Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Teaching Children Life Skills

It's really interesting for me to see how I've grown as a mom over the years. When I had my first child, Lily, I thought, "wow, this is so incredible, I'm a MOM"! Then the first night happened... Boy did that excitement disappear fast. I don't know about you guys, but it was major shock for me. It took me a while to adjust to the fact that my life was no longer mine. Everything I did from that point on was all about caring for my little ones. I aint gonna lie, I wasn't enjoying it as much as I knew I should be. Of course I LOVE my kids, but I had a hard time finding true JOY in my role as a mom. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I wasn't fully enjoying each moment. My mind was always elsewhere, thinking of what I needed to do or wanted to do once nap time or bed time hit. Something has happened to me though. I've found that passion and joy. I wake up each day excited for the time I get to spend with my kids. The motivation to be a better mother has found me. I felt like I was just going through the motions before. Feed the kids, bathe the kids, dress the kids. I loved them, cared for them, played with them. Did all the things moms should do. All except one thing, TEACH them. I majorly neglected that area of motherhood. I was being lazy I guess you could say. I pretty much counted on Sunday school and preschool teachers to do the teaching. I tell ya, homeschool has really changed me :). I've found tremendous joy in teaching my children. This past year was my first year homeschooling and I felt like it went pretty well. We had all the academics covered. I realized though that practical life skills needed some major attention. For example, how to clean up after themselves and help out around the house. So this year I'm taking it upon myself to teach more every day life skills. I started by purchasing the book Life Skills for Kids by Christine M. Field. Then I also purchased Financial Peace Junior. This Financial Peace Junior has been a great starter kit for chores. I'm teaching them to help out around the house AND earn money, save money, and give money. As I've been reading the Life Skills for Kids book I'm learning so many great things. I've been inspired to take advantage of every teaching opportunity throughout the day. "It's the parents' job to raise children who are able to be used by God to fulfill God's purpose for each child when that child reaches adulthood." -Robert Barnes Other skills we hope to cover include: People Skills (Because Sean and I believe that learning good people skills is the foundation of success, people skills and an amazing product of course :), is what made us our millions.) Home Skills (I'm excited to teach them how to cook, clean and run a household.) Life Navigation Time Management (I'm still working on this one myself.) Space Organization (My favorite one.) Money Management (Would have been nice if I learned more about money when I was younger, it would have saved me from getting into debt when I was a teenager.) Healthy Lifestyle Skills (I've been juicing almost everyday and started having my kids drink some too, it's been a bit of a battle and involves lots of coaxing and bribing, but we are doing it) Healthy Mind Skills Spiritual Habits Decision-making Skills Creative Skills Celebration Skills (Finding Joy in the Everyday.) " A main purpose of childhood is to prepare children for adulthood, not merely entertain them. They already know how to be children. They need guidance in learning to be adults. Instead of purposefully involving our children in work and activity at home, we drive them from place to place to let someone else teach them something which may or may not be of value. Then when we do come home, we are too tired and stressed out to take advantage of the teachable moments that occur in family living every day. And we find ourselves having to work to be somehow knitted back into a family because our wide ranging pursuits have carried us so far from one another." -Christine M. Field I always remember Les Brown's quote, "Do what is easy and your life will be hard. Do what is hard and your life will be easy." It's so true. I was taking the easy route as a mother, or so I thought. I'd let them get away with so much whining and screaming, I'd give them what they wanted, didn't make them eat their dinner, or help out around the house, ect. I would give in so often because it seemed like the easiest thing to do. But in the end it really made my life a whole lot harder. I've learned that it just takes a little time, persistence, and patience to get kids to behave.
We all have the desire to raise happy healthy children. I believe once we become passionate about TEACHING them, then do we find that true fulfillment as mothers. It's in our DNA, we were made for this, it's our devine purpose.

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