Tag Archive | Homemaking

Encouraging But Sad

I have notice some rather encouraging news lately from secular media sources. I posted about one Feminism Has Made Women Unhappy where I pointed out feminist are beginning to admit that women are more unhappy than ever. They aren’t ready to give up yet, but they are actually talking about it.

Def.Con. posted about an article in the UK in Working moms. The mother realizes that she was in denial that working and being a mom has downsides and has affected her children. The saddest part of the article is that her oldest daughter still doesn’t see the problems with her mother having worked and missed out on large parts of her life.

Then the news had a comment on the headlines from Jon Gosselin yesterday. Now I’ll admit I don’t know much about him but it seems he has eight children and his family is on TV somewhere. The quote from Gosselin is interesting:

“I really have to be a father here. I can’t be a kid anymore,” he continued. “I have to be a man.”

He really said that? Our young men are deciding to grow up!?! The sad part is that it took divorce proceeding to wake him up.

To me this seems to be encouraging news that the World is getting tired of spinning around in circles pretending they are having fun.

But the really sad news ….

When discussing the problems of feminism, mothers being home with their children and divorce guess who is the most adamantly argumentative.

Christian women!

Cries of Christian “liberty” and “freedom” in Christ abound.

“But the Lord knows my heart.”

“Being home makes me unhappy, I’m a better mother when I’m not home all the time.”

For some strange reason the church seems to lag behind the world by about 10 years. So maybe in ten years more Christian women will begin to see the problems also.



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I Am Good At What I Do

Another reason women choose to work instead of being home to raise their children is that they are good at what they do. Maybe they are working in an important field or the ultimate, they are serving God in some ministry capacity.

While there is no denying that women can be very good at their jobs and that they often serve in areas that have a high demand such as nursing. Those who are good at their careers receive promotions and pay raises. However, there is very little encouragement to the mother who is home raising their children. An occasional compliment such as “Your children are so good” is about all a mom may get here on earth.

So why should a mom who is working in a career that she is good at, that is serving others and is receiving regular encouragement be home with her children instead?

There will be praise for a woman that has devoted her life to her family from the Lord, even if not from her children and husband.

Proverbs 31:29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” ESV

Women working outside of the home have a hard time being obedient to the Lord’s commands. It is hard to train and teach other young women when they are stretched so thin with working outside the home themselves.

Titus 2:3-5

3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good,
4 and so train the young women to love their husbands and children,
5 to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
ESV

We are called to build our house and not to climb the corporate ladder.

Proverbs 14:1 The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down. ESV

1 Corinthians 10:31 … whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. ESV

Colossians 1:10 … walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. ESV

Colossians 3:23-24

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,
24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
ESV

This should sum up the life of a woman when she is over sixty.

1 Timothy 5:9-10

9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband,
10 and having
a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has shown hospitality, has washed the feet of the saints, has cared for the afflicted, and has devoted herself to every good work.
ESV

 
 
That is what we should be good at!

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I Worked Hard For My Degree

This is a tough area for many women. After spending years in college and thousands of dollars earning a degree, it is hard to walk away from it and become a full time mother and wife.

There are several reasons why a female high school graduate heads off to college.

1. She has a dream of a particular career.

2. She feels that is what is expected of her by society and her parents.

3. She receives a scholarship and feels it would be wasteful to not use it.

4. She prepares a career in order to have something to “fall back on“.

5. She hopes to find “Mr. Right” while in college.

Very often though little thought is given to what the Lord would have us do in relation to a career. So often we think that if we have a desire for something or a gift in a particular area that it means that the Lord wants us to follow through with a career in that field. But even if the Lord does desire for a young lady to pursue a college degree He would not negate His other principles for it.

That means that even having a “valuable” career doesn’t mean the Lord would desire for His principles of discouraging debt to be ignored. Nor does an “important” career mean that the Lord would want a mother to ignore or neglect her most important responsibility of raising the children He has provided.

We can expect society to push young women into college careers, that is to be expected with the public school systems and with the way society thinks. Not only will they push for young women to get college careers they will also push the higher money making careers, as if that is the only reason for a person to work, in order to make the most money possible. Because being a mother is not valued by society in general, young women will be discouraged from becoming a wife and mother as a goal for her future.

