Saturday, April 30, 2011
Friday, April 29, 2011
The book is basically a child's prayer. It begins:
I know you're up in heaven, God, and can hear my voice from there. I'm just a
little child. Will you answer my short prayer?"
I felt the book did a good job of addressing the various things that small children would and should pray for, like fears, making right decisions, feeling alone, being naughty, and being sad. It also takes time to thank God for blessings, seasons, friends, and other things. The book reminds children to ask God to help them do right things, love and help others, and be unselfish.
All in all I thought it was a sweet book, but my kids didn't really seem to be attached to it. They haven't asked to read it again, but I will say that they are very into certain genres of books right now, and this one just doesn't fall into those. It doesn't answer any serious questions or delve into any deep theology, but if you enjoy a simple prayer that rhymes and has sweet illustrations and covers topics on the minds of kids, you will probably like this book.
Disclaimer: Other than a free copy of the book, I was not otherwise compensated to make this review, and it contains my true opinions.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Chapter 1 dissects the difference between good secular parenting and Christian parenting. Have you ever thought about the difference between Christian parents and secular parents? Have you ever considered what defines failure and success as a Christian parent? These are the two questions discussed in this chapter.
Perhaps you think the primary difference is that Christians use corporal punishment, and others do not. If you are a Christian parent and think that is the primary or only difference, you are much mistaken. The difference is not in the methods, although those will likely be different. The difference is in the goal. The goal of Christian parenting is different than the goal of secular parenting. Here it is according to Mrs. Pryde:
The goal of Christian parenting is the goal of our Lord Jesus Christ – to train our children in such ways that they will delight to know the Lord who conforms us to be like Christ and gives us His own character.
This was convicting to me. I will say that, in many ways, my goals have been to produce well behaved little ones who know the Scripture and are saved. But a better goal goes far deeper than that.
This chapter also sets what I feel is the premise for the book, that good and right parenting, according to the Bible, can quickly become cruel and harsh when they are done in the wrong way for the wrong reason.
Finally, she talks about failure. No Christian mother wants to end her parenting years and consider herself a failure, yet many do. According to the book, failure is not seeing your child sin and suffer those consequences. She does not outright say what failure is, but implies that perhaps it is a failure to point that child to a loving relationship with Christ.
(This sort of) failure often occurs when parents focus primarily on rules, correction, punishment, and children’s mistakes rather than giving primary importance to teaching children about God’s love for them, His mercy when they do make mistakes, and His great commandments and available help. . . . . (Proverbs 16:6b ‘by the fear of the Lord men depart from evil’ . . . God puts a major emphasis on learning what is write rather than learning all about evil.
So how can we avoid being a failure? By teaching our children about God and his goodness and faithfulness, teaching them to praise Him and marvel at His strength. By filling our children with these positive facts and truths, we teach them to love God, and that love will eventually create a desire to please Him versus a desire to do right for the selfish reason of avoiding pain.
“It is the first duty of parents to make the Bible precious and the Lord delightful to their children” – This quote really stood out to me! In order for this to be true, WE as moms must find the Bible precious and the Lord delightful. We also must talk about Scripture at positive times, not just when we are dealing with a discipline issue. I have often thought ‘what will my children learn about God when the times I use scripture are only when disciplining?’
Another section of this chapter that really stood out to me was her take on praying for your children’s salvation. She used Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” and John 15:7 “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will and it shall be done unto you” to come to the conclusion that a parent who is diligently pointing her child towards Christ and praying for his salvation will most likely see that child accept God’s gift of salvation. This was something I had never really thought about before in light of these two passages of scripture, but it made sense to me.
She ends the chapter by giving six foundational responsibilities for Christian parents, which are:
· Love your children (deeply, sacrificially)These six foundational responsibilities are the basis for much of the remaining part of the book.
· Discipline your children.
· Motivate, build up, and encourage your children.
· Diligently train your children.
· Provide a living example of all you teach for your child.
· Have the utmost concern for the eternal soul of your child.
I feel this summary has not at all done this chapter justice! There were so many tidbits and quotes I simply could not cover. I cannot more highly recommend this book so you can get the full benefit. You can get your copy on Ironwood Camp’s website.
My littlest one loves to eat.
She loves to eat and isn't too picky either.
She is highly motivated by food.
She will pick candy over any other treat or prize. When we go to chuck-e-cheese, she could have 300 tickets and she will spend them all on candy, not a single other thing.
But, the "experts" all say not to use food as a reward. Now, I am not one to follow what the "experts" say on everything, but I am one who struggles with her weight, so my kids are going to be prone to that too, and I will do what I can to help them not have those struggles. We limit candy in this house (they get one piece per day as their dessert, and occasional treats when given by others like at school or the doctor), mostly because my oldest gets sick if she eats too much.
But here is the dilemma. The little one will do just about anything for a candy. Sometimes, when discipline does not work with her, offering her a reward of an M&M for good behavior does. Nothing but candy treats worked for potty training. She could have cared less about stickers, trinket toys, praise, etc. She just wanted the treat.
