May my childern be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit 1Thessolians 1:6

May my childern be filled with the joy given by the Holy Spirit  1Thessolians  1:6
Joy of Family

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Wake up your actions! Actions speak louder than words.

As parents we are constantly directing our children.  Clean your rooms, put your laundry in the hamper, pick up your school bag, do your chores.  As I ponder this today, I am wondering, are we just directing with our mouths and not with our actions?  Do we find our mouths speaking and our actions sleeping?  To be an example and truly teach, we need both.  So wake up your actions and be the example your children need.
     Children are always watching our actions, but do not always hear our words.   For example when we say " clean your room"  then an hour later say it again, and maybe even a third time with no action occurring from our child.  We decide to dish out our discipline only to hear our child say, "but mom, I didn't hear you."   This is what is known to parents as "selective hearing."  What our child is actually saying is not "I didn't hear you", rather "mom what you were saying I didn't find important enough to listen to".   This I'm afraid is also the same thing that happens when we as parents are listening to our children with only our ears, not our hearts.  We are (by our actions and body language) saying "what your saying is not important enough to listen to."  Therefore our children translate this to "your not important enough to listen to."
     We have to stop and take the time to give our children eye contact.  To listen with our ears and allow our whole body to respond in the way that says "I'm listening, your important, and I want to stop what I am doing and listen to you."  By giving our child our full attention and  using or bodies to show action, this teaches our children to also listen to us in this same way with their full attention.   We also need to  listen to what their saying with our hearts.   Then as we hear the words they are speaking, and read the body language they are using, we as the parent can read beyond the words, to what our child needs.  Often the words our children use are opposite of what their body language is saying.  As a parent we need to address both, the words and the body language.  The words we can address directly.  With the body language we may have to play detective until we feel that we understand exactly what is going on with the child. God gives us the discernment to do so, but we must decide (just like with any other gift He has given to us)  to take the time and have the patience to use Gods gift. 
     After we feel confident that we understand what is bothering our child, or exciting our child, or just giving some loving attention that was needed.  We must now switch from detective to problem solver, to comforter, to enjoying the news our child has, to just giving some extra time and love.  Children are no different than us, they all need someone to be in their corner and show, not just say, that they love them.  We as parents need to meet that need.  Just like adults children also have problems communicating  what they need and when they need it.  As parents that becomes our responsibility (because we love our kids and want them to know it and feel it).  We as adults also realize how hard it is sometimes to get across just what your feeling.  So that should motivate us even more to try and figure out what your child is trying to say, even if they can't put it in words. 
     Read those actions!  Actions speak louder than words, and your actions to your children will not only make them feel as though they are important to you.  They will reaffirm a healthy confidence in your child, that they will carry with them through out life.  A confidence in communication, in feeling important, in being loved, and in knowing that no matter what else is going on in mommy's life, she takes that time to listen to me.
       A love that shows action is the only real love at all.  This type of love was exampled on the cross on Calvary when Jesus died for our sins, because He loved us.  He put His love into action to save us.  He didn't tell us, as He was busy about His daily chores, He left heaven, came down to us, and died for us, action after action to affirm His great love!  This is how we are to show our love, not only for our children but for Him also, but thats a whole different blog.  LOL :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Sports: How much is too much?

