Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Why I HATE Reading To My Kids

I remember the days that my daughter would return from school with little notes to all of the parents. The reminder was that we should be spending at least 15 minutes a night reading to our child. While many mothers saw this as a kind honorable reminder I saw it as a personal attack for a few reasons. The first reason was that I already knew the importance of reading to my child. I see the signs, hear the PSAs, and am even reminded by doctors and teachers. This was not a new concept to me. The second reason was because the note made it seem like they were saying, "it's only fifteen minutes of your day, isn't your child worth it?" It wasn't only fifteen minutes a day, to me it was FIFTEEN MINUTES a day. The final reason was because the picture of a mother happily and lovingly looking over her child's shoulder as he sat quietly and peacefully in her lap was in no way my reality.


So today I thought I would put a new spin on things and tell you why I hate to read to my kids. I hope that by the end of this either you will find some comfort in the fact that you are not alone if you also hate it, or to help you understand why some parents don't read to their children so you may better support and encourage them.

Why I hate reading to my kids-

It is Frustrating... As I sit trying to read the story Abigaile becomes fidgety. She starts to pick at her fingers and her skin. I try to focus on the book but my eyes keep being pulled to what she is doing. I lovingly place my hand on hers, our little sign that she needs to try to stop fidgeting, and search for my place in the book. She begins to gently  tap her pencil on the table and I again loose my place. I then ask her to stop and she having not even noticed her actions quickly sets the pencil back on the table. I find the word I ended on and try to begin again but can not seem to get my eyes to focus. I notice that the entire time I have only been repeating the first few words and I can't seem to continue. I feel like a scratched record that continues to skip. I am filled with frustration and shoot her the good ol' mommy scowl, but my frustration is soon turned into guilt because I know that it is not her fault that I can't focus.

It is Anxiety Provoking... As Elizabeth proudly and excitedly brings me a book her eyes beg for me to read to her. I agree and make room for her on my lap. I open the first page and boldly read the title page. When I flip the page I notice an avalanche of words pouring from each page and trapping me. I am filled with anxiety just at the thought of trying to read all of the words. I had hoped that since it was a child's book there would be more pictures. I try to decide if I could make up a story instead and lie about what the book says but it is too late. I am frozen in fear of the idea of climbing out of each page and making it to the summit. I close the book and pray that she will be distracted by another simpler book.

It is Embarrassing... As I begin to read I feel confident in my abilities. I have already pre-screened several books of which my daughters could choose, many of which I am very familiar with. I begin with a good pace and sail smoothly through the words and pages. Then it happens... like a wave crashing on board a ship I am caught by surprise and stumble on a word. I quickly recover and continue on with my face slightly flushed from the embarrassment of the error. As I continue to feel embarrassed I seem to have lost course. The words seem to become more and more choppy, like the the uneasy sea throwing a boat around. I begin to doubt myself and my skills as a parent wondering "What kind of parent can't even read Dr. Seuss to their kid?" I begin to wonder if they notice how much I am struggling and most of all I wonder if they are embarrassed of me as well.

This is what reading to my kids is like. This is the struggle of a dyslexic parent. It makes me wonder how many of those parents who don't read to their children are secretly facing similar battles. If that is the issue for someone.. I promise a little friendly reminder to read to their child won't help. They may need encouragement or help with their own struggle. I hate to leave things on a negative note and I wanted to offer comfort to those who also hate reading to their kids.

Why I make myself read to my kids-

They are Rewarding... I get to see my children's passion for reading grow. I have never read a book just for the fun of it, but to see my child do it is an amazing feeling. When I ask them questions about what they have read, their eyes light up and they so clearly articulate all the fascinating things they learned. My oldest daughter also struggles with dyslexia and I am able to watch her push through and learn to read. There is something so beautiful about watching your child overcome something you yourself have battled with.

They are Understanding... I often have to remind myself that my daughters don't care if I skip words, make up words, or even mess up words; they are just happy that I am trying to spend the time with them. For them it isn't about the book, it is about us being together and going some place in their imaginations that we could maybe never go in reality. I am truly my harshest critic and my children are my biggest fans.

They are Loving... I have learned just how loving they are through my transparency with them. I have learned to openly tell my oldest daughter when I am struggling with reading and together we push on and continue. It gives me a chance to also teach her that we aren't defined by our struggles but by how we handle them. I hope when she is struggling with reading that she can remember that she isn't alone. She gives me so much encouragement when I have a difficult time reminds me that her love for me is not based on how well I read to her.

The biggest reason I make myself read to them is so that they won't hate reading to their kids. I hope to break the chain. I also hope that they will not just tolerate reading but will find their own passion for it.

I have found that through making myself read to them it has gotten better and I have begun to enjoy it more. So I say out of a place of understanding and love, read to your kids. Not because you love it but because you love them.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Letters

Photobucket
Dear Friday, 
This week has been amazing. I am glad you are here and feel like time will go much faster. 

