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Performance or Training for Life - Issue 301
May 31, 2013
Hi there! ....


Last weekend I was at the Mum Heart conference in Newcastle. I am so glad I went though it took a whole day to get there! The conference was built around the idea of the many different hats that we as women wear (you can read my summary on my blog). It was great to meet up with many people who I’ve had contact with over the years online, as well as meet new faces. After the conference I spent a few special days with my folks – though that time came to an end too quickly. I came home rested and inspired to pick up and keep on going with life with my family.

Live life with your kids!

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Performance or Training for Life

One of the things that puts pressure on families is having visitors come to stay (be it for dinner, or as overnight guests). Suddenly all the issues that our kids still have become major neon lights. I remember a time when Josh and Jess were little and grandparents were coming to stay. Pete and I subconsciously went into training overdrive! Thankfully we realised what we were doing and put a stop to it! Our kids were where they were at, we were working on it, and our parents were coming to visit – not inspect!

We need to keep in mind that we are training our kids for life, not preparing them for a performance!

Peter’s mum tells a story where they were having the bank manager come to dinner – in the days when bank managers where senior members of the community – and Pete’s mum prepped the kids about manners at the table. Consequently at the beginning of the meal, Peter kindly explained the butter knife to the bank manager (just in case he too didn’t know what it was!) Mum can chuckle at this now, but I’m sure she was embarrassed at the time! Another time when a very young Peter was at a ladies morning tea and had just enjoyed a piece of cake, Mum prompted him with “What do you say Peter?” and his answer, with a mouth still full of cake was “More?”

We know these scenarios – they have happened to all of us.

Though prepping before a family activity/event is an important part of parenting, its worth is only there if your reminders/instructions are based on previous lessons. Going into a situation, and instructing your kids with new information is prepping them for a performance. And guaranteed it will turn back and bite you!

We will never cover all bases with our training though. We will go into situations and see a gaping lack in our kids. This is okay. We may cringe inside, but we need to hold back from reacting (from reacting out of embarrassment) and instead we need to tag that issue in our mind, and be committed to working on that at home another time. (Not to say we won’t correct at the time, but training needs to happen another time.)

Over the last few months we have had a couple of different visitors stay with us, and we have a few more to come during the year. And yes, even at the ages of my kids, there were things that were done or said, that I cringed at. But the key is what I do with that now.

  • Check that my heart isn’t performance based, that I am not looking for approval from others
  • Take the hint and do more training at home, before they are in a similar situation again
  • Make sure I am training in heart responses or life skills that are real, not perceived because of embarrassment

I remember having dinner with friends whose kids were more or less grown up and they were complementing our kids at church and how well they sat during the sermon etc. The next day we were at church and sitting behind these friends. I was soooo intense. In the end I whipped Josh outta-there as I could sit no longer with his noise! Peter was incredulous at my reactions – Josh wasn’t really making any noise, but because of my friends p raise (ironically) I had a heightened sense to Joshua’s behaviour and I cracked! It was silly! But it highlights the point here – we need to be training our kids for life not for pleasing others.

When we have visitors it is like a magnifying glass on your family (that is what it feels like – though most times it isn’t really – and the people are just enjoying being with you). We need to relax and stop being performance based in our own thinking. Your family and friends will still love you even if your children mess up. We need to have a mind-set that says “We’re working in it.”


During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I shared:

Or you may like to read about Doing the Basics There are often times in our life that seem full of extra activity, or we become aware of a particular need in our family and that becomes our particular focus. These are seasons in our life and instead of trying to do it all, adding these things to an already full life, we need to cut it down to just the basics.

Check out other homeschool and parenting issues over at my website, Lifestyle Homeschool



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!

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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

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

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