Not only will young women be encouraged to pursue college degrees they are also encouraged to accept debt as the way to accomplish it. College loans are pushed almost as if counselors received a commission on each one. The reasoning for college loans is that once you are out of college your salary will make it easy to pay back all those loans. But what often happens during college or shortly thereafter? Marriage, home buying, and then children typically follow in short succession. This ends up causing two young adults to be stuck with college loans, trying to find jobs in their fields, new home mortgage, and then the expenses of children. Is it any wonder why young families are struggling?

There are many ways that women can still utilize their career while being home with their family. I know a veterinarian that works on Saturdays, but yet is home to raise and homeschool her children. I also know a doctor that works occasionally on weekends yet is homeschooling her children. Both of these work just enough to fulfill their yearly licensing requirements. There are beauticians that cut hair part time in their family’s converted garage. Pet groomers that groom pets for neighbors for extra money. Writers who write articles from home for magazines. There are so many opportunities that women can look into if bringing in more money is necessary and yet still be home with her children.

While it is hard to leave a career that you spent years earning and thousands of dollars to get, is not raising your children more important than any career? While no normal, loving mother would say that her career is more important than her children, we don’t always behave in ways that evidence what we believe. Think of the times a mom has had to leave a sick child in order to be at work all while knowing she should be with her child. Or the mom who has loaded her child up with medicine in order to take him to the daycare just hoping that they won’t call her to come and get him. The doctor’s visits hoping for antibiotics so that you can say, “He’s not contagious anymore, he’s on antibiotics.” Larger cities now even have special childcares that are designed for sick children. If little “Timmy” is too sick to go to regular daycare, then they can go to the sick daycare. The one in Birmingham is called “Hugs and Kisses” as if that will make up for the absence of the parent.

Or the scramble to get someone to pick up your child from daycare or school because mom must work late. Do friends and family cringe when you call near the end of the day because they know you need someone to pick up your child? When I worked in a daycare, we closed at 6 PM. For every minute after six that a parent was late, there was a $5 charge. But still I remember many times sitting around waiting on parents to pick up their children. This was before the time of everyone having a cell phone and so a traffic jam could cause a parent to be late and the daycare would never know.

Why do we do this to ourselves? Mostly because we bought the lie that a career was important for us as women while having children was something to work around our career. Sometimes we have a hard time giving up our careers because our career becomes a source of encouragement and pride. Being a mom does not provide the outside encouragement that a thriving career can. Very few will get excited about hearing that you are SAH mom. Yet that job in high finance or in the medical field will be an instant source of conversation. The payback for being a mom may often occur much later.

Proverbs 31:28-31
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates.
ESV


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My Children Learn Alot From Their Daycare… (Part 2)

What do the studies show that children are learning in daycare?

You might be surprised at how clear the studies are about the effects of daycare on young children. See there are several factors that have been researched over the past few decades in which daycare has been so common.

1) Aggression

Aggression is something that comes natural with children. Once they are old enough to develop and exhibit decided preferences then a young child will do all in his means to get his desires. While a child is young a parent will have to work hard at controlling the child’s temper and aggressive behavior. Most parents know that they cannot allow the 6 month old baby to have his way by grabbing a parent’s glasses or a mom’s earring. But put that same child in a group setting even if with only 5 or six other children of the same age and there is no way one individual can monitor all the interaction and still care for the children by feeding and changing.

Add a few years of childcare and you will find that there are some very aggressive children who have learned to bite, hit and kick to get their way. Another group of children will learn to become whiners and complainers due to being mistreated by the more aggressive ones. Then an even sadder portion of children will learn that being hit is the price to pay in order to get along. They can become the adult who tolerates abusive situations just because they are used to it.

“There is a constant dose-response relationship between time in care and problem behavior, especially those involving aggressive behavior,” notes Jay Belsky, a psychologist at Birkbeck College, London, and a lead researcher for the Study of Early Child Care, a research effort tracking 1,300 American children since 1991.

In many communities, churches are leading providers of services to children. But a church-based preschool that graduates a Scripture-quoting bully into kindergarten hasn’t accomplished very much.”

Raising a Wild Child Is daycare preparing toddlers to become bullies?

