Making Time for Your Kids

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Making Time for Your Kids

Child-Training: Doing Your Homework
I'm sure you are totally aware of this, but our kids need us--regardless of age. Our toddlers need us, our kiddos need us, and our teenagers need us. They need time--not just quality time, but quantity time. It's that simple. It took quite a large bonk on the head to wake me up to the fact that my children's needs should come before a career, mission, or hobby. 
When we say yes, to
children, we say no to a lot of other things..
 or we end up with conflict, lack of relationship and discipline issues later. Child-training takes time and is much better done at home than in public. Kids need affirmation, routine, a schedule, discipline and mothering.

Child Training Takes Time! and lots of it!
You can either spend time NOW training your children to come when called (like out of the balls at McDonald's), to not touch certain things, to stay close to mommy in the store, etc. OR you will spend MUCH MORE TIME a year from now fighting with a two year old who is about to kill themselves by running out in the street for a game of 'catch me if you can--who cares about the speeding cars' my dear oldest son...a future Marine! Watch out he comes!

Training Shows You Care
If you really love your will train that everyone else can love them too. Training takes time and attention and it's an investment that will pay off big time for both of you. It's a gift you give to your children. Training doesn't happen by accident, though, it requires your focus. I did very little sewing, crafting etc. when the kids were little. I did a LOT of training!

Do it Early...Like Pulling Weeds
I took all five kids with me everywhere. They were happy, bubbly, normal, and would have dearly loved to have run through the aisles shouting and singing, but they had been trained to keep all of that energy within until we got home and out into the back yard or the playground.  Proper training will eliminate 95% of all discipline issues in your home and prevent many a spanking or time out etc.  As I told my daughters-in-law, if you pull out a weed while it is's no big deal. If you wait till it's a big honkin' thing, you will need a shovel! So train while they are little, and they won't even think to rebel when they are two! Two year olds can be quite stubborn!

Quick Book Review
I know we all have our methods but the one that 'rescued' me when I was trying to raise five little children...all at one time was To Train Up a Child by Michael Pearl. The thing I loved about his book was rather than emphasize a long drawn out dialogue and discipline session for EVERY infraction, he emphasizes TRAINING  your child not to do things that they shouldn't for their own protection, your peace of mind, and an orderly home where the world doesn't revolve around their schedule (except for legitimate needs), but around the needs of the whole family, including mom and dad.

What is Training?  Training is putting a child in a situation for the express purpose of teaching them not to do it any more and then helping them walk through how to properly handle the situation. It's not spanking per se or being upset at the child or saying they did anything wrong at all. It's putting them through the paces so that they learn how to obey..long before they understand right and wrong at all. I hate to make a mediocre comparison, but it's very like dog training. The difference is our children soon get old enough that you can also teach them...explaining why this or that is right and wrong and animals don't. But as Michael Pearl says,

"If you wait until they really understand right and wrong to begin training, you will have a rebel on your hands!"

They will be firmly set in their ways. (I'm not talking about laid back easy going kids here...just the average boy or girl with the normal amount of "Let's do it my way" in their blood.)

Kids' Activities...What are Their Dreams?
It's important to help our kids pursue their dreams...but don't sign them up to a bunch of activities just because your friends are doing it! We didn't have the money for our kids to do everything (thank goodness), so we planned that when they were somewhere between 12 and 14, that we would spend whatever time or money it took to help them pursue their most important gifting. (They also contributed by earning money.) I spent several years prior to that, trying to discern what that gifting was for each child. For some children, that was not hard to figure out, but for others, it was very difficult.

One Child at a Time...For the most part, that allowed me to stay home with the little ones and we all went to the oldest ones' activities and cheered them on and helped serve and participate in their glory. Then we would move on to the next one's needs.By the time they were ALL older, we could juggle somewhat, but, for the most part, they each had their day in the sun. We did soar planes, Civil Air Patrol, horseback riding and speech and debate.
 My youngest child, Christian, has had a part in all these activities and benefited from them, but his turn is next and I assume that it's going to be basketball. He did do band this year because a relative paid for the lessons, but he didn't care for it.  He much prefers basketball. Sigh... but I've always known we were headed in that direction and I'm committed to not 'grow weary in well doing.'  His first word was 'ba-ll" said with two syllables which is appropriate for a Texan child.:o)  He slept with balls..not teddy bears, just as Jacob slept with trucks. I don't claim to understand boys...just accept them! :o)
The results of  choosing the 'right' thing for your kids, rather than several good things is that you are not spending your days going crazy!

Simplify their Activities
To many of us find ourselves running hither and thither and constantly doing school in the car, with no time for homemaking, relationship with hubby, or ministry.  It's hard to have good relationships with the kids and to really meet their needs when everyone is stressed out from long hours in the car. Simplifying their activities and keeping them to a minimum allows for a better family unity and better management of your family's time, money, and other resources.

Family Activities
Doing an activity that the whole family can participate is the best way to build family unity. Everyone of us loves square dancing. We all graduated from square dancing lessons and are members of one of the few 'all teen' square dance clubs in Texas. (Teens and their parents.) It's great fun! We also love to camp, cave, and pretty much everyone does speech and debate. Doing things together, brings us together!
Remember, most kids would rather have more time with mom and dad, than any outside activity you could sign them up for!


Debra said...

All too true! When my daughter was in middle school I toyed around with going back to work full-time - but it seems that because I wasn't involved in the classroom anymore she craved my attention. Not to mention all the "social" adjustment kids do in 6th grade that she needed my guidance for. I am glad I was there.

Breathing In Grace said...

Our daughter still needs the age of 30!!! Very good advice, Ms. Donna!!!

GlorV1 said...

Our children will always need us. There may come a time when we will be needing them. Great post as always. Thanks for sharing and your Easter sounded like a great one. Have a great week.

Donna said...

Gloria...that is so true! The last three weeks of Dad's life, I did everything he had done for me...only in reverse. Over this last year, in many ways, I had to be mom. It's so hard to face the end of your life...and so suddenly. I'm glad I was there for him and know my kids will be there for me too.

Lorraine said...

yes too true..we had a great time playing at a nearby ducky pond today pretending to fish and finding frog spawn..good old fashioned childhood fun..thanks for your great comments on my blog

Diana Ferguson said...

I love it when my 25 year old daughter and 29 year old son need me, too!!

GlorV1 said...

Donna, of course you can use the quesadillas. Be my guest. How fun. Take care and have a great Tuesday.

Caroline said...

Yup, I'm the one from CS ... I knew my blog name might raise a few eyebrows ... I'm hoping the blurb at the top helps give a good explanation!!

This is timely for me, going through various trying times with my 4 1/2 year old, realizing I missed some opportunities but hoping I don't miss too many in total. Good things to think about.

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