3 Truths I Am Teaching My Kids That I Need to Learn Too.

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As a parent, I want my kids to be good. My husband and I teach them manners, to be kind to others, to clean up after themselves and to act like Jesus.

Unfortunately, I think as a parent I fall short in one area that is most critical to my children learning all of these lessons.

Modeling all of these things myself. *gulping sound*.

My children are looking at me and my husband for how to live their lives. Even if they don’t know it. This is an incredibly scary thing for me because some of you may not know it but I’m not perfect.

I know. Shocking. But the truth had to come out sometime.

I am still very much working on these lessons. I ask God every day to teach me to be like His Son. And it is in the daily dying to self that these truths are hard to live out.

So buckle up and get ready for some truth bombs!

 

3 Truths Post

Truth #1: They don’t hear your words when you shout.

On an outing one day, my older son was telling my younger son to stop screaming in the car because it was hurting his ears. Before I could tell my younger son to stop screaming my older son shouts, “STOP SCREAMING!”. I thought, that probably doesn’t help your cause there, big guy.

I had to pull over so I could safely explain to my oldest son that his younger brother can’t hear his words when he screams at him to stop.

Then it hit me.

Have I done that? Have I raised my voice to get my child’s attention only to have them not hear a word I’ve said? I also thought to myself, do I really listen when my child is talking or am I distracted by my phone or busy doing something “important”.

What could be more important than my child feeling loved by me because I am giving them my full and complete attention? I’m pretty sure whatever I am doing can wait two seconds so my son can tell me all about how he packed up his tricycle for the beach. Or ask me a question if gorillas are nice or not. Uh…go ask your father.

Do I model good listening skills in front them?

Do I look people in the eye when they are talking to me? Do I interrupt when people are talking? Do I whisper to my neighbor while a speaker is talking?

These things don’t come naturally to me and it takes work to learn good listening skills. So I try to practice listening well when others are talking so they know they are valued. And hopefully I will have passed on important life skill that will be incredibly helpful in my children’s futures.

Truth #2: Getting mad doesn’t change your situation

Oh, if I could only get this one right!

I very often find myself quickly getting mad over something I have no control over. And when I see my oldest son doing the same thing I cringe.

I understand that some people tend to have a harder time letting things go or letting things not get to them. Like they just seem to be naturally predisposed to situations or people making them mad.

Well, I hate to break it to ya but getting mad won’t change the situation.

My son will be yelling and crying in his room that his blocks won’t stay up. So he gives up and won’t try to make things work. I come in and ask him if he would like help. He explains to me that he is mad because he can’t make the blocks work for him. I ask him if getting mad will make the blocks stay up. He says no. Then I ask him again if he would like me to help him stand the blocks up. He says yes.

I try to teach him to problem solve instead of immediately getting frustrated with his situation.

I have to remind myself of this over and over and over again.

That I need to take a step back and think about the situation. Then see if you can figure out an alternative. Because, again, getting mad won’t change anything.

It won’t make that person in front of me go faster. It won’t give me everything me jealous heart wants. It won’t change another person’s bad intentions towards me. It won’t change my child’s attitude.

So when I feel myself getting frustrated with a situation (or my children!) I try to take a deep breath and ask God for His wisdom in how to handle the whatever is happening. Another post I wrote titled, “Why don’t I have any peace?” is another good reminder for myself about what to do when anger starts creeping up into my life.

And last of all…

Truth #3: Be patient, they are still learning.

“How many times do I have to tell you?” is a line I had heard so many times growing up. And I never thought I’d say it because it drove me crazy.

You would think that if I didn’t want to hear it I wouldn’t keep doing whatever it was I was doing, right? Are you confused yet? “Mom brain” means half the time I don’t even know what I’m saying. *nervous laugh*

Anywho…

My older son constantly gets after his younger brother for doing something he’s asked him not to do. Like not to hit or taking something without saying please.

While I do my best to intervene when I can, I also like to see sometimes how my older son will handle it. Will he hit his younger brother or will he ask him not to do that? Will he ask his younger brother to say please or will he tattle that his brother didn’t ask first?

This is kind of hit and miss depending on the mood of each child that day.

Again, this is something I had to ask myself if I was modeling for them.

Do I get annoyed that my son wipes his hands on his shirt for the umpteenth time that day instead of on his napkin? Do I get frustrated when they get water all over the counter after they use the restroom? Do I get worn out and cranky from all the whiny, weeping children around me?

Yes, yes and yes.

But the most important thing is…

I’m working on it.

I have in no way mastered all of these truths. But I acknowledge them. I see my flaws and I am choosing to correct them. Working on being more patient is a daily process.

After writing this long-winded post, it makes me think of James 1:19. “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry.”

All of what I just said summed up nicely in one paragraph. So simple to read yet sometimes so difficult to live out. Can I get a witness?

