Loving Our Kids On Purpose

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A couple months ago Jon and I were looking to join a small group through our church.  Our church has small groups that go in semesters and that are topical.  So after browsing through the available groups online we decided to check out a group that was for parents of young children.  The group would be reading through a book called Loving Your Kids On Purpose by Danny Silk of Bethel Church and childcare would be provided; which may have been the selling point for us.

The book and coinciding DVDs that we’ve watched have been great so far and the people in the group have become fast friends that we’ve been very thankful to know.

To summarize the book:

-The idea that we can control our children is a lie
-If we spend our time dictating to our children, they become dependent on being told what to do rather than developing the ability to make good choices on their own
-The Bible says “there is no fear in love,” so how do we parent in love instead of instilling fear of punishment in our children?
-Parents need not be afraid of their children’s sin.  God is not afraid of our sin.  He deals with it and loves us through it.
-God does not control us.  He gives us choices and employs us to make the right ones.
-Parents need to allow their children to make mistakes and handle their own mistakes (with some guidance of course), without jumping in to rescue the children from natural consequences
-Children need the opportunity to make choices.  “Would you like to eat your carrots or broccoli first?  Do you want to drink water from the red cup or from the green cup?  Do you want to wear this shirt or that one?  Do you want to climb off the table yourself or would you like me to help you?”  These kinds of everyday choices empower your child to make decisions and grow in confidence.
-Nobody likes to be told what to do, even small children.  So framing things in a way that give the child ability to feel in control and exercise their freedom keeps your child from wanting to overpower you.
-Children who are dictated to and controlled often rebel later on.  Once they get a taste of freedom go crazy because they were never trained how to properly handle their freedom.
-Parents need to first learn to control themselves and not let themselves get so wrapped up in their children’s problems that they take on anxiety and anger.
Main Point of the book: It’s all about maintaining an intimate relationship with your children.  Relationship is the basis for parenting, discipline and training…not to just get your kid to do what you want them to do.  This is also how God relates to us.

That is just my loose summary of the book so far.  The DVD is great because Danny Silk gives lots of entertaining examples from life with his own kids about what it looks like to actually carry this out.

 

 

Snapshots

If I started talking about how the world is spinning fast and everything is changing, you would stop reading.  Everyone has that story.  Everyone feels like their current life season is a bit crazier than their neighbor’s.

So instead I’ll give you some snapshots.  Since the world is in fact spinning fast, snapshots are really the most time effective way to go anyway.

We move in less than thirty days to a town that is about the size of a Target.  That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but it seems like a fitting description anyway.  I never imagined myself living in a small town.  I perceive there to be charming things about it and also many things that make me raise my eyebrows in bewilderment.  “What do you mean there’s no Starbucks…?”  This has already happened.

Speaking of Starbucks, I’ve been drinking a lot of very strong coffee lately.  When life gets strong, my coffee gets stronger.

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I’ve been working.  Two days a week or so.  Doing sales on campus at Cal Poly.  I work with my friends and it’s a dream job.  Three months ago, Jon and I had no clue how we would be able to afford these final transition months of him not working and the move.  Then, SHAZAM!  And thank you Jesus.  God provides.  He’s so legit.

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photo (36)Our box & pillow maze.  

I finished packing last week.  Everything that could be packed is packed away into our storage unit, ready to be loaded into the moving truck this weekend.  I actually really enjoyed packing.  Going through boxes and drawers and corners of the closets is my specialty.  There’s plenty that I’m not very good at, but just let me say that I am darn good at tackling a messy space.  Like a lawn mower, once I get started I won’t stop until the whole place is mowed down.

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We got a hamster.  As if there isn’t enough going on right now…we were bored one Friday night and made a spur of the moment decision to run over to the pet store just before they closed.  His name is Mattress because that is how Cameron pronounces hamster.

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I joined a gym.  It’s amazing.  Going to classes with loud music and an upbeat person who tells me what to do so that I don’t have to use my brain at all for an hour is one of the best things for me right now.  And after only a few classes I could already feel my bum firming up, in case you wanted to know.

181448_10151739062970192_1706711623_nMy friends Jen & Brian when they met their daughter, Eliana, for the first time.  Read about their story: Part I, Part II, Part III

We’ve been thinking about adoption.  Beginning a week after my miscarriage, my husband and I both felt wildly open to the idea of adoption and more open to God’s plan for our family than ever before.  Neither of us have ever been people who have seriously considered adoption before.  Of course we like the idea of children finding homes, as everyone does, but lately something has been different in our heart’s gaze on the need.  I started talking to a few friends who have adopted or fostered children.  I wanted to learn more.  I still desire to have more children of my own, but once we move, our plan is to find a local agency to begin the process and see where it goes.  We don’t really know where it will ultimately go, but for now we are going to follow the Lord’s leading that we’ve received and just trust Him.  Oh yeah, and then on Sunday at church there was an announcement that in two weeks from now there will be a luncheon for anyone who wants to learn more about foster care and adoption.  What?!  I’ve been a part of this church for over five years and all of a sudden for the first time ever there’s a luncheon about this.  Again, God is so legit.  So please pray with us.  If that all pans out I’ll probably put together some kind of campaign to raise money.  I hear adoption can cost about $20,000.  But here’s a crazy stat:  There are approximately 400,000 Christian churches in the U.S.  If one family from every church adopted, there would be no more kids without families in our country.  Seriously.
This is one of the adoption stories that has impacted me the most.

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Cameron is two months from turning two.  I personally think he’s already turned two, if you know what I mean.  I’ve been meeting more of my angry side lately as the stage of tantrums and the like have set in.  So during one of my prayer times last week this is what I decided – it was either this or get on a boat by myself and sail away for a year.  This is the “Year of Discipline.”  Sounds a bit intense, but really it’s not.

“Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.” -Proverbs 19:18.

I decided that I’m going to view this next year of Cameron’s life as it should be viewed: as the most influential year of his life so far.  More than any other year`, this year I have the opportunity to shape him and teach him how to handle all the crazy feelings and emotions that he will experience for all his days.  This also means that this is my year of modeling good and healthy responses since that is the most powerful way he will learn.  It means that for a year I am going to get up off the couch to go help him put something down instead of yelling across the room, “Cameron, don’t throw the iPad!”  I am going to help him see how his actions affect others and I am going to give him grace because nobody has the self control to act right all the time.  I am going to put a choke hold on my anger and propensity to yell.  I wish that weren’t the case, but when you grow up in a home with yelling, it isn’t something you can just change overnight.  It’s something that you will work on every day for a year just to see three steps of improvement.  Grace, grace, grace.  This year will be full of grace and the cross of Christ beckoning me to trade in my old broken ways, for a better way.
I read a great blog for moms/women on anger and yelling the other day.  It’s worth the read.  I’m also reading The Discipline Book by Dr. Sears which is amazing!  If you have the idea that discipline and punishment are the same thing, then you should definitely check out this book because it will change the way you view your child and the task of disciplining them.

This weekend, like I mentioned, we are packing up the truck and moving everything besides a couch, an air mattress and Cameron’s crib into our new place.  Then we will be back in San Luis Obispo for two more weeks before it’s time to leave for good.

Snapshots of our new home soon to come.