Score for Chore!

Joshua is in the age where it is easy to let him follow some instructions. I want him to be more independent and give him a sense of responsibility, so I thought of doing a weekly chore chart!

We both agreed that he has to complete a set of chores everyday and when the week is over, if he does all his responsibilities he gets a reward from the grocery.

So for the first week, we agreed on 4 chores he has to complete everyday.  His chores included washing his plate and utensils, bathing himself, putting his clothes in the bin, and cleaning up his toys. As his Mom, I have to remind him if he did his chores. If he forgot, I would remind him to complete his task. If he completed it, he gets to put a smiley face on his chart.

His chart is also reported to his dad at the end of the day. He feels really accomplished that he got to complete his work. Together with my help, Joshua designed his chore chart folder by putting family cut outs of which some of them he painted.

At the end of the week, he completed it and he did great! It’s a fun and good way to do chores at home.

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When your child teaches grace…

I was so happy to have been invited by Child Evangelism Fellowship to share to a group of pastors how I taught my 3 year old son about the bible. I shared how my 3 year old was able to memorise 10 bible verses.  I was in so much delight to encourage them to keep sharing the gospel to every child in their home, church and community.  It was a blessed morning of testimony sharing.

Returning home from that event, I was greeted by my children. After lunch I prepared to bring Joshua to his swimming class. He enjoys swimming and I really want him to learn the basics of surviving in water.

In swimming class, my son is the youngest student. In order for him to feel secure, I have to get in the water and join him too. Good thing the coach is very understanding towards us. After most of the drills that day, Joshua suddenly changed his mood. He must have felt tired. But instead of saying he is tired, he started screaming and feeling upset at me. After discussing and trying to pacify, he just kept screaming at me in the pool. I knew we had to stop swimming. So I asked his nanny to take him to the bathroom and change him so we could go home. He screamed and cried even harder and we could still hear him from outside.  I was getting embarrassed because other parents were asking if he was okay. I tried to rush and leave the hotel.

Joshua just did not stop his tantrum. He kept crying and screaming and was not at all listening to my instruction to keep quiet. This was going on for about 30 minutes already. People were looking, and I was stressed.  He kept on crying as we rode the elevator, all the way in the lobby of the hotel and even when he reached the car.  Despite all the commotion, the staff of my husband wanted to get from me the hotel membership card. I asked if I could give it at home because Joshua’s tantrum was uncontrollable. However, she asked if I could give it now because she needed it already.  Having Joshua screaming and crying by my ear…I banged the door at her, slapped Joshua’s mouth and screamed “SHUT UP JOSHUA!”.  I said this in front of my driver and the nanny, and of course even the staff of Steve heard all of this. Joshua mellowed a bit, yet I was so tense looking for the card in my wallet.  Finally, I found the card and gave it to the staff, but my good testimony in the morning was lost in that moment of tantrum.

It felt like a long way home as Joshua continued crying. My mind was just out in space in disgust with my own behaviour. Here I am professing I am a Christian, and at that one moment of stress, I blew it.  I lost my cool, I let anger take over, and it was such a bad testimony.

When we got home, I had to administer discipline on Joshua.  His butt met the spanking rod and he asked for forgiveness and stopped crying.  But the whole commotion overwhelmed me, that I was so upset with how I behaved. I just kept quiet when Joshua said “sorry” and did not mind him. In the shower, I prayed and told the Lord how I felt and how upset I am with myself. Meanwhile, Steve was talking to Joshua about obeying and respecting me.  Joshua knocked at the door of the bathroom and kept saying, “Mom, I’m really sorry.” But I kept quiet and did not mind him.

When I got out of the bathroom he kept following me. He would from time to time say, “Mom, I am sorry.”

Then I told him, “Joshua I need you to stop fighting mom. Im feeling sad.”

Joshua looking at me said again, “mom, I’m sorry.”

I told him, “I need time out from you, I am feeling sad.”

In my surprise, my 3 year old came close, placed his hand on my head and said… “Dear Jesus, thank you for my mommy.  Take her sadness, make her healthy and strong, make her have good dreams tonight, in Jesus name. Amen”. When he did that, my heart softened and I hugged him.  I then told Joshua, “Next time when you are feeling upset and angry, I should pray for you so you don’t fight mommy.” He then blurted, “pray for me now. pray so I don’t get angry.”

It was a moment of grace. My 3 year old was teaching me not to delay and pray.  So I placed my hand over his head and prayed, “Dear Jesus, thank you for Joshua. Give him a good heart, remove anger from his heart. We cast out any spirit of anger in his heart. Lord, make him obedient, loving, and kind. Help him love you Jesus. Let him know that Nothing can separate him from the love of God. In Jesus name”  and we both said, “Amen.”

