A Revolutionary Mindset for Family Chores

What used to be a given in the life of the family, chores are now apparently falling by the wayside, with only 28% of parents stating that they give their child(ren) chores, according to a recent study. Even in spite of the up and coming evidence that chores are beneficial to children (here, here, and here), and the old-school common sense, parents just aren’t giving their kids chores as much these days.

However, YOU are not that parent, right? Because you clicked on this post, I’m going to assume you know that chores are beneficial. You want your kids to pitch in around the house. You are, after all, not a maid. Amiright?

Herein lies the big question? HOW?

A quick search on Pinterest will only give you about eleventy-billion results for chore charts, job cards, reward systems, and on and on and on. Where do you start? And do these systems even work?

Truth is, I don’t know. I haven’t tried them. The closest I’ve come to using a “chore chart” is when I jotted down a few jobs on a piece of construction paper for my son.

However, over the last few years I have stumbled on something. Something that does work. A mindset that has revolutionized the way I handle family chores.

First, I’m going to lay out the thought process that has worked for us. Afterwards, I’m going to tell you the *secret* to making it all work.. so stick around for that mmmk?

 

First off, no rewards!

Yep, you heard me. Basic, every day chores and house work does not get any compensation from mom and dad, other than the satisfaction of a job well done. We all live here, we all make the messes here, we all help. We do everyday chores together and work on bigger house projects together too. It’s a team effort.

Plus, if you work hard now, it means less work for mama later and maybe she can actually sit down for a minute and play that game you keep asking to play.

In all seriousness though, I don’t want rewards to be my children’s motivator to do good things and work hard, so I use them very sparingly as a general rule.

Three Stages of Workers

Here is the meat and potatoes of this method. It’s an amalgamation of various chores posts and systems I’ve read over the years. The best part is that it will work with every age child in your family. Perfecto!

Stage 1: The Helper

I’m just going to say this right off the bat. The helper’s “help” is not usually very helpful. It’s the toddler who plays in the water more than actually washing the dishes, the preschooler who folds the towels all wonky, and the child who skipped over half the window you were washing.

The helper works beside you, often getting in the way, often undoing what you just did. Sometimes the helper gets a “job” that serves only to keep him or her occupied for 5 minutes.

However, in this stage the importance does not lie with the end product. No, the importance is the feeling being helpful, of being included, and the beginning of family work becoming a habit.

So, take a deep breath… and let the toddler join you at the kitchen counter.

Stage 2: The Apprentice

This is where the real work starts. No, not for them, for you. 🙂 In this stage, you are no longer just doing damage control on their “help” – you are the coach.

It’s best to start with one task at a time. Want your child to be able to clean the bathroom? Be prepared to stand there the entire time, explaining what cleaner to use, how to scrub the toilet, and what exactly a clean counter should look like. With tasks that have multiple steps, it is helpful to have a check-list nearby to aid in independence.

In this stage you are going to be demonstrating, observing, helping, and reminding. With your training, gradually they will need your help less and less, but don’t expect it to happen overnight.

Stage 3: The Expert

It’s the stage you’ve been waiting for! You say the magic words: “please go do your laundry” – and they DO IT. Correctly. Without you. Did you hear that? You did not do the laundry. They did.

All that work has finally paid off. Your child is an expert in the chore(s) you have trained them in. Now, don’t be surprised if their memory seems to fade and they need a little time back in the apprentice stage. However, overall, you’ve got fully functioning members of the family.

It’s time to have a party! A cleaning party that is. 🙂

Moving through the stages

In our home, if you are under 5/6 years old, you are probably still firmly in the “helper” phase. I don’t even think about trying to venture out towards independent cleaning or checklists, or any of that. I just pull a stool up to the counter and call over a helper.

That said, if you haven’t done much by way of chores (or even just certain chores) an older child might still need to be in the helper phase. Let them help you make breakfast a few times (just cross your fingers there’s no egg shells in your food), then slowly move towards the apprentice mindset. Soon, they’ll be able to make a dish, then a meal, and their skills continue to expand.

A child can also be in multiple stages at once. He could be helping with kitchen work, apprenticing bathroom duties, and an expert at making his bed. It is less about having a complicated system, and more about having a mindset of slow growth through the stages.

How we set it up right now

Currently, what this looks like for us is this…

After lunch is our “chore hour.” We all work together for the hour between lunch and quiet time to do our chores and get the house feeling nice(r). The rule is this: first you do your assigned chore (apprentice stage), then you pick up your bedroom. If there is any time leftover, you help someone else with what they are working on.

Currently my 6 year old is apprenticing in cleaning floors (sweeping, vacuuming, mopping). If he has time after picking up his room, he helps me with other tasks (kitchen, laundry, etc). The toddler generally stays by me and “helps” or sometimes I’ll send him to help his brother.

The six year old also has a cooking job, which is currently training on how to prep veggies. Both boys enjoy helping in the kitchen at other times.

