DO YOU KNOW HOW TO DOUGIE?

All moms would agree with me that motherhood is a serious business. But there are days when mothers should just set aside their tough and resolute front and be crazy for the sake of fun! If you ask my kids, I think they will tell you that they have the weirdest mom ever, but hey, if weird means fun, then I’m okay with that. I don’t want to be boring. I want my kids to have lots of fun memories with me. That’s what made me decide to learn how to dougie with them.

Now, if you clicked on the link, you’re probably wondering if I got the dougie. Well, that’s not the point 🙂 The point is, we need to stay relevant to our kids, learn to connect with them and simply just have fun with them. And boy, did we have lots of laughs as we danced together. We kept laughing at ourselves until we were out of breath.

A friend just recently told me that her kids preferred to be with their dad more than with her. I asked her why she thought they did, and she said it’s probably because all she did with them was to make sure they obeyed the rules. “Do this, do that, don’t do this, don’t do that…” Those words basically summed up her everyday encounter with her kids. Moms, as much as rules are important, there should be a good balance between rules and relationship. One way to develop that relationship is to do things with your kids that they consider fun. Find out what they are into and join them!

At times,  I’ve had to force myself to learn certain games just so I can enjoy them with my kids. And I would usually find myself having more fun than I expected! So go ahead, even if you look funny, do the dougie!

COUNTING THE COST

Ryan (8 yrs old): Mom, how much does it cost to take care of a baby?

Me: Just for milk and diapers alone, you’d probably need P5,000 a month. And then there are clothes, doctors visits, etc.

Ryan: (deep in thought) I don’t think I’m ready to have a baby.

DISCIPLINE IS PAINFUL

We were already geared up to go to Toys ‘R Us, as anonymous child had been wanting to go there for weeks. He was clutching his wallet in his hands, and was looking forward to finally get that toy he’d been saving up for weeks. You know the look on your child’s face when he is about to open a birthday present? I was happy to see that look on his face.

On our way, anonymous child said something that was disrespectful to me. It was hurtful to be spoken to by one of my children like that but I tried to convince myself that maybe i should just let this pass and not make a big deal out of it. I didn’t want to ruin our supposed “date” to the toy store.

But there was the nagging part of me that just didn’t want this to slide. I knew how important it is to God that children honor their parents. And if I didn’t do anything about this, I was communicating to my child that his behavior was acceptable.

So I did it. I explained that what he said didn’t show honor to me and he had to be disciplined for it. I knew it would break my son’s heart, and it broke mine more to see it, but I had to cancel our trip as a consequence of his disrespectful attitude. I reminded him of Ephesians 6:1-3 that says ‘Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.’

When children honor their parents, God rewards THEM, not us. The promise of everything going well and enjoying a long life is given to children who honor their parents, not to the parents. And don’t we all want our children to receive that promise? That is why we need to teach our children to honor us. It is not so we will feel good about ourselves, or that others will see how well-behaved our children are, but so they honor God and receive His promise. It was this biblical principle that convinced me to just head back home instead of to the toy store.

When the Bible says “No discipline seems pleasant, but painful…” (Heb 12:11), I think it’s not only talking about the one who is being disciplined, but also about the person doing the disciplining. When I discipline my child and give him a consequence, it doesn’t give me a sense of happy satisfaction or enjoyment. It hurts me to see my child in pain. It hurt me to see the look on my child’s face when I told him that we were not going to the toy store anymore, knowing how excited he was to go. That’s why, often, the easier thing is to look the other way and not deal with misbehavior. But a parent who is serious about raising his child the right way should be tough enough to handle the “unpleasantness” of discipline.

It is not for our own good, but for our child’s.

A LATE NEW YEAR POST

2012. I wish I had a better start. After our 2011 year-end trip, most of us got sick. I was tired of being woken up at night by coughing kids and giving medicine round the clock. Added to that was the huge task of cleaning up the house of the left-over mess from the holidays. I was tired and grumpy (and hungry from our one week fast.) I didn’t realize the extent of my  temper until Joaquin told me the other day “Mom, can you not shout again? Please have a nice attitude.” My 3-year old couldn’t have said it better.

Haay… I am reminded once again of my inadequacy and incompetence. I really cannot do this parenting thing on my own. I need divine help. I need God’s grace. I desperately need His help.

A mental preview of 2012 is enough to make me feel excited and exhausted at the same time. I am anticipating a busy year as Nathan prepares to take his college entrance exams, while Janina prepares for highschool and pursues her new-found “career” in theater, and as I homeschool the kids and manage all their extra-curricular activities on top of our speaking engagements and ministry.  No complaints here. I love being fruitful. I just know that I cannot do this on my own.

As we go through another year, I acknowledge my complete dependence on God. I cannot even come close to being a good wife and mother without God’s help. I cannot be an effective speaker without God’s anointing. I cannot mentor and coach other women without His wisdom. I am nothing and cannot be anything without God.

Our 2011 DIY Ornament

Every Christmas, it’s become our tradition to make our own Christmas ornaments at home. Christmas in Manila is usually so busy and you can get up in so many parties while your kids are just left at home. Making your own ornaments is just one of the many things we schedule with the family to make sure that our kids are not left out in all the festivities. It’s a fun activity to do with the kids to help build up the excitement of Christmas plus it makes your tree more meaningful. Here’s some of the ornaments we came up with this year 🙂

ADVENT NIGHT

Advent night in our home is when we gather the kids to spend time singing Christmas songs, reading the Christmas story or other Christmas story books and reminding them about the true meaning of Christmas. It is always good to remind them, and ourselves too, that Christmas is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, and not about wish lists and receiving presents.

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN

The month of December is like a long road trip where kids can’t wait to reach their destination and are asking non-stop “Are we there yet? How much longer?” I love it that kids anticipate Christmas! It is always refreshing to see their eagerness and wide-eyed wonder about Christmas in contrast to the stress that adults normally go through as they deal with their Christmas to-do lists.

To make the time of waiting for my kids much more fun, we always do a Christmas Countdown. This year, the kids and I decided to make a craft out of it. With my old scrapbook papers, envelopes and clothespins, this is what we came up with:

Got this great idea here. Everyday, the kids open an envelope and read our activity for the day. Today, for December 1, the card reads “Check your stocking for a surprise!”

Here are more ideas for you from It’s Written on the Wall!