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Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Parenting. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Treasures of truth for the Mommies

This past week brought several opportunities to remember the early years of motherhood.  A tantrum at CVS (by a toddler - not by one of my pharmacists!) A weekend with my (perfect) grandchildren. And an unfortunate mishap most likely brought on by sleep-deprived distraction.

As I watched the power struggles and the infinitesimal patience required and the apparent self-doubt, I recalled a verse.  The last part of one, actually, that has ministered grace and encouragement and hope to my fragile soul ----especially during the early years of motherhood.

He tends his flock like a shepherd:
    He gathers the lambs in his arms
and carries them close to his heart;
    he gently leads those that have young.

Isaiah 40:11

He gently leads those that have young.

I still remember the first time I encountered that verse.  Or at least the first time it leapt off the pages to pour water on my parched and despairing heart.

I was in the fellowship hall of Eastside Baptist Church in Marietta at some ladies event.  I hadn't wanted to go -- I was tired to the point of tears, lacking confidence to the point of pathetic, and pretty sure everybody else had read some book that I would never know the title of.  I only had two littles at the time and I was seated at a table with "the experts".  Mothers who smiled and had nail polish on and could actually string three words together in an intelligible sentence.  One of these women had SEVEN CHILDREN.  SEVEN!!!!!!!!  That's more hands than two parents have COMBINED!!  And they were all breathing, growing up well, and walking with Jesus, for crying out loud!  I wasn't even sure I could keep these two humans assigned to my heart alive, much less trained up in the fear and admonition of the Lord!  (Sometimes I figured they would likely have the fear part down but it would probably be fear of ME and not of God...) And sitting within arm's reach of me was a coherent, smiling, composed woman with SEVEN.

This verse was written on a card for the centerpiece.  I was pretty certain I'd never seen it before and wondered if it really was in the Bible.  So I asked the seven-children-super-Mom if it was, figuring she probably had all 66 books, 1189 chapters, and 31,173 verses memorized. And if it was, could it somehow help me cope?

Friday, May 16, 2014

The problem with parenting....and all other challenges

One of my most fav readers commented to me after the last post(advice from a couple of pros - see below)  that the actual tasks of caring for small children might not be hard in themselves, but dying to yourself is.  

That woman is spot on, I think.  Very wise.

Her insight led me to today's post -

What makes parenting (at any stage) difficult? Why does it feel like a war with the ones we love the most?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Advice from a couple of pros

I was enjoying my conversation with this "seasoned" Mom/grandmother. She's raised a bunch of kids to adulthood and is now enjoying a crew of grandkids. Now that I fit in both categories, I figured we'd share some insights.  Launching into the "Moms of young kids have it tough-those early stages are so hard-my heart goes out to them" spiel, I waited for her to share the sympathy I was extending as tribute to all the Moms of little ones that I get to do life with. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

What is a Mother?

A Mother is the heart in which God conceives a child, regardless of the womb that carries it.  The dream, the love, the child.  The child to be protected and fed and comforted and guided, no matter the age, by a Mother's love.

Often, the title "Mom" is bestowed on the one who birthed or raised you but sometimes, it's for the one who nurtured you spiritually.  Might be one and the same, might not.  Both apply.

When God made man and woman, He said He made them both in His own image. That means that God has "mommy traits", not only "Father" ones.  The tender, gentle, comforting love of a Mom is a mirror of God.  So is the fierce, self-sacrificing, determined protection.  And the ability to see the potential for good, the possibility of greatness, the promise of God in us.

On this Mother's Day, I pay tribute to all Moms everywhere, to the calling of Motherhood itself.  The highest and most sacred of all works - being a Mom. And probably the hardest.  The pain of labor and delivery.  The physical exhaustion that newborns impart.  The depletion of patience and order and brain cells (Mom's!) that occurs in  the toddler stage. The heartache of a disappointed child that is exponentially experienced in the Mother. The fears of the "what if's" in the teenage years. The demands of multiple children and different phases might cause an observer to question if it's all worth it.  Especially when the realization dawns that being a Mother is forever.  This is a job that's never completed.