The SECRET to making it work

Okay, I promised a secret. So, here it is… (hopefully we’re still friends after this revelation)…

This is HARD WORK

Ah! Mind blowing, right?

Okay, okay, you’re probably thinking “Obviously! I know this is hard work! How does that help me make it work?”

Because expectations are everything.

If I expect my child to do their chores without my help and then they do them sloppily and half way, what happens? I get frustrated.

If I expect to make dinner without a toddler dumping spices all over the counter, what happens when the mess comes? Same.

Training little ones how work hard and function as productive members of society when they are grown is HARD. It is way easier to send them to their room while you fold laundry, put on a movie during dinner prep, or shoo them outside so you can mop. The struggle is real!

But, heres the thing…

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.” 
-Galatians 6:9

Don’t give up! Keep the future goal in mind and it will make all that hard work worth it.

So lean on God, roll up your sleeves, grab a kid, and get to work.

The Most Important Phrase to Help with the Adjustment to a New Sibling

The Most Important Phrase to Help with

He came downstairs from his quiet time and wanted the cookie I had promised him. The only problem was that I was trapped.

Trapped under a peacefully sleeping baby.

I told him that I couldn’t get up and get his cookie right then. He would have to be patient and wait.

I could see the frustration building on his face and I felt for him. He was transitioning well into the role of big brother, but that didn’t mean it was always easy. Newborns are pretty demanding, so big brother was getting a lot of practice with coming second.

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Anyways.. back to the cookie situation. I really didn’t want to disturb said sleeping baby – either by getting up to get the cookie or from the screams of a three year old’s meltdown. So, I broke out the miracle phrase.

“You used to do that when you were a baby too.”

“When you were a baby you liked mommy to hold you when you were sleeping too. You always wanted to be held!”

His scowl immediately melted into a smile. He loves hearing about when he was a baby.

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Before Baby J was born we spent a lot of time looking through old pictures and talking about what K was like when he was a baby. He ate up every minute of it.

Not only does he like hearing about himself as a baby, the phrase helps him remember that he is the big kid. Baby J can’t wait patiently, but a big boy can. Baby J doesn’t help clean up, but a big kid can. Baby J needs mommy to help him with everything, but a big boy can do it himself.

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K had his time to be a baby, but now he is a big boy and before long baby J will be a big boy just like him!

But for now, when that frustration starts to well up, it helps to remember – “You used to do that when you were a baby too.”

What tips do you have for easing that transition when a newborn comes along?

What I’m Into – June 2015

With the craziness that comes from welcoming a newborn into the world I didn’t get to writing a May edition of “What I’m Into.” I love reading and writing these silly little life updates so I’m glad to be back with an update for June!

What I’m Watching…

All the Spring finales have long passed and we are in the thick of boring summer programming. So, we have turned to Netflix and Amazon Prime for most of our evening entertainment and weekend binge watching while my hubby catches up on work.

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Although my hubby and I tend to primarily enjoy crime drama together, we couldn’t find anything else that looked great a while back so we decided to restart Suits (we had watched it for a while back when it first started). We are caught up now and currently recording the current season. It is kinda fun to watch something different – although the “lawyer speak” sometimes goes over my head! I think the one downfall of this show is that sometimes the drama goes a little bit overboard.

Chuck

When we finished Suits, we decided to resurrect an oldie but goodie – Chuck. We watched Chuck way back when it originally aired, but it’s been fun re-watching because we forgot most of the details of what happened. Plus, I absolutely love this genre – comedy + drama. The only other show like it that I’ve watched is one of my all-time favorites, Psych. Why aren’t there more shows out there like this? Am I missing some hidden gems?

 

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K was introduced to ANW a while back and immediately fell in love! He thinks it is awesome and is convinced that he is going to be a Ninja Warrior someday. We don’t watch a lot of “reality TV”, but we have been enjoying the current season of ANW together. That’s a major score because it is so hard to find something that the whole family enjoys watching!

What I’m Reading

 

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We’ve been keeping our Bible time low-key this Summer for simplicities sake. Every morning we’ve been reading from The Big Picture Story Bible (I picked it up at the library). I really want to love this storybook Bible. It is very similar to the Jesus Storybook Bible, but easier for littler kids to understand. However, as I’m reading it, one moment I’m thinking “this is great” and the next I’m thinking “this just doesn’t work for some reason.” I can’t quite put my finger on it, but I think it’s because in trying to give the “big picture” it leaves out too many details of the individual stories.

What I’m Loving

  • Kissing chubby baby cheeks
  • Baby coos and smiles
  • Hearing K read to me
  • Rearranging the living room furniture
  • Two words: AIR CONDITIONING

What I’m Instagramming

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Chubby baby.

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Brother love.

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Baby kisses.

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Math lessons.

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Goofy little boy.

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Going shopping with two little helpers.

Come join me on Instagram!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this month! What are you into right now?

