Posts by Parenting with Pride
Hi, Haven here, or rather I am not here; I am over on Word Refiner Mark is the Hyper-Speller at Word Refiner, and he is filling in for me this time. I suggested he join me and he grabbed the idea and here we are switching places on Earth! He has an excellent dual themed blog about children and spirituality. These are big topics for all of us here at Parenting with Pride. Mark is writing about releasing your children into their giftedness and ministry. Without further ado, the floor is yours Mark. Please bring it back with a full tank.
Thank you Haven, I am honored to join you and your followers today. I know you will take good care of my people on Word Refiner. Have fun!
My children are grown adults, and they are all doing well. The oldest two are pursuing careers in their chosen fields of finance. Our youngest has given us three gorgeous grand-daughters, our most valuable treasures on Earth!
We raised our children to love books and Jesus from the earliest age possible. We modeled serving Jesus in different ways by serving in church and out. They have all caught the spirit of service. The oldest did a Short Term Missions trip in Argentina, the middle (our son) went to Israel with Jews For Jesus, and the baby went to Kyrgyzstan with Youth With A Mission.
One of the important things, we learned early on was that each child has a natural bent or giftedness. It was important for us to be aware and guide our children, not break them. The formative years are from birth to about 5. Their giftedness will usually show up by that time. Fortunately, a kindergarten teacher pointed it out to us, otherwise we might have missed the signs.
Esther, our oldest, had an epiphany at an early age of 6, she committed to listen only to Contemporary Christian music. We bought lots of it for her. She made tapes of herself being a radio DJ and introducing the songs. She listened to the local CCM radio station and called in a lot to talk with the disc jockeys. She convinced one man to let her see the inside of the radio station. I took her down there around 8 pm one night when Chris, the particular dj, was on duty. I watched him like a hawk and discovered he was very likeable and loved Jesus as much as we did. I took her to the radio station many times, so Chris could mentor her and she was allowed to volunteer. I was glad when she got her license to drive. Her volunteering eventually became a job working the midnight shift. She started her own program on another station and even found a sponsor to pay the airtime.
We went to a large church, one of the largest in the area, around 10,000 members and multiple services each weekend. There was a well-equipped Audio-Video department and our son, David, only 13 years old, wanted to help. He was very into technology. There was a policy in place at that time forbidding children from operating the expensive equipment, many thousands of dollars had been invested. It was very understandable to everyone, except David.
David was persistent, he hung around the sound booth or the camera stations for weeks, talking to anyone who would talk with him. The weeks turned into months, and David was there every week for at least one service. We lived a little over a mile from the church so he was allowed to get there on his own.
After 6 months, it became obvious to Doug, the department head and the entire department that David was not going away. They decided to train and mentor him, giving him a chance. The department was chronically understaffed, every church suffers from that problem I think. David really applied himself and proved that he was more than capable. He was also unencumbered by job or wife. He was very available. He began to fill in wherever there was a need. Sometimes he did multiple services. Eventually, he was part of a sound team and a video team. He worked very hard and proved to be quite reliable. Doug started to notice other kids were hanging around and discovered a deep well of willing volunteers! After a couple of years over half the slots were filled by very talented and committed teenagers.
Our baby, Amy, loved children and wanted to be a mother when she grew up. While in High School church, she was allowed to help my wife with a class of kindergartners. Amy ran the games very well. After a year of success, there was a class of 2nd grade boys needing a teacher. Amy applied and was accepted. She was one of the very first high schoolers given their own Sunday School class to teach. At the end of the year, she asked to move up with the boys into the third grade. After some discussion, the idea was approved and is now standard procedure. Every teacher is expected to follow their class until they leave kid’s church for Junior High Church.
Our kids surprised us then and continue to surprise us now. They still serve in a variety of volunteer positions as adults.
Base your buying of baby clothes to your children’s comfort (Hayhoe & Churgwen, 2009).
Hayhoe, C. & Churgwen, H. (2009) , Planning for Baby- Clothing Fabric Choices, Care Labels Comfort, Fit, Size, and Safety. Virginia State University.