Yes, I would advocate that this is the hardest job in the universe.  It takes its toll on one's body and mind and especially one's heart.  Certainly there can be "no pain like parent pain". But I believe with all my soul that there is no joy like that of a Mom.

Unequalled.  Indescribable.  Worth everything.  And then some more.

Knowing that baby 9 months before anyone else but God.  Sharing space more intimately than any other human...sustaining life.  Experiencing a corner of God's unconditional love for us when that newborn is placed in our arms - deep affection and steadfast love for someone who has done absolutely nothing to merit it.  This tenacious bond changes Mom and child forever.

The years reinforce that bond with each new word spoken, every new skill taught.  The light in the child's eyes when Mommy walks in the room, the clinging arms around her neck pleading against even momentary separation.  The intimate understanding of what each sound means...even the silent ones. 

The bond strengthens.  With every hug and a thousand bedtime kisses and countless bandaids on boo-boos.  And not in spite of but because of the messes cleaned up, the fevers survived, and the tantrums endured.

The bond intensifies.  The dandelion bouquets. The handmade cards and refrigerator pictures.   The pride in feats accomplished. The traffic tickets.  That first crush.  The burden carried to ease the pain of the invitation that didn't come or the race lost or the betrayal by someone dear. Flowers from a florist - and without a reminder from Dad.

And the bond grows so substantial that you think severing it will destroy you.

But, you watch in amazement at the metamorphosis. Without this adaptation, surely you would die.

This connection that binds you inextricably to this child changes miraculously to allow detachment, parting, growing up.  The unyielding links that years of sustaining and training and loving have forged morph into a taut bow that sends its arrows into the world to make their mark....

But that bond never breaks.  Never ever ever.

Happy Mother's Day, my friends.  Forever.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Parenting Adult Children

I'm still on the parenting theme but I'm branching out.  Today's thoughts are on the "influence" phase of parenting instead of the "discipline" phase.

Now that I have  more of my children in the "adult" stage of life than are in the "training" phase, I realize how much my role as parent changes through the years.  I am struggling to get it right, stumbling frequently, but trying to successfully adapt (and to jump back and forth into the proper role I am to play for each child and their perspective stage - the challenges of a wide age spread :)  )  As hard as those early years of parenting are (and I do think they are hard!), these later years have at least as many stringent demands.  Before you hand in your parental resignation, let me assure you that the joys far outweigh the troubles!  But just be aware that, whether you realized it or not when that pregnancy test came back positive, you signed up for life.  Parenting is a task that is never just changes forms.

I've often quipped that if I were to write a book about this phase of parenting, I would entitle it "Teethmarks on my Tongue".  If there's one thing I am learning, it's that I do a better job the less I say.  That probably applies across the board in my life..........oh well.....

I'll acknowledge right up front that I am hardly qualified to hand out any advice on this subject (my family is now rolling their eyes amid yelps of laughter that this has never stopped me before!).  But more than a couple of my friends have suggested I tackle it.  So, I asked for their input, observed some folks that have healthy relationships with their grown kids, and pondered some things that I've seen create imbalance and angst in families. Here's what I came up with....

As kids move into high school, college and certainly beyond, the task of instruction is largely completed.  When parents fail to grasp this, the young adult can become either unhealthily dependent (and thereby remain immature and poorly equipped to succeed) or emotionally distant in the relationship (resenting the parent's failure to recognize the changing role).  Granted, this adjustment is not easy but it is critical that we strive for it.  Absolutely crucial.  And once we move in that direction, it becomes easier and quite enjoyable.  All these years we were not supposed to be a "buddy" to our kids and now we can!

Three ways to cultivate the relationship in this chapter of life:

1.  Encourage them with your support
Support that is manifested with words and actions.
 Words:  As one of my comrades puts it, be a cheerleader. Applaud them (specifically and genuinely - not just "You're awesome" ) No one ever gets too old to need to hear commendations, especially from a parent.  Encourage them with your words.
Actions: While I don't think "support" should be financial, there are other actions that communicate your encouragement.  Be there when they ask for your presence.  Make home a haven. Serve them when they come for a visit.  (Speaking of which, don't demand -either outright or via guilt trips - that they come home for holidays or anytime.  Make home such a refuge and source of encouragement that they come of their own volition!) Babysit those grandkids so their parents can be reminded of why they got married in the first place.  Encourage them with your actions.
Note:  "support" does not have to equal "agreement".  You may not agree with every choice but you can still provide support.  You might turn out to be right....or you might not.  The important thing is that your children know you are for them.  Oh, and when you have kids that love you and value your approval, be aware that what you intend as "input", they might view as "insistence".  Be careful. (Teethmarks, my friend, teethmarks on the tongue....)