 This post is linked up with What I’m Into at Leigh Kramer

Baby J’s Birth Story

 

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I had a feeling this one would come early.

I didn’t dare say it out loud for fear of jinxing myself. But part of me just knew (or maybe it was just really strong hope!) he would make an appearance soon.

I really didn’t want to be induced again, so I was praying this little one would make his or her way into the world before that was necessary.

We were all as ready as we could be and not knowing the gender made it even more exciting. We wanted to meet this baby!

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Tuesday morning I had my 39 week appointment (I was 39 weeks plus 1 day). When I was asked if I was having any contractions, I answered the same as I had for months. “Yep, tons. But nothing consequential.” I had had way more Braxton Hick’s during this pregnancy than with K, but nothing that ever amounted to anything… or so I thought.

The nurse-midwife I had been regularly seeing was aware that I really was hoping to avoid a second induction, so she offered to do a membrane sweep. I said “yes please!” and when she did it, she informed me that I was already almost 3 cm dilated!

We did go ahead an schedule an induction time for the following week, to be sure to have a spot before the holiday weekend, but she assured me that she didn’t believe I would need it. She didn’t think it would be long!

I left the appointment feeling hopeful, but also trying not to get my hopes up. Having a membrane sweep with K did absolutely nothing after all.

I took it easy the rest of the day, since the membrane sweep left me feeling a little crampy and “ick.” I finished everything I needed to in order to launch Summer Search for God, figuring it should get done if I wanted to release it before the baby came.

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When that evening came I knew I should probably try to clean up the house a bit and get to bed early, figuring there was a good chance of going into labor the next day. However, I opted for sitting on the couch with my hubby watching TV and I headed up for bed around 9:30pm.

I took a shower and was crawling in bed at about 10:00pm when *pop* my water broke! I was not expecting that! I did a ninja like move to roll out of bed without getting the sheets wet and beelined for the bathroom. It wasn’t a huge bursting gush, but I was 99% confident that my water had indeed broke.

I called my husband on the phone (he was still downstairs).

“Hello?”

“Um.. dear.. you should probably come up here. I think my water broke.”

He rushed upstairs and made the call into labor and delivery.

They told me I could take a shower (already had) and have a snack and then come in to be checked to make sure my water really had broken.

I got together the few last minute items that needed packed and ate a banana.

Meanwhile, my husband was running around killing termites.

Yes, you read that right. Termites. They had been swarming that night and had finally made their way into the house through the vents. They were everywhere. Apparently this is a thing where we live. This being our first spring here, we had no clue. Thankfully they cause no damage and die soon after finding their way in your house. But still. Waddling around leaking amniotic fluid, termites were the last thing I wanted to deal with.

But I digress.

We finished up our last minute preparations, roused a sleeping three year old and dropped him off at a friends house, and made our way to the hospital.

Walking in I was experiencing some light contractions. Nothing that was keeping me from walking, although I was moving slow. It was about 11pm now.

I felt a mix of excitement and nerves. I was not looking forward to the intensity of labor and not knowing how labor will progress always made me nervous. However, I tried to keep my thoughts on how great it would be to finally meet this baby.

When we arrived at labor and delivery, they set us up in a side room and hooked me up to the heart rate monitor. They needed to check to make sure my water had actually broke, but they seemed in no hurry! (Probably because my labor didn’t seem very active at this point).

The nurses and techs did a few other things and as we waited contractions were starting to pick up. I began having to focus more intently on staying relaxed and I was really wanting to get out of the bed! Thankfully, they brought me a stool to sit on and that felt a ton better. Soon after that they confirmed my water was indeed broken and I was already dilated to 6cm!

A few minutes later they finally transferred us to our permanent room. At that point the contractions were very difficult to walk through, but I was just able to make it down the hall to our new room.

Once in the room, I had to get back in bed and get hooked up to the monitor again. Then, it was time to put my IV in (I needed antibiotics since I was group B strep positive). This was the worst part so far. Having to lay in the bed gave me back labor (ouch!) and I hate hate hate getting IV’s.

You see, I have vasovagal. If you’ve never heard of it, it is basically where in response to certain situations your brain decides the best course of action is to pass out! Thankfully, over the years I’ve learned to control it, but getting an IV put in is the worst!

I put in my earbuds to listen to music and turned away from the IV business. My husband stood by my head and comforted me and I remember a sweet nurse standing by my feet rubbing my leg.

I made it through the IV placement and was finally able to get out of that bed!

As I sat back on the stool (thankful to once again be upright and not feeling as much pain in my back!) I alternated between leaning against my husband during contractions and laying my head down on a table between them.

Unfortunately, one of the biggest things I was hoping to avoid (besides an induction) was laboring at night! I am such a wimp when it comes to being tired and boy was I exhausted!

It was about at this point that the doctor showed up and came in to talk with us (approximately 12:30am?). She had a paper that we had signed earlier and I needed to sign again. I could barely lift the pen to sign my name I was so tired! She asked if we had actually read the paper. We hadn’t!

