character training | parenting seminar | homeschool speakers | raising great writers | homeschool products | homeschool classes | high SAT/ACT essay scores | experienced homeschool help | error-free copy writing and editing | how to have sweet kids | reluctant writers | step-by-step writing instruction | grammar and writing together | family relationships | biblical parenting
Category Archives: Raising Toddlers & Preschoolers With Character
When we had three young children four and under, we went to a parenting seminar in which the wise teacher (Gregg Harris) taught us how to manage our day—and get in the things that are truly important to us: “Attach things that are important to you to something that is already in your schedule.”
I was a struggling young mom, trying to teach our little ones to obey, love each other, enjoy learning, be helpful, desire God’s Word, play creatively, and more. However, like many young stay-at-home moms, I had prioritizing and follow through problems. Mr. Harris’ advice helped me get a handle on my preschoolers’ days.
Summer schedules. Those two words do not seem to go together to most kids (and even many parents!). And yet, I want to propose a plan whereby summer can still be somewhat carefree. (After all, that’s what most people love about summer.) Yet, our children can all still be engaged in learning, developing disciplines for their lives, building relationships and memories, and more.
In this video, mom of seven (ages 18 through 33) and author of seventy curriculum books and dozens of workshops, Donna Reish gives parents five surefire tips for avoiding the Terrible Two’s: (1) Discern between wants and needs prior to the twenty-four month mark; (2) Mean what you say (“Don’t say no unless you’ll go”); (3) Don’t sweat the small stuff—discerning between truly bad behaviors (behavior absolutes) and childishness; (4) Provide consistency; and (5) Tell, don’t ask (unless it’s okay if the child disobeys or doesn’t listen). Learn more about the Raising Kids With Character parenting seminar and products at our Character Ink store.
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 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!
“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.