2. Empower them with your confidence
Acknowledge that, while they are forever part of your family they are now their own entity.  Contrary to popular folklore, you don't gain a son when your daughter gets married.  You gain a SON IN LAW.  They are a separate unit from you.  Release them to be independent by communicating your belief that they are capable of being independent.
They're gonna make some mistakes. It's ok.  Really, it's OK.  Don't try to insulate them from all bad decisions.  Let them know they are free to make choices and succeed at  some and fail at others....and that you think they are good enough to make it at this thing called "LIFE".  We bestow a priceless gift when we let them know we are confident of God's grace IN THEM and their ability to appropriate it successfully.  Perhaps our best parenting moments are the ones when we tell them we have no idea what they should do but that  we know they will figure it out.  I'm not saying we refuse to give counsel when asked.  I'm just saying that our certainty that they will make it infuses an awful lot of courage at those times when doubt is banging loudly on their door.

And, if you've sufficiently encouraged and empowered, you'll have the opportunity to

3. Enable them with your wisdom
The training time has past.  But there's always time for counsel.  If they ask.  Gently, humbly, affectionately share your wisdom.  Share some of the things you've done right but more so the wisdom you've gained from things you've done wrong.  Powerful counsel, those things we learned on life's field trips.  May God grant that we earn this place of influence in the lives of our kids, that we might spare them those kinds of field trips.

And, finally, most of the time, just be quiet and smile.  Teethmarks on the tongue :)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Discipline - Part 4

I have had more trouble with this post than anything I've ever written!  I spent forever on it and then apparently hit something wrong and it disappeared without my knowing it.  Then I rewrote it and somehow it published before I was through.  I have no idea why it was so hard to write but here it is and I hope it is helpful. :)  Blessings!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Discipline - Part 3

Discipline - The effective equipping of a child by a parent for successful living.

I suppose someone other than a parent can discipline a child but God makes it clear that parents are the ones responsible for it. 

Proverbs 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Hebrews 12:7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father?
Proverbs 19:18  Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death
Deuteronomy 8:5 Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the LORD your God disciplines you.
Proverbs 3:12 because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.
Proverbs 29:15 A rod and a reprimand impart wisdom, but a child left undisciplined disgraces its mother.

Lots of things to notice in these verses -
Parents discipline children because they love them.  If we fail to discipline, it's as though we contribute to their death.  (See Proverbs 19:18 again)  Conversely, a parent that's willing to discipline imparts wisdom to the child.  And wisdom is the key to a successful life.  REAL success.

I shared in the earlier post that discipline has four components -

All four components involve "goal".  Which leads to the question - "what is the goal?"

The foundational goal of discipline is to teach the child to obey until they can learn to discipline themselves.  And what is obedience?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Discipline - Part 2

Discipline.  The effective equipping of a child by a parent for successful living.

It takes a lot of time.  It takes a lot of energy.  It's hard. 

But it is definitely worth it!

Just as an athlete enjoys a sweet feeling of accomplishment upon crossing that finish line, so does a child...and a parent....relish the rewards of discipline, of effective equipping. Parenting isn't a sprint - it's a marathon.  Actually, it's a series of marathons, one right after the other! Hebrews 12:11 warns us that it will be hard - For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  So don't be surprised when you feel like quitting.  Don't give up because it seems like it's not working.  Hang in there.  The results are worth it!

