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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Contest Time!

Contest time! 

We're giving away a $20 Walmart e-giftcard! 




Just 'like' our Facebook page, share your favorite blog post and then comment on a status. The contest will close Sunday, February 9 at 8pm so make sure you enter before then. The winner will be announced by 10am on Monday.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Developing Good Habits: Patience

Ugh. I really shouldn't be the one writing a blog post about patience. I'm very unreliable in this area. My patience is limitless when everything is going perfect and I'm not hungry, thirsty, sick, tired or annoyed. (Kind of sounds like a child!) However, I tend to get easily frustrated and when that happens my patience is gone. Through trial and error, I have a few things I do that helps me be more patient.

1. Appropriate Expectations
Before I had children, it would take just an hour or two to run all my errands for the week. Now that I have two children, it's pretty great if just one of my errands takes an hour. At first, I was pretty frustrated at how long everything was taking but now I have adjusted my expectations and know that everything just takes longer. This helps me not to get so annoyed when I look at my watch and realize how long it took us at the grocery store. I have accepted the fact that grocery shopping is the only errand we will get done that day.

2. Mental Preparedness
One of the best things that helps me react more patiently is visualizing the negative behaviors my children are likely to display in a certain situation, then I can visualize how I will react. It's a fine line because you don't want to expect that your child will react negatively but you also need to be prepared how you will deal with those behaviors should they arise.

3. Singing
I tend to sing a lot with my children. I've gotten really good at making up ridiculous songs to help them get through a temper tantrum or do what I want. Singing also keeps my brain and mouth occupied so I don't say something harsh to my child.

4. Visual Reminders
I bought this MudLOVE bracelet over the weekend as a visual reminder to be more patient. I absolutely love it.

Being impatient can be so destructive if we let it. If we are impatient then we pass that on to our children. Take it a day at a time. Or an hour. Or a minute. Being a patient person, especially a parent, takes determination and constant vigilance. The best way to teach your child to be patient is by being patient with them. Many blessings on your journey to becoming a more patient parent and raising a patient generation.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Fun Indoor Activities to Beat the Winter Blues


Winter Blues.  If you live in the Midwest where the winter has been cold and snowy, you have had many “snow days – and it is way too cold to be outdoor days”.  What do you do when you are cooped up for days with your children – when they are bored, and you are ready to scream because they have way too much energy in such a small space?!  You have to get creative. 

Here are a couple of links to websites with fun ideas to keep those little hands occupied.

From Parents.com:

My favorite: Grandparent Greetings – while snail mail may seem passé for our children, grandparents appreciate receiving hand made notes from their grandchildren.  Children can also make these greetings for older members of their church, neighborhood, or local nursing center.

From The Art of Simple:

The activities I liked best in this article were #6 - performing a puppet show, #10 – making a bowling game, and #11 – get your groove on.  Performing a puppet show reminds me of when my children were young – putting on a puppet show or play was one of their favorite things to do.  #10 – bowling with toilet paper rolls – you just have to love finding a use for something that is so disposable – go green! J  #11 – get your groove on – your kids will love watching you dance and act silly with them.  A great way to burn off excess energy and calories!  So moms, let’s get to dancing and have some fun!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Developing Good Habits: Thoughtfulness

I really enjoyed Pat's post about developing good habits within our children. It gives us the opportunity as parents to truly examine the habits we ourselves have and if our children have picked up on those habits.

Before Christmas, at my son's school, they had a "Good Deed Christmas Tree". Each time a teacher saw a child doing a good deed, they would write the child's name and good deed action onto an ornament shaped piece of paper and attach it to the tree. My son really enjoyed it so we have implemented it into our lives at home. I have snowflake cutouts for the month of January and each time I catch him doing a good deed, then he gets a snowflake hung on the door frame.

This is helping him understand the difference between responsibility (cleaning up his own toys, messes, personal care, etc), favors (when I ask him to do a task) and a good deed (thoughtfully seeing something that needs to be done and taking action). I have noticed him becoming much more thoughtful of others, which is so great.

The next step will be teaching him that most good deeds in life will go unnoticed by the majority of society but it is our call from Christ to help others. And to also help him grasp that Christ sees all that we do. Or don't do.

Many blessings during this time of cold weather. Stay warm!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Developing Good Habits: Teach Your Children About Respect


I enjoyed reading the article on good habits to teach your children:  http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/968511/good-habits-to-teach-your-kids-now.

