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Memorial Day / Giving our Kids More Responsibility

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As our hearts grieve for the families in Texas right now who were affected by the tragedy, I wanted to share a very helpful video with you by Sissy Goff, A Christian Counselor – about how to talk to your kids about what happened and what we can do. Our hearts are with you and we are praying for you. https://www.facebook.com/sissy.goff/videos/978196789541695

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For the life of me, I cannot remember who said this to me – just that she was a mom of grown kids. The mom wasn’t saying she wish she’d been there less for her kids, but that she wish she had given her kids more responsibility as they were growing up so they would have been more self-sufficient. Isn’t that one of our goals as parents?

To prepare them for the real world the best we can. To help them become mature adults, so they are ready to fly when they leave our homes. I think many times we don’t give our kids enough credit for what they are capable of doing.

It can so easily happen… It’s easier for us to do the dishes, clear the table, clean the floor so we don’t have them clean up. We do it ourselves. They learn that someone does it for them. We clean their rooms – they learn that they don’t have to. We step in to solve their problems instead of letting them gain confidence by learning they can solve it themselves. There are such subtle ways that we can tend to do too much for our kids. 

I’m not saying we can’t do any of the above, but when our kids have an active role in things like cleaning up after meals, cleaning their rooms, initiating problem solving to name a few examples, they learn how to do it, see they are capable, and are less likely to feel entitled and more likely to be appreciative. 

My kids normally make their own lunches, but if I make it for them one day, it becomes a gift instead of an expectation, and they are so appreciative. 

We can start small. It can be:

– Our kids making their own lunches. 
– Setting an alarm to wake up. 
– Picking out their clothes to wear that day themselves. 
– Keeping their room clean throughout the week, and cleaning it themselves.
– Helping out around the house. 
– Putting their dishes in the dishwasher.
– When they have a problem with a friend or with school, asking them what they think they will do about it (we can guide them of course, but when we put the ball in their courts it helps them become more confident problem solvers as they see we have confidence in their abilities.)

Each family of course has to decide what responsibilities are best for their kids to have as it’s not an equation, but the point is to begin giving our kids more ownership as they grow older so when they do leave our homes, they are prepared to. When we give our kids more ownership and responsibility, they will see that they are capable, that they can make their own choices and don’t need someone deciding things for them – which is definitely a muscle we want to help flex so that in their middle school and high school years they will grow in confidence and know how to be an independent thinker among their peers. To see a practical way to help our kids grow in responsibility, see my post on How to Do “Allowance”.

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❤️ Mother’s Day Giveaway!!!! ❤️

*Giveaway closed. Congrats to Natalie and also to Juliana for winning!*

Happy early Mother’s Day to all you mamas! I am pairing up with Christie Thomas, author of a Mother/Son Devotional that focuses on the life of David and growing in faith (geared to 6-12 year old boys). The winner will get to pick between that Devo. or my Mother/Daughter Devo. (for 6-10 year old girls)! We’ll pick two winners!!! You must be in the continental U.S. or Canada to win. Giveaway closes Wednesday, May 4th at 11pm.

✨ To Enter: Just comment on this post!
✨ For Extra Entries: Share this post and let me know you did in comments.

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A Great Way to do Allowance💲

Giving our kids more responsibility and ownership now helps them later. A parent with grown-up kids recently said to me: “I wish I had done less for my kids.” She was referring to giving them more responsibility to train them up to be responsible adults and not step in to do things her kids could have done. That stuck with me. My allowance approach is a simple way to build more responsibility in our kids and to build ownership of their spaces in the house.

Responsibilities
Each week my kids have to clean the counters in their bedrooms, bathroom, their mirror, keep their beds made and rooms straightened daily, replace their towel and washcloth each week, and wipe their baseboards (once a month). They also make their lunches for school – if they forget, they eat the school lunch. The days they have late activities and I surprise them with making their lunch, they have so much appreciation, whereas before it was more of an expectation and not as appreciated. Responsibility builds appreciation. (If you would like a free sample chore chart to help your kids keep track of chores, subscribe and comment below and I’ll be happy to send you one.)

Allowance
Completing these items above (for the most part – give some grace as they’re learning) gives them the opportunity to complete a *Bonus Job* each week to earn Allowance. If they don’t do their chores, they don’t get the chance to earn money. Some families give $0.50 or $1 per year of their child’s age for allowance. Do what works for you. If they ask why another family gives more, you can tell them that other families do things differently and this is how our family does things. (Making a list of the bedroom chores for your kids that need to be done each week is also helpful.)