Think about discipline having these 4 components - each one is contingent upon the other: 

Instruction (impart knowledge/explain goal)
Training (how to reach goal)
Correction (remove hindrances to goal)
Result (reach goal)

1.  Instruction 
Not only is this aspect of discipline crucial, it must be first.  Whether it's how to hit a tennis ball or a command not to run in the street, instruction must be preeminent.  Of course it must be age appropriate and I am not suggesting that parents owe an explanation for every edict, but instruction must be given.  It must be clear and it must be communicated.  What are the expectations, what are the "rules", what are the goals. Repetition, reminders, refresher courses...instruction. As in "Betsy, we're about to have lunch with Daddy's work friends.  Let's remind ourselves of the things we need to do....."  First step of discipline - instruction

2.  Training
Instruction is the "what" and training is the "how". Here's how to reach the goal set out in instruction. Here's how one answers the phone.  Here's how one behaves in the grocery store.  Here's how to treat a sibling and an authority and a friend.  Here's how to obey.  Clear instruction flows into intentional training. Explain.  Show.  Go through it with the child.  Just like it helps to hold the baseball bat on top of their little hands and swing it with them to connect to the ball, so we train. I am grinning thinking of the many training sessions on so many subjects at our house - from how to answer the phone to the steps of obedience.    Second step of discipline - training.

3. Correction 
Correction isn't punishment.  It's adjusting the course, removing hindrances to the goal, fine-tuning performance.  While it may involve pain, what distinguishes correction from punishment is the purpose. Correction of whatever is preventing success. When an athlete has a habit or a form that impedes accuracy or victory, it needs to be corrected.  Same for kids.  If you observe behavior that needs modifying, first ask yourself if the steps of instruction and training have been sufficient.  If not, then regroup and provide those.  Then correct the error.  In a later post, I will discuss methods of correction.  But for now, know that the purpose of correction is to remove anything that impedes the reaching of the goal.

4.  Result
The fruit of labor.  The reward.  The result of receiving instruction, of being trained, of making the necessary corrections.  Or not!  Either the goal of desired behavior is reached or the errors along the way prevent it.

As a parent, know that discipline is time-consuming.  It can be wearisome.  There will be temptation to take the easy route.  But if you will be consistent (not perfect) and patient, the result will be sweet.  The peaceful fruit of righteousness.  Oh, how it's worth it!

Discipline.  Either we pay the price now and enjoy the reward later.  Or we consider the cost too great now and pay for it later.  The cost goes up exponentially over time.  In fact, I'm not sure we ever recover what was lost by not disciplining early and effectively.

This verse often encourages me when I am tempted to give in or give up - Hebrews 10:36 -
 For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised
Just gotta smile.  God's extravagant efficiency -- while I'm training my kids, He's training me!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Discipline - Introduction

This topic probably generates more interest and creates more division than any other parenting issue.  How to discipline.  What to discipline.  When.  Where.  Why. I would love to present an authoritative post that would settle all angst and answer all questions.  I'd really love to read one like that!  Actually, though, I resist such an approach on most subjects and especially this one.  I really think that parents largely have to figure stuff out for themselves.  And I think that can be a healthy process.  If somebody insists that their way of discipline or educating or any other aspect of parenting is "THE WAY", I don't even bother to listen.  Nobody has a monopoly on figuring this thing out.  I won't even apologize for not being an authority - I'm just a sharer.  I like to share ideas and approaches and let you decide how to adapt them for your parenting process.   Let's take a step back and get a broad view....

First, what is discipline? 

All too frequently, discipline is boiled down to "how do I punish my child for wrongdoing".  That is way too narrow a definition.  Think about how we use the word - "He is such a disciplined athlete", "If I were more self-disciplined, I would not be late so frequently" ,"Sociology is a fairly new discipline", etc. 

Here's how GoogleSearch defines "discipline"

noun: discipline
  1. 1.
    the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

    • the controlled behavior resulting from discipline.

    • activity or experience that provides mental or physical training.

    • a system of rules of conduct.

  2. 2.
    a branch of knowledge, typically one studied in higher education.

    synonyms:field (of study), branch of knowledge, 
  1. 1.
    train (someone) to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience

2. train oneself to do something in a controlled and habitual way.

When we consider the definition of the word, we realize that "punishment" or even "correction" is an extremely insufficient application.  And since parents are instructed to "discipline" their children, we must surely understand the task.  Here are just two of about a gazillion things God says about parents and discipline.....

 Proverbs 3:11-12: My son, do not despise the LORD's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the LORD disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.