She went through what the paper was about (it was just a release to do things like give me a blood transfusion, etc), but I was barely listening and really wanted her to stop talking at that point! The contractions were coming strong and very often.

I remember my husband comforting me with a little surprise in his voice saying that my contractions were “off the charts” on the monitor!

As each contraction came on, I would motion to my husband and he would come close so I could learn against him. I tried to relax as best I could and let my body do it’s thing. I kept visualizing the glorious moment from my first birth when my son was finally born – knowing this would all be worth it.

I was so tired though. The contractions were getting overwhelming and oh so painful. I knew I hadn’t even been laboring that long. How much longer was I going to have to withstand this? How was I going to be able to make it through?

The doctor asked me if I was feeling any pressure and I answered “no”, thinking there was no way it was going to be time for that already.

The next contraction came and I felt the pressure.

I couldn’t believe it was time to push.

I should have known I was in transition when I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore. I just didn’t think it would go so fast!

My mindset completely changed. I was in the home stretch.

One of my goals with this birth was to try alternate pushing positions. So, I started out standing with my husband holding me up. We both tired from this position quickly and the nurses helped a very dazed me climb into the bed. I sat on my knees holding the back of the bed and pushed from that position for a while too, but eventually my legs gave out again and I turned around to a sitting position.

I would like to add, this whole time I was pushing, I was yelling. It was horrible. I am not normally a yeller. I didn’t yell really for my first birth. It honestly felt kind of embarrassing (not to mention I almost lost my voice), but I really couldn’t help it! I think part of the problem was I was pushing a little too early and it hurt more because of that. By the time I got into the seated position I didn’t feel like I had to yell quite as much. All that to say – you gotta do what you gotta do to get through it!

Anyway, back to pushing. At this point I knew we were getting close. The pressure was getting intense and I could finally feel my baby coming down the birth canal. Everyone was so encouraging during this part and that really made a difference.

I got to the “burning ring of fire” and boy did it burn (I didn’t remember experiencing it as much with baby #1). I pushed through it though, knowing that it meant I was almost done!

A few more contractions and strong pushes later, and the moment I had been waiting for finally arrived. The moment I had been envisioning the whole time. The baby’s head crowned and his body followed right behind.

My water had broken at 10:00pm and a mere four hours later he was born. I couldn’t believe it!

Now, if you’ve never experienced childbirth, I don’t know how I can adequately describe this moment to you. When your baby finally comes out and you see their sweet little face for the first time. It is amazing. After all that excruciating work… your baby is born. It is indescribable.

I immediately looked down and reached for my baby. I exclaimed “it IS a boy!” (we had both really wanted another boy more than we wanted to admit and K had been declaring since the beginning that it would be a boy). He was handed to me and I finally was able to hold my sweet baby in my arms.

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He was perfect.

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He was wide awake and alert. Taking the new world in.

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He was here.

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K was thrilled.

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He is absolutely smitten with his baby brother.

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And I must say…

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We are too.

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We can’t imagine life without him!

 

 

How to Pray For Your Children’s Sibling Relationships

from guest poster, Julie.

Sibling relationships are… unique.

Some consider their siblings to be their best friends. Some have to work hard to tolerate theirs’.

As parents, we want our kids to fall into the first category. We dream of how blissfully our kids will get along and the glorious laughter that will sprinkle their every conversation.

Then one of them inevitably turns two.

Dreams dashed. Toys trashed.

How to Stop Sibling Fights

Most siblings have squabbles, and then some. As a parent it can be extremely disheartening, ESPECIALLY because it seems to be so far out of our control.

This is where calling out to a sovereign God makes all the difference.

How to Pray for Your Children's Sibling Relationships

But WHAT should you be praying beside the obvious, “Please don’t let them kill each other“???

Here’s some specifics to pray for…

They would appreciate each others’ differences

You know your kids are different than each other. Often, those differences cause the friction in their relationship. Pray that as they grow, they’ll learn to value those unique qualities in each other. When they know how to love their polar-opposite sibling, they’ll be better able to love people in the diverse world around them.

They would support each other through struggles

The sibling relationship typically lasts a lifetime. And every lifetime is going to have hardships. Pray that your children will support their sibling in those rocky times by pointing each other to the Lord and his mercy. Having a friend that has been with you though all the crud of the past and is committed to being there to the end is invaluable.

They would bolster each others’ growing faith

Aside from praying for your children’s individual salvation, ask God to let the siblings be influential in each others’ spiritual lives. I cannot tell you the impact my brother has made on my walk with the Lord. He’s not afraid to ask the tough questions. He sets a HIGH example. He cares and he’s not about to let me throw in the towel on God. I desperately want that same sort of relationship for my kids.