A Christianity Today Editorial posted 6/12/01

 

“I believe the desire to kill and be killed is rooted in a child’s failure to forge the most basic human attachments to his parents. And when a child fails to develop loving parental bonds, he also fails to develop a conscience, as well as any feeling of remorse or empathy. The sad truth is that we are rearing a generation of children in this country who are emotionally deprived and neglected. And some have learned to “cry bullets.””

Brenda Hunter, Ph.D. Home By Choice p. 17

2) Insufficient attachment to parents

These are the children who by a certain point in life become so detached from their parents that they don’t ever “miss” them. Crying for the babysitter is more common than crying for momma. If you have ever worked at a daycare you will know that it happens all the time. When a caregiver spends 45 plus hours a week with a child, especially during the most of their waking hours, children become attached to the caregiver more so than they become attached to the parents. I have been in the situation that a child has been reaching and screaming for me when it was time to go home. This was when I was a teen and before I really understood what was going on. At that time I would reassure the parent that their child was just “having so much fun they didn’t want to leave.” If I were in the same situation today I wouldn’t gloss over it like I did then, I know better.

“When we give our very young children to others to rear, what is at issue is not only their attachment to us, but also our power to influence them later on.”

Brenda Hunter, Ph.D. Home By Choice p. 82

“Some have watched their children spend summers in day care, return home during adolescence to empty houses, leave home seldom to return because of weak emotional ties. Was it worth it?”

Brenda Hunter, Ph.D. Home By Choice p. 148

3) Inability to attach to others later in life

The lack of parental attachment gets worse as the child grows. Peers become the child’s “family” and they turn to the opinion of peers when a question arises. Often these children can seem to be very good and well adjusted. They place minimal demands on the parent beyond money and transportation. They are always busy and gone from the home with all their outside activities. This is the child that wonders why everyone at camp is homesick. Writing a letter home or calling is work instead of a pleasure.

This is just my personal opinion that comes from years of observation so take it with a grain of salt. But I think the violent crime increase we have seen over the past few years is due in large part to children who are poorly attached to their parents. Either daycare, changing babysitters, or just from parents who were unavailable for whatever reason have caused the now adult child to be emotionally passive and unattached. They have never learned what is necessary to become a healthy adult. They may seem like perfectly healthy adults and may do well in society but suddenly they “snap” and become violent. What is the most common statements made about such individuals? “I can’t believe they did that!” “He seemed so normal.” “He was just a nice guy, never any trouble.” Often when on trial these same individuals seem so indifferent to what they have done, no empathy, no tears, not even any real remorse about being caught. Just cold indifference.

“If he has had multiple caregivers, he has learned at an early age that to love is to lose. Again and again. This withers the heart.”

Brenda Hunter, Ph.D. Home By Choice p. 163

“For a child, absence does not make the heart grow fonder. Instead, absence generates profound feelings of rejection and a yearning for love that can dominate the whole life. Harvard psychiatrist Armand Nicholi says that those individuals who suffer from severe nonorganic emotional illness have one thing in common: All have experienced the “absence of a parent through death, divorce, a time-demanding job or other reasons.”

Brenda Hunter, Ph.D. Home By Choice p. 40

“If daycare produces large numbers of insecure, anxious and angry individuals, we must expect to see these traits reflected in the personality of the culture. We must guard against raising a generation of disturbed, lonely children who cannot relate well to other people, who are without internalized values and controls, …”

Phyllis Schlafly, ed. Who Will Rock The Cradle p. 79

4) Stress and depression

While there are several factors beyond a family’s control that can cause a child to be stressed and depressed such as death of a parent or natural disasters, most depressed children do not fall in those categories. Divorced parents is one of the leading causes of depression in today’s children. Families where both parents work are much more likely to end in divorce. Poor attachment to parents is also a cause of depression. Just look at the number of children being treated today for depression. What has changed? The increase in broken homes and the increase in childcare outside of the home.

“…recent studies show that among two-career marriages – marriages of the sort that require daycare if they have children – the divorce rate runs high. … The higher the percentage of wives working full-time [in the United States], the higher the divorce rates. …Entering the labor market also give a wife another source of gratification, making her less dependent upon her marriage for happiness.”

