Monday, October 27, 2014

Off The Mark With Fatigue


“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." - Jeremiah 31:25

I remember the day I took my then-9-year-old to her first archery class.  She had been practicing with a toy bow and arrow for years and eagerly anticipated the day when she could get her hands on the real thing.

After stretching and warming up, she finally strapped on a protective arm guard and picked up a real bow.  She straddled the firing line, aimed, and let her arrow fly.  It streamed through the air, straight and true.  Success.  One after another, her arrows hit targets fifteen yards away as her smile got bigger and bigger. 

I have no idea how many arrows she launched, but after about 40 minutes her bow was tipping to the side and her arrows hit low on the target.  Fatigue led to a loss of focus, and therefore, less accuracy.

I’ve sure had that feeling as a mom.  When I am tired, I am much more likely to ignore an offense that really should be disciplined.  I serve food that is easy to get on the table, even if its nutritional value is marginal.  Dawdling is allowed to the point where the kids go to bed later than normal when I don’t have the energy to keep them on track through the bed time routine.

When mom is tired, everyone suffers.

Now, when this happens occasionally, I don’t worry about it.  What concerns me is when it becomes the normal state of family life.  Sometimes what starts as fatigue turns into apathy.

Mom, please make the commitment today to take whatever steps are needed to give yourself more energy.  Maybe you need more sleep.  Maybe you need to cut sugar or simple carbs from your diet.  Maybe you need to eat more veggies, or take a multi-vitamin, or get some exercise.  Maybe you need a little downtime to just play.  Maybe you could ask God to help, and spend some extra time in prayer with the Giver Of All Good Things.  You may even need to experiment with some different ideas to figure out which ones really make a noticeable difference for you.

After putting down her bow and stretching again for ten or fifteen minutes, my daughter went back to the firing line and started hitting her targets again.  As moms, we can be on the mark as well with just a little refreshment.

What do you do to re-energize yourself when you start feeling weary?

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

10 Reminders for Moms

Happy New Year! 'Tis the season to set new resolutions, but sometimes we get so excited about our grand goals that we forget the little things we need to do every day to truly feel great about our parenting. Here are 10 Reminders to help you keep your family in shape so you can focus attention on those other goals.


10 New Year’s Reminders for Moms

1 – Give hugs to every day (to your kids and your husband)

2 – Kids hear better when mom’s voice is calm and kind.

3 – Cranky kids and naughty kids are often tired kids. Protect bedtime!

4 – The way you talk to your child tells him his value. Make sure your words and your tone tell him he is special, wonderful, and precious.

5 – Make time to play.

6 – Kids need parents, not another friend. Don’t be afraid of your parental authority.

7 – Listen more than you speak. Listen with your ears, eyes, heart, and gut – you will learn a lot!

8 – Don’t jump in too quickly – give your kids a chance to find their own solutions and fix their own problems.

9 – Model forgiveness.

10 – Say “I love you” every day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Perk Up Popcorn With Easy Add-Ins

Popcorn is a classic snack that nearly everyone loves. It packs well in school lunches, makes a great afternoon treat, and of course, is a movie night staple.

You can add variety, and sometimes an extra boost of nutrients, by mixing some other fun ingredients amidst those yummy puffs.

Try these add-ins, in any combination you like, to perk up your popcorn:

1.       Dry roasted edamame (soy beans)

2.       Sunflower or pumpkin seeds

3.       Mini pretzels

4.       A sprinkle of cinnamon sugar

5.       Parmesan cheese

6.       Craisins, dried pineapple pieces, or other dried fruit

7.       Chocolate chips, yogurt chips, or M&Ms

8.       Dry cereal, such as Cheerios, Kix, or Chex

9.       Peanuts or other nuts

10.   Candied or coated nuts

Happy snacking!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Winning Lessons for Little Athletes

Thanks to their large supply of energy and low dose of discernment where balls, mats, or running is concerned, most kids enjoy some kind of athletic activity. This is a great thing because, not only do they get needed exercise, but kids also learn valuable life lessons on the sporting field.

Sports Can Help Develop Godly Character

When you praise your child, avoid talking up the score or the trophy. Winning kids already know you are proud of the accomplishment. Instead, point out examples of good sportsmanship, team leadership, dedication, perseverance, etc. Make sure your child knows you are proud not only when he wins, but when he puts forth a good effort and excels in all areas of the game, not just scoring.

Use Sports To Teach Kids About Priorities

Since kids typically don’t want to miss practices or games, use these occasions to help them learn how and where to focus their efforts. I like to prioritize commitments in the following order: God, family, work/school, other commitments, social time with friends. This means that we don’t join sporting leagues with games every Sunday morning (I am okay with occasionally missing church for a sporting event, but not more that once a quarter). It also means that homework needs to be done before going to practice. Family includes both family events and family obligations, meaning chores need to be done consistently if the child wishes to keep playing.

Handle Winning And Losing The Same Way

Obviously it is exciting to win and disappointing to lose. However, too many kids don’t know how to win or lose well. We can help this by basically treating both the same. After the game, let your child share her feelings and experience them with her, as long as she keeps them healthy. If she is excited about a win, be happy with her. If she is depressed over a loss, let her know you sympathize. Make sure, however, that she keeps her emotions within the realm of good sportsmanship. Bragging, weeping, or angrily criticizing other players, coaches, or refs is not acceptable.

Analyze the game and talk about what went well and where there is room for improvement. Keep it light and short to avoid launching into a lecture.

As we discussed before, praise the skills she used on the field that don’t clearly contribute to the score, such as leadership, encouragement, and good sportsmanship.

 

With these tips, your kids will have a great time both on the field and off.