They would get along with each others’ future spouse

It may seem a LONG way off, but your kids are going to grow up and likely get married. Want the sibling bond to remain strong? Better pray that the siblings get along with their new brother and sister-in-laws. My own mother (who’s a ridiculously great lady) would tell me all the time growing up that she was praying my brother would be great friends with my future husband. I’d laugh it off, but now that they are BFFs, I see the incredible blessing of it.

It’s so hard to focus on the bigger picture when dealing with sibling relationships. But praying with these things in mind will help your kids ultimately have a God glorifying relationship.


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Julie Nixon is a frazzled mom of two tornadoes. As a dorky second-generation homeschooler, she writes over at “My Mundane and Miraculous Life” about learning and play, natural living and matters of the heart. She serves an astounding God that radically saved her.

Welcome Baby J!

He’s here! He’s here!

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7lbs 14oz of perfection.

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Born 5/13/15 at 2:10am.

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We’re in love.

Version 2

Can you tell?

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If you follow me on Instagram, I announced his name over there. I try to keep my kiddos names off the blog for their privacy, but I just couldn’t help sharing over there.

I debated back and forth whether to write up his birth story. I think I have a hard time writing about personal life here because I always wonder if anybody really cares. However, I know that I ate up every birth story I came across before Baby J was born. I just loved reading about everyone’s different experiences. So, I think perhaps I will write up both the boy’s birth stories. Stay tuned!

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Just one more picture, because how couldn’t you!?

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Summer Search For God – A New Series for Summer and Free eBook!

*UPDATE*
As of 5/9/16 this eBook is now available in an updated version in the shop here

Summer Search For God - Spiral Cover

Are you looking for a way to intentionally bring God into your child’s Summer, while still having loads of Summer fun? Look no further!

I’ve created a brand new devotional eBook that will help you do just that! I will be releasing portions of the eight devotionals each week beginning in June, but for a limited time you can get the whole eBook completely free just for being a Simple Life. Messy Life. subscriber!

In The International Bible Investigators and the Summer Search for God, you’ll find everything you need to guide your child through eight weeks of Summer fun that will also point him or her to God.

This eBook is not your average children’s devotional. It is what I have coined an “adventure devotional.” Most people, especially young ones, learn best through experiences. It is the things that we do, touch, taste, and feel that really stick in our memories. My goal with an adventure devotional is to bring God’s Word off the page and into life experiences that will stick with your children for years to come.

The setting of this adventure is that your child is a brand new recruit for the International Bible Investigators. Before your child can take a position as a special agent for the I.B.I., he must first complete eight training missions. The goal of this training is to learn to find God in everyday life. Each mission is based on a fun Summer activity that can be connected with learning something about God.

Here’s all the week’s activities!

Week 1 – Build a Fort

Week 2 – Make a Special Treat

Week 3 – Go for a Hike

Week 4 – Create a Masterpiece

Week 5 – Go on a Treasure Hunt

Week 6 – Get Wet

Week 7 – Conduct a Science Experiment

Week 8 – Do a Random Act of Kindness

Does this sound like something your family would enjoy this Summer? Enter your e-mail below to grab your free copy now!

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Two Simple Things That Have Made A Big Difference In Our Family

2 Simple Things That Made a Big Difference For Our Family

When the new year rolled around, like millions of others, my husband and I sat down to discuss what areas we felt needed improvement. Being the imperfect creatures we are, the list ended up being quite long!

We started January with high hopes to make some changes – both personally and for our family. We made a plan to focus on the things we felt were the most important and we set out to put our plan in action. And it worked… until it didn’t. Since then we’ve fallen on and off the New Years resolutions bandwagon more than once.

However, there have been two simple things that we’ve been able to keep up with that have made a huge impact in our family.

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#1 Nightly Walks

This goal was originally made for the purpose of starting a healthy habit – and getting this pregnant lady moving each day! However, I never would have guessed what it would do for our family.

Almost every night when my husband gets home from work we head out for a walk around our neighborhood. It takes us about 45 minutes and we usually get back just in time to eat dinner. While this does give us some good exercise, the biggest benefit is a side product of the walk – conversation.

We push the stroller, walk briskly, and talk. We talk about our days, we talk about our plans, we talk through our problems. We brainstorm together, dream together, laugh together, and yes, sometimes have an argument as well.

Conversely, on the nights that we stay home (for whatever reason) we tend to go about the business of the evening and never get into the same depth of conversation.

In order for these nightly walks to happen, we have had to make sure it is a priority. We encourage each other to keep up the habit and I’ve had to make sure K and I are ready to head out when dad gets home. Although sometimes we’ve gone for our walk after dinner, we definitely prefer to go before we eat. Because of this, I have to make sure as much of dinner as is possible is prepared in advance so we can eat as soon as we get home.

The work is worth it though. We’ve grown closer as a couple and even K looks forward to our nightly stroll!

