Top Ten: Love Language of Gifts

Last week I  began to write about Gary Chapman’s five Love Languages.  My focus this week is on the importance of Gifts, another of the languages.   I have the CD and I find it easy to listen to in the car–it is just a bit here and there but I find that it gives me more time to take it all in and then apply it.  I process best tiny bits at a time.

I have one daughter that loves to “get things”.  It doesn’t really matter what it is but the fact that I’m giving her something is a thrill.  The bigger the bow–the better it MUST be.  The best thing in the world for her is if I find something that goes will one of her “collections”–it completely validates how she feels about her things.  For my daughter it is about the love.  I am not a “collector” kind of person and she realizes how hard it is for me to add more stuff–she knows that me giving her a stuffed lizard to “make the family complete” may drive me crazy so she will thank me to the moon and back and promise that they will stay together.  She understands that it isn’t “my thing” but I still do it.  She understands that I sacrifice my own sense of order so that she will find JOY.  She feels loved.  (and that is what I’m going for 🙂

I do work hard to keep the amount of stuff in check.  I also do not have a million dollars to spend on all the kids–so I don’t.  I don’t need to.  To make kids who respond to this love language feel that they matter and are cared for is really pretty simple–it just needs to be a “plan ahead” as I like to call it.

A plan ahead is anything that takes me more than 24 hours to pull off.

  These are my top ten “gifts” to give to my kids:

  1. A note in their lunch box with a chocolate kiss.
  2. Wrapping a plain ol’ cookie in a nice box with a bow.
  3. Stopping off for ice cream or getting one of those single serve ones at the grocery store!  (always a huge hit)
  4. Doing one of their chores for them so they can have extra biking time.
  5. Buy ribbon that is special to just that child–wrap new everyday items with that ribbon–like a toothpaste flavor that they like, or a special retro bottle of Fanta orange (it is so adorable–I bought it for her stocking!  she will upcycle it into a zillion things!!!) (and yes, I’m planning ahead for Christmas)
  6. Make a book for them–a simple 4 page book that tells why they are loved.
  7. Frame a picture for them
  8. Start a “red plate” tradition.  or any other plate–when I was growing up the person who had the CHIPPED plate was special.
  9. Recycle–turn and old t-shirt into a pillow or a purse.  Be creative.
  10. The best gift I think I have ever given my daughter was a Pandora bracelet.  I add maybe one bead a year.  I don’t buy the most expensive beads but ones that are very meaningful to her.   I know that she loves this tradition the best.

I have to remember that this won’t be her love language forever but it will probably be the one she feels most validated by.  Each kid is so different and with each stage that they pass through requires more “plan aheads” but that is what makes this job so much fun.

Be Blessed.  (words of affirmation–that is next week)

On Your Heart Soli Deo Gloria Hip Homeschool Moms Top {Ten} Tuesday What I Learned This Week Titus 2sdays Teach Me Tuesday Domestically Divine Heart and Home Linkup and with Lydia at Mindful Mothering

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Kids + Writing

As a writer it is hard for me not to “help” my kid with their essays.  I do remind them of what a paragraph looks like and then remind them to have a beginning, middle and an end.  The writing part isn’t the hard part but the organizing your thoughts into words and then onto paper can be–STRESSFULL!!!  So I’ve come up with a few ideas that help me retain my sanity when I’m teaching writing or coaching a child with an assignment.  I’ll be honest when I say that I coach my kids in writing, math, reading–like any coach–I’m not “doing it for them”, I am giving them the tools and the practice that they need.

I try not to make writing a chore but I have used it as a discipline.  “The door is not a toy!”  100 times will make anyone think twice about slamming the door again or making the door part of the game.  When my kids get bigger (8) I make them write essays on “Why I have chosen to speak unkindly to my Mother”, “Why the door does not make a good toy”, or “100 thinks I like about _____”.  I love that one!  Not only does it give your child a change to work on his writing but often times it gives you 100 talking points!  The essays that my son writes give me insight into how he feels, thinks, and sees his life–at that moment.

Use Post It Notes

I have my kids write out all of the wonderful ideas that they have and then we assemble them in some sort of order.  This can be challenging for me to back away and let them figure it out–for us it seems so simple but for kids to think in a logical sequence can be very difficult.  I often walk away–when I had babies the excuses were easier to come up with–diaper changes, nursing the baby, nap time, but now I have a whole new set–I need to water the plants, I need to start dinner, I have to check my blog stats . . .

In the beginning of the kids writing career I will use post its of different colors and I will write down their ideas.  I coordinate topics with a fun color.  I still let them put them in an order that makes sense to them and see if they figure out that all the colors should be together.  Not a fool-proof system but another layer of adding a visual component.

Video

When I first began homeschooling my son he did a lot of writing but his mind went way faster than his pencil.  This is still an issue so it must just be how he was created!  My solution was to film him.  I used a Flip camera and then downloaded it to the computer so he could watch it over and over as he created his story.  In doing this he could write exactly where his mind was going.  What would often happen is he would get more inspiration and then go back and add more details to his work.  His mind works in a visual way and capturing his ideas like this was a great fit for him.