I was fully humbled by God! Yes, I can start the day right, mess up in the middle, but God will always, always, make me right with Him at the end of that same day.  His mercy and His grace is so overflowing.  God used my 3 year old to show me an area in my life that I need to improve on — To be consistent in prayer, consistent in discipline, consistent in forgiveness and in the knowledge of God’s grace.

I thank the Lord for giving me a child who teaches me how to stand up after I stumble and reminding me that God’s grace is sufficient even in my weakness.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tender hearted

In the past few days, I have been emphasizing to my 3 year old about being kind. It means being gentle and respectful of others and treating them the way you should be treated. It means being good to others. Joshua can be so expressive of his feelings and also explosive with his emotions. Sometimes he can be so intense with his emotions when he is irritated.

  
 Joshua would run a tantrum or fight or shout if things don’t go his way. He can be found saying “I don’t like you… You go away!”  So there were a few times that he said that to me. I knew if I just allowed him to disrespect me, it can go on. 

So, I had to scold, discipline, and explain to him. He was told to watch what he says. I also told him that I am unhappy when I hear him utter those words. Often times he would say those words when I ask him to obey me and he does not want to follow. Thus, he would say he dislikes me and wants me to go away.  At the end of our discussion, he would say sorry. He is more afraid that I would leave him because he told me to go away. 

Recently, another episode happened. He did not want to bathe and he started his tantrum. Asking him nicely was not working. He was headed for discipline. He screamed so hard it woke his baby sister who was sleeping.  After he got disciplined, he calmed down and obeyed to shower. After showering, I asked him to help me be a big brother by being kind and not waking his sister. When his sister is awake I have less quality time with Josh. So disappointingly I told Joshua that I am so tired, upset, and unhappy because his screaming woke his baby sister up.

To my surprise, he kept saying, “Mom, I’m sorry.” I also kept stupidly blurting, “I know you are, but this happens all the time, I’m so tired already.” Again, he placed his hand on my lap and looked with a really remorseful face and said, “Mom, I’m sorry.” I still went out of line and said, “Sometimes I wish I can just get away, I need a time out. You cry all the time and Anna does too.” Then this time he said, “Mom, I’m sorry. I’m going to pray for you… Dear Jesus, bless mommy. Make her strong, make her healthy, give her good dreams, make her strong…” 

I was pierced in my heart…my 3 year old tender hearted boy is praying for a mommy going on a tantrum! I continued his prayer, “please Jesus make mommy a good mommy, and make my babies good babies. In Jesus name…” And we both said “Amen”. 

After that prayer, I held my son who hugged me tight. I kissed him and thanked him for praying for me. He actually practiced kindness at the best form – prayer. My son just taught me to pray when they go through tantrums. To pray when they feel unworthy. That has to be one of the most powerful experiences I have had in my life! 

  
I look at my son, and I see his tender heart. A heart moved by Jesus… A heart that is filled with God’s spirit. It makes me want to cry for joy… I am so blessed. He is a work in progress and I am a too!

Well, here is the last story of that day … Joshua was doing something silly with his sister and I told him to stop doing it. He did not listen so I raised my voice and yelled at him. He then looked at me and said, “Mom, stop shouting at me, be kind to me.”

 Oooppsss! 

I was caught in the act! Mommy has to demonstrate kindness to be an effective  teacher of kindness. So I apologized and said sorry for yelling. I asked Joshua to forgive me. He then said, “Mom, be kind.” And yes, my  3 year old is right, I have to be kind.

  
God gave me children to teach me valuable lessons too!  And truly only the tender hearted are willing to learn them.❤️❤️❤️

Low Tank = Tantrums

In the past two weeks, I have been very busy. I have been busy with events, with clients, with meetings… So many things have been filling up my calendar. I have not spent the quality time I usually would have with my children. I tell my son that the meeting is just outside and I am home. But I have neglected our homeschool time and have decided to put it on hold. 

I would ask him to give me time to write up my proposals and so I tell him, “mommy is busy working, please don’t bother me. I’m just here go ahead and play.”  I admit I have let him go with his toys and the IPAD so I can be free from his asking me to play with him. I had so much on my plate to finish and I just felt like I needed to prioritize work. 

Then, as the days became a week… I noticed my little boy starting to act different. When he sees me in a meeting, I see him with a serious face and unfriendly body language. But I continue with my meetings. Then when I am free, I would spend a little time with Josh. That little time is also divided between him and his sister. I did not realize that my son’s love tank was starting to deplete. 

