When our older kids turned twelve (girls) or thirteen (boys), they began to have a special privilege known as “half birthday dates.” At the 12 ½ (or 13 ½) year old mark, that child got taken out to dinner with Mom and Dad for a unique dinner date.
“One good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters.” -Unknown
Summer is here! Whether our children attend preschool, private school, public school, or homeschool, there are things that we can all do during the summer to make it an enjoyable, growing time in our children’s lives.
Summer truly proves the quote above–that one good mother is worth a hundred schoolmasters. We have our children home all summer–either with us if we work at home or stay home with younger children or at home while we are working. Either way, we have all summer to be their “schoolmasters.”
One of the places in our home in which lively discussions were usually held (and continue to be so, especially when all thirteen of us are home together!) is the dinner table. There is a lot of talk online and other places about the importance of the family dinner table. I am so grateful that we took the time to be sure that we ate four or five meals a week together in the evening—around the table.
Here are some tips to get your family dinner time back—and get your table talk on:
When is the best time to solve problems? Before they start!
The same thing is true in parenting. If we can talk through issues and problems before they arise, we will be ahead of the game in parenting.
My husband always used the mantra that we should “talk about this during non-conflict times.”
That is, we shouldn’t try to solve a bunch of problems, make new rules, talk through too many things, etc., when we were in the middle of a conflict.
When our “little boys” were tweens, we wanted them to learn about/hear about sensitive things from their daddy—not from Sunday school teachers, youth leaders, movies, television, or peers! It was about that time that we instituted “daddy talks”—times in which the boys (one at a time or in pairs since they were close in age) would sit down and talk with Ray about these types of things.
We called these times “daddy talks”—and they knew that if they ever had questions or heard things, etc., they could call a “daddy talk” and Ray would be available. (Have I mentioned here or in our blog how crucial our availability for our kids really is??)
When I had several young children, I assigned each child “a day” each week. I first got this idea when I was in teacher’s college, and it was suggested that we teachers pick a different student each day to focus on. It was recommended that we write that child’s name on the calendar for that day (to keep record of who got which day and to ensure that each child got a day) and that we try to praise, help, make more contact with, etc. that particular student on that day. This approach would keep the “non-sqeaky wheels” from getting overlooked.
May brings out the dandelions in our yard, as it does in any yard that is not treated. I remember when my older kids were little, and they brought dandelion bouquets in to me constantly. I used to take morning walks in a neighborhood then (since we lived on a busy highway), and instead of envying their well-manicured lawns, I always felt sorry for them. I thought it would be awful to go an entire spring without a dandelion bouquet! Now I’ve wised up some, and I secretly envy those with manicured lawns—but I would rather have dandelion bouquets than a beautiful lawn any time!
It is so hard to believe that May is here! With so many winding down their school year and the busyness of summer upon us, we are going to make a couple of changes at Raising Kids With Character and Character Ink Press blog for a couple of months.
“A penny for your thoughts; a nickel for a hug; and a dime if you tell me that you love me.”
We have talked at length on this blog about communicating with our kids. And how communication is a strong form of “teaching when…”
The ditty above is a little chant that we used to say to our kids to remind them that we want to talk to them, that they are valuable to us, that we love them “ten million times infinity and beyond.” From this saying, a valuable “object lesson” developed and tied my son’s and my heartstrings in a special way nearly twenty years ago.
Ray and Donna Reish, of Character Ink Press and Raising Kids With Character Parenting Seminar, bring you their Top 30 Tips From 30 Years of Homeschooling. They delve into areas of prioritizing, character training, heart training, housework, little kids, school, and time management. Speaking from their hearts, they love to help parents in general, and homeschoolers specifically, be successful in their parenting.