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Our Children's Hearts in Crazy Busy Times - Issue 131
December 11, 2009
Hi there! ....

This week our girls had their first piano recital. It was very exciting – they played on a baby grand piano and in front of a room full of very proud parents! Their piano teacher had all her students perform so we were in for an afternoon of music. We have been so blessed this year with their new piano teacher – she has challenged them and they have risen to it.

We went shopping this week. Nomi and Daniel had two shoeboxes to fill with gifts for some of the local kids who live without. We went into the shop with a budget and very few ideas of what to buy. It was a great lesson in putting other’s first – it is very hard to shop for someone else when all you can think about is what you would like! I was thrilled with my children’s choices – we need to pray now for the child who receives each box. It has been good to be able to do something like this for people/kids in our own town.

Live life with your kids!

Our Children’s Heart in Crazy Busy Times

Do you have a lot of things happening in your life at the moment? We do. We have end of year wrap ups as well as Christmas focused events. We have church events and family happenings filling our diaries. The kids are making presents and I have cooking I want to do. Busy, busy, busy…..

When life has these extra events it is easy to shift our focus from our children to the event. This could be anything from a birthday party, to redecorating the house, to having visitors, going on holidays or celebrating Christmas; extra events that come along, adding to our daily life. It is hard to balance intentional training and cope with the extras on our to-do list.

If we don’t though we lose ground with our children very quickly. It doesn’t take long for our children to start to feel a little unsettled with the extra freedoms they have. It doesn’t take long for them to start pushing buttons. It doesn’t take long for them to be hyped up and out of control. It doesn’t take long before we too loose our cool as a parent!

What is going on here? When we get distracted with all the other things on our to-do list we forget to help our children do the right thing. This is what our job is all about – to help our children do the right thing. While our children are developing their own moral where-with-all our job is to help them make right choices. We help them get enough sleep for the day by having a set bed times. We help them play constructively by limiting the amount of toys out at any one time. We help them be responsible by having chore time. These are boundaries we put around our children to help them do the right thing – but if we get busy we forget to put those boundaries around them and they simply can’t cope! Their ratty behaviour is their way of showing us this. They need those boundaries.

So how do we maintain order in our children’s lives and yet do the things we need to do?

  1. First we need to review our commitments – have we considered our family as we fill our diaries, are all the events we have got ourselves involved in important; are they consistent with our family purpose or are they just pleasing man?
  2. Secondly, and this is a hard one, we need to consider our standards. I know we are to aim for excellence, and we are to do well with all we put our hand to – but at what cost. I would rather do excellent in my relationships than excellent in the works of my hands. Housework, cooking, decorating is all works. Yes, these things can bless my family but we need to keep it in balance. When I snap at my child and then serve a beautiful meal, I can’t kid myself that my child is going to enjoy even a mouthful of that food. Their heart will be hurting and no fine gourmet is going to fix that! I need to ask myself does my standard of housekeeping stop me from playing dress-ups and building castles with my children? Does the idea of being organised and tidy hinder the interaction of family members everyday? We need to realise that we are not defined by our housework, our ability to cook or decorate – they are tools we use to create a home, but first of all a home needs relationships.
  3. In busy times we need to maintain a skeleton of normality. This skeleton will look different depending on the ages of your children. But for example, meal times and rest times (including bedtimes) are a good foundation for a skeleton routine. Meals may be in a different location, rest time maybe in the car but we can still give our children these boundaries. Food, Rest and Family time are the keys to maintaining balance at crazy times.
  4. Maintain your own personal calm. Time with God, food, rest, and conversation with your spouse – these are top of my list for personal calm. The trick is to make time for them. Ironically we always seem to have time for the things we deem important at the moment. Do we deem these things as important – do we value them highly or are they just good things we know we should do. Our attitude to these things will determine how consistent we are with them – which will then affect our calm.
  5. The last encouragement in helping to maintain order at a time of crazy is to commit yourself to dealing with your child’s heart – regardless of the cost, regardless of the inconvenience, regardless of the humility – in the times ahead. This means that when a conflict or issues arises, I will walk away from what I am doing and help my child. It means that I will have to put aside other things, maybe even other people for the sake of my child’s heart. To this I am committed. I find that if we make internal commitments when all is going well, we are more conscious of that commitment when the time comes to act. We still have a choice to make (will I keep talking to this person, will I just finish this task or will I see to my child?) but if we make that commitment in good times, our heart is at least turned in the right direction and we are more likely to succeed.

Our children need us to pause in our busyness and help them do the right thing. We have to decide what is more important to us – this event or our child’s heart.

Website Updates
There are no new updates this week though you may like to check out the pages on Family Traditions and Christmas in particular.

My Sitemap is a quick reference to all you will find on Lifestyle-Homeschool. I encourage you to have a browse around!

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas - Are you intentional about your Christmas celebrations? A workshop style e-book to help you match your celebrations with your beliefs.

Heart Focus Parenting - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Live life with your Kids Blog
Do you read my blog? Live life with your Kids Blog is where I jot my thoughts throughout the week and share things happening in our family. You are welcome to visit!

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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