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Keeping your Word - Live life with your kids - Issue 054
May 16, 2008
Hi! ....

This week:

I am writing this newsletter mid-week this time as we are going camping towards the end of the week so won’t be near a computer!

Tuesday night we had the opportunity to go to a community astronomy evening. Though all our kids have enjoyed learning about stars and planets, it really is Daniel’s topic; he has loved it from very young. But going to a public discussion and viewing - well, you never know what you are going to hear.

I prepped Nomi and Daniel during the day; trying to encourage their curiosity about the stars and planets, trying to ensure they had respect for these men’s knowledge and yet preparing them to guard themselves from believing everything that was said. Tricky assignment!

We had an enjoyable evening which wasn’t too heavily peppered with evolutionary thoughts. But of course, they were there. When we got into our car I asked the children what it was, that as they listened to him speak, they wished they had known more about from a Creation Science perspective. This generated positive conversation rather than pulling the man down and bunking everything he said.

Each of the children had an area of lack (except Daniel who was fast asleep even by the end of my asking the question!). This has then become their science assignment for the next day or so; to research the one area that they wished they knew more about. So not only did we get to see God’s amazing creation through some powerful telescopes, we learnt more about what to look for in the sky, and we were also provoked to learn more from a Creation Science perspective.

Live life with my kids!

Character Notes for Mums
Keeping your Word

Responsibility means I will keep all of my promises

Character First
Education Series

One of the aspects of being a responsible parent is to keep our word. Let our yes be yes and our no be no. Consistency is one of the biggest challenges as a parent. We know we have to be consistent and yet we often take the easy road and ease up on what we know is the right thing for our children.

There are three main situations that we face as parents where we need to be aware of our words, and hold to them:

  1. Giving instructions: So often we rattle off “do this” and “do that”, our instructions become vague and on the run. We must know we have our children’s attention, we must give instructions clearly, they must know we need it done and we need to follow up to ensure it has been done. When we give instructions clearly like this, we are being responsible and our children know (and we know) what it is that has been said.
  2. Giving consequences: Once again because we tend to ramble at our children, if we stopped and listened to ourselves we would hear ourselves saying the same thing over and over and over again. We blame the children for us “having” to repeat ourselves. This is not being responsible. When we threaten a consequence, over and over, and yet don’t carry it out, we are not keeping our word.

    We need to stop what we are doing to give either instructions or consequences. This takes time and considered words not a rashly thrown out verbal barrage.

  3. Making promises: Our relationship with our children is being established on our words. Are our words worth believing in? We make small promises all day to our children (actually small promises don’t exist - if you said it you said it!) Our children place huge value on the words we say and yet often we ourselves don’t, this needs to change. Our words are vital to the well being of our family life. We tell our children we will read a story, we will play a game, we will go and visit and in our mind we may do these things if we have the time but that is not what we say. Before we open our mouth, we need to be aware of what we are going to say, we need to check the reality of what it is we are about to promise.

When I discussed keeping our word with our children I asked them what is it that stops them from doing what they said they would do. Their answer was very clear – distractions. It is the same for us parents.
We get distracted.

For parents this means:

  • we have too much going on at any one time
  • Our priorities get out of whack and we focus on the wrong thing

If you struggle with consistency I encourage you to:

  • Look at your training goals for your children – are they specific? Remember you can’t train everything today! Choose one major issue for each of your children, and if that is too many to deal with choose one issue at a time. Read more in the Newsletter - Be Ready for Battle
  • Look at your days – do you have time to train your children? Do you have time to get along side of them and show them how live, do you have time to be there to correct and guide their choices? If your days are too busy I encourage you to learn to say “no” (another aspect of being Responsible) so you can focus on your priorities – your children.
  • Teach yourself not to say anything to your children unless you are standing still and looking them in their eyes. If you have a bad case of “inconsistency” then I also suggest you hold their hands or have some physical contact before you speak. Doing these things will slow you down, make you aware of what you are saying to your children – be it an instruction or a correction. When you are more aware of your words you are more likely to keep them!

He who guards his lips guards his life,
but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin.
Prov 13:3

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Until next week
Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter Knowing that homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, this newsletter comes out in small portions – one portion every week.
  • Being a Deliberate Parent – Encouragement to continue in purposeful and intentional parenting.
  • Using Life resources – Spotlight on a particular resource and notes on how to use this in your life (not in a school room)
  • Character Education – Each month we focus on a different character trait – The newsletter will include application for Mums, as well as seeing character training opportunities in everyday life.
  • Beyond the Quote – Take a moment to really think about that quote!
  • For those who are not into RSS feeds yet, the newsletter will serve to keep you updated with Lifestyle-Homeschool

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