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#2 No TV until 8pm

Now, those of you who don’t even have a TV to begin with are way ahead of us in this area, but this has been a big thing for us. It used to be that my husband liked to come home from work and decompress by watching TV. However, the TV would end up staying on all night. It sucked us in and didn’t let go.

So, for Lent this year I suggested changing our TV habits. After some discussion we settled on no TV until 8pm, K’s bedtime.

Now, in the evening we go for our walk and then eat dinner together around the table (or as of late, the picnic table!). Daddy and K have time to hang out for a while before K’s bedtime and I have nothing distracting me from either cleaning up the kitchen or joining in the playtime. If we have anything that needs to be discussed further or any to-do’s that need to get done, they are much more likely to happen with the TV off.

This has been so nice for our family. We interact. We make memories. And I have a better chance of waking up to a clean kitchen. 🙂

Then, K gets put to bed and the final stage of the evening can happen – relaxing together while we watch our favorite shows. A time that we both thoroughly enjoy even more without having had the TV on all night already.

Lent may be over, but this is one habit that we will be keeping up.

Well, those are the two simple things that have made a big difference for us. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with that long list of things you need to improve on. However, you can’t forget about the little things you have accomplished that make a difference in your life.

Do you have any little changes you’ve made that have made a difference in your family? I’d love to hear them!

The ULTIMATE Round-Up of Resources for Teaching Toddlers about God

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To celebrate the completion of our Play Through The Bible series I have brought together over 75 different resources from across the web that can help you as you strive to raise your little one to follow God. From Bible memory to learning how to sit still in church, this list has you covered!

If you enjoy this round-up, please be sure to pass it along to other toddler parents in need of ideas, tips, and encouragement!


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General Tips and Ideas

Toddler Doctrine – Planting Seeds of the Gospel – Amanda from Bless Your Heart and Home shares the truths they are trying to impress upon their 2 year old son. Includes a large list of resources.

7 Ways to Teach Your Toddler About Jesus – Anne shares 7 ways she’s found to teach her little ones about Jesus.

Simple Ways to Bring Jesus into Your Child’s Daily Routine – Becca of Bare Feet on the Dashboard shares some great tips for making Jesus a part of everyday life.

Truth for Tots – A series from Jenni of Live Called that explores the many ways we can teach toddlers and preschoolers about God.

The ABC’s of Bible Study for Children – A series hosted by Dusty of To the Moon and Back bringing together 13 bloggers to share Bible Studies for each letter of the alphabet.

 

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Devotions

3 Ways to Hold Devotions With Your Toddler – Kayse Pratt gives three practical tips for how to find time to make devotions with your toddler a part of your daily routine, plus shares their current top book pick to use during that time.

Bible Time Suggestions for Toddlers and Preschoolers – MaryEllen from Imperfect Homemaker shares the three things she does during Bible time with her four children ages four and under.

How We Do Family Devotions with a Toddler – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares how her family does devotions all together in a way that fully includes their two year old son.

Four Ideas for Teaching Scripture to Your Baby or Toddler – Jenn from The Purposeful Mom shares four ways she’s found to teach scripture to the littlest ones who might not be ready for a structured devotions time.

 

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Memorizing Scripture

How to Implement Bible Verses for Toddlers and Preschoolers to Memorize – Dollie from Teachers of Good Things shares what she’s found to be the most effective way to teach little ones to memorize scripture.

Bible Memory Beginnings for Toddlers and Preschoolers – Shirley from Satisfaction Through Christ shares a little bit of her story of beginning Bible memory with her son and gives some great tips for how she went about it. Includes free printables!

Printable ABC Memory Verses for Preschoolers – Free scripture printable for each letter of the alphabet from Mary Ellen of Imperfect Homemaker

How to Teach a Toddler to Memorize Scripture – Penny Lane from Sisters Raising Sisters shows that toddlers really can memorize scripture and gives four fun ways to help them learn to do it.

5 Bible Verses Toddlers Can (and Should) Memorize – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares her top five Bible verses they have their children memorize.

 

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Christian Preschool Programs

ABC Jesus Loves Me – A Bible based preschool curriculum that has lesson plans beginning at age two and is free for family use.

God’s Little Explorers – This hands on and active preschool curriculum from Motherhood on a Dime has both free and paid versions.

Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers – Created for ages 2 & 3, Leigh Ann’s preschool curriculum is centered around the Fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.

Montessori Bible Lessons Archives – While not a complete preschool curriculum, The Christian Montessori Network has a large collection of Bible based Montessori style preschool lessons.

 

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Prayer

How to Teach Toddlers and Preschoolers to Pray – Dollie from Teachers of Good Things shares three simple tips to teach your toddler or preschooler how to pray.

Meaningful Prayers for Kids – Kate from House Mix shares some simple but beautiful prayers she’s found that she says with her two year old.

What To Do When My Child Does Not Want to Pray (Continued) – Ten different types of prayers you can do with your child to encourage them to pray, from Jessica of Our Family For His Glory.

