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The Punctual Parent - Live life with your kids - Issue 072
September 19, 2008
Hi there! ....

This week:

This week I’ve been aware of how things change, or have to change when you have older children. Josh and Jess both discussed with me an area of their studies that they didn’t feel was working for them. In listening to them talk about how they like to study and then them listening to me as to why we have chosen the study we were able to come to a mutual goal. This is a good thing. They were taking ownership of their studies, they are beginning to recognize their personal learning styles and goals and yet they were still mindful of my role as parent in their life.

Another aspect we have become increasingly aware of is that as they become independent learners the interruptions of family life don’t always need to affect them. I can visit a friend, go shopping, focus in the office and they can continue with their studies, they don’t need to be with me as much as the younger two. This gives them more time, more focus time, to pursue their studies.

Live life with your kids!



Character Notes for Mum
Punctuality



Being aware of time, and
using it to achieve priorities in my life



There are two aspects to punctuality
  • Managing our time
  • Using our time

Live ready! If you have to get ready when
opportunity comes your way, it is too late ...
You must not have to get ready;
you must live ready.
Smith Wigglesworth



I am not sure when Smith Wigglesworth said this, but no doubt he had a spiritual message with his words – we must be ready to do things for God and His Kingdom, we must be ready for when Jesus returns.

I want to draw our attention though to some of the practical areas of our life, namely our parenting. Are you a punctual parent? It goes beyond just arriving “on time”. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do I focus on what matters?
  • Am I prepared for the unexpected?
  • Do I make the most of my time?

Each of us, regardless of any other defining trait, has 24 hours in our day. We need to use that time to achieve our purpose. As a parent what is our purpose?
  • to instruct and train our children in the ways of the Lord
  • to give them the skills and abilities to be ready to achieve their purpose
  • to nurture them; their body, mind, spirit
  • to love them
I have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, and several short years in which to do that. We may think that 18 years or so is a long time, but it goes so quickly and if we are not prepared, it goes even quicker!

Focus on what matters
Because time is short it is so important that we focus on those things that matter – that matter to God. God looks at the heart, He has a relational focus, and He wants us to know His Word and to live by it.

We need to look at how we spend our time and adjust our commitments so that they line up with God’s purposes. Do you have time to deal with heart issues (attitudes) in your family? Do you deal with Relational issues or do they get left till after the math lesson? Do you have time to teach your children to study the Word of God and to understand His ways? Do you have time to bless others?

Be prepared for the unexpected
Life happens ... It is just the way of it. If we are to use and manage our time wisely we must be aware of the probability of things happening. When I have contingency plans, when my life isn’t crammed then I handle these “probabilities” with patience, grace and creativity.

Many families like to have a written routine that may or may not have time allocations. When we write up our routines we must remember the seasons of life we are in. Are we breast feeding, potty training, chore training, relationship building? Each of these phases in our parenting takes time. We must allocate time not only for the intentional moment with our children but also for when things happen.

Winging it, making it up as you go along, going by the seat of your pants is not an efficient or effective way to live our life. We need to be ahead of ourselves. Prov 31 woman rises and prepares food for her household. She doesn’t wait till breakfast to ask, what shall I serve, no she is ahead of herself. This is the same principle for any aspect of parenting. When it comes to teaching or correcting our children, we need to be ahead of ourselves, we need to already know what the Word of God says, we need to know already what this looks like. I know there will be things that catch us by surprise but let us not live this way!

Making the most of our time
Every regular family life activity gives us an opportunity to instruct or train our children in either a practical, spiritual or moral area. We can see the task of getting the dishes done as a practical necessary evil in our modern life, or we can see the opportunity to teach our child to show initiative, to work hard with a joyful heart, to be aware of the details or to help/serve another. The true training value of this one aspect of our life often gets overlooked – imagine all the opportunities in your day!

It isn’t just making the most of our time for training our children in the practical issues of life, we also need to make the most of our time to connect with our children, heart to heart. We need to take the moment, or make such a moment happen; over a meal, in the car, playing a board game, reading a book together, or simply by turning the TV/movie off and chatting.

We must ask ourselves, throughout the day, which child will benefit the most from this opportunity, from this moment of time. Take that child aside and make the most of it.

Tools for the Punctual Parent
There is an over abundance of systems and time management tools available to us today. Though these tools may assist us in managing our time, they don’t really help us use our time. These tools so often direct us to fill our day with tasks and yet we want to be relationship focused, building up our children. It is our heart, not a diary that will direct us and help us both manage and use our time wisely.

Is our heart focused toward our family, or is our heart distracted?


Website Updates

Fixed Links: Series on Routine
Establishing Routines
Writing Routines
Maintaining Routines

Two new articles for Responsibilities Training
What Curriculum will teach Responsibilities
Family Team Work

Christmas is coming! Jessica has written a list to help kids get ready for Christmas though I am using this simple list to organise myself too. Christmas minus Trauma and Drama. (pdf file) I believe her lists focuses on the real stuff we need to do, and makes getting ready for Christmas happen without stopping the rest of our life. Check it out - Christmas is less than 100 days away.

If you are using her list I am sure she'd appreciate some feedback



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Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!


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About Live Life with your kids Newsletter I know homeschool mums are busy with lots to read, so I have divided my newsletter into four sections and you will receive one section a week; short but regular newsletters!
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