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A blog to support, encourage, and mentor at home moms in all aspects of home making and family life.

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Thursday
Feb032011

Crystal Ball

I have just "finished" mothering.  

Our oldest married her high school sweetheart last summer, and our youngest is engaged to be married this summer - yes, it's been a busy 12 months!!  But what I wanted to share with you was the wonderful feeling I've had this past year, of a job well done.  The feeling of seeing so many of the things we wished for, our daughters, come to fruition.  

We love our son-in-law and future son-in-law, and love our girls with them.  We are the very proud parents of two girls who have embraced the faith we raised them in, have chosen mates who share their faith, who obeyed the important rules we set for them while growing up (some of the less important ones were ignored - bed making), who are happy, ambitious, pleasant, intelligent, lovely, lady-like, young women. 

Now in case you are thinking I am simply posting a "brag" not a "blog", there is a reason for this little toot of my own horn.  I want to encourage you to look 5, 10 even 20 years down the road and consciously make your family's priorities based on the future you desire for your children.

Please don't misunderstand me, I am in no way claiming a job "perfectly" done.  Believe me, or better yet, ask my daughters!  I and we, my husband and I, have made our share of mistakes.  But, for the most part, the goals we set for how we wanted to raise our girls and the women we hoped they would become, have, over all, been met.

Do this.  Ask yourself these questions and be brutally honest.  

What are the things that are very important for you to see exhibited in your children when they reach adulthood?  
 
That your children embrace your faith? 
Marry a particular kind of person? 
Have good manners? 
See the world?
Excel academically?   

That she's a good mother? 
He's a good father? 
A faithful spouse?
Are financially stable?
Follow in your footsteps? 

When we actually sit down and look at why we do what we do, or don't do, with our children it begs answers to many of these questions.

Here's something to try.  

 
Identify the top 3 priorities you have for your child upon reaching adulthood.  Only 3, and put them in order of importance, not in the chronological order in which you hope they achieve them.  For example; embrace our faith, marry for life, earn an post-secondary degree.
 
Now, work backwards.
 
What does that look like when they are a teenager?  In middle school?  A small child?  Believe me the patterns you set from the time they are very small set the trajectory for many of the habits that evolve into a life style and their core value system.

Is one of your priorities that your child embrace your faith?  Are you spending Sunday mornings on the soccer field? 

If it's your top priority that your child develop a healthy life style or become a soccer champion, that would be the place to be.  

But if making their faith, a foremost component of their adult value system is your top priority, then your actions are not communicating the priority you claim to have for your child, and you aren't teaching him lifestyle habits that will lead to the eventual adoption of that core value.

Many of the smaller priorities develop naturally when you pursue the most important ones.  If, for example, if faith is a priority, and your child is instructed regularly in the details of your faith, things like, avoiding drugs, stealing, being honest, purity before marriage, faithfulness within marriage, etc., these all fall in to that catagory.  

You needn't write down a thousand detailed priorities for every stage of your child's development.  Identify the 3 most important things, wake up each day and fill your calendar with activies that reflect your goals.  Make your decisions at every level, based on those few big priorities and I think you'll find that the small stuff just falls naturally into place. 

If you set your priorities carefully, being honest and really focusing on what your most core values are, you will be able to keep those same 3 priorities through out your child's life.  And he will be given a consistent message that, hopefully, will lead to him adopting those core values you have set for him, as his own.

Tuesday
Feb012011

OUR FIRST GET TOGETHER!!!

Hi Ladies,
I am excited to tell you that this Friday, February 4th will be our first face to face get together!  We'll be discussing some of the topics we've discussed on Your Apron Strings, and anything else that is going on in your homes that you'd like input on.

It will be a relaxed setting where At Home Moms can get support and advice on all aspects of parenting and home making.  There will be loving childcare available so you'll be able to have a whole hour and a half of grown up conversation with out the little guys under foot.

Please join us
Friday, February 4th
Life Church, 2265 - 152nd St. 
(In the WRCA building)
10am - 11:30am

Looking forward to seeing you there,
Shonna Dudar

Sunday
Jan302011

Giggle!

I think you'll love this!!

For all of you mini van driven Mammas!!

Saturday
Jan292011

Crying Cops

In the post 'Follow Through. Expectations and Consequences'.  I encouraged you not to yell or plead with your child.  This goes for older children as well. 

When you think of how you present yourself when disciplining your children of any age think of this analogy, I believe I heard it from James Dobson, founder of the fantastic organization Focus on the Family.  When a police officer pulls you over for speeding he doesn't walk up to your window, frustrated, and in an exasperated voice say,

"You know you shouldn't be speeding!!  I've told you, and told you, and told you!  I just don't know why you do what you do!  You know it's not safe!  You know you're going to get caught!  Now I have to give you a ticket!  You know I don't want to!  Do you think I like giving out tickets!!??"

Ridiculous, right?!  But this is how whiney parents appear to their children, particularly teenagers.  Small children, perhaps without even realizing it, learn they're able to control you by frustrating you into a frenzy.  Older children will find your rant hilarious and might even smirk right in your face.

No, police officers walk up calmly.  They know, that you know, that you've broken a rule.  They know, that you know what the consequences are.  They explain what you did wrong, and give you the ticket.  They don't need to yell or whine, they have the power.  You don't, and you know it.  You have no recourse, you broke the laws of the road and you must accept the punishment for it.

Next time you discipline your child of any age, remember... 
calm.

Respectful, but authoritative.

You have the power, you are fair, but firm. 

No whining,

no ranting,

no negotiating.  

Don't be afraid to be the "bad guy", your kids will respect you for it.

Thursday
Jan132011

Lunch Time Dinner

Hi Everyone,
Happy New Year!  I hope you had a nice time with your families over Christmas, we sure did!  I was lucky enough to have our whole family together in the morning for presents and in the evening for dinner!  

But on to a new post, also along the subject of dinner!  Here's some advice I was given early on that proved very useful!!  

Lunch Time Dinner:
When the girls were small and things were starting to get a little hairy, my darling mother-in-law, who I loved told me to, "Make dinner at lunch.  You mess up your kitchen once and then you're not doing such a big clean up in the evening when you're tired."

I know, simple!  Just like "The 4:30 Sanity Break".  But once again, sooooo smart!!

Seriously, after you've eaten lunch.  While you're still in the kitchen, make your dinner.  Do all the chopping, etc. mid-day while you still have some energy and you're not starving for dinner trying to rush it into the oven.  


Then you can get all your pans washed and the rest of the things into the dishwasher and get it running, if you empty it later in the afternoon after dinner you'll have an empty dishwasher to put your dinner plates and glasses into.  

Simple I know, but the day time is the time for work, your evening is your time with your family, I say, do everything you can to make it as relaxed and work free as possible!

Something else that I like doing, is to set the dinner table after lunch.  Nothing fancy, but when your family comes home at the end of the day, a set table and the smell of dinner cooking is a very warm welcome.