Monday, February 10, 2014

Be Creative

Parenting takes ingenuity. We need to think outside the box at times. Be creative!
These are the moments they'll probably remember best. Creativity means things could get messy, but for the sake of making memories and building relationships, it's worth it.

Last year my older kids were going to Johnny Rockets with the youth group. They were super excited... My younger kids, not so much. I heard all the complaints. "Why don't we do anything fun?" "That's not fair." "How come they get to have all the fun," etc.. etc.. etc..

That is until I got creative! I planned a night of fun for them that was similar to the experience my older kids were having. I planned a Johnny Rocket meal... Burgers, fries and they opted for cream soda in the glass bottles instead of a shake. I called it Mommy Rocks It! Afterwards we watched a movie together and enjoyed the evening.

A few months later, the youth group had a lock in at church where they stay up all night and play games. My younger daughter couldn't go and was feeling a little left out. So, I planned our own night of fun.

I set up a fort in the family room using sheets and we set up sleeping arrangements underneath. We had a special meal together and camped in the family room that night after letting her stay up late. I called it Mommy Locks It! (Maybe a little cheesy, but it worked for her)

A little creativity goes a long way! What creative things have you done lately?

Encourage One Another

At times, the loved ones we're closest to, can be the ones that annoy us the most.  We can know each other so intimately that our focus can become more about the negatives than the positives in one another. 

If we're not careful, this can take down down a road of not being appreciative and taking each other for granted.

So how do we change that?

For one thing, begin by recognizing that God put the people in your family together for a reason.  He created you each individually to fill a specific purpose in your family. Just knowing that could change things since sometimes we can all feel purposeless. 

So now that you know this, how do we communicate it to our family?  
By encouraging them.  

Maybe you already do this and if you do, congratulations, for looking beyond the drudgery of the daily tasks and seeking the good instead of focusing on what could be better. 

If you need help in this area, then you are probably part of the majority of us who have great intentions of seeking the good, but can spend more time trying to perfect the flaws in our family instead. 

Can you believe for every negative comment it takes 10 positive comments to make up for it? I admit, I have a lot of making up to do!

But here's a twist, it's not only having you, the parents, encourage the children, it also takes the children encouraging each other and you the parent!  It's a team effort, and we can all use positive affirmation.

What we do every once in a while is go around the table, sometimes during dinner, and everyone takes turns saying three things they love about each other. Try it sometime, the results are really interesting.  

When we first began doing this, it was a little awkward for the kids. I think they felt a little vulnerable sharing what they loved, especially about their sibling. As time passed, they've shared great words of encouragement showing compassion and appreciation for the things that can often seem to go by forgotten. 

Encouraging one another can be a great reminder of the good things we see in each other and can make a huge difference in how our loved ones see themselves.  

Our words have power, therefore, we need to make sure that we speak words that are uplifting and encouraging. Reminded them of the gifts and strengths  they possess through Christ to make a difference both in the family and out in the world.    

How does your family encourage one another?    

Cherish the moments

Its been a long, long while since I last blogged.  Life once again took over, but I am back to finish what I 31 days to Drawing Closer as a Family.  

It was my daughters H.S. homecoming. As I watched her do her hair, it brought me back. It just seemed like yesterday I was putting pigtails in her hair and now she was capable of doing it on her own.  Where did the time go?

My little girl grew up before my eyes way too fast. I have a bucket list of things I'd like to do with her before college and now there are only a few years left.

The funny thing is that the days that make up the years sometimes seem to drag. Did you ever have a bad day and wonder how long until they grow up? Well I have, and as I look back, I realize that they go by faster than you think.

My advice? Cherish the moments. Enjoy the good moments, learn from the difficult ones but cherish them all. Before you know it, the days turn into years and the kids are all grown up.

Take the time to make memories, live one day at a time (totally need to work on this) and enjoy your family NOW.  Most of the moments I enjoy most with my family aren't planned, overdone activities.  Mostly, it happens as we lived life together doing the simplest of things. Cherish those times because it's those moments simply spent with each other that help us grow closer as a family.

What are some of your family's most cherished moments?