4 Ways To Make Your Children A Priority In 2016

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4 Ways To Make Your Children A Priority In 2016

In my last post, I talked about the importance of making a firm resolution to bless your children this year. If you haven’t already, you should do this – it’s never too late! Just like life, we only have so long and then, our time with them is gone forever. Of course, different seasons will come, but they’re only little (or teenagers even!) once. It doesn’t matter how old they are, you need to seize this age and make the most of it whether it’s 2 or 7 or 15.

Who looks back on life and thinks, “Gee, I wish I would have spent one more hour a day perusing my social media accounts,” or “You know, I really should have watched more cooking shows,”? Almost everyone, though (even the most devout parents) looks back on the years of parenting with some sense of longing or even regret. Now is the time to ensure that when you eventually reflect on your stewardship of your children, you do so with the least amount of regret possible.

Maybe you’re thinking, “Look, I love my children already! Why do I need a resolution?” Well, loving your children is half of the battle. The resolution is all about the way in which you will go about loving your children this year and it has everything to do with that finite resource we mentioned earlier – T-I-M-E.

We are busy – all of us. There is such a tyranny to the pace of modern life. We feel as if something disastrous will happen if we don’t keep up with this, or that, or the other. Sometimes this is true; oftentimes it’s not. It all leads to a frazzled state, which leads us to look for ways to ‘cope’. In the meantime our children are pushed further out to the fringe. I’m not saying we don’t all have important things to tend to. Just keep in mind that for every ‘yes’ you give to this pursuit or that pursuit, there is a ‘no’ given somewhere else. Too often these ‘no’s’ sound in the ears of our children.

We show our love for our Savior by keeping his commandments. Through deeds. Our love for our children is shown in precisely the same way. Here are a few recommendations when it comes to taking back (or improving upon) your time with your children.

Have a Family Meeting

Sometimes you just have to pause life, get everyone in the same room, and air everything out. I don’t mean initiate a family brawl. I mean get together and have a time of transparency. If mom is exhausted, the children should hear about it and the family should discuss ways to lighten her load. If there’s been negligence on the part of the parents or children, it should be frankly confessed and talked through. Stuff has a way of building up and putting everyone on edge. A family meeting (or multiple family meetings) can act as a reset button of sorts and help everyone start fresh.

Take Control of Your Calendar

If you don’t, everything else will. Special events and field trip opportunities are often scheduled out a year or more in advance. If you see something your family would enjoy, get it on the calendar even if it’s 8 months down the road! It might not always be possible, but the earlier you say ‘yes’ to an event, to easier it will be to say ‘no’ to the flurry of things that will try to knock it off your calendar! This goes for vacations too. Our family has been horrible about this. We only take vacations if they drop out of the sky and hit us on the head (they don’t normally do that by the way). Sit down, plan it out, and get it on your calendar – today!

Just keep in mind that for every ‘yes’ you give to this pursuit or that pursuit, there is a ‘no’ given somewhere else. Too often these ‘no’s’ sound in the ears of our children.

Get Deliberate with your Child Training

As precious as children are, they seem to have a keen sense of when your yes means ‘yes’ and your no means ‘no,’ and that’s normally after the third yes and the fifth no (provided your voice is raised). :) Caroline and I made raising our children early on much more difficult by not “saying what we mean and meaning what we say.” For a while, the only correction we handed out was either yelling or standing in the corner or grounding (in that order). Most offenses didn’t justify grounding, and corner time only works so well, so we mostly just threatened (and our children called our bluff, nearly every time). What’s worse, when they were well behaved we rarely rewarded them. We were just overwhelmed. These are some of the reasons why we created Character Badges. Character Badges has really helped us to be deliberate in the way we reward good behavior and correct poor behavior. Just as well, our children love putting checks on their charts, earning badges and coins, and receiving rewards for their good efforts. It’s a win-win.

Character Badges Rewards Kit!

Read the Scriptures and Pray with them

EVERY DAY – This is the most important one by far. It’s truly amazing how profound an effect a routine devotion time can have upon the life of your child. What’s even more amazing is how easily we neglect this time, even though we know this! All of these recommendations are meant to work together, but this is the one that causes all the others to work like a well oiled machine. There’s no other way to say it – you must pray with and read to your children from the word of God every-single-day.