Proverbs 19:18   Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death

Over several posts, I will share some thoughts, ideas, and resources about discipline.  To close this one, I will leave you with a definition of discipline as it relates to parenting:

The effective equipping of a child by a parent for successful living.

There you have it.  Discipline, ChamFam style!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Siblings - 10 tips for buildling great relationships

Psalm 133:1 gets a hearty "Amen" - How good and pleasant it is when brothers (sisters!) dwell together in unity! 

That's certainly what all parents want but what can we do to foster that?

I've had it pretty easy in this department because my kids really do love and enjoy one another. It's an absolute delight to have them all together and watch them have fun and reminisce.  And I have to choke back tears of gratefulness when I get a glimpse of their counsel to, confidences with and comedy alongside one another.

 But we've certainly had our share of tears and misunderstandings and pleas from Mom to "can't you just get along???"  I've stumbled through some parenting landmines, setting some off and taking some hits myself in this area.  Here's some things I've learned along the way that might help at your dwelling place....

1.  Talk often and with sincere joy and enthusiasm how wonderful it is to have siblings.  Point out all the benefits (there are some, you know!!!) of growing up with brothers and sisters. Do this early on and they will catch it.  Speak well of your own siblings.  This is big.  Set the example so they will think it is normal to have good sibling relationships.  This is probably overstating it a bit but I'll say it anyway - do not complain about or criticize one child to another.  DO NOT. It's OK to let them vent to you about one another but help them see the other's point of view and accept their own responsibility for the problem.  Set the tone and the expectations for acceptance and grace and the ability to overlook an offense.  (BTW - this will drive your kids crazy because sometimes they want you to side with them about how awful their sib is.  Don't let that bother you!)

2.  Set them up as "a team".  Have them work together to accomplish chores or activities.  Paul used to play a game of catch with 2 or 3 at a time and the goal was to see how many times they could collectively pass/catch the ball around.  Emphasize teamwork over individual achievement. And this point is important - be willing to be "the common enemy".  Lots of times I knew mine were ganging up together to be mad at me or to complain about how unreasonable I was but I let it roll of my back because I was just glad they were a team!!

3.  Treat sibling relationships with greater priority than friends.  I learned this from a Mom of four precious girls.  If they weren't getting along with each other, she didn't send any of them off to play with friends.  Instead, she instructed them that they had to learn to be good friends at home before they could be good friends away.  It worked!! These four gals have grown up to be the best of besties!

4.  Don't reward tattling.  Granted, you have to be able to recognize a genuine concern for her brother's safety (as in "Mom, Baby Chip slipped out of the gate and is in the street") but don't encourage one child to rat out the other.  Instead, let the tattler sit in timeout rather than punishing the offender.

5.   Don't overschedule outside activities.  Kids need time at home with just each other to develop good relationships.  Plan family times (but don't become a slave to creating "pinnable" moments...).  Develop some traditions that you rally your family around - these need not be elaborate!  As simple as pancakes on Saturday morning!!

6.  Praise carefully.  It's good to applaud success but don't overdo it so as to create feelings of jealousy among sibs.  The best things to cheer about are character traits, not performance.

7.  Create a vision for their futures that is built on loving closeness between them.  As in "when you and Sissy grow up, you will have so much fun raising your families together.  Cousins are the best!" 

8.  Do not involve one child in another's discipline.  Do not punish one in front of the other and nip it in the bud if one seems delighted that the other has gotten in trouble. Cannot overstate this one.

9.  Realize that sometimes they need a little space.  Some kids need it more than others. Creating a      "team atmosphere" is not the same as a "herd mentality". Resist the temptation to treat them as clones of one another (just because they are the same gender doesn't mean they like the same thing). And don't insist that little sister should be automatically included in every activity.  This can lead to resentment and suppressed guilt and what all else. (For the record, this takes ALOT of emotional fortitude for me to make this point ---- I WAS the little sister!!  And, yes, my feelings got hurt and I am sure I need lifelong counseling because of it but being a parent to 4 has helped me see the wisdom in this approach.  Kids are individuals and eventually they will take individual paths.  Be careful of treating every single opportunity as a "package deal".  )

