Idea to Motivate Helping Out, Fun, & Beautiful Hearted Parenting ❤️

I was so tired of constantly reminding my kids after meals to fill their water bottles up, clear their dishes, and do their jobs, so I came up with this incentive chart.

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It’s worked wonders.

We’ve been doing it several weeks and just about every single meal, all three of them jump up to put their dishes in the dishwasher, fill their water bottles up, and vacuum, wash or clear the table, and help out with whatever other needs there are without being asked.

This is how it works:

  • After a meal, if they fill their water up and put their dishes in the dish washer, they get to “clip up”- move their clip up once. If they forget to, they have to “clip down”- move their clip down once.
  • If they find a need around mealtime and help out without being asked, whether they set the table, wipe the table afterward, sweep or vacuum, they get to “clip up.”
  • I counted by 2’s on the chart and it goes up to 60. Your numbers can signify anything – whatever would be motivating to your child.
  • For us, the numbers on the chart represent minutes for computer time on the weekend. We don’t usually do electronics during the week, so this is a treat for them. The most they can earn on a weekend is an hour. You can do more or less minutes- whatever works for you.

You need to adjust it based on what works for your family, but after doing this two weeks, my son who used to constantly forgot to clear his plate, has been remembering every meal and going above and beyond to help out.

I used to assign a job for each kid such as setting the table, clearing the table, etc., but I like the idea of teaching them to see a need and jumping into help, so this is what we have been doing. We’ll probably go back to assigning jobs at some point, but this is working great right now.

We won’t do this chart forever, but it’s offered wonderful and positive reinforcement to begin good habits that will hopefully carry on.

As humans, I think we all respond well to a little positive reinforcement, and I’d much rather do something like this than nagging reminders or constant consequences.

Give it a try and share it with another mama.

We’re all in this together: raising these little miracles. Thank you, Lord.


 

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Change up the monotony & normal routine for your kiddos.

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Yesterday before school at 6:45am, I threw some towels on the ground and we had a “campfire breakfast by lantern.” 😂

So simple, but the kids loved it. And, simple clean up – I loved that.

It can change the whole mood of the morning by throwing a twist in it. Share some of your fun ideas below.

Let’s bring some fun, silliness, & spontaneity to parenthood. 😊


 

Encouraging Gratitude & Not Worrying

My article published by For Every Mom, “How to Encourage Gratitude in Our Children”:

img_1392.jpgIsn’t it easy to feel entitled and frustrated when we don’t get our way? How can we combat that attitude with our children and ourselves?

Through Scripture, stories, and praying.

The other day when I walked into my eight-year-old daughter’s bedroom, she was fuming in frustration because “nothing” was going her way.

Her closest friend in school sat just two desks away, yet she spoke about the kid next to her being rude, another kid being mean, and now, for the life of her, she couldn’t get the rubber band around her ponytail just the way she wanted to. A true emergency. I could see smoke coming from her ears. Almost.

I had noticed a trend.

While I want to hear about the bad and good happening in her life, lately, I noticed one complaint after another, blooming grumpiness and ungratefulness.

I sat on my daughter’s bed, tears swelling her eyes. I told her how frustration and anger don’t help, but just make us miserable – to try to focus on giving thanks instead.

But she desperately said, “I can’t help it! I just get so frustrated and mad. I’m so bad at this.”

In that moment, I saw her hurt. I needed to quit preaching and just connect with her.

My mind wandered to Tedd Tripp’s advice at a parenting conference.

He said that when correcting our kids, to get on their level, and let them know that we’re working on the same things – that we are in this together.

So, I looked into her tear-swollen eyes and told her I struggle with the same thing. My daughter looked up at me. She was listening.

I told her that it’s easy for me to complain and pout when I don’t get my way too, but there’s a verse that helps me with that: “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

We had already memorized this verse, so she was familiar with it.

I shared that when my mind jumps to self-pity, I try to thank the Lord for something instead and it changes my mind and heart.

He changes my mind and heart.

I know there is power in telling stories as Jesus did, so I shared a story with my daughter of a woman who also dealt with the issue of giving thanks. Corrie ten Boom.

This is what I told her…

Corrie ten Boom was a woman who loved Jesus. She bravely hid Jews because Hitler was trying to hurt them. And, Corrie was put in a prison camp because of it.

The soldiers took away each person’s belongings, including their Bibles. Miraculously, they never found Corrie’s Bible. Corrie slept on a flea-infested mattress, crammed with several other women, including her sister, Betsie.

Feeling hunger pains and fleas biting them, you would think they complained. But, instead, Betsie told Corrie about a verse that came to her mind.

All those years ago, the same verse we read, they also read: “Give thanks in all circumstances.”

Corrie asked her sister what on earth they could give thanks for. Betsie said she was thankful that the Lord allowed her to be with her sister in the prison camp when they could have been separated. Then, she thanked God for the fleas. Can you believe that?

Corrie told her sister that she could never give thanks for the fleas. But Betsie told Corrie they had to because it’s God’s will to give thanks in all circumstances.

So, they gave thanks for the fleas.

You know what happened because of those fleas? The soldiers wouldn’t come into the barracks where they stayed. Because of that, Corrie and Betsie were able to have Bible studies and share their hope of Jesus during a tough time.

None of that would have happened if the fleas hadn’t been there.

It’s a choice, I told my daughter. It’s a choice to give thanks always. We talked about replacing frustration and anger with this phrase: Thank you, Lord, for _______. 

And, we talked about how we are in this together.

I drew her close and we prayed together. We gave thanks to the Lord and asked him to help us have grateful hearts.

I wiped my daughter’s wet cheeks, hugged her, and gave her some time to herself. After five minutes, she walked out of her room with a smile and joyful heart.

It’s a process for all of us – to walk the higher road of giving thanks always.

To walk the higher road of raising children who choose gratefulness over entitlement.

To walk the higher road of following Jesus.

But when we choose the higher road, we experience the full life that Jesus came to give us.

Originally published by For Every Mom: How to Encourage Gratitude in our Children 


 

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Article Published with Focus on the Family, a Craft, & a Quick Tip. ❤️

Article published with Focus on the Family:

My guest post article on Focus on the Family’s, DalyFocus: Pressing on Through Rejection


A Craft & Teaching Our Kids About Jesus

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It’s so important to talk about Jesus with our kids when they’re little, but it’s also never too late to start. When we share the truth of Jesus with them as they grow up, their foundation will grow stronger. (See activity below to set this truth in their hearts) 

At 6-years-old, our kiddos starting hearing about different religions in their public school. We don’t need to be afraid of them learning and gaining understanding as long as we are also sharing the truth of Jesus with them in our homes (of course every child is different and can handle different things so you need to figure that out for your own kids). 

If we shelter our kids and never talk about the realities of the world, they might be shocked by the world around them when they get older. 

But our children’s foundation will be stronger if we talk about it and share that, “Other kids might believe differently than us, but our family believes in Jesus and he calls us to be a light for him and to love all people.” We tell our kids over and over, if anything makes you feel uncomfortable or if you don’t understand it, tell us and we can talk about it.

This Bible story in Matthew is a great one that echoes the truth about building your foundation on Jesus:

Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the Rock. 

But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.’

When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.” (Matthew 7:24-29)

*Bring this story to life: Create a tiny house with your kids made of whatever you have around your house: shoe boxes, paper towel rolls, etc. Pour water on a foundation/hill of sand without the house on it. See what happens (we made a hill of dirt bc that’s what we had). Talk about what would’ve happened to the house if it were sitting there when the “rain came.”

Then put the house on a big rock and pour water just on the rock foundation. Talk about what happened to it. The house is fine because it was on a strong rock. It didn’t move. 

When we build our life on Jesus and have faith in him, he is our Rock, he doesn’t move, and we can stand strong in him.

*Daniel 3 is another powerful and exciting story that talks about choosing God and following him no matter what. My kids loved it and it really inspired them.*

{For more on faith & parenting, join me at LinseyDriskill.com}


 A Quick Tip:

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It can be easy to want our kids to meet all our expectations without communicating them to our kids.

But, if we take 10 seconds before arriving somewhere to share our expectations, even if it’s the 10th time, it can make a world of difference.

Let’s be FOR our kids, on their team, and give them the best chance at succeeding.

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers-not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be…” 2 Peter 5:2

Lord, thank you for the gift of getting to raise our children. Please give us wisdom as we parent. When we are exhausted and at our wits’ end, give us strength and joy in the simple gift of getting to lead our kids, getting to love them, and getting to be with them. Thank you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, amen.


 

 

 

A Call to All Mamas & Encouraging Our Children to go Above & Beyond.

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Let’s keep a running list of how our children go ABOVE AND BEYOND this week. Then, at the end of the week, let’s read it to them and celebrate ways they loved others well to encourage it more.

While it’s disheartening when our children choose selfishness and arguing, isn’t it so refreshing when they choose to go above and beyond with love and kindness?

IMG_5962Yesterday, my son filled up my water bottle for me. It was a small thing, but it was beautiful because I didn’t ask him to. And, this morning, he offered to help his sister make her bed without being asked.

Difficult moments are just natural in parenthood, so when I saw this sweet one, I captured it. My daughter also jumped in to help after seeing him help. His kindness was contagious.

Let’s start with asking our kiddos what they think it means to go above and beyond with loving others and talk about some examples. We can let them know we’ll be on the lookout for those “above and beyond” moments, but that even if we miss some, the Lord doesn’t. He sees it all.

The poor widow is a great story to share on going above and beyond. She gave two small coins – all she had to live on – to the Lord. As Jesus sat across the way watching her, he was so pleased by the love she put into her giving that he actually called his disciples over to him to share the moment with them. (Mark 12:41-44)

“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8 ❤️

Hope in Jesus & Facing Peer Pressure

With all the tragedies we’ve heard about in the news lately, and ones we haven’t heard about, these words spoken by Jesus offer us hope here and now and beyond this place.

When our children face tough times, let’s remind them of these powerful words in John 16.

And, to all those walking through a difficult time right now, we are lifting you up. ❤️

“And surely I am with you always.” Jesus (MT 28:28)

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Facing Peer Pressure

Jesus’ response to the Pharisees challenging him is so powerful. It’s a great example for our kids on how to face peer pressure. In Jesus’ words:

“I know where I came from and where I am going.”
“I am not alone.”
“I stand with my Father.”
“The one who sent me is with me.”

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Two Words Your Kids Need to Know & When You Rise at 3am, the Lord Sees…

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My recent article published by For Every Mom:

The Two Words Your Kids Need to Know

“The reality quickly surfaced that we can’t protect our kids from every bad conversation and influence. Instead, we need to equip them.”


 

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While watching the new Lion King, our daughter nestled between us, grabbing daddy’s hand and mine. As we sat there watching the movie, our eight year old, holding our hands tight, I had a moment.

I thought, what a gift that this daughter of mine trusts me, wants to be close, looks to  her daddy and me.

We get to be her comforter, protector, and refuge. Out of all the people in the world, she looks to us.

This morning I thought about how the Lord must love when we also look to him as our comforter, protector, and refuge.

How he must find joy in seeing us depend on him, trust him, grab his hand, and follow him. He loves you. You are His. Look to Him.

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” 1 John 3:1


 

Sibling Arguments & a Gratitude Journal

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Sibling arguments are inevitable. But, if there’s a way to limit them, I sure want to.

Yes, my kids still argue, but this verse has been a wonderful motivator to not repay insult with insult, but with blessing.

When one of my kids chooses the latter, I celebrate it big time.

When our kiddos have these words in their minds and hearts, they are more likely to pause before paying back and to repay with blessing instead.

I love how the end of the verse explains why: “because to this you were called.”

I share with them that as followers of Jesus he has called us to love one another deeply. With a love that doesn’t always make sense. When we repay evil for evil, it stirs up anger and hatred, but when we repay with blessing, it stirs up love, goodness, peace.

When we walk in love like Jesus tells us to, we experience more of his kingdom, his power, him. “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” Jesus (John 8:12)

Lord, help our kids and us to love one another like this. When we want to repay with anger, harsh words, and frustration, Jesus, help us to be a light for you and react with peace, kindness, and love. Thank you for filling our minds and hearts today. In Jesus’ name, amen.


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After a recent move, I’ve found myself wading in ungratefulness at different times. But yesterday morning, I read this verse: “He who sacrifices thank offerings, honors me.” Psalm 50:23

So, each morning, my kids and I have written one or more things we’re thankful for in our “Gratitude Journal”.

When we place our minds and hearts on the Lord and gratefulness, it overpowers the darkness and honors the Lord.

Want to join us in doing a “Gratitude Journal” with your kiddos or just yourself? It doesn’t have to be drawn out – keep it simple and just jot down one or more things you’re grateful for.

Let’s start the mornings by refreshing our minds, hearts, and souls with giving thanks to the Lord. 😊