I heard an excellent quote today. It went something like this, “You can do anything you want to do. You just can’t do everything you want to do.” There’s no shortage of things to do. There are even a great many important things to do; but before you say ‘yes’ to anything else this year, be sure you say ‘yes’ to your children. You have to choose, dear parent. Choose wisely.

~Written by my husband Sean! 

Through Monday, January 11th you can save 10% off any order at Character Badges, plus every order of $50 or more will receive 2 free coin banks!  Try implementing this brand new creative child training system and get a fresh start on your year!  Use the code: SAVE10NOW at the checkout!

Character Badges is a creative child training program

What’s At Stake For Your Children In 2016?

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What's At Stake For Your Children In 2016?
We’ve been here before, haven’t we? The start of a fresh year full of possibilities. It’s that time when, if we have courage enough, we take stock of the year that’s past and resolve to make improvements in the areas that need them most. For most of us there are more areas that need improvement (or a complete overhaul) than we would care to mention (or maybe that’s just me? :)

And so, the call goes out from nearly every corner – “This is the year that you’ll (fill in the blank).” What came to mind just then? This will be the year that you…eat healthy? Remodel your home? Go on that dream vacation? Get fit and stay fit? The fact is, you probably filled that blank with something you believe is actually attainable by years end. No use getting your hopes up over something that might take 2 or 3 or 10 years to accomplish, right? Some things, we think to ourselves, may never happen at all.

This is where things get sad. Often there are things that are crying out for a renewed effort and commitment from us that we pass over because we feel the challenges are just too great. However, this is a sure sign that these are the most crucial issues in our lives. Nothing worthwhile comes without effort, and the greatest things require the greatest effort. Children, for instance.

Perhaps when you filled in the, “This is the year that you’ll…” blank, the needs of your children and your home flashed through your mind, but they were quickly dismissed as being far too difficult a case for any one New Year’s resolution to tackle. Fair enough. Now I’d like you to ask yourself, “What’s at stake?”

What’s at stake this year if you don’t make your children a priority? What’s at stake if you fail to offer them the love and attention that they not only desire but deserve? What’s at stake if you allow other pursuits, even other resolutions, to take precedent over the sacred obligation you have to raise your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord? Honestly, you could count on one hand the number of things that are actually more important than your children, and you wouldn’t even need all 5 fingers.

And yet, life has a remarkably diabolical way of luring us into such a hectic pursuit of other things that it often appears as if our little ones carry far less importance than Facebook feeds or keeping up with a television sitcom.

 Nothing worthwhile comes without effort, and the greatest things require the greatest effort. Children, for instance.

Come to think of it, we generally resolve to reform areas that will be with us for the rest of our lives, but tend to pass over things with a limited shelf life. Take weight for instance. For most of us, the thing that’s at stake if we don’t lose 20 lbs. this year is that we’ll be 20 lbs. overweight next year. But if you pass over the year long opportunity that you have to bear down and get serious about raising your children, you will be one year closer to the moment when they walk out from under your roof forever. Of course, they will always be your children, but the opportunity to shape and mold them when they’re young will eventually vanish.

I’m not trying to discourage anyone from making fitness resolutions. My wife and I have some of our own. What I am trying to discourage is passing over the most critical areas of your life when you make your New Year’s resolutions because you think they’re too big or too difficult or too far gone. You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Too big to fail,” applied to giant corporations. This phrase is far more applicable to your marriage, your children, and your home. Few things in America are under more intense fire than these and as such, they require constant care and attention.

Perhaps 2015 was especially hard for you and your children. Perhaps what you (and they) need is a steadfast resolve on your part to be the parent God has called you to be. What’s at stake if you let 2016 slip through your hands like so many others? Nothing less than the few, fleeting years you have to direct your little ones to God.

Most likely, if you don’t go on vacation this year you can go the next or if you put off the home remodel one more year everything will be fine. But please, don’t let one more year go by before you commit (or recommit) yourself too your children. No matter how old they are, they will never be this age again and all of the unique blessings that come with this stage of life will pass.

This year (and every year) may our resolution be, “I will bless my children.”

~Written by my wonderful husband Sean! Stay tuned for another post tomorrow with more practical ideas on raising children in the coming year! 

What I’ve Learned From Parenting the Strong Willed Child

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What I've Learned From Parenting the Strong Willed Child!