Baby Clothes Comfort Tips:
(Except for special occasions consider these tips for buying and using baby clothes:
1) Buy at yard sales
“The neighbor behind my house is having a yard sale with a stacks of baby clothes. Even the used ones look brand new. You cannot even tell that her children used them. The lucky thing is that her children are a boy and a girl. You might find some things for Carter and Ammon.” (Parenting Strategies on the Go” p. 5)
I found dozens of outfits for Carter and Ammon at yard sales. The onesies were less than a dollar, and they were close to if not immaculate.
Unless you have an exceptional child at either end of the growth spectrum that doesn’t grow quickly or grows too quickly.
2)Buy a year ahead of time. If you are good at storing things (I’m not) buy ahead several years.
Several outfits for Ammon and Carter were bought on sale ( like $100/$120 dresses for $20) because they were purchased off-season. The best clothing from these sales are the Christmas dresses. We have found several Christmas dresses way up into the month of January.
3) Dress for comfort. Sleeper onesies are a must. If you just have to buy couture baby clothes, go for it. The babies don’t care, and they will grow out of them in weeks.
The majority of baby time is spent sleeping. Who has time for fancy clothes with a multiplicity of pieces. And, my goodness, the poop, pee, vomit, and drool that is going to cover them.
“If you are a couple who is just starting off together who have agreed that you want children in the future or a single person who knows you want to raise children even by yourself, begin your strategies to make your house a home immediately so your future children can feel comfortable and safe (McGowan, 2010)”
McGowen, S., (2010). Making a House a Home.. For Everyone. The Exceptional Parent,40, 21-23.
3 Tips for Planning a Baby’s Nursery
- Choose soothing colors for your nursery.
- Choose furniture to grow with your children.
- If at all possible, place the nursery beside your bedroom.
Ammon and Carter were approaching 10 weeks old for their christenings. Our preacher came to our house for a preliminary “walk-through” on what to expect the day of the christening. He walked into Carter and Ammon’s White Lilac-colored nursery and said, “Wow, this color is so soothing.” BINGO! The color was planned to be both neutral (boy & girl’s nursery) as well as soothing. Too bright (yellow, red, or orange) might be too stimulating aiding hyperactivity. Too dark (black or burgundy) might be too depressing aiding in depression and melancholia. White Lilac was and still is great.
Furniture to Grow with your Children:
One day in the near future, Ammon and Carter will be in their own rooms, and they will choose their own colors and themes for their rooms; however, they will not be choosing new beds. We chose the Cocoon Nursery 1000 Series to grow with our children’s needs. They were first cribs then they converted to double beds. We have no plans to buy new beds, and when Carter and Ammon move out of the house one day far into the future, they can take their suits with them.
Place the nursery beside your room:
Crying babies with fevers, coughing spells, vomits, and bad dreams have quickly awakened me. I cannot imagine running across the house or upstairs to my children’s rooms. I want to comfort my babies ASAP. I am so thankful that from DAY ONE when we first laid eyes on our future house (some 4 years before Carter and Ammon were born…just a distant thought) we knew our child’s room would be adjacent to our room. At the appropriate time, Carter and Ammon will move to their future, solitary rooms.
“Sean and I had already been teaching our children to count and breath in relaxation exercises that would reduce their anxiety (Fraser, 1996) so I decided to “practice what I was preaching”. (Parenting Strategies on the Go , p. 1).
Fraser, M. (1996). Aggressive behavior in childhood and early adolescence: An ecological-development perspective on youth violence. Social Work, 41, 347-362.
The children are running, fighting, yelling or whatever. We parents with multiple children have all been there. You, the parents, are TIRED OF IT! In your most controlled voice you state, “Sit down and be quiet.” Begin counting to 10 in silence.
Three things Counting to 10 can do for you and your children.
- It is a signal to your offspring that this is serious enough for silence. It builds their schema (the mental map) that their behavior was unacceptable.
- It gives you time to “think through” the exchange of dialogue that is coming up. It may be the children can explain their actions then change those actions through dialogue with you. So, they have the opportunity to correct the problem, or you, the parent may have to correct the problem through positive or negative reinforcements.
- You are the parent who needs to control the situation not the children. You counting to 10 calmly lets the children know that their ruckus did not control your actions where you act inappropriately (yelling, cursing ). Screaming, cursing, and ranting don’t help solve problems. Thinking, discussion, and changing inappropriate actions do.