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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Teachable ME! - Is it something I'M doing??

So after my crazy mommy week last week, I got to thinking, why in the world are my boys doing these foolish and crazy things SOOOO often, and as soon as the opportunity arises. After much thought and prayer, I concluded that they obviously have too much free time on their hands. Too  much free time, means too much time to think about foolish things, and this momma ain't raisin no fools! The other issue has been that they also are obviously not taking into account how their actions affect other people. Lets not forget to mention the obvious reason, they are sinners in need of a savior. The only obvious solution to that is to immerse them in scripture teaching, more than ever.

Therefore, I am implementing a new way of doing things around here. We will be having many more devotional breaks in the day. Our current curriculum is a Christian curriculum and is wonderful, but we need more time with one on one discussions about life using the scriptures as a guide, teaching them how it applys to thier life...Also Mommy needs to be more diligent to make time for QUIET TIME!!!! Now while I would like a little more "quiet", what I mean by quiet time is time for myself to be immersed in the scriptures, checking my own heart and seeing where I need to change...this time cannot be neglected, when it is...believe me it comes out in ugly ways, and guess what...little eyes are watching and learning. Often when I come to these times when things are overwhelming, it is really nothing more than my children acting out what they see in my own life. The Lord is always so faithful to reveal those things tenderly to me, to bring conviction and repentance.

From a practical standpoint, the oldest, and middlest boys are old enough to do many of the things that I do for them, so it's time to step up the responsibility level for them. From now on, if they create a mess, whether it be as a result of foolishness, or as a result of playtime, THEY will clean it up. I almost always have them help clean up after their playtime, but usually in the case of their foolish messes, I administer proper discipline, correction and instruction and then send them to a secure location (their room, the couch etc.) as sort of a time out, while I clean up the unexpected mess.

 That is NOT going to be the case anymore, they need to learn that it takes hard work and time away from things that are more important or desirable to clean up a mess that shouldn't even be there in the first place. Shame on me for not doing this sooner. To be honest, I think most often the areas my kids struggle with the most, are because I enable them, by doing not giving them enough responsibility over whatever area of life they may be struggling in, usually because of my own selfish desire to get things done the easy way....well easy doesn't always pay, you usually pay later, with interest! At least that's what I am  learning in my own life. I always try to see the bigger picture. I want to be faithful to deal with these issues now, when its just a spill on the carpet etc, so that I am not facing these issues in thier later years, when it will be harder to correct. I dont want to watch my kids spiral out of control like a tornado, leaving destruction in thier own lives, and the lives of those around them.

I've instructed them on why I am doing this, and that they need to take responsibility for their actions. I will provide them with the necessary items needed to clean up their mess, when they make one, as well as standing by with instruction when needed, for as LONG as it takes to get the job done. They will have to clean the whole thing up. Of course I know they are only 3.5 and almost 6 ysr old, and it's not going to be a job done to my high standard of course, but I can go over it afterward and "perfect" it if I have time or so choose, but mainly I am hoping this will make them think twice before choosing to do something foolish.

The other principle I am applying is that of keeping them busy with hard work. A child who is busy working hard on GOOD THINGS, won't have much time to think about doing foolish things. Right now I have decided to start giving Joshua more school work than I was previously giving him, of course breaking it up throughout the day, but instead of having so much "free time" I will be giving him some more fun projects focusing on what we've been learning in our class time. Also more review and studying on the things that he needs to work on. He is a very bright boy who loves to learn so this isn't like torture for him lol.

This is not to say that I am not allowing them to have free time, just not as much of it. I am hoping that they will realize the value of free time, and decide to spend it wisely when they do have it.

I will also be having them work alongside me more often, even if it is a little slower for me, or a little frustrating at times, I would rather deal with a little frustration, for a short time, until they master a skill and can be completely helpful and a little more self sufficient, than have to deal with the frustration of the many consequences of their foolish choices while unsupervised in their free time, as I am working on my stuff. So with dinner prep, if they are around, they can help me with what is not a danger to them, even if it's only helping me to clean up as I go. With laundry, they can practice folding things, or sorting things into piles of whose stuff belongs to who, matching socks etc. Sometimes I give them some baby wipes and have them wipe their toys tables etc down with them. These are all things they are capable of.  They enjoy doing most of these things anyhow, I usually just would rather do it myself so I can get it done, fast, and right....are we seeing a pattern here......

I think if we are to be good parents, and this principle works with most any relationship, we need to be willing to examine our part in the other persons failures, maybe we are not playing a part, but I think a wise friend/co-worker, brother/sister, husband/wife etc. will at least take the time to sit back and examine themselves to see if there is any way they are personally making a difficult situation worse, and if so, what can they do to help make it better. As a mom it is my duty and responsibility to be faithful in my training of my children, and I believe that means examining myself and if I am helping or hindering my young ones.

Even if I wasn't playing a part in hindering them, by allowing them too much free time, and doing too much for them, therefore not allowing them to learn that their actions have deeper consequences than just simple discipline and correction, I would still say that these are great principles to establish to keep your kids on track and not pummeling down the road to destruction.

That's my teachable ME moment. I love how the Lord provides these wonderful teachable moments to help us to grow in wisdom. Parenting is no easy task. I don't know what I would do without the wisdom and guidance that comes from above.

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