In my ebook, 7 Ways To Supercharge Your Family This Week, and in my personal coaching, I emphasize a few weekly events for families. These are the things that have produced in our family the relational gold we are most thankful for.
In 1979, a proclamation was signed to declare that year as the International Year of the Child. The motivation was to draw attention to the problems that affected children around the world. While this motivation is very admirable, there has been a swing since then to focus on the needs of the child above the needs of the family as a whole. This has created more families that are child-centered, which is not necessarily a good thing.
At that time, I was at Iowa State University studying Child Development. I loved children, and had focused so much during my formative years on caring for and teaching siblings, neighbors, and other children at child care centers. So why would I not agree with centering so much attention on children as a whole?
Since we had five children that were homeschooled—and very close in age—we had many a year when toddlers were part of our homeschool experience. Typically, toddlers are active, demanding, and have a short attention span.
But many families have homeschooled older children while two, three, or four children play at Mom’s feet. It can be done!
This post title may bug you a bit, and you may not be aware why. It’s probably due to a prevailing assumption in our culture—and I believe one of the most damaging mindsets for building great families today. It is the premise that you can have it all.
We have convinced ourselves that there is always a solution to getting more in our schedule or to have everything we want.
But there isn’t. And you can’t.
Since I’ve been on Periscope doing short scopes for moms, Mentoring Moments for Moms, I’ve gotten some great questions from those who are jumping on to the scopes. Because they are issues that concern many moms, I wanted to share a few in case there are others who would benefit from hearing them.
There were many times in raising our children that I felt I wasn’t doing the best job. Mistakes happen, children make wrong decisions, I didn’t respond in a way I knew I should have, etc.
Even with homeschooling my children, there were many times I felt I was not doing a good enough job.
Such is the life of a mom—too often feeling we are not totally equipped to be the perfect example of motherhood.
Imagine playing ball in the front yard with your son. The ball rolls into the street. Your son begins to chase after it, unaware of an oncoming car. You call to your son to stop. Immediately, he stops dead in his tracks and turns back to look at you. At this point, the time you’ve taken to train him to obey you right away is worth it all.
Safety, of course, is a main reason why we teach our children to obey us right away. When they are in danger, we want to be sure they listen to our voice and heed the instruction.
When Gail and I ventured into educating our kids at home, we were mainly focused on teaching the normal curriculum common in most schools. It wasn’t long, however, before our perspective broadened dramatically.
We soon realized that their education wasn’t just the in-seat schoolwork for a few hours a day. All of life for us as homeschoolers became school. Every situation was a teaching opportunity.
I’m looking forward to the long 4th of July weekend—I love the idea of long, holiday weekends. But I can remember such weekends that didn’t end up as fun and relaxing as I’d hoped.
You’ve probably had some of those as well. You looked forward to throwing out the normal schedule and just doing whatever you want. Yet after the weekend is over, you don’t feel as recharged as you had envisioned. It felt like the weekend got away from you too fast. Regrettably, it felt a bit like a missed opportunity.
One of the biggest things I feared before becoming a mom was how to handle my kids’ teenage years.
My years from junior high and high school should have been filled with the excitement of being a teen. Instead I felt ugly, insecure, and frustrated with life in general. My parents were wonderful in sticking with me during those turbulent years, but looking back gave me more of a sense of doom in my ability to parent a teenager.