It was easy for me to trust God when no trust was really needed. I probably would not have admitted that, but after a traumatic event in our family two years ago, I realized it was true. All of a sudden I couldn’t control a bad situation, and prayer didn’t seem to be working. Where was my trust?
I remember looking at one of my young children and saying quietly to myself, “Wow, Johnny has a BIG problem with sulking. I’ll have to work on that.”
Then, just as quickly, as life screamed my name, amid the laundry, cooking, cleaning, nursing the baby, breathing…… I forgot that I should spend time working on Johnny’s attitude. Until, he sulked again. Then, I was mad at him, AND ME!
I decided to create a report card to help organize and strategize my attempts to equip my children with the tools that they needed to fulfill their destinies.
My report cards were divided into quarters, with the same 3 categories in each quarter.
I reevaluated the child’s progress after each quarter. Often, I could eliminate or tweak 1 or 2 goals.
My quarters were Sept. 1- Thanksgiving Day, Dec. 1 – Jan. 1, January and February, and March – Memorial Day.
Here is a sample of one of my report cards:
-How is their speech? Can they pronounce every letter?
-Can they run, jump, climb steps and perform other appropriate physical skills?
-Can they set and meet simple goals?
-Are they attentive as we share devotions? Do they seem to understand what we are reading?
-Do they understand what it means to pray? Do they pray?
-Are they kind? Considerate? Humble? Respectful?
-Are they learning how to demonstrate self-control?
-How do they respond to correction?
-Are they learning to be outward and God focused, as opposed to inward and self centered)?
-Can they choose to demonstrate a positive attitude?
-Can they follow directions?
-Are they learning to do things neatly?
-Do they complete a task or project after it is started?
-Are they learning to work independently?
I do not share the report cards with the children. The cards help me work with the children and affirm them as they improve.
If you aren’t following Kristen Welch on social media, I would encourage you to start. Her blog, We Are That Family, is informative, inspiring, and worth your time.
She is a Christian wife, mom, and author. I enjoyed reading both of her books, and was honored to be able to read her latest book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World, before its release today, January 26, 2016.
Before reading the book, I assumed it was written to help parents teach their children how to look at life from an outward, self-less perspective. It does that, in an easy to read, honest and transparent format.
What I didn’t expect was the conviction that I felt as I examined my own heart as I was reading. Without laying a guilt trip on it’s readers, Kristen gently helps the reader examine their goals, world view, and expectations.
I HIGHLY recommend that everyone purchase this book. I plan on using it for a book club which will meet at my home each month in 2016.
Here is a list of of 8 ways that I shared to help moms discipline their children with grace:
Look for the the positive in each of your children, EVERY DAY , and affirm them.
Don’t manipulate your children. Examples of manipulating, “I’ll tell your daddy about that if you do that one more time, and he will be really mad.” or “If you do that again, you will never ___________.”
As a mom, choose joy. Choose to be joyful. 1 Thes. 5:16-18
Try as hard as you can to NOT show favoritism.
Don’t use anger to force obedience.
Understand that raising young children is a very important and exhausting chapter of our lives, but it is JUST that, a chapter. It is not our forever.
Be consistent. Don’t look the other way.
We need to be a role model and ask forgiveness of our children when we sin against them.
I explain each point in more detail in the scope. You can watch it here.
If my yearly resolutions are too detailed or specific, I tend to panic and stress over them. In the past, I have NOT been successful keeping them for more than a few weeks, UNTIL last year.
Last year, I decided to be more open ended. I needed more flexibility. It WORKED. I not only kept them, I added to them as the year progressed. What would work for you?
Tomorrow I’ll share resolutions that I made for my children when they were younger.
My New Year’s Resolutions for 2016
Because I care about my health, I will….
*Continue using Plexus
*Exercise Monday, Wednesday and Friday
*Eat very lite suppers
Because I am being transformed into His image, (2 Cor. 3:18 ), I will….
* Read 6 books that will help me grow in my faith
* Pray daily
* Participate in my Church’s Bible study
Because my marriage is intended to be a picture of God’s love for the world and the family….
*I will prioritize weekly dates with my hubby
* I will allow hubby time to de-stress when he comes home from work
* I will pray for my hubby daily
Because I believe that the calling of Motherhood is a high calling, I will….
* Keep monthly ‘birth date dates’*** with each of the children
* Pray for the children daily and help them to meet their goals
* Keep my home de-cluttered, organized, and comfortable
Because I believe that God wants me to be His voice, hands and feet in my community, I will….
*Continue to hold monthly mom’s meetings in my home
* Continue to help monthly with the Office of Aging
* Continue to take meals to Hospice
I’d LOVE to read your resolutions!
