Raising Children to engage in REAL life

We had some company a while back with some teenagers… which made me thankful for the stage of life I am now in. 😉

After they left I told my husband how sad it is that children, teenagers & even adults don’t know how to interact with REAL people anymore.  I mean they came in looking for a place to plug their phones!  They plopped down on the couches zoned into their electronic contraptions.  Real conversation was foreign to them & what little they did was with a phone in hand with very little eye contact. 

Sad.

But the sad thing is- it was somewhat the same with the adults.  Sports update here.  Text. Facebook notification.  The list goes on.  

This is so sad to me.  I don’t want this for my kids.  

I mean they already ask for games on phones now… at 3,4 & 6!!!  

How do we stop this?  

My husband & I have really been considering this- & how we want our kids to be when they become teenagers.  We don’t want kids who have NO idea how to interact other than texting.  We want them to engage in real life! 

We have recently been weeding out out DVD collection.  We’ve realized that we want to be a learning/reading family & in order to achieve that we must do that.  So slowly I’m ebaying them off- to invest in wholesome BOOKS & such.  

It is so hard in this day & time- I feel like we have to compete with EVERYTHING as parents.  Kids don’t get bored anymore- they are constantly entertained by the world.  I refuse to give in to the world’s distractions.  I will fight to deprive my children of these distractions & teach them to value the importance of their imagination & REAL LIFE. 

I have discovered as well (in the past couple of months) that there is no community if you are not apart of the social media aspect of things.  That’s where everyone interacts now!  How sad that is for so many young mothers.  I’m not downing social media- totally.  I can see where it has it’s good sides.  But when it becomes strictly how people converse… something is wrong.  I have made it my purpose to be intentional with real life relationships.

 It breaks my heart- really it does. 

Do you have any thoughts?  How do you handle things like this with your children?

 

Advertisements

Words of affirmation… go a long way

Let me tell you a little bit about my day yesterday!

The morning went fairly glorious.  Kids played for an hour with playdough at the kitchen table- peacefully.  My baby girl took a good morning nap during this time- & I actually brushed my teeth before 10 o’clock.  It was lovely. I was sure it would be a good day like the previous two days.

Somewhere between cleaning up the playdough & lunch my nerves were done.  A two year old that constantly wants & throws fits when his needs are not instantly met can cause a mama to go a little nuts. 

“I wannnnntttt a benana (banana), Mama”

I get the banana- he’s disappeared.

from another room he’s crying because he wants something else- that he cannot have.

He comes back to the kitchen screaming that he “waaaannnntttsss aaaaaa benana NOW!”

Wow- did he really just talk to me that way?

yep.

During all this I have a fussy (teething) 1 year old (to be), a puppy out of her “area” running freely about the house, & a 4 & 6 year old running chasing one another through the kitchen- screaming gleefully.

Don’t you just feel like pulling your hair out sometimes??

Add endless amounts of sleepless nights- for all sorts of reasons.  Too low dose of my fish oils & my app on my phone ringing to let me know that mother nature should be visiting within a day or so.

By the time my husband got home for lunch I was at my wits end. 

Why?! Why?! Can’t I be the mother who is patient, gentle & kind— always.

Why am I so unpredictable? 

I decided to call my (previous) midwife & ask her some “fish oil questions”.  She called back, but had to let me go shortly thereafter to talk to her daughter (who had had back surgery that day- totally understandable).  I basically started giving up.

No one had time to talk to me.

I get very few encouraging words from outside of my home.

I just needed to be affirmed as a mother.  Just something.

I sat down during naps & started youtubing some Sally Clarkson talks.  Sally is my role model.  I love her because she’s not perfect- she doesn’t try to be, but joy floods over me as I read her writings or listen to her speak. 

There was on particular talk that I had seen before, but never watched it.

“The Myth of a Perfect Life” was the title.  And it’s just Sally talking for about 10 minutes or so… about how we as mothers never feel we measure up.   We believe there is a “perfect life”- we have this imaginary image of other mothers out there who have small children as well- who miraculously do everything right.  Their houses are always immaculate, good homemade bread is always baking, children are clean & never get dirty, their floors in their kitchens never look like mine, organized pantries, the list goes on & on… (just look on pinterest- really.)

