Saturday, October 31, 2015

Love Gifts

Grandkids are such fun. They leave such happy memories at our house. After they have visited, I always find fin treasures around. These love-gifts make me smile and bring joy to my life.
It's holiday season again, and children and family will be visiting. Take a few minutes to notice the love-gifts your children and grandchildren leave you. These gifts will make you smile as you remember them through the coming year.

Here are a few fun memories from our house.

Our four-year-old grandson loves to explore the house. He ends up combining the most interesting items. I never cease to wonder about what's going on in his brain. One rainy day I came in and set my umbrella on the back porch to dry out. When I went to go out later in the day, this is what I found. Go figure! What he was thinking!

Our six-year-old granddaughter loves to play at our house. It's a problem for her, though, because all the toys are in the family room in the basement. AND she's afraid to go down stairs by herself. So usually I go down with her and she gathers up the toys she wants and brings them upstairs. One day she was playing dress up and decided to include the farm animals. When it was time for her to go home, I asked her if she had put the toys away. She told me she had. The horses and cows were sleeping, and could she leave them upstairs so she wouldn't have to go get them next time. This is what I found.

We have a white board in the kitchen that everyone  loves to draw on. This is what I found after I'd taken three little granddaughters to a museum and the zoo.

Children are the joy of our lives. Treasure the gifts as they come to you. All too soon little ones grow up and all we have is our memories.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Family Council Meetings Can Enhance a Child's Self Esteem

Family Councils are a good way to let children know they are important. Start when they are young.

1.                  Include them in decisions
2.                  Listen to their opinions
3.                  Ask for their suggestions

These meetings are a pivotal place to create and fulfill goals. However, sometimes it's necessary to have a meeting to plan the family council so that you are helping each of your children become the best they can be.

Mom and Dad sat in the porch swing.
Mom shifted in her seat. “Samantha (age 6) has had several temper tantrums this week.”
Dad looked down at her. “I hadn’t noticed. But now that you mention it, you’re right.”
“Sometimes I see her as caught right in the middle of the kids—an older sister who is the star of everything and a baby sister that everyone adores.”
Dad chuckled, “What’s not to love about that little curly blond bundle of energy.”
“I just think Samantha needs a self-esteem boost.” Mom sighed. “I’ve been thinking it’s her turn to conduct family council this week. Maybe we could surprise her with a spot light night. A ‘Who Am I’ poster like we made for school last year.”
“Great,” said Dad.
 “I’ll have Mia (age 10) make up a little song for her. Alexis (age 4) can help me make her favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.”
“This is all well and good,” said Dad, “but one night isn’t going to fix everything.”
“We haven’t done parent date nights for a while,” said Mom. “I’ll take her to swing at the park. She loves that.”

“Great idea,” said Dad, “and I’m glad we’ve had this conversation. I'll take her on a bike ride a couple of nights a week myself.”
Mom glanced up at him. “I get what you’re saying. The spot light and date night are good, but it’s the little things we do daily that will make a difference.” She sighed. “Maybe I can spend a little more time with her each evening before bed.”
“I call this a great planning meeting,” said Dad. “Let’s do this more often.”

The parents:
1.                  Identified the problem behavior. (Temper tantrums)
2.                  Assessed the unmet need. (Lack of attention and love)
3.                  Set a plan in motion for family council. (Spot light night)
4.                  Planned special activities with the child. (Date night)
5.                  Set aside daily time to spend with their daughter. (Riding bikes and time in the evening)

Learn how to establish your own family councils, set goals, and open the communication with your children. Read more stories like this one in Family Talk by Christy Monson, available in paperback and e readers.