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.
With the addition of another child every other year or so, we knew it was important to spend time with the older children. (We were taught by our early mentors to put as much time and energy into our first two kids as we possibly could, knowing that the “trickle down effect” of teaching would come into play.)
Note: This is another reason we have felt so strongly about not letting an eight month old, eighteen month old, or twenty-eight month old determine the entire family’s schedule [i.e. have a “toddler run home”]—it never felt right to let a toddler’s “wants” override a teen’s needs. Anyway, because of the advice we received to invest significantly in our older kids for the “trickle down effect” (which majorly works, I might add), we always looked for ways to spend more time with Joshua (now 29) and Kayla (now 26). One of the ways I did this was to implement “Terrific Tuesday” or “Wonderful Wednesday.”
Not long ago my twenty-one year old son was helping me clean and cut fruits and veggies. This is a rare sight nowadays. The boys are either in college all the time or working very full time jobs (well, actually, they both do both at the same time!). I miss those times of cooking and cleaning in the kitchen with my kids.
However, I didn’t expect the boys to miss it! Josiah, the twenty-one year old pediatric nurse I just referred to, said, “You know what I miss? I miss those times that we used to gather around the table with tons of potatoes, carrots, apples, and other fruits and vegetables and peel, cut, clean, and prep them while you read aloud to us for hours!”
So do I, baby, so do I!
Our children are all different—even among each other. They have different strengths, talents, and skills—and they have different weaknesses.
And they have certain times and ages in which they are not very high need. And, of course, certain times and ages in which they are extremely high need.
Those are all expected. We wouldn’t want them to be all the same. And we wouldn’t want them to all be high need at the same time either!
What about that child who is not really high need very often? What about that one who cooperates most of the time (which means there aren’t a lot of one-on-one “training sessions”)?
Welcome to another Wondering Wednesday podcast episode! In this audio presentation, Donna Reish (of Character Ink Press and Raising Kids With Character) answers questions about faith and character training for young children. Donna begins with the Five W’s and One H of Character Training, reminding parents that we must first have it in our hearts before we can give it to our children. She then delves into laying some foundations with toddlers. Finally, she talks about the four places and times that Deuteronomy tells us to teach our kids God’s Word and ways: when you rise up; when you sit in your house; when you walk by the way; and when you lie down. She gives examples and activities for each time period—focusing on getting to our children’s hearts with unconditional love, intentionality, prioritizing, and selflessness.