I really liked what they said about RESPECT. When I grew up, we were taught to respect our elders.  To look them in the eye, greet them politely, and shake hands.  If an adult was coming in the door, we were taught to let them go first – out of deference. When it came to school, we respected our teachers.  Adults were considered “authority”; and we were expected to respect them. We did not talk back.  Somewhere, we have lost some of these basic values with our children.  While a number of television shows encourage children to talk back, and to be rude, we need to teach our children to respect adults as an authority.  When a child learns to respect authority, it will be easier for them to respect their boss, the police officer, and others when they grow up. 

How do you teach your children to respect adults?  First, teach them to respect you, as their parent.  Do not allow your children to raise their voices when talking to you, or talk back with a smart mouth. Let them know that you will not listen to what they say until they say it in an appropriate tone, and say it respectfully. If your child is older, this may take some training, and may require punishment (such as loss of privileges).  I remember telling my children, particularly as teenagers, “I am not your peer, I am your parent; and you will talk to me respectfully”.  This is so true – while I enjoyed spending time with my children – playing with them, coaching them, helping them; I did not let them forget that I was Mom, not their friend.  (Now that my two oldest are adults, our relationship has shifted to becoming more friend/mentor/mom – and it is great!)

Second, let your children see you showing respect to other adults, especially those that are older, such as grandparents.   Let them see you speak courteously to other adults.  For example:  Let’s say you have to go to the school because your child received an unfair grade.  When talking to their teacher, even if you are upset with the teacher, talk in an even, respectful tone.  How you handle this situation teaches your child how to handle conflict respectfully.

Third, be consistent.  Children need to be trained. Telling a child once or twice to be respectful is not enough.  It will often take several times, many examples, and lots of encouragement.  This training process needs to take place over many months, and needs to be repeated throughout their childhood.  Why? Because children always try to test their boundaries – especially when they are teenagers. 

Teaching children to Respect Adults will help them learn to respect others as well.  The rewards of this life lesson will last throughout their lifetime.

Thought for the week:

“Point your kids in the right direction - when they’re old they won’t be lost.” (Proverbs 22:6 Message Bible)

Monday, January 6, 2014

Praying for Our Children - Make it a habit


I love Meghan’s blog last week on Praying for Our Children.  It is so important.  I made a habit of praying over my children at night, after story time, when they went to bed.  As a result, they heard me praying over them.  I remember when one of my son’s was about 6, his grandparents were at our home taking care of our boys while we were out of town.  My son proudly told his grandmother that his mom prayed over them every night.  WOW!  That really touched my heart.  It meant something to that little boy that his mom took time to pray over him. 

Why take the time? Besides the impact it has on your children by setting that example, you are positively impacting their spirit, their mind, and their self esteem. Praying God’s Word is a positive way to encourage them.  They know they are important to you and to God.

What do you pray?  Meghan gave a great example of praying scripture over your children.  Praying God’s Word is the absolute best.   You can also find other prayers in various books.  I used “Prayers that Avail Much” by Germaine Copeland and Stormie OMaritian’s “Power of a Praying Parent”.  I recently purchased one of Stormie’s new books for my niece called: “Prayers and Promises for My Little Girl”.  Stormie’s books can be found at the local grocery store, Amazon, and on her website:  http://www.stormieomartian.com/bookstore.html.   You may even find these books at your local library. 

One of the prayers I prayed over my sons was this simple prayer:
"Lord, I pray (child’s name) loves you with all their heart, their soul, their mind, and their strength. That they will realize how much you love them; that they hear your voice, and will follow you. I pray they are slow to speak, slow to anger, quick to forgive, quick to repent, and quick to extend mercy.  Bless them with sweet sleep, in Jesus Name.  Amen."

Have a blessed week.  Happy New Year!

Pat

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Prayer Card Printable

 

April from Personalized Art sent me these fun prayer cards she made for her boys. She chose the passage in 1 Samuel based on the MOB Society's 2014 Prayer Challenge. If I figure out how to make these cards printable then I'll do that. Sorry, I'm a newbie to blogging and really confused by my (technically my husband's) Mac! For now, I hope they inspire you to create something fun for your son's (or daughter's) prayer verse. I'll probably just type the verse up, print it out and have my son decorate it with stickers. Thanks again, April!