Join me in my daily walk through the joys and struggles of parenthood. Share a word of encouragement or be encouraged. Cry a little, laugh a lot, but know it is all in divine order.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Give kids the gift of time

Several parents that I’ve talked to said that they like to spend quality time with each of their children separately. Spending money is not a requirement to accomplish this. The simple gift of time can mean a lot.
During basketball season my 15 year old son Donovan and I had several opportunities to share dialog while his brother was at practice. Yes we actually talked…parent and teen. Nothing deep, just open conversation. This accomplishment can be equated to climbing Mt. Everest. Actually, Mt. Everest might be a smaller mountain to conquer.

On one occasion, Donovan and I sat in the car waiting for Joshua’s practice to end. Listening to music and bobbing our heads to the beat, Donovan opened the mirror on the sun visor. Examining his face he proudly said, “My mustache is growing.”
I waited a few seconds, then looked at him and said, “So is mine.” I wasn’t quite as happy about my mustache as he was. But it didn’t really matter, after all we were bonding.

Sometimes quality time with my teen may be a trip to the mall. He goes to a sports store while I look for the kiosk where the lady does “threading” – so I can have my chin hairs removed and eyebrows arched. I’m afraid for her to touch the mustache.
I recently visited a blog where the author gave examples of how she spends quality time with her children. Her ideas are not as off the wall as mine. Some of her activities include:

  • Snuggle under a fuzzy blanket while reading with one of your kids.
  • “Listening to stories about dreams or the previous days activities during a reading lesson.”
  • “Stopping whatever I’m doing to sit down on the floor right where I am and read a picture book to a toddler.”
To view the complete article visit www.raisingolives.com/2011/02/individual-time-kids/.

No matter what activity you decide to do with your child, giving him the gift of time will go a long way.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Give me patience – but hurry!

Patience is a virtue. It is said to be a virtue because we learn to develop it through difficulties. It is not something you can expect to obtain in a hurry.   I know because I prayed for patience years ago and I am still being tested.
Have you often heard the saying, “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree?” Well, just like his mom, my son is still learning about being patient. We went to the library one day for a change of scenery…mainly because I wanted quiet time to write. After a couple of hours, “Mr. Grumpy” invaded my sons’ body.

As I was trying to focus on what I was doing, my son interrupted my train of thought. His words were, “I can’t be here any longer. I have exceeded my limit.”
I asked, “What was your limit?”

“The time we arrived.”

Needless to say, his patience expired along with the movie videos he was returning.
What I have learned about praying for patience is that you will be tested. After all how can we learn patience without having the opportunity to practice? The test of patience comes in many forms. For some it is waiting in a long line when you are in a hurry, or not receiving good service at a business. For others it could be driving behind someone who is going slower than you want to go.

A test of patience for me comes in the form of situations with my children. Maybe you are familiar with some of them. I tell my son to put away the dishes and 10 minutes later the dishes are still not put away. In another instance I tell the boys to go to bed, but they find many reasons (excuses) to avoid sleep. So what’s a parent to do?
·         Know what triggers your impatience – determine the underlying cause of your frustration and find a coping mechanism to ease your tension.
·         “Look for patterns” www.sketchpride.livejournal.com/17995.html/)  – an article at wikihow says to look for patterns…when do you feel impatient? Is at the end of a long day at work? At bedtime for the kids? Etc.
·         Don’t sweat the small stuff – choose your battles and try not to stress out over the small things.

By the time my kids are adults, I just might have the patience thing mastered. Until then I will persevere.
Here is a quote by John Quincy Adams that helps put things into perspective - “Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

What situations have you encountered that required patience?

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A visit to the dentist

"Do you hear what these children are saying?"...Matthew 21:16 (NIV)

In the above scripture the reference is to children shouting praises. This was not the case during my 12 year old son's (Joshua) visit to the dentist. He shouted everything except praises, "How long will this take? Can we go out to eat afterwards? Can we stop by Target?"

Joshua is very capable of handling his visit with the hygenist without me being in the room. Had I known he would make me look like "bad mama" I would have accompained him to the dental chair. At the end of his cleaning, I received the report.

"Joshua has three cavities," Julie told me. "He said he eats a lot of candy, brushes once a day and doesn't have any dental floss at home."

"Oh," I groaned.

 I stared at Joshua and tried to send a message telepathically. I gritted my teeth, pursed my lips, and narrowed my eyes as small as I could. Nothing. He didn't get the message. Julie kept talking. I kept frowning at Joshua.

What Julie didn't know was that Joshua used all of his dental floss...to wrap around the door knob of his bedroom door. Some of the floss extended to the door knob of the laundry room, a few feet away from Joshua's room. What was the reason for this? Just for the fun of it, to see who could break through it.

Sometimes when you want to scream you just have to sigh and realize, this too shall pass. I just keep chugging along like The Little Engine Who Could..I think I can, I think I can, I think I can. I, know I can!