Archive for August, 2010

I Heart MOPS

 

I’d like to give a shout-out today to a group I have long admired.

MOPS

Mothers of Preschoolers.  What I love about them is that they recognize the true importance of this season of parenting.

They are all about planting the seeds of strong marriages and rearing children who love the Lord.

 If you have a preschooler you are my hero. At this age, your children may not be able to tie their shoes, or reach the light switch, or get themselves buckled into their car seats. These are high maintenance years for moms filled with exhaustion, but balanced by joy and the most tender moments imaginable. Your children will love you with abandon while wearing you out! MOPS gives support and encouragement for both sides of this equation.

MOPS began in 1973 when  a group of mothers got together for the purpose of supporting mothers of preschoolers. They organized a time together with mentors, speakers, and sharing. Through the years, they have grown into an international organization that is standing ready to welcome you as if you were the only mother with a preschooler!

For over 25 years I have had the great privilege of speaking to MOPS groups all over the country. You could say I cut my teeth by speaking to MOPS groups, because they fed me the questions that mothers get quite often at this age….”Mommy, how does that baby get out of you?”…etc.

I have found that mothers of preschoolers and I agree that these impressionable years are not to be missed. Raising up a child in the way they should go starts right from the start. Learning respect for bodies from their parents, as well as a pure wonder at God’s creation, is a great start on the road to shaping their character. 

If you are finding yourself either wanting to give or receive this kind of support…let me commend a local MOPS group to you. You can find them on-line at www.mops.org

I am a fan of MOPS because of the dignity and purpose that is bestowed on these young mothers – THE HEROES OF THE HOME, the ones who tenderly care for the young.

God bless them every one!

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Back to school

New backpack? Check

New lunch box? Check

New friends? Check,  and sometimes double-check.

There is nothing better than a new school year. I really think there ought to be a candle scent called “School Supplies”. I would buy it! With as much promise as a new school year holds, there are also a few things parents need to be aware of, and to have on their radar.

Be sure you allow for plenty of time to listen to all that your child is trying to tell you about school. That means listening for new words and attitudes that they may have picked up along the way. Every family does things a little differently, and that is A-OK, but this gives you a time to reinforce your family values in a positive way. Staying positive about the new school year is key to your child’s attitude about these challenges.

If possible invite his/her new friends over, and get to know their parents in easy settings. If your child is invited over for a play date, it’s important to check out the tv/computer  rules that will apply. Guidelines that you have for your child should be respected by the other parents.  The safety of your child requires that you gut it up sometimes and kindly ask the tough questions.

Assume the best, but go ahead and get things out in the open, “I assume you will be home the whole time?”, or  “We try to limit TV time, and options, what about you all?”,  or “We stay on top of where our children go on the internet, so she is limited to some pretty specific sites.”

Dorky parent? Maybe.  About as dorky as the one who insists on seat belts.

Higher math, a new teacher, a different schedule. Your children need an attentive loving parent in their corner, and lucky for them, they have you!

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Their first impressions

This is the beginning. The beginning of YOU being the loving teacher to your child. Answering their questions, and guiding their values. How do YOU plan to answer those questions?

It’s always best to start with God. He made us. We are designed by Him and wonderfully made. Every child is a miracle – every conception and birth. So, start by answering their questions with, “Let me tell you how God has made a way for the baby to get out…” and that will help get them on a path of understanding that God has a plan and a purpose for all of His creation.

Let’s don’t forget to marvel at that, and to let our children be in awe of it as well! Don’t let the fear of future conversations keep you from the joy of answering their early and simple questions with a smile and simple biology. You can do this confidently if you have a plan. 

It is a thrill for me to share some ideas for making that plan with young families. Most of us need a little coaching when it comes to these conversations, and I”m looking forward to my events this fall and next spring! If you are coming, bring all of your questions! If you can’t come, but have questions, then please check out my resources, or send me a question through this blog.

The new school year is ripe with opportunities for conversations, and my next post will cover some of the things to look for in the new school year.

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Connect the Dots

Drawing sure was easy if  you had a ‘Connect the Dots’ coloring book!

As soon as you turned the page, you had a very good idea of what the picture would be. You saw it coming;  it wasn’t too much of a surprise when you were finished.  And yet you still carefully connected the dots…you went from number to number to make sure the image was what you thought it would be.

And if you didn’t start out in the right place, or missed a number along the way, then the picture was odd. It could be confusing.

This is how it is for our kids.

They may have heard a few things about sex, or about how babies are born and made… perhaps they’ve been given some pretty solid hints…but they need YOU to connect the dots.

They may act like they “know”…but it’s very reassuring to them for their parents to complete the picture. 

Turn a page in your relationship and tell them very simply,”You may already know some of these things, but I want to be sure you know the real facts…and here is what I want you to know…”

For our youngest children, they will need us to hold their hands, and direct them to the ‘dots’. Dot by dot, we can help them see the picture of God’s design for sex. The picture will become clearer as they get older, with our guidance.

In any case, whatever their age or stage, let’s help them to connect the dots.

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