Tuesday, August 30, 2005

It takes two!

Today is my husband's birthday. Scott is six months older than I am so I always give him a hard time about being old! I love you honey - I don't mind the grey hair! : ) I am so grateful to have Scott as my partner in parenting. When our first son was born I read the parenting books and relayed the information to him and he did what I asked him to. After our twins were born, he had to take a more active role in parenting out of sheer necessity. Several years ago we took an 18 week parenting class and then last year taught the class together. I can't tell you how much help that was. Finally, we were partners in parenting. We were in agreement on discipline and we knew where we were heading. We started really showing an united front to our children. It has made a huge difference in our lives and I so appreciate Scott being willing to step-up and be the husband and Dad God designed him to be.

Have you and your husband ever attended a parenting class together? If you haven't, I would encourage you to do so immediately if not sooner!

Oh and Happy Birthday Scott! I love you!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Kitchen Timer - An essential

Have you discovered the usefulness of the kitchen timer? In "Creative Corrections" by Lisa Whelchel she discusses using an egg timer to help your children get things done. I started by using it in the classroom ( "You have 20 minutes to get this assignment done") and now have several stationed around the house. The kitchen timer is really useful for getting the kids dressed and chores done in the morning. I give them 10 minutes to get dressed, teeth brushed and morning chores done. If they do everything in the allotted time, they get 3 "marbles" in their special jar. After they get 20 marbles each we go have a special treat, a trip to Coldstone for icecream or a new book from Borders, something realtively inexpensive but out of the ordinary. If they do not accomplish their tasks in that time frame, I take marbles away each extra minute it takes. I use this with getting ready for bed, cleaning their bedrooms and with anything I need them to do in a reasonable time frame. Try It! I bet you'll become addicted to the egg timer as well.

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Friday, August 19, 2005

I obey right away! II

More ideas on teaching obedience...

Play the obedience game. This is basically hide and go seek where the parent hides and the child seeks you. The rules: You must come right away . Your child must say “Yes, Mommy or Daddy” before they reach you. Oh, and one rule we added after our kids ran over each other, no pushing or shoving. When they reach you can simply give them praise and a hug or reward them with a treat. I think that bad behavior brings bad consequences and good behavior should bring good consequences.

Help your children memorize Eph 6:1 by singing it to the tune of Happy Birthday.
“ Children obey your parents,
Children obey your parents,
children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.”
Ephesians 6:1

(By the way, this song was not my original idea, I got it from a book teaching scripture memorization)

Make a badge that says “I Obey Right Away” to wear. This is both a good reminder for them and something fun to wear!

Once you've done these things and your children have the concept make sure and follow up every month or so with one of these as reminders. I also have my children recite Rules before we go into a store or a public place and "I obey right away!" is one we repeat often.

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Sunday, August 07, 2005

A Reason for Obedience

I love to read! Reading takes me away from everyday trials and tribulations as well as frequently giving me new things to think about. This weekend I read, "At the Back of the North Wind" by George MacDonald. George MacDonald was a preacher and writer who lived in the 1800's. He was mentor to such writers as Lewis Carroll and ultimately C.S. Lewis. C.S. Lewis said about MacDonald,"I have never written a book in which I did not quote from him." MacDonald was a master storyteller of fantasy (as in Phantastes, Lillith and The Princess and Curdie) as well as many moral stories set in England and Scotland where he lived. My favorites are by far, the fantasies, as I know that somewhere in the fantasy are greater truths to be found. I found one such tidbit this weekend on obedience. The main character in "At the Back of the North Wind" is a boy by the name of Diamond who was learning to drive his father's cab. MacDonald says this about Diamond.
"Diamond learned to drive all the sooner that he had been accustomed to do what he was told, and could obey the smallest hint in a moment. Nothing helps one to get on like that. Some people don't know how to do what they are told; they have not been used to it and they neither understand quickly nor are able to turn what they do understand into action quickly. With an obedient mind one learns the rights of things fast enough; for it is the law of the universe, and to obey is to understand."
What a thought! Obedience leads to understanding and then to action! It's our job as parents to not only train our children to obey but to expect obedience from them. More on that later...

Oh by the way, our family listened to the Focus on the Family radio drama of "At the Back of the North Wind" and it was great!

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Saturday, August 06, 2005

I don't whine, I shine! II

Make a poster with a large star and Phil. 2:14 on it. Buy star stickers and tell your children that every time you catch them (they shouldn't tell you they did it – you should catch them) doing what they are supposed without arguing, whining and complaining they will receive a star. Make a goal number for them to reach to deserve a reward. Always remember to thank them for their good behavior and for shining like a star. Just so you know, these ideas do work, I've used them on my kids as well as the 2's and 3's class at church. You will need to keep repeating, "I don't whine, I shine" but eventually it makes sense to them. Training takes time but our children are worth it!

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Friday, August 05, 2005

I don't whine, I shine!

Idea two: Have your children memorize Phil. 2:14 I write memory verses on a poster board and work on memory verses for several days in a row. I also make up motions to help kids remember. I abbreviate this verse for my younger two so that it says, “ Do everything without whining and complaining so that you shine like a stars in the heavens.” For a quick motto we say, “I don't whine, I shine!” Say it over several times, louder is always more fun!

Idea three: Spend an evening looking at the stars with your children and talk to them about how the stars light up the sky. Read about stars and tell your children that stars are billions of miles away ( the sun is a star and is approx. 93 million miles away) and yet even being so far away they can brighten the entire sky. When we do everything without complaining, arguing and whining we brighten up everyone around us and shine so that everyone can see the difference that Jesus make in our lives.

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Thursday, August 04, 2005

Shining like a Star!

Every parent would love to have their children do everything they are told without complaining and arguing ...and whining. Not only is this a skill that would change our days into wonderful sunshine filled hours, God commands us to. In Philippians 2:14 Paul writes, “ Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you might become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you will shine like the stars in the universe.” I know that if I did everything without complaining or arguing, the people in my life would be more pleased to be around me (especially my husband) as will the people in your children's life.

Idea one: Read this verse with your children. Explain that complaining and arguing also means whining. Demonstrate how much nicer it is to be around someone who doesn't complain or whine, As odd as it may sound, I do this by talking in a whiny voice to my children and then talk to them in a nice tone of voice. Have them try it a time or two so that they can hear the difference.

More ideas tomorrow...

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Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Just getting started!

Our family
First things first, I am not a PHD in child psychology or a teacher or anyone special. I am not an expert in any field and if you are looking for an opinion of someone educated and qualified with letters behind their name, close this blog now and find another. What I am is a Mom, a run of the mill, stay at home Mom with three children (a 7 year old son, Connor, and twin 4 year olds, Caileigh and Collin) who I homeschool. I am, however, a Mom with an opinion and something to say (my friends and family will tell you I always have something to say). I am passionate about children who are well-behaved and enjoyable to be around. I am passionate about children who are morally and ethically literate. I am passionate about children being a blessing to their parents and to those around them. If you are passionate about these same things, then read on! Let's chat about children and brainstorm about ways to help them reach their potential and be the men and women God has planned for them to be!

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