My hubby spends less time reading "experts" than I do, and he has offered her rewards (food rewards) for some things. And the thing is, often it works. She is very sad if she looses her candy treat.
So what's a mom to do? I don't want my kid to struggle with being overweight, but there are some things, like the naptime battle, where we are really struggling to find what works with her! Treats work. But offering treats as a reward is a parenting no-no. This mommy is torn!
Friday, April 22, 2011
Please note, if you are curious about this book, it is biblical, which means it does discuss the form of discipline mentioned in Proverbs 22:15. That said, it is full of grace and mercy as well, something that, to me, has been missing in many parenting books I have read with a biblical stand.
If you are not sure what book I am referring to, please see this post. The book is only available through Ironwood Camp, and I am not being compensated in any way for this. I just want the accountability to get it finished and also the discipline of writing down my thoughts, which helps solidify them in my mind.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
My Dream Home
Sure, it needs new paint and definitely needs to be rid of some nasty walpaper, but look at the character! I LOVE the staircase. New roof too. Fenced in yard. BIG windows. I love it. I love the little town it is in - I have always wanted to live there. It would be midway between church and Tim's work. It says it has a dining room and plumbing for a second bathroom - those are the two things that make this little house difficult for us right now. Even with just two kids, having just one potty often creates a challenge.
At this price, we wouldn't even be increasing our mortgage payemnt, at least not by much.
The biggest problem: We cannot put our home on the market until we take care of some very big issues it has. Houses just aren't moving quickly right now. Too many foreclosures at basement prices. We have a minimum we would need to get for this one to be able to move. Those cost money to fix. So, we are stuck until we have our debts paid off.
I really love this house. Is it crazy to pray about it when we won't be looking at a move for (at least) two years?
Monday, April 18, 2011
I am still not sure what she meant by being a Christian made it ok. I tried to probe a little but didn't get any real answers, other than that sometimes her friends want to play something she doesn't want to play and don't want to play horses. We talked about strategies she could use to ask them to play or join in what she was playing, and what she could do if she didn't want to play what they were.
That made me think, though, about how often she describes a little girl as her "best friend." This has become rather consistent, and as far as I can tell there is no problem, but I realize that at five years old, it is time to talk about making good friend choices. Even in her class at a great little Christian school, there are some kids who have attitudes I would not want her to copy. I don't believe it is too early to have her start thinking about what makes a good friend.
This was one of the best conversations we have ever had. I asked her, "So-and-so is your best friend. What do you think makes her a good friend?"
I got the typical answer, "She likes to play horses with me."
I went a little further, "Did you know the Bible talks about making wise friends? It says, "He that walks with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools will be destroyed." I explained what some of those terms meant, and then I asked her, "What do you think makes a wise friend?"
"Someone who obeys the teacher and doesn't be mean to other people."
"Yes, you are right!" Then I reminded her of a Patch the Pirate CD we have about good friends/bad friends. "You know in the CD about the cat and the pig, were they friends with some of the pirates. But were they good friends? Why not?"
"Well, all they wanted to do was watch TV."
"Is watching TV bad?"
"Were they kind to the other pirates? Did they listen to the captain?"
"No, a good friend is kind to your friends and listens to your teacher or your captain pirate."
What surprised me was whats she said next. It wouldn't mean anything to you, but she related to a new CD we just purchased and pointed out a character on that one who was not a good friend, and she gave a very good reason.
This is a conversation I plan to continue. I certainly don't want her to think that someone has to not be her friend if they have a bad day and sass the teacher once. I also want her to realize that she must be kind to all of her classmates, but I think it is important for her to think about the fact that God cares about who her best friends are, that they impact her behavior and attitude, and that it is OK to choose friends because they are wise friends, not just because they like to play what you like to play. Although that helps, of course!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
We had Miss M's birthday party outside (at the same park) in July. It was not only almost rained out, it was almost flooded. We were able to have it, but it was pretty muddy and Tim had to run out to the park to make sure it wasn't flooded before we went.
Miss N is REALLY looking forward to her party. And winter just returned to the midwest, complete with snow.
This morning I told her we need to pray for the weather. I heard her say, "I really want to have nice weather for my birthday party, AMEN!"
I'm scared. I admit it. I know, "Oh me of little faith." But I am scared that the weather will be bad, she won't have a party (and we won't get our money back so having it another day at the park will be a big expense), and then she will wonder why God didn't answer her prayer. Yet, I know God loves children and finds them even more precious than we do, so I know He wants to hear her prayer, even at five years old.
Pray for me, that I will not be worried and will have faith in my great God who made the weather. He answered my prayers for Miss M's party - we had it in spite of torrential rains the week before.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Tonight on the way to church we were having a quiet ride. Miss N decided to burst out into song. First she sang "Jesus Loves Me" and "I'm in the Lord's Army." Then she started making up some songs of her own. I wish I had a tape recorder:
Lord, I love you, you are my sa-a-vior. You love me because you told me soooooooo. I am going to Heaven with You. You will baptize me and I will live forever.Pardon the improper theology there. We are working on that :)
You died for me to save my soul. I love you Lord. And you love meeeeeee.