Parenting has a way of changing you, and most definitely humbling you; and when it comes to parenting a strong willed child? It can be the hardest thing you ever do in your life. There are many tears of frustration and concern as you wonder if the child will ever turn out right.

I’m still in the trenches of parenting a strong willed child, but I’ve learned a few things over the years that I want to share with you. This might be a little different than other child training advice you’ve read but it’s gleaned from real life experience as I’m raising 6 children.

Do not (I repeat – do not) expect to train a strong willed child into submission at a young age. 

I’ve probably lost a bunch of you already. You may have you read the parenting books (and there’s a lot of them) that talk about training your child’s will from the age of infancy. One of these books suggests that the proper age to begin training your child to obey you is 6 months (!) and that if you follow some simple exercises which are designed to break (!) the child’s will they will learn to obey your every word.

I don’t read those books now. :) Seriously. I honestly don’t believe that even my 2 year old should be expected to sit through 2 hours of church service without a struggle. I’m not saying some 2 year old’s can’t do it, but my strong willed child? That’s not a fight I’m going to take on.

Mother_daughter

When you are parenting a strong willed child you need to pick your battles carefully.I’m not suggesting you only make them behave part of the time, but some battles are not worth it. When our strong willed child was very little (under 2) we read the books that told us to train the child to come to us. The books told us this was one of the battles we must win and we took it – hook, line, and sinker. We put this child at the end of the hallway, knelt down at the other end and said, “Come to Mama! Come to Papa!” over and over and over again.

This child just stood there.

For almost an hour. 

Here’s the saddest part of that whole episode – it made us angry. The child had defeated us and the books we were reading told us that was not an option. If the child discovered that we could be broken with enough patience and tears, then there would be no end to the reign of their terrible will. What nonsense.

Sadly, we kept parenting by how all the books told us to do it for a number of years, instead of getting on our knees and asking God for guidance and direction. We finally threw the books out with all the “perfect methods” and started parenting our children in a way that more closely mimics the way the Lord parents us.

We’ve never looked back.

Do not (I repeat - do not) expect to train a strong willed child into submission at a young age.

Don’t Think The Perfect Age Is Coming!

I used to think if I could just hit the next stage. Surely by the time this child reaches ____ it will get so much better. We won’t have melt downs, and the stubborn behavior will be gone.

There is no perfect age. Even adults have adult melt downs (can you relate to frantically going into your room with the door shut and some chocolate in your hand? The children are strictly forbidden to talk to you for 5 minutes?!). While I believe gentle perseverance will help to bring you to better days with your strong willed child, the age at which those days arrive will be different for every parent.

Books Are Helpful, But They Are Not Your Master

People ask me for child training book suggestions, and I honestly can’t recommend very many anymore. Why?

I’m not saying that books on child training can’t be helpful, but anyone who has successfully raised even one child to spiritual maturity would have to confess that it was by the grace of God that it was done. Do we have a role to play? Without question; but what I’m trying to say is that the most successful parents are those that lean most heavily upon the daily grace of God to instruct them as to how they can win their child to Christ. This will undoubtably look different from family to family, but one thing will remain the same – the parents will win them sacrificially and not by force; which brings me to my next issue…

Parents should seek to raise their children up sacrificially and not by force.

You Can’t Spank A Strong Willed Child Into Submission

Again, many books will say if you just spank a child enough, or consistently enough, they will break and obey you.

You must be so very careful with this. I’m not going to dive into this issue very much (it’s one I’ve never felt comfortable talking much about online), but I will say I believe you can easily commit child abuse if you think your strong willed child can be spanked into submission.

I won’t trifle with the world’s definition of what constitutes child abuse, but let me say that even one swat in the wrong spirit is abuse in God’s eyes. No doubt, the scriptures speak to the issue of spanking, but I believe that very little of the spanking that goes on could pass as scriptural chastisement. This goes back to what I was saying earlier. The question must be asked – are we trying to conquer them or win them?

We are not perfect parents – far from it. The creative child training program we sell called Character Badges was actually created from the desire we had for loving, consistent training in our home. We already knew how easy it was to heap words of scolding and discouragement upon our children, which is why we focus not just on the behavior that needs work, but also upon praising and rewarding the good behavior!

Character Badges is a creative child training program

 

 

Character Badges Is Here With A $300 Giveaway To Celebrate!