Phyllis Schlafly, ed. Who Will Rock The Cradle p. 181 – 182

“It’s far easier to love and nurture a boy than to mend a man”

Brenda Hunter, Ph.D. Home By Choice p. 165

Just ponder this thought if you think your children are thriving in a daycare setting. Studies show that only 1 out of every 10 daycares would fall in the good or excellent categories and they are notably the most expensive also.

“… a home must be very bad before it is bettered by a good institution.”

Phyllis Schlafly, ed. Who Will Rock The Cradle p. 102

 

 

The Lord does not give up His children but holds them tight.

Hosea 11:8
How can I give you up, O Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, O Israel?
ESV


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My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy – Points 6 – 10

6. All mothers have times when we must slay our own selfish desires, some more than others.

This is one of the toughest ones to deal with. But the Lord knows exactly what each of us need, or maybe better said don’t need. Our children are used by the Lord to build our Character into His image. And no it is not easy. Remodeling is never easy. It is hard, dirty, exhausting work but the finished product, a Christ like attitude, is worth it.

If pride is an issue, as if your first child is such an easy baby that you think being a mother is a breeze, then just maybe the Lord will break your pride by providing baby number 2 that cries 24/7 and cannot be made happy. If sleep is valued above other worthy activities, just maybe the Lord will provide you with a baby that doesn’t sleep well. If you treasure a peaceful quite house, then maybe the Lord will provide you with a screamer or a child that talks loudly and non-stop. If you value a slow peaceful stroll, the Lord might provide you with a child that is bouncing off the walls and that you struggle to keep up with. Now true many of those childish behaviors can be trained out of our children but in the process, the Lord is working on us also. Both our children and we are being molded and refashioned into the Image of Christ.

7. The average church actually hinders a child’s development by teaching them that they need to be entertained. Children’s Church and Youth Groups send a very clear message that entertainment is necessary in order to be happy.

Over the many years that I ended up working in church nurseries, Sunday School, VBS and other children’s activities I found that snack time was the most anticipated time. Some children would even ask first off, “What is for snack?” Other children might ask what are we making, or do we get to watch a movie but never once did I have a child ask, “What are we learning about today?”

Then once you get to older children and youth, the fight for the children gets more serious. See once children are old enough to have decided opinions on whether or not to attend church activities everyone must then cater to entertain them or they won’t show up. Compare the attendance to particular events:

~ Ice Skating & Pizza Party with a short 10 minute devotional.

~ Serious Bible study for 1 ½ hours.

Which do you think will have more participate?

But see this same attitude also translates to the home. Children are entertained everywhere and so they come to expect it at home also. If you have a child who is never content to just be home but is always wanting to go somewhere or do something special you have an issue of discontent already developed.

Philippians 4:11-12
11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.
12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.
ESV

We should be teaching our children contentment, especially contentment in the areas that aid developing Spiritually. If your child is not content to sit and read a book, how will they ever be content to sit and read the Bible? If your child is always wanting to go, how will they ever learn to sit and listen to the still quite voice of the Lord?

See this post about Sunday School – Already Gone – Ken Ham

8. TV shows depict life for children which may cause dissatisfaction with their own life. Thus children beg for things they have seen, certain clothes, and for constant outside activity. (I have no clue about the real shows today aimed at children and youth, I just remember those of my generation doing so.)

I have no real clue what the children and youth of today are watching beyond the fact that I have seen the t-shirts and posters of their “idols” when shopping. The Hannah Montana t-shirts, school supplies and posters are everywhere. I really don’t understand the Christian parents that allow their daughters to be fascinated with her. Miley – In the News Again expresses some of my thoughts previously. Just recently Miley/Hannah was in the news yet again for her dancing and clothing at the Teen Choice Awards.

But even think about the little children’s programming. At least when I was younger most kids shows were surrounded by TV commercials aimed at children. You know the life like dolls that really ate, the kid sized tractors, and the child’s ice cream maker all designed to encourage your child to want more.

This particular issue has been around for years but it keeps getting worse. Anyone remember the Sears and Roebuck catalog? I remember going to grandmother’s (Maw Maw’s) house and fighting with my sisters over who got to look at it first. Hundreds of pages of things to want; toys, clothes furniture, you name it. That catalog has been encouraging dissatisfaction for decades!