Some days, I look at my kid’s actions and think, “Yikes, do I do that?” Then other days, my oldest son will bring me a coaster to place my drink near me where I can reach and I think to myself, “God, thank you so much for granting me mercy and allowing me to be the one to teach these wonderful human beings how to be more like your Son every day.”

Thanks for reading.

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5 Reasons Why You Need to Stop Comparing Your Kids to Others Kids

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I saw a very disturbing Pinterest description the other day that really made me stop in my track. The picture was of a cute little girl with a very stylish haircut. The description read, “50 cute haircuts for little girls to put you on center stage.”

After reading that I thought, “Are we really putting this undue pressure on our kids to make us look good?” Are we breeding an unhappy life in our children from the beginning because we compare them to others and judge by what they have and don’t have? I’m getting ahead of myself here so I’m gonna share a quick story that will segue into why we shouldn’t play the comparison game.

I also want to mention that I am in no way the perfect mom never comparing my kids to others but I do try to make a conscious effort not to and try to remind myself not to when others are speaking about their kids accomplishments or negative behaviors.

5 reasons why you need to stop comparing your kids

I was at Target the other day (funny how most things happen there) and I was in the toddler clothing section with another mom. I was perusing the discount section when I heard her child begin to cry. I thought nothing of it because that’s what kids do so I continued my shopping.

I don’t know what the mom was saying to her daughter because I was trying not to pay attention. But after one more correction, her daughter cries even louder as the mom proceeds to put her in the shopping cart. Then what I hear breaks my heart. The mom says to her toddler who is acting out, “Do you see anyone else acting like this?”. I thought to myself, “Honey, you caught on a good day because mine are usually the ones doing the crying.”

I wanted to go to the mom and say, “Don’t worry about it. Every kids does this.” but then I thought that would embarrass her more so I pretended not to hear her crying child. But I was saddened that she was comparing her crying child to mine.

Many times I’m not sure what to do when that happens because I want to be helpful and extend mercy. But what I don’t want to do is draw unnecessary attention to them either. In my head I have said what that mom said many times. “Why can’t my kid act like theirs?” Why do those kids get (insert whatever I’m coveting) and mine don’t.” “Why don’t my kids listen like theirs?”.

Here’s why we need to stop comparing…

1) It puts our kids on pedestals

When we compare our kids to someone else’s, our minds usually goes one of two ways. When we think, “Why can’t our kids be like them?” it shows that we have an expectation of what our child should be and it is not being met. This puts a harmful burden on our child that they are not good enough. They will begin to think that they can never do right by you. And, in doing this, you put someone else’s child on a pedestal.

Or we swing the other way and put our child on the pedestal. Thinking our child is better than everyone else’s setting them up for failure because they can “do no wrong”. This also puts a great deal of pressure on your child and they will become humiliated when they fail to meet with your approval. I feel this also encourages our children to be puffed up and that no one can do anything better than your child.

2) It creates an entitlement attitude

Our mentality is that we should always have the latest and greatest things. And when others have those things, we need them too. My child is just as good or better than yours (again comparing) therefore they need whatever that is to make your child great in the eyes of others. If their child has one, my child needs one too. (Whether or not you can afford one.)

The trouble with this mind-set is is that someone is always going to have something you want. Someone is always going to have a bigger house, more money, better clothes, better car or a “better life.” And if we are coveting and comparing ourselves to others you can bet that our kids will learn to do that as well.

Entitlement comes from a prideful attitude. Just like Eve in the Garden. She thought she should be entitled to know everything that God knows. Satan lies to us and tells us that if other children have it then so should then mine should too.

3) It teaches them to be ungrateful

It’s not enough to teach a child to parrot the word ‘thank you’ when they are given something. We need to really encourage gratefulness in our children.

We will never teach our kids to be thankful and grateful for what they have if we are always trying to keep up with what the world tells us we need. Are we purposefully thankful in front of our kids to help them learn to be thankful? Or do we nitpick and complain that we don’t have the newest iPhone or the lastest fashion?

If we do not make a conscious effort to be thankful in front of our kids, they will learn that they will always need something new and fantastic to make them happy. Madame Blueberry, anyone?

4) It fosters discontent among theirs peers

Children at a young age become aware that others have things that they don’t have. I remember being envious when I saw friends or relatives opening presents that I wish I had.

I am beginning to have the mind-set not to open gifts in front of other children because I don’t want to teach them to be envious of my child. Or to teach mine to be envious of other children.

How do you teach a 3-year-old to be happy with what some else has that they don’t? I admit I am not always quick to be happy when someone gets something that I have always wanted. I received many wonderful gifts from my family when I was younger so I wasn’t lacking in gifts but maybe those ideas of discontent stem from comparing my gifts to those around me?

5) It teaches them that their self-worth comes from others and things

When we teach our children to compare what they have with others it begins to shape their thinking that their self-worth comes from what they own and how they look. I do think it is important to look nice and presentable but we need to look at why our kids should be presentable.

