Raising kids is not for the faint of heart!
After raising three boys and a half-time stepson, having the experience of nine grandkids ages ranging from twenty-four to thirteen months, and working in a school district for twenty-five years in various roles and all grades…I’ve come to the conclusion… it takes a village to raise children!
But we can start with five ways kids thrive. They need to:
- Feel loved yet know healthy boundaries. How? Lots of praise and hugs and the use of natural consequences. For example, they ignore a chore they lose a privilege. They sass, they receive a chore. They refuse to eat, they miss a meal. Trust me, they won’t starve.
- Feel treasured and valued. How? Be generous with praise. Look for the good. Make a big deal out of their successes.
- Feel accepted. How? Listen to their ideas and feelings. Let them pick meals and activities. Make them a part of the family unit.
- Know they are safe. How? Keep a safe environment at home. Know what they are doing. Talk to them. Explain why or why not. Get to know their friends.
- Adopt an attitude of love to learn. How? Model you learning something new. Take them on the journey with you.
With Thanksgiving around the corner, days become chaotic.
Take time to pamper yourself so you can care effectively for your children. (And husband.)
Sometimes it’s hard to see very many blessings in a sea of murky water.
So, with the advice of a friend, I started a journal just to declare things I’m thankful for. I have to list at least three items a day. In the morning, I begin my day by reading from one of my favorite devotionals, the last three years have been one of Sarah Young’s, have my prayer time, post my morning haiku, and jot done the three things I’m thankful for.
This morning’s helping of blessings included:
- My husband taking the month off from work and being home (normally he works out of town during the week).
- Being able to clear days to care for my youngest grandchild while the normal babysitter is out for surgery.
- Quiet mornings with God (especially during busy craft fair months and hectic writing schedules).
This has tremendously changed my attitude about life. Now I search for daily blessings with a happy heart, focusing on the good in a troubled world. I’ve noticed I even smile and laugh a whole lot more. Things that used to bother me a lot, don’t.
This is also a great tool to teach your children so they, too, can practice a heart of gratitude.
This is the time of year to be thankful. I’m thankful for my Redeemer, family, a roof over my head, food in the freezer, and a husband who loves and supports me in the happy and hard times.