9. Often we have too high of expectations; clean house, clean children, quiet, etc.

There is a certain amount of mess that comes with having children. That is a given. It is hard for anyone to do any meaningful project without incurring some mess. The best woodworker will make a mess in making that beautiful table. The best quilter will make a mess when sewing. The best wedding cake maker will make a mess baking that six layer delicious masterpiece. But they all learn to accept the temporary mess for the finished creation.

Raising children is no different. We are molding and helping create a beautiful masterpiece; an adult who loves and serves the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind and who is in favor with both God and men.

Mark 12:30-31
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
ESV

Luke 2:52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. ESV

It will be messy at times.

There WILL be a mess:

broken dishes,

spilled drinks,

toys in the floor,

torn clothes,

blood,

bodily discharges,

ruined carpets,

mud,

paint,

cut hair,

bubble gum,

crayon markings,

broken treasures,

missed activities,

vacations when sickness takes over,

tears,

anger,

and much more.

But the masterpieces will be well worth the time and effort if we do our very best. They will also be ultimately worth much more than the sum of the parts. A beautiful useful table can be made from a few dollars of wood and much effort but can be valued at hundreds of dollars. A quilt can be made from bits and pieces of scrap (seemingly worthless) pieces of material but can be sold for much money. How much more valuable is the little child that after years of food, housing, medical bills, braces, lessons, and other expenses plus a whole lotta “elbow grease” becomes an adult arrow for the Lord?

10. Often we have too low of expectations; doing things for the children they can do for themselves, not expecting them to help, thinking constant outside activity is necessary, etc.

This goes along with having your children have productive chores. Typically, we as parents don’t have our children start doing things until they are older but even little ones can learn to clean up their toys or fold wash cloths. As children get older and busier, the chores might decrease because they just don’t have time for them. But think about it, as an adult is there a magic fairy that cleans the house and washes the dishes when we are overbooked and too busy to do so? Maybe at your house but not in mine! When I have allowed myself or the family to become so busy that we cannot do the necessary chores then I need to reevaluate. I’m not talking about the occasional going to bed with dirty dishes but the more often than not lack of time for doing regular maintenance such as days of dirty dishes and no clean clothes. What are we teaching our children if we slacken their responsibilities just due to their busyness? Are we not ingraining habits that will last a lifetime?

Another area is the fact that children will not do things just quite the way we like them. You know the dishes that were “washed” but not quite clean. Around here dishes are examined well before using just for that reason. Sometimes it is just easier to do things ourselves but then our children aren’t learning nor will they ever get better if they don’t work at it.



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My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy – Points 2 – 5

Earlier we looked at a lack of discipline in My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy – Lack of Discipline as we continue discussing I Can’t Be a “Keeper At Home” Because … with a focus on My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy.

The following aren’t necessarily discipline issues because a child could be perfectly obedient and still do some of the following. However, these can lead to attitudes and behaviors that will cause the family added stress.

2. Children are eating too many high calorie foods and yet never expending the energy they have stored.

This is something that previous generations generally never had to deal with. Our highly processed foods with so many chemicals and added high fructose sugar can wreck havoc with a child’s behavior and energy level. Some children expend the excess energy with hyper activity while others may just gain weight.

Another related issue is the carbohydrate crash, the eating of sugar laden foods which give quick energy but then when the carbohydrates are used up lead to an energy crash a few hours later. This can quickly turn a happy, obedient child into a whiny and tired child. Some children are more sensitive to this type of sugar highs and lows.

There are many sources for improving the nutrition of your family available both in books and online. But since this is a weak area in my own family if you have some good resources share them in the comments.

3. TV, videos and sedentary games have replaced exercise and outdoors play. Children haven’t been taught how to play games like baseball and soccer without all the extras. Organized sports have replaced free unstructured play.

This issue combines with the above diet issue to cause added stress. Children have too much energy and yet do not have good habits in order to deal with the excess energy. Have you ever seen a child who does not know how to play? I have. I’m talking about the child that needs an adult to get them started on an activity and to constantly help them with ideas. The child that can’t go outside with friends and just play ball without the structure of an organized sport.

All parents should encourage their children to be creative and come up with play ideas on their own. No mother has the time to constantly be leading her child in play and activity just because the child is not able or willing to do so for them self. Often this type behavior occurs more with an only child or when there is a boy and a girl divided by a few years. But if the only way a child knows how to occupy themselves is with TV or videos then the parent is encouraging habits that may last a lifetime. If watching TV or playing video games is not what you want your adult child to be doing all day then they should not be doing so as a child.

