Thursday, December 30, 2010

Preparing Your Children For 2011

Today let's talk about preparing our children for the new year.  Is your house filled with joy and laughter or is your house stressful and full of yelling? 

Thinking back over 2010, how was your relationship with your children?  Did you ever get that feeling of I just need a break?  Did you send the kids off to bed thinking finally it's bed time?  Was there laughter and playing in your house?  I am (or try to be anyway) very organized and try to stick to a schedule.  I like my house to stay clean and orderly.  But if I don't let go of that, at least to a point, my house will never be 'fun.'  When my kids are grown, I want them to say that our house was a home filled with love and laughter.  A schedule is very important.  A clean, orderly home is very important.  Those things teach our children important values.  But we also need our children to laugh and we need them to see us laugh.  For many years, after dinner I would stress about cleaning up dinner, washing the clothes we just wore for the day and so on.  I never sat down and enjoyed my husband and children.  A few years ago we set a new rule.  After dinner, which everyone helps clean up, the kids take showers, then the rest of the night: no house work.  That is time to sit down and play or relax together.  To have fun. 

Thinking back over 2010, how was your children's relationship with Christ?  Did you spend time teaching your children about Christ?  Other than at meals and before bed, did you pray together?  Did you daily pray for your children?  We take our children to Sunday School and Children's Church, but as parents we are the ones who are supposed to be teaching and guiding them.  They should learn about Christ through our teaching, words and actions. 

Suggestions for today:
  1. Pray, with your spouse if possible, and ask God to show you how to be the parent your child needs and deserves. 
  2. Make a firm commitment to have family prayer time daily.  Maybe before school, after dinner or before bed.  But pray together daily.
  3. Start doing devotions with your children.  Maybe start off with once a week or every other week.  Or before dinner read a few verses together.  If possible try a Christian book store for a family or children's devotional.
  4. Pull out your 2011 calendar and mark a monthly night for family fun night.  Go for a walk or bike ride, have a Wii bowling competition, play a board game, get out the video camera and have the kids make a 'news cast.'  Use your imagination for fun things to do.  Something that our family has done since our oldest was a baby is Friday night camp out.  We go to the library and get free movies, then after dinner we all get our sleeping bags and snacks out then we camp out in the living room and watch movies all night. 
  5. When the kids start to fight or stress you out, close your eyes, pray and ask God to help you stay calm.  Try not to yell at your spouse and kids.  Remember that a gentle word turns away wrath. 
Let's strive to have a happy home in 2011.  Have fun with your children.  Let them see you laugh and smile more.  Let them know how much they mean to you.  Our children are our blessings from Heaven.

Sweet Blessings~


  1. What a beautiful post! You have so many great ideas and they are ones that are not hard to do, just getting started. They are fun ideas. Bless you.

  2. I remember when you kids were little I would get so frustrated about my now messy house. Both Jim & I are neat freaks...everything has a place and everything in its place! After fretting for some time about the messiness of having 4 children and their 'stuff' everywhere...I remember telling Jim, when the kids are grown, our house will be neat and tidy again! And I left it at that. From that point on, our house was clean...but never neat and tidy. Now that you kids are house is neat and tidy again...most of the time. I guess I have realized that neat and tidy aren't always's spending that QUALITY time with your loved one that counts!

  3. Thanks for the suggestions! We already do devotions and family prayer time, but I want to do family fun nights and I also want to teach my children to be intentional about their relationship with Christ. I want them to KNOW why they believe in Him...

  4. I needed to hear this today! In fact Ill probably re-read it tomorrow too! I am definately like you. I like things neat, tidy, and orderly. I have to be intentional about going against my personality so I can enjoy my family. I sat down next to my hubby last night and said "dont you feel like all we do is scold the kids?" Thank you...I needed to hear this!:)))

  5. These are some great ideas. I want my house to be filled with laughter and joy and I realize that I set the tone most of the time. If my heart if full of the joy of the Lord, then my house will be too.
    Thanks for this great post.

  6. I am really enjoying this little series you're doing this week, great job! I am probably the opposite... not nearly as orderly as I'd like, yet we all need to find that balance where we're keeping life in order and having fun at the same time. I need to be much better about prayer time with the kids (outside of bedtime)and devotion time. Thank you for the wonderful suggestions, I appreciate you!

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  8. Heidi, thank you for your encouraging words!

    Kelli, I say that to my hubby all of the time!

    We must teach our children to keep order but we also have to teach them to have fun. It's all about balance. As for time with God, it is so very important. Something I have failed at. I start and do really good for a few weeks, then we don't do it for months. We have to make it a priority. Where our children spend eternity should important to us.

    Thank you all for your encouraging comments. Blessings to you!

  9. Another wonderful, well thought out post Jenifer! As you noted, raising our children is all a matter of balance. They need a sense of order, and wonder, and joy, and commitment, of discipline, and of Faith. Thank you for your blog, and have a Blessed Day!

  10. Thanks for stopping by my blog! :) I love how your blog is organized and I look forward to getting to know you better. Happy New Year! :)

  11. Such timely words, Jenifer, you're a good writer and I'm so glad you found me, so I can enjoy your words of wisdom. I was never a screamer and I'm so glad. I doubt very much that my kids are either.
    Thanks for the reminders again today.
    Love and hugs, Cindy


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