The Facebook questionnaire invited me to ask my spouse questions and to record his responses. The answers were filled with serious pondering and some down right hilarious answers. I was surprised and overjoyed at some of my Jason’s responses and one of them incredibly convicting.
“What makes me happy?”, I asked.
With incredible insight Jason answered, “purposefulness”.
Question four, “What makes me sad?” and he responded, “unthoughtfulness”.
So right! So. very. right.
I asked question ten, “What am I not good at?”.
He hemmed and hawed and I knew he was trying not to offend me. I am not the greatest artist and I am certainly not an amazing cook. He could say one of these. I assured him, it was fine to tell me what he was thinking.
In his tactful and gentle way he said, “patience with the kids”.
BAM. So true. I am not good at being patient with my kids. Piercing to be reminded of our areas of struggle isn’t it? I knew it already. I am convicted by the Holy Spirit about it on a regular basis and I often have to ask forgiveness from my children. I am with my babies almost 24 hours of every day, unless I get a little Mom’s Night Out or an occasional date night and a few times a year I get away for a weekend. Some days the kids all have their thinking caps on and I am able to tackle each grade level with each child with only a few blurps. And then, there are the days when my nerves are fried to a crisp by the resistance, bad attitudes, lazy behavior and so on.
So, how am I working on conquering this struggle? How can you work on it?
Purposefulness! Just as I feel happy and loved by purposefulness so do my children.
Here is a list of ways WE can be purposeful with our children. This will include application for homeschool families and traditional schooling.
1) I spend time with the younger children first. I cuddle, sing, read and do lessons with the younger children while my nerves are fresh and light. That gives my older children time to play outside or learn while using their creative skills in free time.
2) I occupy all the other children while I work to assist the child who is struggling with a concept rather than balance all four children at the same time.
3) I choose to be affectionate and affirm each child at the beginning of the day. This fills their love tank and reminds them that I am for them, not against them.
4) I purpose to speak loving words, reminding my children who made them. I point out the gifts God has given them and how I think God will use them for His kingdom.
5) You can write notes and secretly slip the words of encouragement into their lunchbag, backpack or folder. I write notes and put them in their personal mailbox in their room. Affirmation, encouragement, love.
6) Choose to be thankful for the gift of each child. Sometimes we have a child we mesh with easily and it is easy to find things to be thankful. There are other children we may not understand or mesh well with but we can choose to see the gift in each child and his/her gifts. Purpose to see. Purpose to be thankful.
7) Spend time playing with your children. Play what they want to play. Draw, color, paint, skip rocks, karate chop blocks, whatever delights your kiddo’s hearts.
8) Walk away. Sometimes, we need to communicate that we need a little break and we need to walk away from a difficult situation so that we can respond in kindness. Other times, I ask the child to take some time alone to pray. That gives me the time to pray and to regain ground. There is a spiritual battle and sometimes it comes via our children. The child is NEVER our enemy. Fight the battle spiritually and love on the child. Speak kindness. I have to remind one of my children that he is smart and God made him intelligent. I have to remind that child that God him a brain to use and he is capable. I think he needs that reminder. Sometimes I have to change my method of teaching and with this particular child, he has to choose to engage in the lesson.
8) Pray. Pray for the hearts of your children more than anything else. Pray for soft, moldable hearts that are receptive to God. Prayer keeps your heart soft to your children as well.
9) Change your thinking. I realize this one is a process but nonetheless it is a choice to change your thinking. We must choose how we will view our life, our children, our role. Our thought process will dictate our behavior. If we want to change our behavior, we need to change our thinking.
Here are some verses to ponder:
Luke 6:45, “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
2 Corinthians 10:4-5, “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
Joy to you Dear Friends.