dessert and it doesn’t have to be cake. We’ve had apple, strawberry, chocolate or peanut butter pie. Ice cream cake and of course many different kinds of cake. I make them myself, sometimes with a child’s decorating help. That means lots of sprinkles.

Decorations

Some birthdays have had a theme with decorations usually from the Dollar Tree. But you can find good deals at most stores I always look on end caps for sales. My daughter just found sparkly napkins 70% off for her birthday later this year. If they want a certain character or theme you don’t have to buy all of it in the same line. You can buy one or two things and fill in with cheaper color coordinating paper plates, cups or napkins. Streamers can be any color that goes with it.

Gifts

I have my children give me a list. A written list. If they are just telling me when they see something they like while we are shopping, I probably won’t remember it. So if it’s not in writing then it’s not considered on the list. A great time to look is after Christmas. I find gifts that I know that person would like and stash it in the closet. I do write it down so I remember it. While I’m shopping I always browse the sales. Now I’m not saying to buy something just because it’s on sale or cheap. No. Just be looking around while you are already shopping to see if you find something you know that person would love to have. Something they would pick out for themselves if they could. That’s why I shop early. I want them to love it and know I picked it out specifically for them. I want them to feel loved.

So, do you have any hints on making birthdays special on a budget? Please leave a comment below to share yours.

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Using Reminders to Train Children

Using Reminders to Train Children

Do any of you have children like mine? Ones who put their backpack on the floor instead of the hook for it? Ones who run up the stairs and slam the door on their way. Or plop on the couch, “forget” where their shoes and coats go and how to make their bed? This is where using reminders to train children comes in handy. It’s time for us to work on new habits and those need lots of practice.

Practice, Practice, Practice

When I know that I’ve given them direction on what they are supposed to be doing and they aren’t doing it this is where the reminders come in. I give them the reminder and then they practice them. My son had a hard time getting his backpack on the hook in his room, put there right where he wanted it. So I reminded him and then had him practice it 20 times. Taking his backpack off the floor, going to his room putting it on the hook and then taking it back to the living room floor and doing it all over again. 20 times. We’ve done this for a lot of different things. Practiced sitting on the couch, up and down until 20 is done properly. Going in and out the door and closing it correctly.

Make it easier to do it right

Why am I doing this 20 times? It’s not actually meant as a punishment, it’s a training exercise.  By practicing good behavior it gets ingrained. They know what’s expected and how to do it correctly. Also, it needs to be more work than just picking up the backpack and putting it away. It needs to be much more work to do it over. Putting a book on the shelf where it goes is much easier than straightening an entire shelf. Putting silverware away correctly is much easier than emptying and reorganizing the entire drawer.

This is how I am using reminders to train my children. Repetition. Practice. What do you do?

 

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The day my perfectionism broke my son’s heart

The day my perfectionism broke my son’s heart

They’re gone, I can’t find them anywhere.” my son cried. All his handmade Christmas decorations were gone. Every one of them from grade school, all the little ones with his handprints, his pictures and immature handwriting. And it was my fault. My perfectionism caused this and broke my son’s heart. 

I wanted it Perfect

The day before we were decorating the tree in the living room  All my silver, gold and bronze ornaments twinkling in the lights. Then my son put his handmade decorations up. Right in the front of the tree! I felt horrified. My beautiful tree! The red and green handmade decorations subtracted from all my sparkly loveliness.  Son, why don’t we put them on the tree in your room? I had gotten small trees for the boys and girls room after Christmas sales just for that reasons. They could decorate them to their heart’s content and I could keep my beautiful color coordinated tree.” No, I made them just for your tree”, my son said. After coaxing and finally sternly telling him he could either put them on the back of the tree or on his tree he took them down. I did feel a little bad then but consoled myself with the knowledge that he would love them on his tree.

Missing

I spent the next morning while he was at school cleaning up, putting boxes away and throwing out the torn ones. He came home from school and after supper and homework, he asked me to help him decorate his tree. His ornaments weren’t there! I thought he had put them in his room. He hadn’t. He had put them in a box. The boxes had been stacked and went to the trash and so had his ornaments. I felt horrible. He felt horrible. My husband thought if I hadn’t been so fussy about the tree the ornaments wouldn’t be gone.

Gone Forever

The trash dumpster was empty. His ornaments have gone forever. His little kindergarten ones with his handprints, his little angel one with his picture. The ones made of popsicle sticks and all the rest. Gone. Just because I wanted a perfect tree. Why? I’m not perfect. This definitely proves it.

Forgiveness

My son forgave me for throwing out his ornaments. It was an accident but still my fault. We are planning on making some new ornaments to replace what we can. I have pictures of when he was little. But it won’t be the same childish handwriting. It won’t be the same, period. But he gave me forgiveness.

Grace

So why is it so hard to forgive me.? I have berated myself over and over for this. I cried tears and my son cried tears. If only…. How many times do we say this to ourselves?  If only…I need to forgive myself. My son forgave me just as The Son has forgiven me. I am forgiven. I am forgiven. Do you have something you need to forgive yourself for? What has your perfectionism cost you? Be kind to yourself. Show love, not only to others but to yourself.

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