In the next days, he would throw a fit and I would have to discipline him for his behavior of answering back and being defiant. He would say things like “No!”, “Mom go away!”, ” Don’t touch me..” — I kept asking him… “What is wrong? That isn’t nice to say. Don’t be like that.”

I kept on with my busy schedule. I brought Josh with me to events and I would work and expect him to be okay that we are in the same location. I also brought him with me to meetings that were an hour away drive and meetings would be 2-3 hours and take another hour back. He would go because he wanted us to be together. But it was not quality time… 

Later, in that week, he got so upset he gave us meltdowns every day for three days. There was one where he looked straight at me in his upset mode because he did not obey what I said, and he said “Mom, I will destroy you!”.  I thought, I have left him so long watching the IPAD he got new words I did not teach, and they were negative words! Then I told him to stop saying that and obey. He instead shouted “No!” – I brought him to the room to discipline him. He kept screaming like a little hulk. I administered discipline and yet he would say “Mommy go away! I won’t obey”. I was really getting stressed. I knew I had to really get this corrected. We had a good 30 minute episode for him to know that I am the authority and that he cannot disrespect me. I was praying and even casting out spirit of anger from my son. I have never seen him like this. Inside I was petrified and crying. What have I done? 

  
Joshua also got discipline from his dad because he also disrespected his dad. He told me I tears, “I don’t like dad, I want to smash him.” I cried too because I no longer knew what to do. Josh was just being so disobedient and disrespectful and he responded in a defiant way. Even in his sleep, Josh would sleep talk and he would say “Mom, go away!”

So I prayed to the Lord…I confessed that I was sooo busy to nurture the heart of my son. I no longer know how to undo his behavior. It was a heavy burden in my heart. I asked God to guide me how to win my little boy again. 

God led me to devotional that struck a nerve. God revealed that if I serve Him in events without serving my family, it is a hypocritical act. My family life is the testimony that will speak if I have truly obeyed God. I know very well that my son’s love language is time and touch and I have starved him of both. I needed to improve on my priorities and to include God in all my plans. God is showing me how I have lacked in praying for my children and for every detail of things I am involved with.

Wow! I felt humbled and upset at myself. I asked Jesus for grace and to resolve this issue and I wanted it right away. Joshua on Sunday was still moody, he again started his rude behavior. Instead of reacting, I took him and carried him and walked just the both of us. Every negative word he would say, I just continued to kiss him and tell him “you know Josh I love  you.”  I keep reminding him of the good things and just kept telling him “I love you, my baby boy”. As we were having our moment together.. I started to see his countenance change. I made a decision that day not to spend too much time on my phone or laptop but to give him full attention and to play with him.

  
While we played, I asked Joshua if my not spending time with him made him upset.  He told me yes and he started telling me what he did.. And that was to fight mommy and cry really hard. Ouch!! I apologized and told him I miss him too. As we continued playing, I started to insert corrections like “Josh you must always obey mom and dad.” And he would say with a smile “Yeah I will obey.” Another moment I told him, “we love our family and we will not hurt one another by pushing, fighting or screaming.” And he would also say smiling “Yes we won’t fight, won’t do that (action his pushing moves), noh?” … I would show him I agree and acknowledge him. By God’s grace we were back to where I left our relationship 2 weeks ago. 

The devotion helped me see what I was doing when I was made to answer these 2 questions :

One undesirable trait I see in my child that reminds me of myself is…

One thing I could do to help them and me grow in that area is…

Then I was also moved by these verses:

“Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NASB‬‬

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

‭‭1 John‬ ‭1:9‬ ‭NASB‬‬

I know as a parent I have to watch over the heart of my children with diligence too.  Also confessing my sin and repenting from it has healed the strain in my relationship with my little boy. Sometimes we think they are small people,  these kids are resilient and they will just swallow what is given them, and they will just grow up fine. Well, I think God taught me a pretty valuable lesson here… If I want to train my child’s heart, I too must be humble enough to admit my mistakes and change.

Counterflow Parenting Seminar

The Biggest Parenting Event is held every year in CCF (Christ Commission Fellowship). This year an offshoot of that event will happen in General Santos City on Nov 7, 2015. 

  
This will be a Seminar to help families know how to develop the core family values of love, discipline, and godly legacy. The speakers are Peter Tanchi and wife, Deonna. They have raised 5 wonderful and successful children and passing on this godly legacy even to their grand children. Their advocacy is for parents to raise successful children despite the challenges they are facing in this world. 

The event will be on Nov 7 at Greenleaf Hotel from 9AM- 4PM. Tickets are at P500 with buffet lunch. 