Dear Abbie, 
I am so proud of you. You have done amazing at school this week. I had so much fun homeschooling. I don't know why I was so nervous. You are an amazing big sister. I love watching you cuddle with Elizabeth. She is so lucky to have you. 

Dear Weather, 
Wow... all I can say is thank you. It has been so much nicer outside. It gets warm but I can't complain about it. I was told that we were done with the triple digits. 

Dear Sonlight Curriculum, 
You are amazing. It is so complete and well organized. I am also glad that you discuss God in each subject. 

Dear House, 
I told you I would take care of you. I have kept you in order for a couple weeks now. I still need to attack the basement but still I am so proud to show you off now. 

Dear Eb, 
I think it is so sweet that you are starting to say "Thank you" and "Bless you" to me. You have been learning so much. 

Dear Hubby, 
Happy Birthday. I know this is a few days short but I love you so much. I can't believe that in a week we would have been married for eight years. I am hoping that this is the real start to an amazing lifelong friendship and love. 

Dear God, 
You are so good. Thank you for all you have done. Thank you for molding us into the people you knw owe can be. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The dreams of a child


Dreams come in so many different shapes and sizes. A couple years ago my daughter Abigaile created a dream of her own, a dream to be a big sister. She was four years old and she was ready to be a big sister. We had tried to explain to her that we might not be able to since I had a lot of health issues at the time and because we had been trying for a few years.


Dreams move us to believe when others don't. As we were walking through Walmart, a little onsie had caught her eye. She asked if we could purchase it. I told her that we couldn't afford to purchase it, especially because there would be no little body to fill it. She reached into her little pocket and pulled up a few wrinkled bills, change, candy wrappers, and lint. She looked at me again and said, "Can I buy it for my little brother or sister? I will give my money. That day she bought a onesie. We took it home, folded it up, and put it in a frame. I wrote the words, "Our dream" on the glass and wrote the story down in a note on the back. That was November 2009. One year later, we proudly told Abigaile that her dream was coming true. She was overcome with joy. Last August, she became a proud and loving sister of a little sister.



Abigaile had a dream and she didn't let anyone discourage it. 

There is another person who's dream has had a huge impact on my family. I am so thankful for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and all those who believed and strived to make his dream possible. His dream has made it possible for a young black man named Alvin and a young white girl name Faith to meet, fall in love, get married, and have two beautiful daughters. He did not let naysayers change his dream or his belief in his dream. Though his dream has come a long way, I think it has not yet been fulfilled. I believe in his dream and look forward to it progressing more and more.




Dreams are extremely important. They move us forward and give us the hope that things can change and become better.

This was based on a prompt from MamaKat. I love her prompts. If you aren't doing prompts, I suggest you try. They help bring you out of your comfort zone and grow. 



Mama’s Losin’ It

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Vlog Challenge: Biggest Turn-off(s)

I have several things that turn me off. But the two biggest ones would have to be my daughters. There is nothing like the fear that strikes when you hear little foot steps coming down the hallway or the guilt you feel upon hearing little cries for your attention while doing "laundry" (as my friend calls it). 







What are your biggest turn-offs? 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Daily Blog Challenge: Day 17 & Day 18

What is the thing you most wish you were great at?


I wish I was great at emotionally separating myself from situations when it comes to disciplining my children. I see my mom handle it with such grace, peace, love, and dignity. She is able to correct and discuss without becoming emotionally involved. She would spank us and not be angry at our actions. Maybe she was just better at hiding her frustrations, maybe we just pushed her to her breaking point, or maybe she just has this way of handling things. 




Sometimes I get angry, frustrated, tired, annoyed, and disappointed. I try to hide my feelings and handle things with grace but I know that sometime I can be transparent. 


Do you get angry or feel like you would lose your cool with your child? 


                                                                     
What has been the most difficult thing you have had to forgive?


Wow, this one cuts deep doesn't it... If I told the most difficult thing I have ever had to forgive, it would end up hurting the person and if I purposely did that I wouldn't have really forgiven them, would I have? 


What I will say is that I was hurt by multiple people in one situation. It had rocked me to my core. What I can tell you is how I forgave. 


I had come to the end of myself. I was absolutely powerless over the situation. I had no strength in myself to fight or to flee. So, I turned it over to God. I prayed and I decided that until I knew what to do I would do as I knew Jesus would. What would Jesus do? 


If they were repentant He would forgive them. (a)
He would pray for them. (b)
He would love them in spite of their sin. (c)
He would have boundaries set.  (d)
He would turn all else to God. (e)
(matching scriptures at bottom)


So I made the conscience effort to do that. It was honestly one of the hardest things I have done on my Christian walk. I forgave them. I prayed for them. I loved them as fallen people. I made boundaries. I tried to show them love, while keeping my boundaries. I gave God control over my feelings of anger, depression, and grief. I faked it until I made it. My relationship with each person that hurt me has been healing. God has done some amazing things. He has brought freedom and victory. 