4. Mothers were not taught how to manage home and children because many of their own mothers worked.

This is an area where a Titus 2 friend would be very helpful. There are many young women that fall into this category and do not know what to do each day or how to manage a home. Since my mother always worked, I did not grow up seeing many women managing their homes. My grandmother that was home also lived on a farm so she was busy with her garden, canning, freezing, and quilting but since I didn’t have much opportunity to do those, I found it harder as a young mom to structure my day. The few other women I saw at home where my babysitters, which all I remember is watching soap operas all day, not good for me as a child or for them!

Mrs. Parunak has written a post for stay-at-home wives which might be helpful for those who are just beginning to be home each day – What Do You Do All Day? Creating a Schedule for a Stay-At-Home Wife.

5. Children are not expected to work and be productive members of the family. They have been trained to be catered to.

Do you remember reading books of older times about the children? Books such as Little House on the Prairie? The children did have free time but they also had many chores and responsibilities to fulfill. It may have been hauling water or feeding animals but every family member had responsibilities that helped the household. The children were important and necessary to the household and everyone worked as a team. (Just as a soapbox – This is why people think children need team sports, which they really don’t need. Team sports have taken the places of families. Families are the ultimate “team”! There is a big difference between helping score a point on a field and helping to feed your family. The sense of accomplishment does not compare between a useless sport and being a necessary part of the family. The goal is to develop real character and not just self-esteem.) Now granted living in the city the opportunities are fewer for really important chores that aid the family but that just takes more thought on the parents part.

When is your child going to learn to work hard for 40 plus hours a week to support a family, as an adult, if some hard and regular work does not begin at home? How is your daughter going to learn that babies must be fed, clothes washed, supper prepared and cleaned up no matter what else is going on, if she doesn’t learn at home?


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My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy – Lack of Discipline

As I continue discussing I Can’t Be a “Keeper At Home” Because … with a focus on My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy. One of the most obvious reasons a person’s children might “drive them crazy” is a lack of discipline and training.

I have to admit that I have very little patience with wild, misbehaving children. I grew up with babysitters or day cares, and as a pre-teen and teen I worked in day cares. I learned very quickly that a disobedient child would ruin the whole day and there was very little that could be done about the children. Not only that, there was very little you could do to get a child to obey. Time outs are just fine in that type of situation but what if they won’t stay in a chair?

Being the oldest child in my family, I was often left in charge of younger siblings, but what can a sibling do with rowdy children. Essentially it was leave them to themselves and try to limit the damages to furniture and each other. TV was the babysitter. Thankfully, we didn’t have but a couple of channels so that limited fighting.

So fast forward to when I have my first child. There was lots of things I learned growing up that I was going to apply to raising my children.

1. Most babysitters and daycare workers are just doing their job. The minimum to get by. They aren’t keeping the children because they love them and want to raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. (Ephesians 6:4) It is a job in order to make money. Now granted I’m sure there are some keeping children with a more worthy goal, but that is the exception.

2. Once a child learns that those over him cannot do anything to make them obey they will run right over everyone doing whatever they please. They will also threaten to tell their parents if they feel that you are in some way unfair. Normally these children also run the home and get their way there.

3. It is hard when a slightly older sibling is left in charge of younger siblings, like when home after school. I wanted to limit that as much as possible.

So I begin reading everything I could get my hands on about raising children, once I had a baby. I started off with James Dobson because those books were easily available in my church library. The New Dare to Discipline, The New Strong-Willed Child, and The New Hide or Seek: Building Confidence in Your Child. I also began listening to Focus on The Family radio broadcasts. These sources were very helpful and most of the ideas were totally new concepts even though I had been raised going to church all my life.

As time went on I found that the books by James Dobson seemed to have too much focus on self-esteem and building it in children and even adults. This was psychology that was coming through and not Biblical principles. As I was also studying my Bible, I was having much conflict with the self-esteem ideas and Biblical ideas.