Often when kids have slow processing skills this is a great way to go.  I must confess I’m sort of this way as well–I feel like I’m being rushed when I’m given phone numbers or even names.  If we can give our kids the tools to achieve what is expected of them–in their own way–everyone wins.  The hard part is realizing what our kids need.  Stopping to really listen to, observe, inquire in a patient way is difficult–not gonna lie, but I think that in the long run our kids will benefit from our taking the time.

Typing

Penmanship and handwriting are required activities in this house every day.  This past summer the kids kept a gratitude journal and each day EVERY DAY they wrote down 3 things that they were thankful for.  If they skipped a day then they wrote 6 the next day.  I really value the handwritten word.  Sometimes it is just so much faster to type than it is to write yet I think writing is such a lost art.

I love to give hand written notes.  I’ll be honest again and say that I have been the worst in sending out thank you cards the last few years.  I write them and then I sent them out way, way, later–sometimes months and just recently I sent out a thank you a year late!!!  A year late!!  Maybe I’ll write an entire post just on that!

Ideas for getting kids to write:

  1. Make the grocery list.
  2. Plan the meals for a week.
  3. Keep a log of the books read.
  4. Keep a gratitude journal.
  5. Wish List
  6. Bucket List
  7. Goals List
  8. What I want to do during quiet time list.
  9. Make a seating chart for a family holiday.
  10. Top Ten Lists!  Who doesn’t love that?

Today I’m linking up with this wonderful bloggers!

Miscellany Monday
Hear it, Use It
Playdates with God
Mindful Mothering
The Better Mom
On, In, and Around Mondays
Motivating Mondays

Mom’s Monday Mingle

Top Ten: Quality Time

I was clearing out my husband truck and found the CD set of Gary Chapman–The Five Love Languages for Children (he also has one for marriages).  I remember listening to it a couple of years ago before the CD set too up residence in the truck.  I know my husband listened to it and I was grateful for that.  I think we should probably listen to it again–maybe together this time?

The premise of the book is that we all respond more to a certain Love Languages and they are:

Quality Time

Receiving Gifts

Words of Affirmation

Acts of Service

Physical Touch

So I wanted to share my top ten ideas of Quality Time.

  1. Building Legos–especially with my youngest who has some fine motor skill issues–he loves it so much when I build him a car.  The simplest thing is huge for him.
  2. Finding time each day to spend one-on-one time with each kid–when I was changing diapers this was easy . . . but now it takes a little more effort.  I’ll help them brush their teeth–alone in the bathroom–in our house just having 1 other person in the bathroom with you is a treat!
  3. I try to find time to walk/ride bikes/play soccer with my big kid–he needs to move so our activities involve movement.  His favorite thing about this summer is when we snuck off to the water park by ourselves–just us and a water slide.
  4. Craft time–the girls are working on cross stitch and I do enjoy helping them and they enjoy getting better at it.
  5. A family concert.  We all sit and listen to each child play.  We clap, they bow and everyone feels good.
  6. Taking just one kid to the grocery store.  or the doctor’s office or the ER.
  7. Having quiet time together.  Just “being” with each other.
  8. Having the kids “teach” me something–like Angry Birds–which I am still horrible at playing.
  9. Reading a book that they choose.  We read a LOT but often it is to accomplish something and not for “fun”.  Even if it is a book I’ve read 1000 times.
  10. My favorite quality time is when I’m at the cabin–I’m in my chair overlooking the lake, with a hot cup of coffee and a little kid gets up and snuggles down in my “nest” and then falls asleep again.  I treasure that quiet moment watching a bigger kid sleep–feeling their heartbeat, listening to them breath.  It takes me back to those middle of the night feedings where the world just stops and it is just me and my baby.

I remember when my daughter was about 2 and I was big as a barn pregnant again . . . I was trying to get her down for a nap and the phone rang–“Momma, momma the phone!” and I told her that she was more important than the phone.  The look on her face was pure joy!  She felt like she was the most important person in the world.

I want my kids to feel that way everyday.  I want to greet them each morning with a smile.  I want them to know how much they matter to me!

Disclaimer:  I am not perfect and I totally lose it on some days (or really any time we need to get in the car).  Each moment we are given another opportunity to show our kids how much we love them.

I’m linking up to these blogs–check them out!

On Your Heart
Soli Deo Gloria
Hip Homeschool Moms
Top {Ten} Tuesday
What I Learned This Week
Titus 2sdays
Teach Me Tuesday
Domestically Divine
Heart and Home Linkup

School is Cancelled

On his Birthday Eve, my son, has explained to me that school will be cancelled.  He can’t possibly go to preschool AND train for the Olympics.

How can I argue with that logic.

He starts preschool the day after his birthday.  His teachers are wonderful and he will be fine.

He will be home two days a week and has requested that I teach Science, Math and he will continue to work on his “reading eggs” computer program.  Again, how can I argue with a child who is creating his own curriculum.

I so love being home with my kids.  I am blessed.