Competitive, yes, I am competitive. I love sports, all sports.  I love to watch my kids participate in sports and I love to cheer them on.  I think sports are a great way to learn to work as a team, and to also learn discipline. I want everyone to know, I think sports are a good thing, and I am not questioning that!   I think there are many life lessons to be learned from being part of a sports team. Although I do not think ALL life lessons can be learned from sports.   My concern is, how much is too much.
       Even though sports are a great way for kids to learn life lessons, are we spending too much time on sports and not enough time on life itself.  In having four kids we limit our kids to how many sports they can do at a time.  We try to let our kids pick their favorite sports, and make sure the younger kids don't participate in a after school sport at the same time the older kids are.  For example, in the fall Alyssa who is  a junior plays Volleyball and at times is a cheerleader.  Ashton who is an 8th grader plays football,  so both of them will have games during the week at night.  So we have our younger two children play soccer in the spring when the older ones do not have evening activities.   We value our family time.  If our kids had games every night of the week, we would not have any family time, therefore we would not have any time to teach life lessons from home.  I am beginning to wonder as I watch this movement of sports overtaking our American families, are we eroding the family by filling our time with sports?
      I have been watching this problem for several years now, and it seems to be getting worse rather than better.  America seems to be having the same problem with sports as we have with food.  We take a good thing and over do it.  We make a good thing for our bodies harmful to our bodies.  Exercise is good, sports are good, exhaustion is not good, over stimulation is not good, and no time with our families is not good either.    Just like overeating has caused problems in our society, I fear we are making the same mistake with our kids in sports. 
     I have also been watching kids who start playing on the pee wee teams starting in Kindergarten.  I have found that most of the kids lose their enthusiasm for the sport by the time they are actually old enough to start competing.   They tend to get burned out, and just want to rest.  I have noticed they usually take a couple years off, then start to play and compete again.  Are we as parents burning our kids out on sports?  I think some of the exhaustion  the kids have comes from pressure that certain parents put on their kids.  We have all seen the parents in the stands at pee wee games yelling and screaming at their kids.  Now there is a difference in loudly supporting and encouraging your child, and  then there is screaming and yelling AT your child.  Those children of course do not tend to enjoy the sport or the fun in it, they just feel the pressure to perform well.
      Then of course there is the question of providing a balance in their lives.  Some kids do not get to experience other interests in life for being so involved in sports.  Do we give our kids the option to participate in other areas in school?  Are we asking our kids if they want to continue spending so much time in sports over just everyday kid fun?  I fear kids are missing out on truly getting to experience being  a kid.  Are we giving kids the time to play in the dirt?  Time to play with other kids, time to use their imaginations?  Are we making the kids play all through their summer vacation?   Does your child want to play during summer vacation?    Does my kid really enjoy playing, or do I really enjoy seeing them play.  Do they want to spend all their time on this sport?   These are all questions we as parents should consider.  We as parents also have to consider that even if my child does want to spend all his or her time on sports, is it really in their benefit to do so.  We have to consider if they are overly tired, or do they need to have a little more time to just play.  We sometimes have to be the one that says even though they enjoy this sport, they need to also  be taught to set limits not using all their time and effort for one thing.
     As a christian parent I want to know why we as Christians parents have allowed sports to be played on Wednesdays and Sundays.   You may say we didn't allow it, but we did!  We haven't stopped it, therefore we allow it.  If we as christian parents would say to our coaches, schools, traveling teams, whoever is calling the practices and making the schedules that your child will not be at practice or any games that are scheduled on a Wednesday or Sunday, then I assure you sports games would not be held on these days.  I remember growing up (yeah that may have been a while :)  our coaches knew, absolutely no games or practices would be playing on Wednesdays or Sundays.  It could be that way again if Christians would take a stand. 
      These are all concerns I have had, and been dealing with while allowing my kids to participate in organized sports over the years.  And again I am not downing sports, I am a concerned christian parent.  Is the direction we are allowing sports to take our children the best way for them to go?  I want to hear from you, how do you limit your kids activities, what are ways you keep a family balance?  Do you value your family time, how do you make it a priority?  HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH???


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Rain, sounds, and snuggles!!!

Rain softly tapping against the windows, the washer running yet another load of dirty clothes, and the hum of the dryer.  All sounds that combined make me wish I still had little ones at home.  This year marked the first year in many, that I am home with NO KIDS. Little miss Anna the last of my four kids to start school started Kindergarten this year.   You would think I would enjoy the silence, which at times is nice.  Today though, I find myself wishing I had one of my sweet ( most of the time :) kids to take a day off with.  We would snuggle on the couch in our jammies and put on one of their favorite movies.  Depending on the one I am snuggling with our selection could vary from Barbie, Speed Racer, Night at the Museum to When in Rome.  The movie choice wouldn't matter though.  It is the quiet time alone with  my warm child snuggled into me, content as can be to stay right there in my lap forever.  That sweet smell of baby lotion that all small children seem to have, and that feeling of all is right with the world.  That feeling is beyond any other!  As I travel down memory lane a little longer today, I will take the time to thank God for allowing me that sweet time when my children were at home with mommy, and to pray for their days to come.  The growing they will do, the problems they will face, and the joys that will be around every corner.  Everyday will be a day to thank God for not only the rainy days when we snuggled on our couch, but the sunny days to come and every day between!!