Tag Archives: kids

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Talk While You Work

When you need to get things done might seem like a strange time to recommend as a talk time, but hear me out on this one.

 

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Talk While You Work

Not long ago, my twenty-one year old son stopped by as I was cleaning vegetables. He said, “Oh, you’re cleaning veggies. Remember when we used to bring a big tub of fruits and vegetables into the living room and we three boys would gather around them and peel, slice, dice, stem, and “julienne” pounds of produce while you read out loud to us for hours.”

“I’ll never forget,” I replied, getting a little misty-eyed.

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Letting Your Kids Question You

 Quiet Questioning: Let Your Kids Question You Without Being Disrespectful

 

“Mom, that’s not fair!”

“Why can’t I…..”

“It’s her turn!”

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Letting Your Kids Question You

One of the ways that our children begin the disrespect spiral is when we let them “talk back” to us. At first, this can be simply questioning us with a slightly raised voice. But before we know it, it can become full-fledged disrespect. And the more we allow it, the more it happens.

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: When You Want to Teach Empathy

I prayed for you today, though I didn’t know your name,
I saw a hurting look, so I had to stop and pray.
I prayed for you today, when I saw you on the street,
Playing on your trumpet, for everyone you meet.

That is the first verse of a song I wrote that we sang together as a family during family worship and in the van driving (especially on trips). It was our empathy song—the song that reminded us to try to put ourselves in others’ shoes and understand how they are feeling.

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids:  Teaching Empathy FB

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: When It’s Time to Ask Questions

 52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids When It's Time to Ask Questions

Do you state more than ask? Do your sentences to your children almost always end with a period rather than a question mark? If so, you might need to learn the lost of art of asking questions to build relationships (with your kids and others!).
 

Many years ago we were introduced to the concept of teaching like Jesus taught. We have since delved into that further, realizing that Jesus was not only a model of how to teach concepts to our children, but he was also the epitome of relationship building with people. This has helped us in our parenting and discipling of our children in general (not just in “teaching” or homeschooling).
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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: When You “Sit” In Your House

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: When You "Sit" In Your House

WHEN YOU “SIT” IN YOUR HOUSE—PREFERABLY IN A TECHNO-FREE ZONE

Out of all of the times/places that we are told to teach our children diligently in Deuteronomy, “when you sit in your house” has got to be the most challenging. Over twenty-five years ago, Gregg Harris gave us the greatest advice in his parenting seminar (that we have used weekly and teach others to do the same): Whatever is important to you to do with your children should be attached to something that is already in the schedule. Thus, we attached reading together to rising/going to bed; we attach family prayer to meals; etc. However, finding time to “sit in your house” is another matter—and one that I would like to address as a talk time in this blog post.

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52 Weeks of Talking To Our Kids: Calendar Meetings

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids Calendar Meetings

The scene was the same for our three girls and Mom and Dad—time to gather in the living room with calendars in hand, ready to go over the upcoming weeks and months to be sure we have everything down on the schedule—and to be sure that we have plenty of time set aside for each other and our family. What wasn’t the same was the addition of our future son-in-law—a sweet, amazing young man who has no need for meetings, sitting for long periods of time listening to three teenage/young adult girls and their parents gab. His response to our “calendar meeting” was hilarious as he put a pillow over his head and kept coming up periodically to ask if it was almost over!

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Table Talk

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids Table Talk

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:

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Non-Conflict Times

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Non-Conflict Times

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.

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Terrific Tuesday or Wonderful Wednesday

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Terrific Tuesday or Wonderful Wednesday

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.”

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52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Kitchen Talks

52 Weeks of Talking to Our Kids: Kitchen Talks

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!

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