Her point was – it’s not like that.  We are all struggling.  Life is NOT perfect.  There are messes & there is sin.  This world is NOT supposed to be heaven.  Why do I think it’s supposed to be?! She said, “your kids are not out to get you when they mess up or cry or whine or fuss.  They’re just being kids.  They’re not all sitting around plotting against you.”  Boy, it feels like that sometimes.

I felt some encouragement in listening to her talk in her dear sweet voice- assuring me I was not alone.

My midwife calls me back finally.  We talk about the fish oils & in fact I was about 4,000mg BELOW the therapeutic recommendation.  She then starts saying words of affirmation that I needed so desperately to hear.  She knew little of what my “issues” of late were, but she assured me that I was normal.  That GOD in fact loves me.  And that I’m doing a good job.  That’s so nice to hear when so often those around either say NOTHING or say things they shouldn’t.  And you know what else?!  She asked if she could pray with me right then on the phone.  She began praying- and the words she prayed over me meant more than anyone can imagine.  When I got off the phone- I felt so uplifted.  I felt strength.  I felt like I could make it.

Sometimes we “young mothers” or mothers of “littles” need that affirmation that we’re doing a good work.  That doesn’t mean that you have to approve of everything we do in our parenting.  It means that you believe in us.  This is a very hard time we’re living in. We’re constantly doubting our selves… we need to be lifted up.  Sometimes that means stopping & praying with us & encouraging us.  WE NEED THAT!!!!

Do me a huge favor?!  Tell someone they’re doing a good job!  Call them.  Stop them in the store (or in the line at the post office).  Write them a card.  You have no idea what kind of day she may be having.  It may be the hope she needs to make it through the day.

Learning My Season of Life

Learning my Season of Life…

Here not too long ago I was feeling somewhat confused & perhaps a bit discouraged, about what all I was supposed to be doing as a mother/wife.  I felt like a bit of a failure because I couldn’t do all the things I thought I should be doing.  I wasn’t involved in many things… well nothing at church.  We weren’t even at church as frequent as I thought (at that time) we should be.  We no longer clean church- something I’ve done practically my whole life.  No longer did I attend prayer meetings.  Going to church meetings- another thing I’ve done my whole life- has been put on hold for a period of time- mostly due to circumstances of where we live etc.  The list goes on.   I looked at all the things I wasn’tdoing… and in some ways it made me feel like “less than a Christian”, especially when you look around & see other mother’s who are able to juggle it all.

I was really having a hard time.  And even though my wise husband encouraged me often that “this is a season” I still struggled inwardly with all this.  One day I was driving & I began to direct all those thoughts toward the Lord.  And I felt HE answered me- not audibly, but HE caused me to think differently about it.

He reminded me of when I was a single woman of how I worked so hard (Naturally) for HIM.  Doing all the things listed above and more.  I was faithful in those things.  But as I got married & started having children that my service had to turn to them & that by servingthem I was still serving HIM.  I am convicted that my GREATEST service is to my family.  Some may not understand that… but the Bible clearly states the woman’s place in the order of God.

Titus 2:3-5

3The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

4That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

5To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.

As a mother & a wife my job is clearly stated in Titus 2.  I cannot fully serve the LORD without doing this.  I like how Tara over at Too Many Kids in the Bathtub put it in one of her recent posts.

But often times we we are discouraged in our efforts. Why?

Because we are operating out of the season God intends for us to be in.

I would encourage you to read her post.  It’s VERY good.

I don’t want to be the mom who “does everything” & fails to serve my family- which inevitably means failing the LORD.  Some view that differently I’m sure… but I believe with a proper balance & consistency is key.  I do think you can go so far right… but you can also go so far left too.  And maintaining that balance is a process.

My desire is to operate fully in the season of life that GOD has afforded me NOW!!  I’m the only one that can do this job.  This is my season of life… I’m to learn to walk joyfully in it.  And I’m doing just that… LEARNING.

MC900446418   It’s about the heart… not altogether the actions or the outward appearance.  Who cares if we do all these wonderful things if our hearts & the hearts of our children are not right?  When my children are grown I want them to have a heart for the LORD & not just go through the motions.  I’m still learning the  how  of this… but I think that’s apart of this thing called life… 🙂

I hope this encourages someone today.

“Create in me a clean heart oh God…”