12 Ways to Communicate Love to Your Kids

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How can we show love to our children?

First, let’s look at what God says love will look like:

Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provokeddoes not take into account a wrong suffereddoes not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truthbears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails;

What might that look like on a daily basis?

Here are 12 practical ways we can communicate love to our children- whether they be toddlers or teens:

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The Irritation List (or Keeping Your Sanity)

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Here’s a little project that really helped me focus years ago.

I remember Rick coming home one evening. I had several kids at the time- probably 5 or 6. He asked how my day had been and I told him not so good.  It seemed like a thousand things went wrong. When he asked me what they were, I couldn’t really focus on what they had actually been– there were just a lot of them.

So he told me the following day, whenever I was irritated by something, to write it down in a notebook. I thought, “ok, but I’ll be writing all day long!”  What I actually discovered the next day was that it was only a few things that were frustrating me, but they kept happening again and again.

These were some of my irritations:

1-One of my sons, not intending to cause problems at all, would fling the door open and holler, “MOM” so he could discern where I was. It was not only irritating to be hollered at, but sometimes it woke the baby who had been difficult to get to sleep in the first place.

2- Also, when putting the laundry away, I reached up to put jeans on the stack on the closet shelf and the whole tippy stack came falling down on my face.

3- After school I told the kids to put their books away. Everyone seemed to need help because the bookcase was crammed with books and they wouldn’t just go in easily. The pages were getting bent, too.

4- Another of my sons seemed to think it was his place in life to irritate the others, and he was good at it. I’d hear his name whined out loudly by the toddler multiple times during the day.

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Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 3

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I grew up without being exposed to Scripture, so as a young mom (age 20) it was all still very new to me. I was under great teaching that helped me to realize that all the answers for life are contained in God’s Word, so as I began searching and learning it myself, I sought to find ways to teach it to my little son.

We began by hanging verses around the house and Rick and I started memorizing portions of Scripture together. By the time we had 3 little boys (all 18 months apart), Rick began recording Scripture for the boys to listen to when he was at work. It seemed he was gone for most of their waking hours, so it was his idea to record and explain Proverbs for them to listen to at nap time and bed time.

He gave example stories to explain the what it was talking about so the kids could understand. The results were far-reaching and amazing!! He recorded other portions of Scripture as time went on, and as the boys and then girls grew up, they spent MANY hours listening to Dad read and explain the Scriptures to them.

We often read the Proverb of the day- there are 31 days to the month and 31 Proverbs. Rick always told the kids to raise their hands if they had any questions when he read.  One day he began reading the Proverb of the day and the kids finished the verse before he had a chance to. It happened again and again. When Dad asked them how they knew so many verses, they said, “Well, you have us listen to Bible tapes every night and we just know them.” It was true!! It was incredible!!

Not only did they memorize it, it began to affect the way they thought. God’s Word does that! When they were faced with temptations, verses they didn’t consciously realize they even knew, would pop into their heads giving guidance in everyday decisions. Isaiah 55:11 says, “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” It is so true.

Continue reading Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 3

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Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 2

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I’m sure I didn’t do everything right when raising my kids. No one does. There is no perfect parent, but it sure is sweet when you realize you did something right, even if you didn’t realize all the implications it would have when you did it. (Be sure to read Part 1 of this series, too!)

As a really young mom, my kids were born pretty close together, and I didn’t have much time for anything but my kids. But as some of the kids got a little older, God impressed upon me that I needed to teach my kids to serve others. Sometimes that’s best learned through doing.

There was an elderly couple who used to come to our church. They had been missionaries to Germany during the time just before World War II . We invited them to our home for dinner one day and began to get to know them. Soon after that, the man, who had diabetes, had to have his leg amputated and their visits to church become less frequent. We would watch for them to arrive each week, though, and we’d help to wheel Mr. Hutchinson in to church as it was a bit hard for his wife to do that.

Then we began to visit them. I would always take Laura with me. She was about 10 years old. I’d talk with her on the way out to their house (they lived about an hour from us) about how to listen for hints of things they liked or things they needed to have done that we might be able to do. Aunt Lillie, as we called her, would often ask Laura to play her a song on the piano when we visited.

Continue reading Things I’m Glad I Did While Raising My Kids- Part 2

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My House is Quiet Now

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Rick and I used to joke whenever we’d sing the hymn Blessed Quietnesssaying, “hey, what is that?!” Quietness was not something you often experienced in our home. I remember times when the noise was so overpowering that I’d call a quiet time. That meant everyone had to sit quietly, read or play a quiet game for a specified period of time just to give mom a time to collect her thoughts.  It wasn’t always chaos but when you have 16 people living in the same house, it’s just not quiet. It’s busy. It’s active. There’s always something going on.

Well, things have changed now. I only have 2 kids living at home. Those 2 kids have jobs and interests and commitments and more often than not, my house is REALLY quiet. I’ve had a couple of occasions lately when a friend has stopped by and comments, “Wow, it just seems weird that your house is so quiet now.”  It is weird ,and I’m not sure I like it. It has it’s advantages sometimes,(it’s easier to concentrate when I write for instance)  but I LOVED experiencing life with my growing kiddos. I am proud of every one of them for the people they’ve turned out to be, but I do miss being mommy to little people.

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Summer Time Tip: Assign Chores for Next School Year

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Summer is always the time I would reassign chores to each of my kids.

I made a master list of everything that needed to be done in our home on a regular basis. Then each summer, I would run off a new copy of the list and evaluate who in our home was the best choice for each chore for the next year.

The reason I did this in the summer was because that was the best time for training each child in the chore they were responsible for. It doesn’t work to just say, “Go clean the bathroom”, for instance. Your child will do what they think makes it clean but they need to be instructed and trained as to how to do it correctly.

It’s kind of fun to change up the chores each year so everyone learns how to do all the chores eventually, and since we’re not doing school in the summer, I took that time to train everyone. By training them in their chores in the summer, the school year would flow more smoothly, rather than having to train in chores as well as doing school work.

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Why We Chose To Keep Our Kids in Church With Us & How We Trained Them to Do So

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Through the years, we‘ve chosen to keep our children in church with us rather than sending them off to age- graded groups. It’s a decision we can say we‘ve been glad we made and stuck by even though others often misunderstood our intentions.
We felt it was important for our children to be together as a family while we worshiped the Lord. We found that they absorbed a lot more from being in the adult service than we ever expected, even as very young children.
We always saw the family as the primary place for spiritual training, and as such, was the place we chose to teach our children Scripture memory, doctrine and character building, instead of delegating that task to children’s programs. We would gear their memory verses to character needs we saw in their own lives as individuals.

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How I Dealt With Picky Eaters

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picky-eaters

What if my child doesn’t want to eat or is picky about what they will eat?

In our home, having so many children, forced me to come up with a plan for picky eaters.  There is no way I could cater to their many likes or dislikes. I had my children take small amounts of food they said they had never tried before. They had to try it at least once.

I should say, however, that if my kids disliked a food with a strong, distinct flavor I did not make them eat it. Some of those things that I didn’t force kids to eat were: mustard, turnips, liver, sauerkraut, etc. You get the picture. I personally cannot stomach mustard and do not eat it. If your child has a long list, you could maybe let them choose their 5 most disliked foods and beyond that, they would have to have a least a little bit.

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