Do we want them to have the best because we want people to admire us and how our kids look? Or should they be dressed decently in clean clothes because we are a reflection of Jesus Christ?

Look, I’m not down on moms who want to dress their kids in cute clothes. More power to ya. But when I see that your child HAS to have name brand clothes I feel like their attire is more about you then them simply being dressed.

And then when you get frustrated with them because they spilled food on the clothe you spent x amount of money on, you are telling them that their clothes are more important then their feelings getting hurt.

So what it really boils down to is this…

Are we trying to help them be more like Christ today than they were yesterday?

That’s the only comparison we should making of our children because He’s the only one worth emulating.

I am on this journey of Motherhood like all moms. I, again, am not perfect in this but who wants to join me in a pact of teaching humility and gratefulness to our children?

Think I am crazy or are you crazy with me? Let me know in the comments below!

 

5 Minute Vegetarian Snacks and Meals for Toddlers

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5 minute snacks for toddlers

Coming up easy little to no prep vegetarian snacks for my kids isn’t always easy when you’re running on very little sleep. Half of the time I open my fridge and just stare wondering what I can make my three-year-old and one-year-old that they can both eat. My one-year-old only has 6 teeth at the moment so finding foods that he can easily eat by himself is not always an easy task.

Meal time is so much eaiser than snacks because I get so tired that I can’t even remember to put the coffee I just ground up in my pour over before I pour the hot water into it. (Oops!).  And many times I give into something that I don’t want them to eat because the snack is easy instead of filling and healthy.

And sometimes I have all my ducks in a row but most of the time my ducks are scattered all over creation. So instead of beating myself for not being “the perfect mom” (if such a thing exists) I have this little list to help keep me sane.

So let’s simplify things, shall we?

What I love about this list is that the food listed here is soft and easy to chew. Obviously you never leave a child alone while they are eating but I like that most of the food on here probably won’t pose as a choking hazard.

This list is also nice if you are leaving your kids with a baby sitter. Just print it out and have it hanging on the refrigerator for a quick reference. Then you don’t have to sit there and explain which foods your child can or cannot have.

Another thing I like that about this list is that the simple foods encourage self feeding and helps them with fine motor skills. This then frees up my hands to read to both my kids during lunch time (or check Facebook).

So here is the free printable list that helps me prepare quick meals and snacks on the fly that will keep your toddler full and satisfied! 18 Vegetarian Snack Ideas!

Thanks for reading! Did I miss something? Comment below what you would add to the list!

P.S. If you’re wondering if Vegetarins get enough protien click here!

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“I am n” by The Voice of the Martyrs

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When was the last time you thought about the persecuted church? I admit it was not always at the forefront of my mind. Not at least until recently that is.

After reading “I am ‘n'” put out by The voice of the martyrs, the persecuted believers are very much on my mind these days.

Some of you may recall that Islamic extremists placed the symbol “n”, which is pronounced “noon” which stands for the Arabic word for Nazarene on all of the houses and businesses that had Christians living there. And after Jeremy Courtney drew the symbol on his hand and posted the picture on his twitter account to bring awareness about what ISIS was doing, Christians around the world took notice. Continue reading

8 Tips to Stay Safe During Rattlesnake Season

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A friend took our oldest son on a walk that other day and they came across a baby rattlesnake! When I heard that it sent chills up and down my spine. Baby rattlesnakes mean there could be bigger ones nearby! So I took to the internet and researched everything I could to keep my kids and myself safe during rattlesnake season.

Some websites claim that roughly 8,000 people are bitten by snakes in the U.S. each year. That is a terrifing number! So I will be keeping a sharp ear and eye out for rattlesnakes and be applying these tips whenever I can!

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Create a Hanging Flushable Wipe Dispenser for Potty Training

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We are still in the throes of potty training but I haven’t had to clean up an accidents in a while so yay! I wanted to make the process a little easier on both of us so I did a little brain storming and came up with this handy-dandy hanging wipe dispenser!

It had been somewhat of a battle with my son because when we first started he didn’t care about going on the potty at all. The hardest thing about potty training for me at first was remembering to take my son to the bathroom to go and to ask him regularly if he had to go. Now that he has learned to go when he feels the urge it was high time for me to figure out a way for my son to be able to easily wipe himself.

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A Letter for Moms After Mother’s day.

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It’s the day after Mother’s day and things have gone back to normal for the most part. We resume business as usual and most everyone forgets the day before how moms were celebrated.

If I could sit and talk to you the day after Mother’s day what would you tell me? Would you say that it was one of the best you’ve had or was it hard because you didn’t actually get to celebrate for one reason or another?

Since I can not be with you, I wanted to write you a letter in the hopes that you will be touched and remember that someone is still thinking about you the day after Mother’s day.

This letter is for the mom who…

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