So as of Sunday, all 4 of my children are sick. That is right, all 4, ages 5 and under are sick. My oldest has croup cough, my daughter has an ear infection and strep, and the twins both have double ear infections and croup. But even in the midst of all this craziness I want to reiterate how important it is to be thankful. I am thankful for my wife who somehow holds us all together through the craziness. I am thankful for a wonderful community of friends and family to help. I am thankful that we have been blessed with these amazing tiny humans who continue to grow and amaze. Most of all I am thankful that God loves us and is providing for us even when we are sick. What are you thankful for? When things get crazy, do you slow down and remember to be thankful? Thankfulness is a discipline as well as an attitude. Lets choose it and pass it down. Happy Thanksgiving!
1. Build a pillow fort. Here is a collection inspiring fort creations.
2. Teach them some of your car fixing and upkeep skills. They’ll realize how handy they are later in life.
3. Music time — even if you’re not musically inclined, look at it as an opportunity to learn and grow a new skill with your child.
4. Take a hike in the woods. Bundle up, if you have to. Outdoor time is good all year around. Here’s a list of Iowa Parks to explore.
5. Find somewhere to volunteer together. There a great opportunities on desmoines.join365.org.
Five Things — Try these with your kids.
Visit your local library —show them how much fun reading is.
Visit a pumpkin patch.
Take your children to the playground and push them on the swings.
Plan to take a trip to the Science Center of Iowa for learning and discovery.
Make dinner with your children. Need inspiration? Try these dishes.
I heard the shouting in the backyard. My 4 year old was going rounds with some older children through our backyard fence. As far as I can discern, the older kids were calling my son stupid because they could not understand what he was saying. So doing my best to be reasonable I brought my son inside and asked him what was going on.
My son told me they had been calling him names and so he was yelling at them to stop. I told him that those kids didn’t seem like they were playing nice and that he shouldn’t play with them anymore. “But Dad, they are MY FRIENDS!” I responded that when people treat you like that they aren’t friends. And then he said it…
“But Dad they are our neighbors and we are supposed to love our neighbors…” Ouch. He’s right. My wife and I have been raising our children to live the kind of life where they truly do love their neighbors. 4 is way too young to understand setting up boundaries for love to grow in mutual respect and benefit. What do I do now? I want him to love his neighbor and I want him to feel safe.
I model. I make it a point to be outside with him and his “friends.” I do my best to model loving your neighbor. He may not fully understand my words but he sure does see what I do. Right now he wants to do what I do. What a cool opportunity! So until next time, love your neighbors and be the kind of person you want your children to become.
My son just completed his driver’s education course, so every time we need to go somewhere he wants to drive. Actually that’s great because either my wife or I get to sit in the seat next to him and observe. We get to provide guidance, instruction, and mentoring as he drives – whether he wants it or not. Each time he gets behind the wheel he drives with more confidence and skill. There is no substitute for experience.
All aspects of parenting should be that way. And most can, if we work at it. We can help our children with their homework when they go to school. We can help them learn the rules of the road when dealing with friends. We can help them look for dangerous situations. As they gain experience, become more skillful, demonstrate competence, and show good decision making, we can give them more responsibility.
I wish there was a competency test that a child had to pass before he could grow up, but there’s not. So it is up to us as parents to sit in the seat next to them to observe and instruct as they grow, even if they do not want us to. That is being a parent.
How are you doing at sitting in the seat next to your child as he or she navigates through life? It’s not too late to start. Don’t be afraid to grab the steering wheel if you need to.
Posted in Modeling