PARENTING MADE EASY
"Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God." NIV Titus 2:3-5
Looking at teaching others about motherhood (or about being a wife), I would like to share a few things that I have learned in the last 21 years of marriage that might make your job easier. Hopefully, I can reveal some secret insight that might bless you as well! Here goes!
IT'S OK TO... TAKE YOUR KIDS WITH YOU!
- Whenever we go to the mall as a family, we make sure that we include our children's "fun spots" as a feature of doing errands. Stores like Pottery Barn Kids, give us cause to enjoy watching the kids play with the toys, and sit in the chairs. Anytime you have to go someplace, choose to make your life easier by remembering that society has things geared for kids too. Think slurpee's from 7-11 (always a fun treat), french fries from McDonald's (don't go crazy, a small fry once in a while does wonders), cliff bars from the corner Quick-E Mart or Circle K, Costco has 1.50$ hot dogs and sodas. Don't be afraid to take you kids places, just remember to engage with them and continue to discipline them by showing them respect and involving them in decision making processes. However if you need to be stern, try and take them to the bathroom- no one wants to watch it, but it should ALWAYS be done immediately vs. later or "when we get home".
IT'S OK TO... LET THEM DRESS THEMSELVES!
- Let your kids dress themselves, and go out in public too! Their own creative styles exemplify their personalities. Getting to choose their own mismatched socks and shirts (which don't match their shorts) give them confidence in who they are and how they carry themselves. Parenting can be easy, when you allow your children freedom with the little things. :)
SEW WHEN THINGS DON'T FIT YET
- If you have clothes that are too big for your kids now (in the case of 2"+ hem length that is like 2 years), rather than letting them sit for 2 years, mend them to size NOW. (Either by yourself or through someone else who can sew) There is no need to spend extra money when you are all ready fully equipped!
REDEFINE "NEW", CHILDREN NEED TO BE TAUGHT TO BE GRATEFUL
- Teaching your children how to appreciate that something can be "new to you", but not necessarily BRAND NEW is a very valuable lesson and teaches them how to have grateful hearts. Television, advertisers, and stores will try to convince you the only way for you to have respect is to spend everything you have on something no one else has owned. This is NOT truth in advertising. This is a marketing tool to get you to spend more, because the cost of manufacturing is so HIGH! When you buy or inherit something pre-owned, you are cutting out the middle man, and taking away the larger companies profit margin. While I do a little bit of both, new and used, I always look to companies like; second-hand, thrift, consignment stores, and even craigslist first to do a majority of purchases. You will be surprised the brand names that you can find, do to the surplus of goods being produced at this point in time. Make parenting easy on yourself- teach your children the value of "new to me, IS NEW because I have never had it before".
GIVE YOUR KIDS SOMETHING TO SMILE ABOUT- A HAPPY MOMMY AND DADDY!
- Some children smile for the camera, and some don't. I have found though that on the whole, happy kids have happy parents. Parents who see life for what it CAN BE are choosing to look at the positives in life vs. the negatives. It can be as simple as positive people yield positive results!
God bless you, all you mothers and fathers, and soon to be moms and dads! Parenting CAN be easy, especially when you relax and take the time to pay attention to the little details in life, I pray that you can begin to ENJOY every step of the way!
Jessica Heilman is the Founder of Wholehearted Ministries and is also mom to The Cookie Boys. Jessica has been a student of Psychology, Philosophy and Theology for nearly 25 years. Jessica founded WHM in 2008 while in Bible College. Jessica and her husband Jeff have been married 21 years. Jeff and Jessica live in the Silicon Valley with their seven children and their dog Kennedy. This post originally taken from Wholehearted Ministries posted Jul 12, 2011