 

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Bible Themed Quiet Books

The Story of Creation in a Quiet Book (no sew) – Nicolette from Powerful Mothering explains how to make a Creation themed quiet book.

Adorable Quiet Books! – If you’re not the DIY type, Alesha from Full Time Mama shares about the quiet books in her mom’s Etsy Shop!

Baby Jesus Book – If you are looking for something super simple, check out this printable touch and feel book from Bible Songs and More.

 

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Apps

Best Bible Apps for Kids – Kim from Not Consumed shares eight of her favorite Bible apps.

Our Fave Bible Apps for Kids – Lauren from Tutus and Tea Parties shares her favorite free Bible apps for toddlers.

FREE Holy Bible iPhone and Android App for KIDS! – An awesome Bible app created by YouVersion shared by Heidi from thefrugalgirls.com. (K loves this one!)

9 Best Bible Apps for Kids – After trying out a bunch of different kids Bible apps, Rachel from rachelwojo.com shares her top 9.

 

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Music

Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em in Your Heart – One of our absolute favorites! A classic that I used to listen to when I was a kid!

Teaching Young Children Bible Verses through Scripture Songs – Jenni from Live Called shares four great scripture song resources as part of her Truth for Tots series.

Preschool Bible Songs – A long list of classic preschool Bible songs from ABC Jesus Loves Me.

 

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Bibles/Books

The Best Bibles for Babies, Toddlers, & Preschoolers – Jenae from I Can Teach My Child gives the run down on the best story Bibles for three different age ranges.

Best Biblical Themed Books for Kids – Heather from the Christian Montessori Network shares her top children’s Bibles.

Toddler Bibles Reviewed – Some criteria for evaluating toddler Bibles and thorough reviews for 7 selections from Raising Godly Children.

A New Family Favorite – A review of Treasury of Bible Stories from Tricia Goyer.

Christian Picture Books – A round-up of eleven Christian picture books to read with your little one from Le Chaim (on the right).

 

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Little Ones in Church

How to Keep Your Children Quiet in Church – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares the why and the how she keeps her little boys in the church service.

No Fuss Parenting – Teach Kids to Sit Still – Tricia from thedomesticfringe.com shares the method she used to teach her kids to sit still – a valuable skill for going to church!

Seven Ways to Help Little Ones Behave in Church – Brittany from Equipping Godly Women gives seven things she does to teach her kids to behave in church.

My Church Bag Ideas – Ideas for quiet activities to have in a church bag for a 2 and 4 year old from Six Sister’s Stuff.

Quiet Bags – Hillary from Pulling Curls shares 5 tips for packing a special church bag for your kids.

 

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Games

Noah’s Ark Game – A printable Noah’s Ark dice game from Let’s Get Together.

God Made the Farm Animals – A File Folder Game from Bible Fun For Kids.

Play Games – Tons of great Bible games for home or Sunday School from Jesus Without Language.

The Obedience Game – Jodi from Meaningful Mama takes an important lesson in character and turns it into a fun game kids will be begging to play!

Games for Ages Birth through 2 – There are tons of great resources for games in the archives of Children’s Ministry Magazine.

 

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Character Development/Parenting

Happy Hearts Method of Discipline for Toddlers – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares a parenting strategy that has worked wonders for her toddler. (We do something very similar with K too!)

Character Development Archives – Jodi from Meaningful Mama has TONS of resources for character development for kids of all ages.

Toddler Tantrums are a Gift – In this insightful post, Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace explains how she came to learn that tantrums can really be a blessing in disguise.

Intentionally Parenting Your Toddler – Lisa shares a three part series about parenting toddlers on her blog, The Pennington Post.

What God Really Wants for Moms with Young Children – Some really insightful advice about where to keep your focus during the trying years of raising littles, from The Better Mom.

 

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Holidays

Teaching Toddlers the Story of Jesus’ Birth – Jennifer, mom of triplets, shares how she taught her toddlers the Christmas Story.

Celebrate Advent with your family using the Jesus Storybook Bible – Adriel Booker shares how her family used the Jesus Storybook Bible to observe the advent season. Includes a free printable reading guide!

7 Nativity Learn and Play Activities – Another great resource from The Christian Montessori Network.

Sensory Nativity Story Box – A really fun idea for sharing the Nativity Story with little ones from The Fairy and the Frog.

Song of the Stars by Sally Lloyd-Jones – A review of the Christmas book Song of the Stars and activities to go along from The Homeschool Village.

Resurrection Eggs for Toddlers – Super cute Resurrection Eggs just for toddlers from Meredith of Wait ‘Til Your Father Gets Home.

Easter Salvation Storybook Craft – A fun craft for toddlers and preschoolers that goes through the Easter story from Rebecca of Family Abounds.

Flannel-Board Fun! – Heather from Cultivated Lives shares a fun Easter flannel board she made for her boys.

Free Easter Preschool Printable – A 7 page mini pack from Brooke of The Intentional Momma.