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We did it! Awhile back you heard us talking about Character Badges, and then it went strangely quiet. It’s because we ended our Kickstarter Campaign as a brilliant new idea hit us. We’ve been doing our research and building the website, and today is the official launch day!
Character Badges is a new creative, flexible, and engaging child training program for children ages 5-12! Save 10% off during our pre-launch, and enter to win over $300 in prizes!

We heard nothing but positive feedback throughout our Kickstarter Campaign. But we knew something wasn’t quite right because we weren’t reaching our funding goal. It wasn’t long, though, and we realized it was the price – it was just a bit too high.

We get it. We have six children ourselves and understand homeschooling budgets that are stretched thin trying to purchase all the resources they need.

But we refused to give up. One day as we were brainstorming, a eureka moment hit me. I turned to Sean and said “what about stickers?!” He thought about it for a moment, and a smile hit his face.

Sean is the creator of Character Badges!

The talented and excited creator and designer! :)

What child doesn’t like stickers? What adult doesn’t like stickers for that matter? :) Instead of badges (the largest cost of the whole program), the same design has been put on 2″ round stickers, thus reducing the cost of the complete set almost 40%! Children can wear the stickers all day, put them on a binder and show off their achievements at the end of the month or year….there are so many possibilities! What’s more, the custom designs on each badge are beautiful and memorable!

Character Badges comes with 12 different stickers sheets!

There are 12 different Character Badge sticker designs, and each sheet comes with 12 stickers on it. A complete set of stickers is only $19.99, or separate sticker sheets are $1.99 each. Super affordable! These badges teach 9 different character attributes by referencing scriptural stories or examples from nature.

Character Badges is a fun and flexible child training system for children ages 5-12!

Are you just hearing about Character Badges?

Character Badges is a child training system designed to encourage your child to acquire the habits of good behavior. It consists of a series of colorful charts, playful but meaningful badges, and a flexible reward system. Each part works together seamlessly to incentivize good behavior and discourage poor behavior.

Character Badge complete set

Still want more information? Go to the website to learn more about how it works!

So It’s Available to Order Now?

Yes! Go to Character Badges and look at all the great items we have available there, from complete sets to individual parts of the system. We are now accepting pre-orders and will be shipping all the pre-orders at the end of November/Early December. From now until November 14th you can save 10% off your entire order with the code LAUNCH at the checkout. 

But that’s not all! If you order a set this month, you will receive a free hand drawn scripture print included in your package when it arrives! This offer is only good through October 31st.

Hand drawn scripture art prints.

Bloggers – an affiliate program is being set up this week! If you want to join our affiliate only FB group, just ask to join here

To celebrate the launch of this new product and new website, we have a big giveaway for you!

Enter to win the following: 

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$50 Gift Certificate to Deborah & Co.

Modest, Feminine Clothing for Women and girls!

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$50 worth of products from Lilla Rose 

Beautiful but practical hair clips for all hair types!

Character Badges Logo

A Character Badges Starter Set 

A Creative, Flexible, Engaging Child Training Program

Scripture Talk DVD

Scripture Talk DVD

Making Bible Memory Fun from Family Vision Films!

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook

Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook 

The New Cookbook for those who love THM!
Jamberry Nails

A Sheet of Jamberry Wraps (Premium ones excluded)

Beautiful wraps that last a long time!

12 Copyworb Through the Proverbs

12 Charlotte Mason Copywork through the book of Proverbs ebooks

Help your child develop good character through copywork!

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Homemaking Ministries Online Conference Ticket 

Be encouraged in your homemaking skills!

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4 Unit Studies on nature for your child!

Download and learn through these ebooks.

The Heart of Humility

The Heart of Humility

A Family Study of Philippians 2:1-18 ebook!

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It’s The Heart Not The Hemline

A 5 Week Unit study for girls ages 8-14!

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Necklace and matching Bracelet by Paparazzi

You can join Jessica’s FB group to learn more about this $5 jewelry!

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The Busy Mom’s Guide to Teaching Character

Receive practical advice through this ebook!

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Undivided Mom, Finding Christ in the Chaos of Motherhood

An ebook to uplift and encourage your mother heart!

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Learning To Speak Life Family Devotion 

A fresh approach to family devotions ebook!

This giveaway is for USA only, although Character Badges will ship worldwide!

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