Monday, October 10, 2011

Growing Kids Week 2

The second week of Growing Kids focused on the husband/wife relationship and how important this relationship is in parenting children.

-In a marriage, the woman completes the man and the man completes the woman. Children do not make the family, the expand the family. You can not be a better parent than you are spouse. (*wow* - interesting to think about!)

-The husband-wife relationship should be viewed as the priority relationship in the family. This helps the children feel secure and loved. Knowing that Mom and Dad love one another allows a child to enjoy being a child.

-Child centered parenting too often produces a "me-ism" attitude. (i.e. selfish)

-Healthy families produce children with a "we-ism" attitude. (i.e. others centered - we are a team and we play for the success of the team.

-There are 3 basic emotional needs of early childhood.

- A child has a need to know that he is loved by Mom and Dad - a sense of belonging.
- Every child has a need to know where he fits in Mom and Dad's world.
- A child has a need to know that Mom and Dad love each other. Children learn through concrete visual illustrations of love, not abstract words - Mommy loves Daddy.

Which brings me to "couch time". In this lesson, they stress the importance of children getting a visual sense of your togetherness. They give a practical tool "couch time" to help illustrate it. For example, when Daddy walks through the door in the evening, he says hello to the children, but makes it a priority to sit down with Mommy and talk alone on the couch while the kids play around them, not on them. This tells the children that Mommy is important to Daddy and that they love each other. THEN, Dad can go play outside, or play with the children.

If you have never heard of this concept before, I dare you to try it. Children DEFINITELY notice and sometimes they have curious little reactions. This has also been proven to aid in helping with behavior issues such as not sleeping through the night - older children of course. (The idea that the child keeps waking up to get in bed with Mom and Dad because that's the only time the child sees them together). And I have personally known "couch time" to be successful with several parents who are having children with sleep issues!

It's also great to just sit with the hubby and catch up on things and "get on the same page" as I like to say.

While Robert and I are not great at couch time - it's hard to commit 15 minutes a day alone on the couch with no distractions! We do it occasionally, and it's nice.

So, I think I can say that not everyone will agree with what I'm putting out there - I'm certainly not here to stir the pot or say this is the ONLY way to raise a child. This is a total "cliff's notes" version of the course. They manual is filled with many references and notes and scripture to back up their teachings. It also gives tips on how to be successful with some of the ideas that they give. But I'm not here to plagiarize the whole book. :)

I have just found many principles from this material that when we've applied correctly, have had a very positive influence on our family and marriage. And I hope it will encourage anyone out there!

BUT, if you do have any other thoughts or questions on what I've said, please feel free to email me! :)

Growing Kids 1

Let's see if I can keep this up.  I've been meaning to recap each week, but we are heading into week 5 so I will try and catch up.  Writing is not a forte of mine, so let's see if I can summarize each week and see if anyone can get any little parenting "nuggets" from this.  :)

Robert and I are leading a Growing Kids God's Way through our church.  It's good foundational material and we have seen it work well in our family.  We went through the class several years ago but wanted to lead it too.  We also thought we could use a little boost seeing that we have more kids and at different ages.

I'm going to pull out my favorite ideas or thoughts from each lesson.  Here we go...

Week 1:  How to Raise a Moral Child

-Basically, we hold the Bible as our standard to which we raise our kids.  We don't lower or raise the standard based on the child's personality or temperament.  Though we take all those things into consideration in how to parent each child.

-Moral training begins with Mom and Dad - who are hopefully living out the standard day and night. 

-Some of the greatest periods of moral training take place in periods of NON-CONFLICT.  I love this one.  Non-conflict training.  I'll give you a few examples.  You cannot expect your child to sit still at a table at a restaurant if you do not practice sitting at the table at home.  Another example takes place at our school on a daily basis.  The principal will line up students and practice saying hello and shaking hands.  He teaches to speak loudly and make eye contact and talk to adults with respect.  How often has someone spoken to your child and your child hides behind you or doesn't speak?  It's happened to me. But lately, I've really seen some improvement.  Lillian get's compliments on her dresses quite often and she's been SO good at speaking clearly and looking at the person and saying 'thank you'.  Practice with your kids at home  - it's fun and I sometimes make it into a game.  Sit times are also very helpful for parents with young children.  Teach them to sit where you tell them at home and when you are somewhere and you need them to sit still, you will have a tool to help you.  I've also been reinforcing the "interrupt rule".  Where the child puts their hand on me to let me know they have to talk to me.  Then I can stop and turn to them.  Even Lillian "gets" this one!

-Giving the moral reason why.  Parental instruction too often lacks moral reason.  We tell our children "what" to do, but do not tell them "why" they should do it.  I always try and give the "why" but sometimes "because Mommy said so" is OK.
The example they give in the book is a little boy wanted to run around the church patio.  The father asked him not to do that.  Then he pointed out mothers with babies, senior citizens, people with hot coffee and helped him to see the potential danger and how running around out here is not morally acceptable.  Hopefully next time, the little boy can watch his behavior on his own because the moral princple was placed into his heart.

Key Principle for this chapter:  Without moral principle placed within the heart, the heart will not be stirred. 

So anyway, those are the little nuggets I pulled away from the first lesson.  Any thoughts??

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

All Things Bright and Beautiful - take 3

Well, well, well, I can't believe our THIRD BORN is now reciting this little poem. Just like her sister and brother - who still know it pretty well too!


And just to revisit the other 2 videos. How cute it Landon and how he says his "R's"!! So sweet!!


Olivia and her raspy little voice! And I don't remember so much commotion in the background. What's new!

Olivia :

So in about 3 more years when Rhodes finally starts 4k, we'll have him up here too!!

Impromptu Baby Shoot

I know, I know, Baby Ford has taken over the blog. (I do have a cute post on Lillian coming up!) But he's just so cute and I love him so much! The other day when I was over "visiting" (i.e. finding any reason to go see Ford) :) Lacey said let's take some pictures. So I grabbed her camera and we found a fluffy white rug and got literally 10 shots until he wasn't having it anymore. Just wouldn't sit still and was waking up. I've never "shot" babies before, but it was fun and we got some cute ones.

Side note, Lacey has a Canon 50D with the "kit lens" 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6. I shot these with her camera and "kit lens" and did NOT shoot in RAW. In fact it was the small jpg option. Just an example on how knowing light and camera settings really makes a difference. A fancy camera or expensive lens won't make your photography better. Knowing you camera will. And all I did in photoshop (camera raw) was auto correct white balance and burn the edges a bit. Then I used an action to turn some into black and white. In my opinion that is VERY little "messing with".

Sweet boy!

I took Lillian over one day and she was in heaven. Even watched him get a bath!

Can't wait to take lots and lots of pics of Ford. And yes, I might as well add him to my header!! I'm a very proud Aunt!!! :)

When In Doubt: iPhone Dump

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Straight To The Point

After I dropped the kids off at school this morning, I came home to clean up.  This caught my eye. 

Well, okie dokie.

In my defense, I wasn't playing short order cook this morning.  I said we're having waffles, she said she didn't want waffles,  I told her to go get dressed and pack her back pack.  Then she came back hungry.  So I popped them in the toaster oven and I guess we got distracted and it was like 30 minutes later that she finally sat down to eat them.  Well, I guess they were hard by then!!

I get these kinds of notes from her occasionally.  It's funny, because usually they are telling me something that she's serious about and that clearly I was to busy too "hear" her before.  I think I'll work on my listening skills.  :)

But I will say I think she wrote this one quite respectfully!! :-)

Kids are so funny!