Posts Tagged ‘Parenting’


(Living Love) Parenting Affirmation

When we interact closely with our children, we can often overlook a special way that our children look at or respond to us. You know, those moments that tell us we are doing something right. Parenting is hard and we get relatively little feedback, so somebody pointing out one of those moments can be really encouraging.

Watch for those little moments to come up when your spouse is interacting with your children. Make note of it and point it out to him later when you the two of you alone. Tell him how you saw the child’s face light up when your spouse complimented them on the way they completed a task or how you noticed their mood completely change after your spouse took a moment to ask them why they seemed to be having a hard day. These little moments in the life of our children are so significant, but we often don’t give them enough credit. Just a little bit of affirmation on our parenting efforts can really lighten our step and make a difference in our energy and motivation to push forward. It is a little, but great gift that you can give to both your spouse and to your children.

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Growing Independence

Samuel has been reaching a lot of independence milestones recently. Even though it sometimes reminds me to hug my little boy a bit tighter, it is so fun to see the joy and pride that he finds in these accomplishments. I am so proud of him. And I have to say, that the fact that he can now open the van door and buckle his seat belt by himself now has given me a whole new sense of freedom!

He can also…..

…get himself dressed….

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…make his own sandwich…

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…..and (a personal favorite) make his own bed!

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We started a chore chart with him for the first time last week and it has been a huge success. He is so enthusiastic, a hard worker, and extremely excited about working towards his goals. One of the chores that we put on there was helping to make his bed. He helped me the first day, although I remember him asking to do it himself. I blew him off, thinking that there was no way he could do it alone. When he asked again on Day Two, though, humored him and he ran off to his room with great excitement. I followed him a couple of minutes later to finish or perfect the task. The bed was perfectly. made.  So now he has the daily reward of being proud of himself for completing tasks independently and I am discovering a few of the perks of having an older child.

I love my boy.


Free Will and Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

So, I’ve been wondering. Who came up with the name “Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease”?? I mean, beyond the common cold, illnesses and diseases are typically given long, unpronounceable, scientific names. I have long complained of that inconvenience, but I now have a new appreciation for it. Given, Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease is usually a result of the Coxsackie virus, but we don’t go around calling it “Coxsackie”. We call it “Hand, Foot, and Mouth”. I personally think that the the name sounds rather primitive. I mean, is it just me or does it sound like I am declaring that we eat off of the floor with our feet and live with the cows? Anyway. I digress.

img_2784That said, Samuel (my 4 year old) came down with Hand, Foot, and Mouth disease last Monday. The poor little guy had sores lining his mouth and tongue for a solid week. In fact, a week ago we were in the ER at the local Children’s Hospital due to dehydration. We could not get him to drink for anything. And trust me we tried. We had great sympathy for the pain that he was in, but we struggled as parents to feel like we should be able to effectively communicate to him the necessity of drinking something.

In the midst of that turmoil, though, I was reminded of how even Adam and Eve had a moment where they didn’t heed God’s warnings, and He is the perfect parent. He had warned them of serious consequences that would result of them disobeying, but he had also given them a free will.

Too often I find myself blowing past the ways that free will impacts my relationship with my children. I get caught up in my desire for absolute obedience and I forget that my job is to teach them.  If I fail to acknowledge in my parenting that my child has a free will, then I lose true effectiveness as a parent and fail to equip them for life. In day to day life, even when they are young, they are presented with decisions that only they can make. Am I going to listen to my mom when she asks me to pick up my room (even knowing the consequences of not obeying)? Am I going to eat my food or throw it on the floor? Am I going to read a book or draw a picture? Each decision has a consequence, good or bad. As parents, we have to walk our children through the process of learning how to make decisions and how to exercise their free will. It isn’t our job to control them, but to guide them.

The times when this is really hard as a parent is when they make the wrong decisions. While we may need to impose a logical consequence or have to stand by and watch them suffer through a natural consequence, we have to let go of the desire to control our children and remember that our role is to teach them and to walk with them.

We don’t always make it look pretty, but free will really is a beautiful thing.


(Just for Mom) Bedtime Mix-up

pjsIt has been one of those days.  Meltdowns, whining, sibling quarrels. The kids’ bedtimes can’t come soon enough, but it isn’t even dinnertime yet.

There are a lot of benefits to bedtime routines, but some days mixing things up a little can be enough of a distraction to reset the mood. So the next time you are faced with one of these evenings, try doing bathtime and putting on pajamas before dinner. This calms the mood a little and avoids the need for doing bedtime prep when everyone is the most tired. It also sets the tone for doing low-key evening activities like cuddling up with some books, playtime in the bedrooms, or even watching a bit of TV.

A little bedtime mix-up just might be what everyone needs.