Thursday, April 3, 2008

Loving Home. . the journey of mommy-hood

So... I've had quite a few conversations in the past week about being the mom of a school-aged daughter. My post last week about my struggle to know how to navigate Madison through this chapter of growing up has spurred me on the quest for Godly wisdom.. . and it seems I'm not alone on this journey. . if fact, it seems like it's pretty normal for Madison and I to go through this "stage" and pretty normal for me to not know what to do! She's wanting more freedoms.. .I'm still wanting a happy daughter who is joyful, respectful, kind, considerate of others, generous, and obedient "all the way, right away and with a happy heart"--as we say around our house.

Because so many of my friends are experiencing similar challenges in their homes and because so many of my friends have daughters and because we are all desiring to have LOVING HOMES, I thought I'd pass on the collective wisdom I've been gathering. . almost all of it from my mom!

First, PRAYER is key.  Here are the 2 scriptures that I'm praying for Madison.

". . . continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.  Do everything without complaining or arguing so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word life"  Phil. 2:12-16

". ..being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Phil 1:6

Secondly, involve DAD.  We're going to have a "family meeting" tonight.  Stephen is going to talk about being respectful to me and being obedient from the heart. He's also going to lay down some consequences.

The third strategy is CONSEQUENCES.  My mom said to plan on a few hard days of consistently enforcing the consequences, but then it'll get better. I've experienced that before when it comes to enforcing bed time, table manners, rude language, etc.  We're looking for the "currency" that will get through to our girl which is TV time and stuffed animals at the moment.  

We're also looking for some POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT.  We're not settled on what this will be quite yet. Along those same lines, I want to make sure I'm making enough "deposits" with Madison so that she doesn't have to make a scene to get my attention!

I'm also going to re-evaluate which TV SHOWS are appropriate. We might need to cut back on some of our shows that are feeding the drama and childhood angst!!

Lastly, I'm going to be aware of GENUINE ISSUES VERSUS MANIPULATION.  In the heat of the moment, I'm going to try to patiently express understanding and empathy ("I know you're disappointed. I see that you're wanting greater freedoms, and I'm going to think about and talk to dad about how we can work this out. . "), and I'm also going to end it there. Conversation to be continued at another time in another setting. The end.

I want to be strategic in parenting, like Pastor Gregg says! With God's help, we will.

God is good and he promises us wisdom when we seek it. Thanks be to God for his WORD to give us LIGHT on this journey-step by step.

I'll let you know how it goes! If you have more strategies, send them my way! :)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My Baby Hope is ONE!!!

We had her party on Saturday at the park because she loves to SWING!

She really likes her new Dora car. . and her clothes and toys. Thank you to our sweet family!

This is the absolutely ADORABLE and DELICIOUS cake. We had a Strawberry Shortcake party, and this cake was strawberry with to-die-for cream cheese icing. Yummy!

Hopey was NOT shy about sticking her hands in and eating her cake!

She had fun sitting with Maw Maw and opening her presents.

It was a wonderful family party celebrating our girl! I truly can't believe that a year has flown by so quickly. Hope is such a happy, delightful little girl.  People are always asking me, "Is she always this happy?". And, yes, she is! She is so much fun to have around. She is a cuddler, she is curious, she is quick to learn and figure things out, she can communicate, she goes with the flow. . and she is altogether PRECIOUS!

I love you, Hopey!!!