Back to Back Issues Page
Tell them what you are Thinking - Issue 358
October 03, 2014
Hi there! ....

This week is school holidays in our State. The first few days Naomi and Daniel did a few hours of study as we have had visitors and expecting more visitors so taking school holidays now isn’t completely necessary. But school holiday times are also a time to catch up with friends who do go to school so we try and find a balance. Over the next few weeks Daniel has a few tasks in his bedroom to sort out so we have broken that down and are doing a little bit on that each day. This week the boys have had extra training with Taekwondo. Naomi and I travelled to Darwin – 9 hours driving – with some friends for some girl time (aka shopping, movies and coffee!) Early in the week Jess flew to Queensland to catch up with friends and go to a family wedding. So we are all over the place with our family happenings at the moment.

Live life with your Kids!

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

This week on my blog I re-blogged10 Ways to Use your Lifestyle to Educate your Child

Tell them What you are Thinking

One of the most significant pieces of advice I have been given over the years has been: tell them what you are thinking.

We know that children mimic us, they copy our actions, our tones, and sometimes even our words. And yet, if we don’t tell them why we do those things, if we don’t tell them what the thought is that motivate our actions, they mindlessly imitate us. Though this may look cute at 2 years of age, if they are still mindlessly imitating us at 10 we have some concerns. We want our children to know why they do what they do – this is what will build a strong moral understanding and skill competency.

Why do you do the dishes after every meal?
Why do you speak kindly when playing board games?
Why do you water the plants every day?
Why do you wash hands after going to the toilet?
Why do you not play the piano when someone is watching TV?
Why do you fold the towels this way?

This becomes tricky though because we do these things automatically, we don’t think about it, it is a habit, which means we don’t even think there is anything to tell the kids. But behind our automatic behaviours is a belief system, some value that drives our decisions, or some experience that has taught us wisdom. Our children don’t have either of these things – they don’t have an established value system, and they don’t have wisdom. Which is why we must teach them.

I know being a model to our children is always stated as #1 in teaching values and skills to our kids – but if that is all we are to our children we will miss the mark, they won’t have what they need to succeed because they won’t know why. We must tell them why, we must tell them what we are thinking – the moral truths, the practical wisdom, the problem solving, the thinking of consequences, the decision making and the questions that goes on in our mind as we go through life.

We must know why we do things – it is when those whys and hows are consistent that we have true learning; learning that will be solid throughout their life, and passed on to the next generation.

This takes time though. Not only do we have to slow down enough to hear our reasonings in our own head, we have to slow down enough to communicate them to the kids, and then have enough time to make sure they understand. No point in saying something if they don’t understand it!

Parenting with words takes time.

So next time you are doing something with your kids – talk. Tell them what is going on in your head, what you are thinking about, tell them the processes you go through as you do whatever it is you are doing. It may seem obvious, or even empty chatter, but as you put words to your thoughts you are giving good instruction to your kids.

Have you visited my blog, Live life with your Kids? You can subscribe to receive updates in your email inbox (see the subscription button on the right hand side of my blog)

Or you could read more at my website (homeschooling and parenting issues) 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!

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