I can't help but smile during my drive while listening to that. Then she says, "Mommy, are those made-up songs?"
"I think so," I say. "I haven't heard them before."
"Well, they are real songs now because I singed them!"
Little polar bear asks the question every parent expects but dreads "Mommy, where did I come from?" In this sweet story full of a parent's love for her child, Mommy Polar Bear answers the question in a very age appropriate way.
I felt the authors of this book understood the preschool set. There were a lot of "why?" questions that are common for little kids to ask. For instance, Mommy Polar Bear says,
"I felt something different one day. You wanted out!" "I did!" Little Cub asked. "How did you know?" "God gives mama bears special signals. We raced to the hospital."
I thought that was a very truthful, but very age appropriate answer. Actually, I was wishing I had had this book on my shelf when Miss N, my five-year-old, was asking some very similar questions that I was not sure how exactly to best answer in a truthful way without going into too much detail.
In addition to the excellent writing, the illustrations in this book and others in the series are appealing. They are sweet and calming and full of big bear hugs.
This is the second book in this adorable series that we have read. My friend gave us the God Gave Us Two book when I was expecting Miss M to read with Miss N. It was just as sweet and I highly recommend the series.
You can get your copy of God Gave Us You here. In the interest of full disclosure, I was given a free copy of this book to review from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group through their Blogging for Books program. I was not compensated in any other way for this review, and it reflects my personal feelings and impressions of this book.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Inwardly, I sigh. I don't feel like doing color pages for the umpteenth time. I am running out of places to post these masterpieces when they are finished. Yet, her hopeful eyes brim with excitement.
Reluctantly, I say, "Yes." and we gather around the computer to find pictures of horses, unicorns, donkeys, cows, and hippos that have not been colored already before.
Then the little one awakes and wants pictures of Minnie, Daisey, Barney, and Elmo. We print. We wait. We collect them off of the printer tray. The entire process takes about 20 minutes. Then we dig out the box of crayons and markers. I make a mental note that our "next house" will have a place to do art rather than the kitchen table.
We spread out our things, throw away the markers that didn't get their caps put back on, and they start working, asking for help with cutting and gluing from time to time, but for the most part entertaining themselves and sharing nicely.
I turn towards dinner, when it hits me. This daily routine, for it happens every day, bores me, yet it brings them so much joy. When they complete a paper and hand it to me, I can see the sense of accomplishment behind those blue eyes, and I lovingly stick it on the refrigerator between the school paper from the day before and the color page from last week. I make antoher mental note to clear off some space after bedtime, taking care to place other trash over the papers so no one's heart is broken.
If this is all it takes for me to let these little girls develop a hobby that keeps them entertained while creating something beautiful, what right do I have to complain inwardly about the sameness of it? While I may tire of the daily routine, it brings them joy, so out of love we will continue.
Soon the interest will be video games and TV shows and calling friends on the telephone. For now, I want to revel in the fact that they want to be with me, create something for me, and use their intellect to make something beautiful. There are far worse ways they could be spending their time! And, as an added bonus, I can participate while cleaning the kitchen! Maybe I don't want that "place" to do art after all.
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I think this is very wise. If a child is just being, well, childish, it is not a sinful action and is not something that requires parental attention, other than perhaps redirection.
I have been praying even before reading this book about the naptime battle I blogged about a while ago. It was not getting better. I had discussed with a friend about it and one suggestion she made was wondering whether or not Miss M was getting enough "mommy time." I thought about this for a while and decided that was part of the problem, so I have been making a concerted effort to give her more of this. Yet, it was not helping.
So, the other day when we were in the midst of a fit I was praying and thinking. Suddenly it hit me - is wanting her mommy a sinful motivation? No, it is not. It is normal and natural. Two year olds want their mommies. Her behavior was sinful, because screaming and throwing a fit when you do not get your way is selfish and acting out of anger, but the motivation behind the behavior I could honestly say was not sinful, selfish, or otherwise wrong.
In light of this, I have changed my tactics. Now, as long as she is resting quietly I will sit in her room until she falls asleep. I simply take my book in there or my computer to start working and sit on her floor. Inconvenient? Possibly. Impossible? Nope.
The first several day I have done this she has fallen asleep within 20 minutes with no fight. This also allows me to calmly and carefully redirect her when she starts getting herself all worked up and playing instead of resting. Once I can get her still for five minutes, she falls asleep.
If, however, she is throwing a fit I will not go in there. So, I am giving her what she needs (mommy) while not allowing her to behave in a sinful way (throwing a fit) and even getting my work done (taking computer with me). This seems to be a very workable solution leading to a peaceful naptime in this house once again!