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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!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Praying For Our Children

I was inspired by The Mom Of Boys Society to choose a Bible verse to pray for my children throughout 2014. I absolutely love the MOB Society! They offer help and advice for moms of boys but I often apply the principles to both my son and daughter. This year they have challenged us to choose a verse and pray it daily over our children.

It really took me some time to decide on one but I chose Romans 13:14

"Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature." 

I was drawn to this verse because it reads so simple yet is rich with meaning once it's dissected. When I think about the first part "clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ" I think about the armor of God. Ephesians 6:10-18 is the passage that Paul wrote regarding the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit. 

The second part of the verse "do not think about how to gratify the desires of the sinful nature" is so merciful and understanding yet definitive that we all have sinful desires. It's in our nature and we cannot escape it. However, we are told not to devise a plan to satisfy those urges. That's when we get into trouble because it's the first step to sinning. It's figuring out how to get what we want even though we know we shouldn't have it. Being tempted is not a sin but giving into temptation is. Since my son is only 4 his temptations are fairly harmless (swiping candy without asking, not sharing, not putting his toys away) but it is during this critical time that he will learn to control his thoughts, actions and words. It is a huge lesson to learn and we will all need prayer about this!

I am so thankful for the opportunity to share this with you all. I hope that you will join me in praying for our children this year. Let us know what verse you're going to pray for your child, we'd love to hear!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!