Bonus Jobs
My kids do not just get money each week. They have to earn it through a bonus job. I love these because they are such a big help to me and they also help our kids be more appreciative, less entitled, and more responsible. This is how it works:

  1. Each month, I write the bonus jobs for that month on post-it notes and put them on the wall. I have 3 kids, so I post 12 jobs on the wall at the beginning of the month I also have their names on post-it notes below the bonus jobs. (Their meal chore for dinner is next to their name and I rotate them periodically – that is in addition to the bonus job. I want them to pitch in since they are a part of the family.)

    The kids get to pick one bonus job to do each week. If I need a job done that week, I put a star on it so jobs with stars have to be picked that week. If there are no starred jobs, they can do whichever one they want. Examples are pull weeds, wipe all windowsills, wipe baseboards, wipe under furniture, etc.
  2. That week, whenever the kids want, they pick the bonus job they would prefer and put the post-it-note next to their name when they are about to begin it.
  3. I have money in an envelope by the job list. After they complete their chores for the entire week AND the bonus job, and get it checked off by me, they take their Allowance and put it in their “Give”, “Save” and “Spend” boxes. The exercise of Giving at a young age helps our kids be generous and open-handed. The “save” money is put into their bank account we have started for them. Saving in the longterm helps them be responsible. “Spend” money is money they use to spend on things they would like to buy in the short-term. Having their own spend money creates confidence and independence.

Once your family has done this for a few weeks, you’ll start to get into a routine and it will get easier and easier. You’ll also find ways to tweak this so it works best for your family. While the kids might not look forward to the extra responsibility, they will gain more confidence in themselves and thank you when they’re older! And, you’ll be helped along the way with everyday chores. It’s a win-win! I’d love to hear how it goes. Comment below to let me know. (:

A Great Easter Activity!

This is a great practical activity for our kids to do from my Devotional to show them that we are forgiven of our sins through Jesus! Thank you, Lord!!! Happy Easter!!!❤️

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I turned 44 a few days ago (34 at heart!). This is the first birthday without my dad here. I was so grateful to be able to celebrate with my three kids, Bates, Brooklyn, and Gracie, and my husband, Christian. I did miss so much hearing my dad’s words for the first time ever – “Happy Birthday, Linsey.” Those simple words. I know you’ve experienced your own difficult things – joy laced with sorrow. 

As our eyes are opened more and more to this world, don’t we see more and more of the pain here? And, also more and more of the joys here? Life on earth means carrying both.

I am constantly reminded that even though we might feel like settlers here, we’re not. We’re not meant to stay here. We are meant to be with Jesus forever. Peace forever. That will come one day. In the meantime, Lord, would you heal our hearts of the painful things that hurt. Would you open our eyes and hearts to love the sweet moments you pour into our laps? Show us how to carry both, the pain and the joys. Thank you that you always have done that very thing. Carried the pain and the joy together. Especially through giving Jesus for us – the pain in Jesus giving his life for us, & the joy of eternity that came the instant He was raised to life. The forever forgiveness, and pure joy that came with that. Oh God, thank you! We don’t take that for granted. Thank you that we can choose you, that we can enter Life with You by simply giving you our hearts. Oh we do, Lord. Help us in the meantime, Lord, to see your kingdom here, to weep with those who weep and to experience your kingdom, to rejoice with those who rejoice and to experience your kingdom, to let your love lead us, guide us, be in us, so your kingdom is here with us, a moment at a time. We love you, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, amen.

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A Fun Way to Serve With Our Kids

My kids had a lot of fun doing the Creative Fun activity in chapter 8 from my Devotional about Deborah. The activity is to be a leader like Deborah was by planning a volunteer outreach and creating an invitation for your friends to join you! After we sorted clothes for the ministry, Families of Hope (they provide clothing to kids in foster care), my daughter decided to create a mermaid tail blanket for a girl who has to go into foster care. She cut the fabric and sewed it together with her sewing machine. It is so cool to see how the Lord prompts our hearts to love others as we take small steps in serving. Let’s encourage our kids to be leaders through loving and serving others. Here’s the invitation she created and the pics from it. If you do the Creative Fun activity with your kids, I’d love to hear about it too!

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