(a) Mark 11:25 "And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”


(b) Matthew 5:44-45 " But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.


(c) Ephesians 5:25 "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her"


(d) Mark 1:35 "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed."


(e)Luke 22:42  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”


How are you at forgiving? Is there someone out there that you need to have more grace for? 

What a great way to show our thanks to God for the grace He gave us, by giving grace to others.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 11


Describe 10 5 pet peeves you have:


1. The sound and feel of Styrofoam. I consider Styrofoam to be my Kryptonite. It makes this sound that gives me chills. 

2. Lies. I hate it when someone, especially my child lies to me. Most of the time I can tell that she is lying and I don't like people treating me like I am an idiot. I am also a pretty forgiving and loving person. I tell Abbie that she will get in much less trouble if she tells me the truth. I might still get mad but not nearly as much as when she lies. 

3. People who don't have phone etiquette. Talking on the phone in a public restroom or talking to me on the phone when they are in any bathroom. Children interrupting and trying to ask me things when I am on the phone. Opening and ending conversations without any greeting or warning. Answering the phone and texting while driving. Talking on their phone or texting when you are in the middle of a conversation with them. I don't have an issue with people answering a call if it is an emergency. Instead of phones being a great convenience and great communication tool, they are now holding people hostage. People are slaves to their phones. People expect you to answer calls and texts immediately and respond. I have found a great freedom in no longer having my own cell phone. I share with my hubby. I also mute it and will not answer if I don't feel like it. I am no longer a slave to my phone. 

4. Rude children. When I see a child talk back, become physical with their parent, or disrespect adults it stirs something up inside of me. I am usually pretty good at minding my own business, but occasionally I am known for correcting other people's children. Several of my friends know that I will boss around and correct their children. I think  it is so sad that we have become a country that cares so much about being politically correct. So many parents are concerned about emotionally harming their child, they give their children what they want, and they don't discipline their child. A child MUST respect adults, but adults are not required to respect a child. If the child earns the respect I will freely give it. My daughter is learning the difference between rights and privileges. Nice clothes, toys, and privacy are not rights. 




5. Hypocrites. In general, I am able to love and have grace for people. Unfortunately, I have a very difficult time in showing grace to hypocrites. God has been teaching me how to have grace, through Christs example with the Pharisees. I am learning that I can't have higher expectation of people who are "religious," because that does not mean they have accepted God's grace.

Proverbs 22:6 "Start children off on the way they should go, 
    and even when they are old they will not turn from it."

Proverbs 13:24 "Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them."

Hebrews 12:9-11 "Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."

Luke 11:39-41 "Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you."

Romans 3:23-26 " for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood —to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished — he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus."

What are your pet peeves? How do you respond to others when they annoy you? Would you be offended if someone other than you corrected your child?

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Hands on Day: Having fun with kid friendly experiments and food.

Milk and Soap Experiment:
What you need: Bowls, Milk, Cotton Swabs, Liquid Dish Detergent, and Food Dye.

What you do: Put a little milk in each bowl.

Help the children put about six drops of food coloring in their bowl of milk. (You can mix colors for fun conversation.)



Have them dip the end  of the cotton swab in liquid dish detergent. (Wipe off excess)
Place the end in the milk bowl. (The colors do this strange design, they can pick pu the end and place back in different parts of the bowl.)

This was a fun project to try. By having multiple cotton swabs available they can keep trying it. I would suggest this for 7 yrs plus.  One of the children was younger and wasn't able to listen to directions.

Baking Soda & Vinegar:
What you will need: Baking Soda, Vinegar, Food Coloring, and Bowls. 
 What you do: Put 1/4 cup of baking soda in the bowl. (Have them shake the bowl slightly to make the bottom evenly coated.)
 Put a lot of food coloring into the baking soda. (Mixing colors is good.)
 Pour vinegar into the bowl and watch it bubble up and change the colors. 


We were able to discuss acids and bases. We also discussed mixing colors to create new colors. 

Quick Personal Pizza's:
What you need: English Muffins, Pizza Sauce, Cheese, Preferred Toppings, and a Baking Sheet. 
What to do: Splint English Muffins in half and lay out on the baking sheet. 

Pour a little sauce on the English muffin and have child evenly distribute using a spoon. 

Have the child place a handful of cheese on top. 
Let the child choose and place on his or her toppings. 
Broil them in the oven.
Take out when cheese is bubbly. (When using raw meat make sure it is cooked all the way through.)
 Enjoy :) 
 This is a healthier alternative to regular pizza. You can make even better by using whole grain english muffins, you can use a low fat cheese, and you can use veggies on top. 

We broiled them but you could probably bake or use a toaster oven. Baking it would probably give it a harder crust. 

They ate all of them. I am definitely doing this again.