(***Just a clarification. On the birth date of each of my children, my hubby or I take them out on a ‘date’. That insures that we are having quality one on one time with each of our children at least 12 times a year)
I have had several requests recently for advice to help teach a child to sit quietly. One mom told me in tears that her 5 year old almost ruined a wedding by refusing to sit quietly and making loud noises during the ceremony.
I think that we owe it to our children to teach them how to totally relax their body and be quiet for up to 30 minutes. If WE don’t, someone else will have to and it may not be pleasant.
The earlier we teach them the better. A six month old learns very quickly. A five year old requires more time, but the technique WILL work.
At the end of school year in May, and continuing through August, we switched from our 4 week chore rotation system to Choreganizer. Choreganizer is a system that uses laminated, colorful cards to show each of your children what chores are expected of them for that day. If they can read, they can turn the card over and read a detailed list of steps needed to complete the task. I required my children to complete every chore before lunch. Period. Happy mom, happy child. The children loved the changes every day, and I loved the fact that I wasn’t the one assigning the work. In the minds of my children, the cards were ‘telling’ them what to do.
The Choreganizer includes ideas to reward children. We chose not to reward our children. (Wow, that sounds harsh 🙁 )
Here is the official description of Choreganizer: Each Choreganizer comes with 48 colorful chore cards that represent chores like feeding pets or washing dishes. The chores are brightly illustrated and explained on each card, making them suitable for even the youngest child. Each child has a chart, and the parents assign chores by simply hanging the appropriate cards on the child’s chart. At the end of each day, if all the chores have been completed with a good attitude, the child is given tokens that can be traded for something at the Chore Store–a full-color, laminated “store front” included with each kit.
Drum roll please……..My second secret and FAVORITE cleaning tool is the non-electric Bissell Sweeper. I remember all too well when my children tried to help me vacuum but ended up ‘frying’ 2 vacuum cleaners by running over the electric cord as it was running. It was NOT pretty. Then, I discovered non-electric sweepers. Restaurants often use them to quickly tidy up without any sound. Not only are vacuums noisy, but the child has to be relatively tall to use it. If they pull the handle back too much, the bottom of the vacuum tilts off of the floor and won’t pick up the dirt. A newborn, hours after birth, at 19 inches tall, (If they had the strength), could successfully sweep carpeted or non-carpeted floors with this Bissell. The handle can be almost horizontal, (Hence the 19 inch reference), and the sweeper will work perfectly. It does a VERY good job, even with dog hair and small crumbs, and is just dumped out when it is full. No bags, no messy hands, no filters to clean. Even my 2 year old grandson LOVES to use it, and he does a great job. It’s a win-win.
(Have you heard of Invisible Hand? You can find it here. It’s free and after installing it, it will pop up before you purchase something on line to let you know if the item is available at a better price. elsewhere. It is fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!)
After several failed attempts at creating a meal plan, I came up with a winner. It fit both my personality and our strict budget perfectly. It also had to be easy to make because my days were SO full. We have 8 children, live on a busy farm, and we homeschool. So……..
I made a list of our 20 favorite suppers. I made the same 20 meals every month from Monday through Friday. (Weekend meals were more creative and fun!)
Because I knew that 5 meals required ground beef, when it went on sale I would buy in bulk. Because we used black beans for 6 meals, I would wait for a mega sale and buy one or two cases. Etc. Etc.
I ALWAYS had enough food in the pantry to make 3 or 4 different meals. No more 4:00 PM ‘what should I make’ panic attacks.
I’m not sure why it still dawns on me almost EVERY day that I have to make supper. I guess time doesn’t heal quite everything.
Here is my list:
Hamburgers/fries/ a vegetable
Tator Tot Casserole
Spaghetti and Meatballs and a salad
Chicken nuggets, homemade Mac and cheese, and a salad
Baked chicken legs/rice/vegetables
Stir fry with left over meat and vegetables
Stir fry with Tofu, rice and vegetables
Soup and homemade rolls (Served once a week, usually Friday. It is made of the left over meat, vegetables, rice, etc. from the week)
Servings of meat do not have to be 1/4 pound per person, which is recommended. I used less than that. I also bought 3 or 4 LARGE turkeys at Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas when they are 29-59 cents a pound. I cooked them and then froze the meat for future use.
My children drink water, milk or orange juice. No sodas or artificial drinks.
We rarely have desserts. Do we really need them?
My biggest problem on our limited budget was purchasing fruit. We would easily go through 10 apples and bananas a day. I never did find a way to buy enough fruit 🙁
We used this system for over 10 years. I managed to keep many of the suppers to $6 for all of us. My daily budget for all 3 meals was $10-15 dollars.
We had the ability to raise our own chickens for eggs, and to grow all of the green beans, corn, potatoes and strawberries that we needed for the year.
I would LOVE to read about your meal planning system!