Later I read a more varied type of child discipline books once I became involved in homeschooling. Michael Pearl’s books where very helpful. The To Train Up A Child series starts with the premise that children can and will sin from an early age. This series of books is best for the training of parents. Parents need to learn to be consistent and proactive. The Pearl’s KJV only stance and some of their Theology is off but they do offer practical advice for parents, especially the parents who have no idea about discipline.

Soon after that I found the book by Tedd Tripp (not to be confused with his brother Paul Tripp!) Shepherding a Child’s Heart this book combines the obedience of the child, with the discipline of the parents and all with a Biblical perspective.

But none of these books are perfect because they are written by fallen men. However they will give you an idea of how to look at training your child Biblically. The bench mark for discipline for your children is the Bible. Proverbs are particularly helpful in this area. Also the stories of God’s people will help you to see the result of poor child training even in the most Godly of men. For example just look at Jacob’s parenting or even David’s parenting.

Doorposts have some helpful resources for using Scripture to training your children. Their notebook For Instruction in Righteousness: A Topical Reference Guide for Biblical Child-Training is very helpful in looking at Scripture and how it applies to parenting, particularly Scripture that most would not even think of applying to parenting. Here is an example:

SHIFTING BLAME, MAKING EXCUSES
(See also Self-Righteousness, Lying)

This is an essential problem to deal with. We want our children to be honest in examining themselves against God’s standard, and to learn to readily confess and forsake sin. Excusing our sin and blaming our actions on others is dishonest and self-deceptive, and can lock us into immaturity and stagnation. It can also add a great burden of guilt to a life.

General information and commandments about this sin:

Pr. 21:2 Ways are right in our own eyes.

Pr. 12:15 Way of a fool is right in his own eyes.

Pr. 16:2 Man’s ways are clean in his own sight.

Pr. 30:12 Pure in own eyes, but still filthy.

All these verses point to our need to establish God’s Word as the authority in our lives. Man is not able to establish his own standard of morality; every man will do what is right in his own eyes, which leads to anarchy. ….

Another resource is Raising Godly Tomatoes which also has a website with several helpful articles Raising Godly Tomatoes. The gist of this is to keep your children with you and under your supervision until you can trust them to be obedient away from you. The most obedient, respectful children can quickly learn to behave otherwise when with other disobedient children, even if only in church activities.

All of these resources have grains of wheat (truth) and some chaff (wrong ideas), except of course the Bible. But you will like none of them nor benefit from none of them if you feel that God is a loving God who would never send people to Hell or even punish His wayward sheep. If that is your idea of God, then you have a bigger issue than discipline for your children.

Two of my goals in parenting have been:

~ How do I want my children to behave as Christian adults who serve the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind. If the actions would not be conducive to being an adult believer then why encourage it or allow it as a child. Also what behaviors did I develop as a child that became hindrances in my Christian life, how can I decrease those issues for my children?

~ If I, as the mother, do not enjoy my children enough to be with them 24/7, if need be, then why would I think another would enjoy my children. This means dealing with issues as they come up and not counting on another to deal with them with my children.


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And “You” Think Finances Are Tight?

I have been made aware of a young family that is working hard at living off of under $1000 dollars a month. The young mom, Emily, is working hard, at home, in order to be able to be home with her children. How many families are living at this level of income and yet the mother is dedicated to being home with her children and being obedient to the Lord.

Give her website a visit. Under $1000 per Month: How a Family of Four Happily Thrives on Less Than $1000 a Month.

Thankfully, we have been blessed and do not have to live on such a tight budget. But even so I have learned something from her website. Cooking Bread in a CrockPot This could be useful sometime, such as in a hotel or camping.

I must admit that I’ve also been convicted about spending so much just because I can spend it.

There have been many negative comments that have been critical of the way her family is living, especially the fact that they still tithe while making so little.  While I might not have made all the same choices she has made, I would work just as hard at being home with the children.

Pray that her husband gets a good raise or an even better job.


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My Kids Would Drive Me Crazy

As I continue discussing I Can’t Be a “Keeper At Home” Because … this is perhaps the saddest reason of all that a mother might give for not being home with her children. What is even worse is that often women who are at home may say similar. They look forward to shipping the kids off to school.

If you think back most everyone can think of some mother that has said some version of the following:

“Being home every day with the kids would drive me crazy!”

“If I tried to homeschool the kids, one of us would end up dead.”

