Back to Back Issues Page
More than one way - Issue 285
February 01, 2013
Hi there! ....

This week we have a house full again. Josh has returned from his stint at housesitting and Josh and Jess have a freind each staying with us. It has been a good week with a good balance between productivity and play. The girls have painted a bedroom which we are preparing for Josh. Daniel and Joshua’s friend had a weeding job in town, which was a hard job in the heat and humidity. Jessica had two meetings for the volunteer work she does and Joshua had a meeting with a local politician as well as his regular study and work commitments. Then the play – the kids have been enjoying the game, “Settlers” and have pulled that out a few times, another friend joined them for an afternoon of board games, they’ve watched a few movies and are itching for a nerf-gun war! Jessica and her friend have pulled out the sewing machines and making fabric dolls. We’ve enjoyed a few storms, some amazing lightening and one night a blackout just on dinner-time so we ate dinner on the veranda, dimly lit by a camping lantern while it peltered with rain. Last weekend, being Australia Day, we went swimming with some friends and joined them for dinner. So a very varied week…one more week before we hit our study routines full on!!

Live life with your kids!

If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

More than One Way

The longer I am a parent and I see the variety in my children’s personalities, weaknesses and strengths I am more and more aware that there is more than one way to do things. There is more than one way to teach, to motivate, to praise. There is more than one way to study, more than one valid subject to study. There is more than one way to serve God, to worship God, to study His word.

A month or so ago our family was having a time of review – looking back, looking forward type of thing. One of the areas that came up was the issue of order in our home. Of the five character traits we would like to be utmost in our lives, and in our home, order is the most lacking or at least the most pressing. We would like to see more order in our time and with our possessions.

So as we do, we grabbed the Character First charts and discussed order. If we want it in our life, we need to know what it is.

Orderliness is arranging myself and my surroundings
to achieve the greatest efficiency*.

We have studied this many times so I asked the kids to think of another character trait that would bring about the same result, or what was another character trait that would answer the reasons why we haven’t maintained order. After much discussion we came to the conclusion that it was a lack of dependability – we don’t do what we say we will do (in our home life). We don’t put things back where we say they belong. We don’t see our routines as a plan or commitment to ourselves – we are too flexible. So over the next little while we will be studying dependability in more depth.

Dependability is fulfilling what I consented to do,
even if it means unexpected sacrifice*.

Can you think of something that you have been working on over and over and over and yet still not making any inroads? Maybe you need to change tack. Maybe you can ask the same question as I did – what is another character trait that would answer the reasons why we haven’t achieved?

With young children it is all too easy to make everything about obedience – and that is a key response we want from our children. But if we keep hammering that we may actually close down their hearts. Instead, we can focus on another response – maybe respect, or self-control, or enthusiasm. If we are working on truthfulness – maybe we can pause and consider dependability, discretion or sincerity. If we are working on responsibility – maybe we can refocus by looking at diligence, thoroughness, or endurance.

No one character based response stands by itself – they all support and blend in together. I tell mums if they can’t figure out what to deal with focus on “Love one another” as it covers every interaction our kids have!! Even though that is true, we can start to sound like a cracked record and we justify it because the kids simply aren’t listening and they obviously need to!! Wrong thinking on our behalf! Remember the story of David, and how the prophet Nathan came to him and told him a story which cut to David’s heart. Nathan appealed to a value that David held – the virtue of fairness, justice, and what is right. Had Nathan come in with a story about adultery it is possible that David would have found every excuse under the sun not to hear it. There is more than one way to get to the heart of our kids.

So what are the issues that concern you in your home today?
What are the issues that concern you about your heart, or about your kids’ heart?

Ask God for wisdom.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God,
who gives generously to all without reproach,
and it will be given him.
James 1:5

I have been surprised to see a connection in the Hebrew between the words wisdom and creativity – God is a creative God, He will give you insight into the heart, answers that you may not expect – just as he did for Nathan. There is more than one way to address heart issues – if only we are prepared to listen, and change tack!

*Character definitions taken from Character First

I blog throughout the week at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I wrote:

My Bookshop

Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

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

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

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

Back Issues
If you have just subscribed to Live life with your Kids! then you can read back issues here.
Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

Contact me: If you have any comments, questions or content ideas I'd love to hear from you. Make your comment here.

Know somebody who'd like to read this? We really hope that you've enjoyed reading this newsletter. If you think your friends might be interested in taking a look, please feel free to forward it to them.

Haven't subscribed yet? If you're reading this on the recommendation of a friend and would like to receive all the future editions, you can Subscribe here for free

About Live Life with your kids Newsletter

Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

The newsletter will also keep you updated with all additions to Lifestyle-Homeschool

Back to Back Issues Page