I was blessed to have my babies very close together. The only problem was that I had morning sickness that got longer and worse with each pregnancy. I had at least one toddler each time that I was pregnant, (except with the first). and there were several hours a day that I did’t feel well enough to get anything done around the house, or even worse, to play with the toddler(s).
Guilt would set in, and then I would became sad and frustrated.
My mom gave me some great advice. She told me to just try little, simple things.
To my amazement, little, simple things worked well. My toddlers knew that they were loved and that made me feel so much better.
Here are some of the little things that I did:
-Group hugs on the sofa complete with ‘light tickles’
-I would put them on my lap and hug them for several minutes while telling them how much I loved them
- We would sit together and I would tell them stories about Daddy, and Grandma, and Uncle Alex, and important people in the child’s life
- If they were verbal, I would sit with them and have them tell me stories about ANYTHING they desired
- I would pull a table next to the sofa so that I could relax, while they sat or stood next to the table and to play with blocks, or Play Doh, or cars, or farm animals, or do ‘art’ work
-We would brush each others hair and talk about ‘world events’
Please hear my heart. I know that spending only 5-10 minutes at a time with a toddler is not the best for them, but there are times in life when we do what we have to do, and a ‘little lovin’ is better than ‘no lovin’ at all, for short seasons!
I’d love to read some of your ‘little, simple’ things!
I decided that I wouldn’t punish my children that way either. (I am not saying that it is right or wrong to send children to their rooms)
My four sons enjoyed sharing a bedroom, and playing in it even more. It was their refuge. It occurred to me one day during family devotions, that I should teach the boys about our true place of refuge, in God. We memorized Psalm 62:5-7
5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God[a]; he is my mighty rock, my refuge
I threw a sheet over our kitchen table, we huddled under it, and I defined the word ‘refuge’. I explained that just as their bedroom and this makeshift ‘tent’ was a refuge for them, they could run to God anytime, and He would be their true refuge. He would be their rock, fortress, strength, and salvation no matter what.
We talked about it often!
Discussions included brainstorming about when we might need to run to God for a refuge.
-When we were afraid
-When we felt unsure about the way a friend treated us
-When Mom or Dad weren’t around, and we felt lonely
The list grew and grew with each conversation.
So did all of our understanding of the concept of God as our refuge and strength.
When they started to go through the teen years, there were many more opportunities and reasons to look to God for refuge, direction and comfort.
I’d love to read your ideas about teaching your children the concept of God as our refuge.
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