“They would have to lock me away if I had to be home every day.”

“I can’t spend all day, every day, with kids.”

“I can’t wait until school starts back.”

“Just one more year and they will all be in school, I can’t wait.”

“Weekends are so tough that I look forward to going to work on Mondays.”

“Work is a breeze compared to being at home.”

Haven’t you heard mothers say this?

What is even sadder is this is not just said to another adult, but often spoken out loud with the children around.

Just what might be the repercussions that a child has when he is regularly told that his own mother doesn’t want to spend time with him?

Pay back time comes very quickly though. See by the time a child is a pre-teen or a teen they reward the parent by feeling the same way. Many times the child comes to hate spending time at home with the parent. Friends take the place of parents in the child’s life.

But an even bigger problem is this same attitude holds over into much later in life. Have you ever thought about how many adult children do not really care for their older parents? They don’t call, they don’t visit, never would they consider caring for an older parent at their home and often they really don’t mourn the passing of a parent at death any longer.

If children are a reward as the Lord has said, what has happened?

Psalms 127:3-5
3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.
ESV

Why do so many parents act like children are a curse and something to be avoided?

Here are a few thoughts as to why.

1. Children are not trained and disciplined, so they do tend to drive everyone crazy.

2. Children are eating too many high calorie foods and yet never expending the energy they have stored.

3. TV, videos and sedentary games have replaced exercise and outdoors play. Children haven’t been taught how to play games like baseball and soccer without all the extras. Organized sports have replaced free unstructured play.

4. Mothers were not taught how to manage home and children because many of their own mothers worked.

5. Children are not expected to work and be productive members of the family. They have been trained to be catered to.

6. All mothers have times when we must slay our own selfish desires, some more than others.

7. The average church actually hinders a child’s development by teaching them that they need to be entertained. Children’s Church and Youth Groups send a very clear message that entertainment is necessary in order to be happy.

8. TV shows depict life for children which may cause dissatisfaction with their own life. Thus children beg for things they have seen, certain clothes, and for constant outside activity. (I have no clue about the real shows today aimed at children and youth, I just remember those of my generation doing so.)

9. Often we have too high of expectations; clean house, clean children, quiet, etc.

10. Often we have too low of expectations; doing things for the children they can do for themselves, not expecting them to help, thinking constant outside activity is necessary, etc.

Being a mother is hard work and there will be days every mother might would like to clock out for a while, but if that is your normal then maybe, you should reevaluate what you are doing.

Later, I’ll look at some of these problems closer.



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Sweet Homeschooling

This week we found blueberries at a very good price so the kids begged for us to make blueberry jam. They have learned to like blueberry jam due to a friend that has given us some, made from her parent’s blueberries. I was hesitant at first and actually said not right now but then I walked across the produce area and there were the same blueberries for even .50 cents less! How could I refuse? I saved .50 cents a pint almost instantly!

So we made two batches of blueberry jam that really is very good. The blueberries didn’t seem to make as much as the strawberries did earlier this summer. So we ended up with only six and a half pints. Plus tasting and licking spoons and the pot.

Since we were already in jam mode, we also made a new recipe I had seen just that week. Zucchini Jam! Sheri at The Nourishing Home had posted the recipe. I know it sounds strange and the kids thought that would be so gross. But since I had unclaimed Zucchini in the refrigerator I decided to give it a try.

Zucchini Jam

4 cups Shredded zucchini
1/2 cup crushed pineapple
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 cups sugar
1 (3 oz.) box orange Jell-O (I actually used a sugar-free box)

In a large pot, cook zucchini for 10 minutes on medium-low, stirring constantly. Add in the pineapple, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook for 20 minutes. Add Jell-O and boil for 2-3 minutes to make sure the gelatin is dissolved. Ladle into freezer containers, leaving 1 1/2 inch headspace. Put into freezer when cool.

You can also water bath can these. Ladle into clean jars, put lids and rims on, then process in water bath canner for 10 minutes.

This was so good. I actually liked it better than the blueberry jam. It tastes like orange marmalade to me. Plus it is so cheap to make. Zucchini is something around here that if you just know a gardener you get offered lots of it.

What could be sweeter than making jam for school (recipe reading, math, science, home economics, working together, etc) and then licking the pot?


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