Another interesting seminar that families should catch is the one by Francis Kong this Nov 6, 2015. Families have to talk about values on money and wealth. For another investment of P500 (inclusive of snack), this seminar might save your family heartaches brought about by money quarrels. There is so much wisdom we can learn from this Family Stewardship with Francis Kong. 

   
Tickets are now available at Go Sarangani Travel – call (083) 552-8015 for more information.

Love Language: quality time

When I told my twin sister, Monique, that Joshua’s love language is quality time, she empathized with me. She has one child who also has shown that his love language is quality time and she knows how overwhelming it can be.

My son always checks if I am around. He will start whining asking “where is mommy?”. Then on the second time he asks and does not see me or hear my voice he would start that crying sound.  I have to make him hear me say, “I’m here.” When he finally sees me his crying face changes and he would laugh and smile with relief. 

That’s pretty much a picture of my life now. When I have schedules outside the house and if it seems I will be spending about 4 hours away from the house, it means I have to take my kids with me. Anna needs me because I chose to breastfeed her.  Josh on the other hand goes because he wants to be with me. He is my Mr. Quality-time guy.

Even my bathroom breaks are not my me-time anymore! I get invaded doing my thing on the toilet or have the shower curtains checked while I bathe. I can’t have locked doors because Joshua will either cry or find a way to open it.

  
It is serious business for my toddler to know where mommy is. I have learned to let my guards down, and to ease up. My child wants to access me all the time and it makes him feel secure if he knows mom is just there. 

Each child is unique and their love tanks are filled according to the love they want to receive. At 2 years and 8 months, I am figuring out that Josh feels loved if we spend time together. In fact, at times I get busy, he will ask me to take a walk with him. Just the two of us to talk and hold hands and look at the sky. Or he would ask if he can sleep, but actually all he wants is me to stay beside him on his bed to look at each other, pinch each other’s face and laugh. He won’t sleep at all. He just wants me to “date” him on a one on one.

It’s sweet and cute. But at times his demand of quality time can also be so overwhelming and sometimes annoying. But as a parent my job is to secure my child with love and to teach him in the way he should go. So that means, I must make time to spend quality time with him. Dad also does his share of “dating” Joshua and playing with him. 

We as parents should know our child and love them the way they feel loved and want to receive love. Learn more about the love languages of your child in the book, 5 Love Languages of Children by Gary Chapman. It’s a good book to help us parents become more intentional with our children.

  

My child exposed my heart 

It is amazing when the bible says that children are a gift from God. They truly are and they are a gift to help us parents become better persons.

Lately, I am losing the battle with my temper. I thought I am pretty patient but my buttons do get pressed when my son over reacts by whining and having meltdowns. When trying to talk it out why he cries, he would prefer to scream with wild tears on his eyes… I start feeling upset. Then when he does not obey or tries to fight his baby sister, I burst from the inside.

  
When I burst, I don’t like the image of myself. My husband also pointed out that my helpers are watching how I treat Joshua and giving them the license to follow my style. Ugh… How I hate how I have not controlled myself. 

So now, I’m writing my prayer because I am so discouraged. I need God to work on me from the inside out.

Lord Jesus. I need you.

I need you to help me raise the children you have bestowed to our care. Give me patience to train my babies. 

When they whine, and uncontrollably cry because they can’t get what they want… Give me a calm spirit. 

Give me wisdom to just ignore the cries and encourage them to talk. 

Give me strength to discipline them when they disobey and disrespect me or others. 

Help me Lord to do it with grace. 

Keep my tongue from sending out hurtful words that might curse them.  

Keep me Lord from blanking out when I see something displeasing. 

Help me hold myself from screaming or reacting in anger. Help me react in grace rather than aggression. Lord, I confess this is so hard for me… 

But by your grace and the Holy Spirit you can make me a good mother to my children.

Lord, you give me hope because you are not done with me yet, and you promised to complete me in Christ Jesus. 

Please protect my children from my weakness in parenting. 

I have faith that you have good plans for them. Lord Jesus, please help me live a life that will bring them closer to you, not farther. Amen.

My children have exposed an area in my life that I need to surrender yet to God. I need God to help me control my anger and my pride.  I confess this sin and surrender it to Jesus. 

  
I know there are mothers like me who need this time out and restoration from God. The only thing holding me now is the truth that God draw nears to us when we draw near to him in a broken spirit and contrite heart. He will refresh us when we humbly ask and He will enable us to do what is right.

I also trust that God loves my children more than I can and could. So in total surrender I rest my soul to the hands of our Creator. I know with courage, God will enable me to start over with the right attitude and a renewed heart when a similar situation passes.