Mothering

Inspiration on parenting

How To Love While You Lead

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Here are a few ideas about how to love your kids, even while you are doing your best to lead them to better things, like say, a clean room…

1 Be Quiet

So much of our mother-yacking becomes so much background noise and does nothing to help our children attend to what we are saying. Do your best to clearly say what needs to be said once. Then move forward with what needs to be done.

2 Be Together

Instead of sending your son or daughter off to tackle the job they need to do, consider tagging along and calmly helping them get started. Some kids need direction all along the way, while others may just need a prompt. I remember a wise mother saying that to get her children interested in a new book, she would read the first chapter aloud with all the drama she could. Often, she said, they would be ready to read more on their own after that!

3 Be Patient

When our son who has high-functioning autism is working on a job, he takes breaks in between the small tasks. I used to come unglued wanting him to pick up the speed, but now I know that if I stay present and enjoy the breaks with him, he keeps coming back to work some more. A few days ago, he cored and peeled {with our handy dandy apple corer/peeler} a whole cookie sheet of apples for a batch of apple sauce. The breaks in between were listening to a song from Hook or watching a scene from Batman. Then he would come back. Your young kids may have the need for breaks. Hey, maybe we can learn to take a break now and then too!

4 Be Kind

Remember the boundaries of kind, gentle, respectful and FIRM? Sometimes as parents, we forget that we get far more cooperation from our troop when we treat them with respectful kindness. Even when they choose differently than we want them to, even when they get home late, even when they leave their bike on the ground behind the car, we still need to be kind. Think of the times you feel that someone would be justified in yelling at or criticizing you when you make a poor judgement call. No, no one wants to be treated poorly, even when they’ve done something foolish. In reality, we have all done foolish things.

5 Let Boundaries Speak The Loudest

Being kind doesn’t mean that there aren’t consequences for bad behavior right? So, say you find your child’s bike behind the car as you’re pulling out to go to a meeting and you have to stop {hopefully before you hit it} to move it out of the way. Pretty frustrating, particularly if you have discussed this no no with your family and you know that they know better! Do you scream and berate your child for being thoughtless or for not following the family rule about putting bikes away? Nope. You let the consequence do the talking. You might show the child where you found the bike and you might talk to them while you are putting the bike in the shed where it will stay for the week {or whatever your family’s consequence is for leaving bikes out.} The bike that is unavailable will be the sad consequence, not the mistreatment of your child.

6 Decide Together

In order to let consequences talk, they need to exist and be known! Teach in calm moments. Talk together about what happens when problems arise. Talk after the consequences are put in motion. Teach and talk and validate and listen. We’re all learning together.

I hope these ideas will be helpful to you as you go about your days.

This stage of life, when children are home and growing flies so very fast. I pray you’ll enjoy as many fleeting moments as you can, with the perspective that this time will go by and be a memory before long. And also with the knowledge that by being a parent, you are learning as much or more than your children are! Family life is an education for everyone. Maybe the most valuable education there is.

Much love to you today!

Jacque

Active Learning

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“The first idea that the child must acquire, in order to be actively disciplined, is that of the difference between good and evil; and the task of the educator lies in seeing that the child does not confound good with immobility, and evil with activity.”

Maria Montessori

 

Quiet Please!

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I remember one day when our kids were little, my brother visiting and hearing the classical music that was playing in our house, and probably seeing that I was tired and ready for bed at 8:00, said something like, “You need a little more music in your life!” as he vocalized a high-pitched noise to make his electric air guitar squeal on a prolonged note.

I just looked at him. How could he know that my life was full to the brim with excitement and adrenaline rushes? He’d never been a parent let alone had three little people under the age of four. No, I needed music that calmed my nervous system and helped me to think in full sentences, considering my state of sleep deprivation.

This parenting game is intense because so much of a parent’s time is spent taking care of urgent, noisy tasks! I know that you know this, but I just have to validate the fact!

Which is why this month we are working on finishing small projects; cleaning or organizing small to large trouble spots that are screaming for our attention; simplifying our spaces; simplifying our schedules; making plans to quiet the stress of  “I don’t know where to begin!” A list that is prioritized, number one needing attention first, and two being next and so on, is the beginnings of a plan.

Even the smallest efforts will pay great dividends! Look around. What is calling to you? Can you remedy it simply? Can you get someone to help you if need be? Can you write a note to yourself, if you aren’t up for tackling it right this minute, and allowing the note to take the sound of urgency down a few notches?

I pray that you will feel empowered to keep moving forward, encouraged to take one small step after another…
Life is good. You are amazing!

Love,
Jacque

 

 

 

 

Fortification

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Sometimes we are afraid of being aware.

Maybe we will discover what we don’t want to know about ourselves or others.

{What if I don’t think I can handle what I might find?}

Coming into greater clarity might mean:
Seeing your home as it really is;
Coming to understand a challenge someone you love is facing;
Becoming aware of destructive thoughts you may be habitually thinking;
Getting clearer about changes that need to happen in order to move forward.

I offer this reminder to us, as we are all hopefully in the process of heightening awareness, that there is Someone standing behind us, always with us, who will never leave us and delights to comfort and nourish us; that He is not found in things or any possessions; that no mere mortal can replace.

With His strength and power and love, we will have or gain the ability to see, to feel, to rejoice, to grieve, to learn, to risk, to accept and to change.

Knowing He is there makes all the difference.
Knowing we are loved helps us see purpose and growth in pain.
Knowing we’re not alone keeps us present and working through our “stuff” instead of retreating into fear, hiding, compulsion and addiction.

He is our friend, and awareness is a gift.

God give us the strength to be shown ourselves, as we really are so that we can take inventory and move on!

Love,

Jacque

 

Living Things

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What are the important things in your life that require constant nourishment?

Your children?

Your pets?

Houseplants and gardens?

What about the intangible things? Those living things that require incredible amounts of energy and focus…

Your marriage relationship. Your relationship with your children, your parents, your siblings, your friends. Your health. Your faith. Your vision. Your goals.

These other living things are most worthy of our attention. Our deliberate maintenance, fostering connection and care. Who have you become because of your experiences with your family? What have you come to know through your experiences with God? When is His voice most clear to you? Do you keep those things ever before your face and on your heart? Do you record your most important thoughts and the inspiration you receive? Do you have bolstering declarations posted so that you can see them regularly to work on your beliefs and mindset every day?

Sometimes, I find myself thinking of these life-affirming blessings as common place; but then I’m reminded that they are the real sustenance of my life and should receive my greatest gratitude and efforts!

I hope you are well. I hope you will nourish, constantly nourish, your soul, your body, and then your loved ones and everyone and everything within your sphere of influence.

Much love to you!

Jacque

“Stand still…but first remember, remember the signs! Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night and when you wake in the middle of the night. Whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning: here on the mountain, I have spoken to you clearly. I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear. As you drop down into Narnia the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the signs which you have learned here will not look at all like you expect them to look when you meet them there.
That is why it is so important to know them by heart; and pay no attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs; nothing else matters. And now Daughter of Eve, farewell.”  The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis