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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Keeping Our Children's Hearts

Ever have one of those days when you feel like you are one of the most unpopular people in the world? Or at least the most unpopular person in your own home?

We've been experiencing some growing pains.

The baby, who is really now a toddler, gets into everything. I mean everything. This is my only child who has been a true climber. No playground, no matter how high, daunts her. And, yes, she does prove the need to screw bookcases into walls. This will be the child who breaks her leg or her arm or needs stitches.

Mary is turning into a true drama queen, the slightest provocation sets her off. And every single disappointment, no matter how insignificant makes this the "worst day ever." Was I like that? I sure hope not. Somehow, I don't think I would have dared, but if I did, I owe my Mom a tremendous apology.

Peter is, in many ways, just like his older brother at this age. Only Daddy will do. He is lovable, but incredibly, incredibly stubborn.

David is turning into a sullen, resentful teenager right before my eyes. And he's only 10! A large part of this is the number of major changes that have happened over the past year and a half. A new baby sister. A major move, and being forced to leave his best friends behind. Living with grandparents. Another move. Death of his great grandmother. And yet another move.

And now we expect him to be more responsible, more grown up, more reliable...it's just plain revolting.

I don't have his heart. I don't have his respect. We need to do something about that. While the academics are important, they are pointless if I lose my boy, and I can't possibly be an effective teacher, anyway, without his respect. So, the next several weeks we will be focusing on rebuilding our relationship.

What do you do to keep your children's respect? How do you speak to their hearts?

11 comments:

  1. So great that you recognize that now, so sorry that it is there to be recognized. Will be praying for you and your big boy. :-)

    I have an easier time with the girls. We have our tea time, we giggle and snuggle and read together. My 13 year old boy is more of a challenge, and I don't think it is just the age. I have had to learn a lot about sports and force myself to be interested in things that really don't interest me because they interest him. I also still need to make sure that I get in to say good night to him, because as much as he hates hugs, that bedtime hair tousle is critical to him.

    It is sometimes hard to know how to connect because each child is different. I look for those tender moments, but sometimes they are few and far between.

    Thanks for your post and making me think about such an important area once again. And, sorry for writing my own post in response . . . I guess that says you really struck home here.
    ~Erin

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  2. I am sorry you are going through this. It is tough, I know.
    For me, what worked, was when I was upset, I made sure and spoke respectfully, even when I was upset, and she had done wrong.
    Just remaining calm, and not yelling, but still following through with the discipline.
    Also, just making sure that throughout the day, I built her up.
    Telling her I loved her, pointing out the good things I saw, etc...
    I read the book Keeping your Child's Heart by Terri Maxwell, and I recommend that book.It is great. Also, Cindy Rushton has a book and bible study, and an audio, all together, called Ministering the the heart of Your Child.
    That one is really good too!

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  4. Wow! It sounds like we have had the same major events happen this year (except the baby). My oldest son is only 8 but I do have a daughter who is 11. I don't quit struggle with our relationship but can certainly see how it can be tough with my boys. I know that with my boys I sometim es have to force (that sounds so bad) myself to just sit down with them and do what they like too do. Such as kick a ball around outside, play video games or just spend some time talking about things that interst them. My boys love to get my affection even though they might not verbalize it. You will be in my prayers.
    Julie

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  5. I have three married sons, two daughters then my youngest son(17-my last year homeschooling). We read the same books: Robinson Crusoe, Swiss Family Robinson(Abeka), Captains Courageous, Great Expectations, Moby Dick, To Kill A Mockingbird etc. and watch the movies( black and white if possible). Here on Long Island we walk on the beach in autumn and mild winter days. Making Memories.

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  6. For the younger grades we enjoyed a biography of Jedidiah Smith(Christian Liberty Press-5th grade and older). And of course we read Farmer Boy(Little House book) and watched the first Little House episode. My girls read only the first Little House book.

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  7. Thank you, all, for the encourage and support. It's been a rough few days. We will persevere.

    You've touched on points I need to explore. Thank you. Thank you.

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  8. I found with my sons that the covers of books matter- they preferred Veritas Press's Robinson Crusoe's cover of a young boy. They liked Modern Curriculum Press math(sold by Christian Liberty Press- the workbooks are under $20). We used CLP's Robinson Crusoe Reader(2nd grade and older) and liked the old BW movie not the newer movies.

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  9. Hi Susan, I'm sorry to hear that you've been struggling so much. Just wanted to say that, from an outsider's perspective, you have beautiful children, and I especially admire how sweet and kind your children are to each other and to other kids. I love - LOVE - hanging out with you and them and having Jack have such good role models. Hang in there - I'll pray for you and David especially.
    Angela

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  10. Thank you, Angela, that means a lot coming from you:-) David is a good kid, he's probably suffering more than a little from "attention deficit." It's hard being the oldest.

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