 

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Free Printables

A is for Adam and Eve – Brooke from To the Moon and Back has many great printable packets, including this one for Adam and Eve.

Top 10 Free Printable Bible Verses Coloring Pages for Your Toddler – from the Mom Junction.

Toddler Bible Time – A free printable scripture booklet from Emily of Live a Charmed Life, perfect for toddler devotions.

Bible Verses from 1 to 10 – Scripture memory cards based off the songs from the Songs for Saplings 123 album from Amy of Wildflower Ramblings. Amy also has more free printables which she links to in this post.

ABC Printable Scripture Cards – Super cute cards with scripture for every letter of the alphabet from Jenae of I Can Teach My Child.

Bible Kids Fun Zone – Tons of free crafts and printables for preschoolers.

 

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Bible Crafts and Activities

Crafting the Word of God – Crafts for pretty much every Bible story you could ever want! We have used quite a few of them in our Play Through The Bible Series.

Bible Alphabet Crafts – A Bible craft to go along with every letter in the alphabet from Catholic Icing.

Fruit of the Spirit Toddler/Preschool Lessons – Marla from Better Than I Could Have Imagined shares some fun Fruit of the Spirit activities she did with her little girls.

One Year Old Preschool: Creation – Leah from Simple. Home. Blessings. shares the creation activities she did with her one year old daughter.

Lamb of God Sheep Craft – Tara from Feels Like Home shares an adorable sheep craft that can lead to all manner of Biblical discussions with your young child.

Parable of the Sower Small World Play – A super fun small world from Wugs and Dooey that multiple ages are sure to enjoy!

Biblical Lunches Archives – Amy from Creative Kids Snacks has tons of amazing lunches and snacks with a biblical theme.

Moses and the 10 Commandments Booklet and Activity –  Tara from Feels Like Home has a free printable 10 Commandments Booklet for kids to create their own little book of the 10 Commandments.

Creating Your Own DIY Godly Play Materials – Interested in the Montessori based curriculum Godly Play? Megan shares a bunch of great ideas for DIYing your own materials. Want to learn more about Godly Play? Check out the links at the top of the post for the rest of the Godly Play series.

How to Make Bible Story Stones – Leigh Ann from Intentional by Grace shares how she made some fun Bible Story Stones with her boys.

 

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Pinterest Boards

This is really only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to resources for teaching your toddler about God. New posts are being shared every day. Here’s a list of Pinterest boards to follow to keep the ideas flowing!

https://www.pinterest.com/slavila/bible-crafts/

https://www.pinterest.com/mamachew315/bible/

https://www.pinterest.com/tutusteaparties/scripture-for-kids/

https://www.pinterest.com/glindadennis/bible-story-crafts/

https://www.pinterest.com/kgibbs522/little-kids-haven/

https://www.pinterest.com/kindkids/religious-education/

https://www.pinterest.com/aroebuck/bible-activities-for-2-3-yr-olds/

https://www.pinterest.com/ji1lybean1/sunday-school-for-toddler/

https://www.pinterest.com/terrycaputo/preschool-bible-crafts/

https://www.pinterest.com/sammyjo33/toddler-bible-study/

https://www.pinterest.com/meganspires/growing-godly-kids/ 


 

I hope you enjoyed this giant list of resources and were able to find some great ideas and encouragement!

Am I missing a resource you love? Please add it in the comments so I can check it out!

And, again, if this list blessed you in any way please consider sharing it with others!


 

This post is linked up with…
Tuesday Talk, Titus 2sDay, Titus 2 Tuesday, Good Tips Tuesday, Tuesdays with a Twist, Tuesday Link-Up, Works for Me Wednesday, A Little R&R Wednesdays, Ladies Collective Link-Up, Intentional Parenting

 

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IBG Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum

**GIVEAWAY** Win a Jesus Storybook Bible Collector’s Edition Package!

Jesus Storybook Bible Collector's Edition Giveaway

 

I am super excited to announce that the Jesus Storybook Bible blog hop we have been joining up with this month is hosting a giveaway of the Collector’s Edition of the Jesus Storybook Bible! This is an amazing resource that would bless any family. Here’s all the information….


 

We are so thrilled to bring you a Jesus Storybook Bible Giveaway sponsored by Zonderkidz. We love using the Jesus Storybook Bible in our home and know you will love it, too. One winner will receive the Collector’s Edition of the Jesus Storybook Bible valued at $44.99, complete with a beautiful copy of the book, an audio version of the stories, and a DVD collection with animated versions of the stories. This collection would be the perfect Easter gift for any child. Be sure to follow The Jesus Storybook Bible Facebook Page for more information, and stay tuned for the rest of the Jesus Storybook Bible Hands On Activity Series.

The giveaway is open to the US only and ends at 12:00 am CST on April 1, 2015. Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below. If you have trouble seeing the entry form on a mobile device switch to the classic version or click here to enter.

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