3 Things she is glad that she did...1. "Yes"= Yes and "No"= No Say what you mean, and make sure your kids know that you mean it! Be consistent! Be willing to follow through on what you say to your kids. No idle threats. Because when we give idle threats we are only training our kids that they don't have to listen to us.
Uggg, so hard for me when I see issues with my kids not listening to realize that it is mostly from my lack of consistency. Hard to face the fact that we as parents are a part of the problem!
2. Her life was and is more than her children Other relationships and ministry are also priorities... God Husband, Bible study, girlfriends all need to be a part of life. If we don't want our kids to think the whole world revolves around them, then show them that God has placed other people in our life that need our time and attention at times. In no way was she advocating putting your kids at the bottom of the priority list, but just encouraging us that there are others that may need us, not just our kids. And that having kids and being busy as a mom is no cop-out for not being involved in some capacity in the lives of others outside our home.
3.She allowed her children increasing responsibility and freedom We want to raise godly kids! Not Just good kids. Good character far exceeds good manners!
This is something that I feel like we are always working on, and will be for as long as we have influence in our kiddos life. It is a challenge to think of responsibilities that are appropriate for my 4 year old to always be in charge of, but I think so important for him to know that he is a vital part of our family. That he has responsibilities because we deem him trust-worthy.
3 Things she wished she would have done differently...1. She didn't give her husband enough freedom (to fail) or encouragement (that was not instructional). Dad's are going to do things differently than we do as moms. That is why God has given each child both of you, to balance them out : ) The more we step in and dictate EXACTLY how things should be done to our husband in regard to our kids, Daddy is going to start pulling back and just let us do it all... since the message we are sending him is that he can never seem to get it right. If the bedtime routine is a little off, who cares, at least you have a man willing to help put them to bed! Let him be the dad that God created him to be!
2. They didn't take a family day/ evening Do something weekly as a family to cultivate family time. Whether that is making Sundays a family day where you all spend time together or you pick an evening of the week to play games. Spend time as a family nurturing these relationships and building memories together. This is something that we have been meaning to implement for a while now. We actually want to put into a place a family devotion time and a family play day. I want to start this now when our kids are young so that they think that it is fun and look forward to it. From talking with others that attempted to start this when their kids were Jr. High age, it was too late. The kids thought it was "lame." Get it in place before the "too cool" factor starts : )
3. She didn't have enough fun time with her kids It is not just about setting up fun activities with your kids, it is about being a part of it. How often have we not jumped into the pool, lake or ocean with our kids so that we didn't have to "get our hair wet?" Or set up a craft for them to do, but never joined them in the fun. There will be times that we can't always join in the fun, but when the opportunity presents itself, jump in, get wet, dirty, go through the hassle of getting on all of your snow clothes and don't get a darn thing checked off of your to-do list! This one was especially convicting to me. I am the mom that brings a book to the beach and expects the kids to either play by themselves or to play with daddy. Hopefully, I can break this streak before my kids start to think that Mama is no fun! So, "Have fun with H" and "Have fun with Bug" is on the to-do list for my week : )
Finally, being a mom is a hard job, it sounds so incredibly cliche to say it, but if you are a mom you know it is true. We are often our worst critics, and probably for good reason, we see all of our selfishness get in the way of parenting our kids with unconditional love. Please remember that God has chosen you to parent your kids, you and no one else!