About Me

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I have been married to my incredible hubby for 14 years. We have four rowdy, growing boys. I love to gather ideas from other mommies and books. My heart is to share some of these with you and encourage you in this adventure.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Prayer Chart 4 Kids

     Do you ever find yourself being repetitive in your prayers or asking God for the same things?

I know I do.  I think we all probably do to some extent.  As a young mom, I read a book by Elizabeth George titled "A Woman After God's Own Heart".  From that book, I took away a prayer chart that I still use daily.  I will share it at the end of this blog post.

Here is the prayer chart I have posted by the boy's beds.  This one is great for ages 2-7.  You can simply print out a bear coloring sheet and have them color it.

This one is great for ages 8- teen years.  You can make a girlie one or just personalize it for your child!  Not every personality may love the idea of a prayer chart.  It is just a tool to use if they want.
Download your free printable of the chart here:

prayer chart printable

Here is more detail to prompt them in their prayers:

Mon:    My family (Mom, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, Grandma, Grandpa, etc)
Tues:    The Lost (those who need Jesus)
Wed:    World (we pray for specific places such as Somalia, Yemen, Uganda, etc)
Thurs:  Those in Charge (teachers, pastors, president, etc)
Fri:       Friends (children in their class, etc.)
Sat:      Self (their purpose, for likeminded friends, Col 3:12, etc)
Sun:     Service Opportunities (to the poor, at school, at church, etc)

Last of all, I will share about my prayer chart.  As a mom, wife, and friend there is an overwhelming amount to pray about each day.  My goal is start my day off praying for the things listed on my chart.  Then as the day progresses I will pray for things God places on my heart. As you will see, mine is similar to the childrens.

Mon:      Mate, marriage,
Tues:      The Lost
Wed:      World
Thurs:    The boys
Fri:         Friends
Sat:        Self
Sun:       Service

Let me know your thoughts.  Pray on Mighty Warriors!!  Love to you.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Disciplining/Instructing the Little Ones

     Because I am a mom of four children, the question I get asked the most is "How do you discipline your children?". So I am going to attempt to write a blog entry about how we discipline/instruct our children.

Disclaimer:  I have not arrived.  I am not the perfect mom.  The ideas I am sharing are simply the ones that work the best for our family at this moment in time. I am constantly reading books and trying to gather new ideas. Please know my heart, I would be thrilled if a handful of people take away one tip from this entry.

My Tone: When my children are misbehaving, my goal is to be a responder not a reactor.   I have to check myself and make sure I am responding with a calm and gentle voice. It is challenging to respond when they are yelling or getting louder.  If I react to their misbehavior and become harsh and stern, this does not allow for the teachable moment to take place.  I am constantly praying Col 3:12 over myself  "Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience." Do I ever blow it and use a stern or harsh voice?  Of course I blow it,  and when this happens I immediately ask for their forgiveness.

     There are really 2 components in our parenting techniques.  My hubby and I are on the same page when it comes to parenting so we try as a team to implement these strategies.  The key is trying to be consistent for us!  First I will share the "Consequences for Misbehavior" and then I will share our "Positive Reinforcement Chart".

Consequences for Bad Behavior:

    When the boys misbehave I send them to the bathroom so our conversation is private.  I begin by asking them what they did wrong.  I ask them these type of questions in attempt to get to their hearts:

"Were you stirring up trouble with your brother or were you promoting peace?"
"Were you being a troublemaker or a peacemaker?"
"Were you building your brother up or tearing him down with your words?"
"Were your words helpful or hurtful?"
"Were you obeying mom or disobeying mom?"

After our little discussion, the consequence is given.  I am trying to give them a "natural consequence". Some examples of this:
"Oh, you guys are fighting over legos, I guess you are done for a while."
"Oh, you are not taking turns on the trampoline very well, I guess you are done."
"Oh, you are still bouncing the basketball in the house after I asked you to stop, I guess it is mine for the day."
"Oh you are having a rough morning, I guess you need to go to bed 15 minutes early tonight or maybe even 30 minutes."
"Oh you are not being kind to your brother, I guess you need to apologize and think of something kind to do for him."

Sometimes I use the "uh-oh" jar for consequences:

"The Uh-Oh" Jar
adapted from Pinterest

Here is a list of the possible consequences for the jar:
Pick up 15 things in your room.
Pick up 10 things in the backyard.
Sweep the patio.
Take the recycling out.
Gather all of the laundry.
Write out 10 times "I will be a peacemaker."
There are also three pieces of paper marked "mercy".  This means they get a free pass.  One day my six year old was misbehaving and he drew out the paper with mercy on it.  His face lit up and his whole day totally turned around. 

The last step in instructing/discipling them is praying with them and giving them a hug.  I try to do this each time but sometimes I get in a hurry.  It is an area I am striving to do better at.

The Reinforcement/Praise Chart:
We have only been doing this for about a couple of months.  The boys have a chart taped inside of the pantry with boxes they can check off. Once the chart is complete, they can pick a prize out of the treasure box.

Here are some examples of getting an "x" on their chart:
Being kind to a brother by sharing.
Encouraging or building up a brother.
Being a helper when they were not asked.
Having a good morning routine without any behavior problems.
For the little ones, staying in their room at night without coming out after "lights out".
Doing homework without complaining.

They are not given a sticker for every time they share or are kind.  Also, they may not ask for an "x"!

Here are some treasure box ideas:
hot wheels
a dollar
a trip to starbucks for hot chocolate
a trip to get ice cream
stay up late card

    The ages of my children are 5, 7, 9, and 12.  These strategies work great for the younger three.  I am reading and exploring ideas for my 12 year old.  He still has a progression of consequences but I no longer spank him.  He also was not too thrilled about the positive reinforcment chart so he opted not to do it.  I am gathering information for the "teenager phase".  Wish me luck!

     This mommy stuff can be very challenging and exhausting at times.  It is a high calling!!  I would love to hear your parenting ideas or tips.  I am always open to new ideas.

Lastly, my very favorite parenting books:
Love and Logic
Don't Make Me Count to Three
Grace Based Parenting