10. If When they fight, take the time to demonstrate how to resolve conflict.  Guide, but don't referee.  You don't want to take sides.  Try guidance instead.   Yes, this takes time and a lot of energy but it's worth it. Train them to ask for forgiveness and also to grant grace.  Model it yourself and then preach it over and over and over.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Parent pain - postscript

Just wanted to add a little to the guest post on parent pain.  My friend is too modest to tell you about all the things that she's done right  - perhaps pain blinds us all to that.  So I felt the need to follow up with some things I've observed from her life and from others going through things like this.  I know there are differing views on how to handle "wayward" kids so feel free to disagree with me.  I am certainly not an expert - just an observer. And a friend to those in such crises.  What I have to share is simply some conclusions I've drawn from these experiences.  Not an iron clad promise of results.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Building a Bond for Generations

This is a compilation of notes from a conference session on "Moms and Daughters" but  these are principles I apply in parenting all my children, not just my daughters.

The main thing to take away from this is encouragement.  If you and your daughter clash, or aren't close, or you feel handicapped because you and your own Mother are at odds, do not despair.  That does not have to define the relationship between you and your daughter.  Be prepared to be patient, commit to lots of prayer, and expect teethmarks on your tongue from not saying some things you want to.  But you can have the sweet, intimate, long-lasting bond you hope for and you can begin a legacy that can endure for generations.  I believe with all my heart that you are the "perfect" Mom - for your daughter.  Because you have been chosen by God Himself to parent her and He Himself will equip you in the best way.  I know there are myriads of books out there that tell you "the best way" to parent but I think that the best way is the way God leads YOU.  Learn all you can from whomever but ultimately, listen to HIM.  What I am sharing with you are just some things I've learned from my Mom and from my own parenting - take what resonates with you and leave the rest.

Here are the "HELPS" I shared for Moms:

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Kids and Money

Money.  If you ask 1000 people what the Bible has to say about money, I'll bet that 998 of them will say "Money is the root of all evil". 

And they'd be wrong.

The Bible talks more about money than it does about Heaven or Hell.  Or marriage and divorce.  Or lots of other things.  And the main thing we need to know that it says is this The love of money is the root of all sorts of evil ( I Timothy 6:10).  And the rest of the verse warns  It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

So before we figure out what to teach our kids about money, we need to be sure we have the correct info ourselves. Money is neither a sign of our success nor an indication of God's favor -- it is a tool that God wants to use to shape our character.  And the character of our children.  Period.  So use it wisely.

Here are the five things that Paul and I figured we needed to be sure our kids knew about money before they left home (because we wanted to be sure they eventually did leave home......).  And some ideas we use(d) to get the points across.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Parenting - Never Say Never

OK, I'm gonna do it.  I said I would never do it.  But I am.

Blog a series on parenting.


First, why did I say I would never do it?  Lots of reasons but the main ones are

 1)I don't think I have anything to say that hasn't already been said. Plenty of good material out there - why should I of all people add to the noise?
 2) I don't want my kids to feel pressured to some artificial standard of performance.  They are really great kids but they are as human as the rest of us and they are gonna make some mistakes.  Why should they be subject to public scrutiny just b/c their Mom has a big mouth?  and
 3) I'm not done.  Who knows if what I have to say is "effective"?
But I am allowing myself the perennial female perogative of changing my mind. Here are the reasons - 
1) I've shared my opinions in conferences , counseling and casual conversations and have been well received. Although I've heard this stuff before, apparently I predate enough of you for some of it to seem new. 
2) My kids have encouraged me to share whatever I know.... Perhaps because they secretly know its not much at all and hopefully because they know I will strive never to embarrass them but rather to tell alot of dirt on myself. Which will make for alot of laughs for us all
And 3) I've realized I'll never be done. Parenting is forever. The stage just changes

So here it comes. My series on parenting.  I have no idea how many posts I'll have nor what all subjects we'll cover. If you have an idea of something you'd like to dialogue about, please let me know.

Here's some of the suggestions some of you have asked that we touch on -

building sibling relationships
kids and money
creating a family kids want to be a part of
ideas on chores
picky eaters
developing healthy eaters (yes, I will be honest about where I fail!!!)
how to disciple children
passing along your faith
parenting adult children

What else are you interested in?