How do you people do it all? – Hyacinth

Brain Trust,

I need to know how veteran homeschool mamas do it all: schooling, groceries, house chores, keep order, and still have energy past 3pm? Help!

Needing a nap,
Tired


 

Hyacinth:
Dear Tired,
Oh, this is an easy one……here’s the good news: we’re not doing it all!For me, I’ve maintained my sanity by letting my standards slide a bit. Try it – it’s liberating! In general, I never shortchange the schoolwork, but I’ll let the dust bunnies run amok (I’m building strong immune systems around here). I have a few non-negotiable priorities that help me maintain my sanity: I like to keep the kitchen and bathrooms clean, my bed made, and the dining room table clear. If those things are done, the house doesn’t seem like a complete disaster.Though I have my kids do a few chores around the house, I’m not very systematic, I must confess.
It’s an area in which I could use some help, so I’m going to stay tuned for this week’s posts myself. The other members of Dear Brain Trust run well-oiled machines – weigh in, Brain Trust!

Looking for more answers????

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

Typical Homeschool Day – Doodle

Typical Homeschool Day – Doodle

Brain Trust,

Dear Braintrust,

I’m curious….what does a typical day look like in your home-school?

~ Curious in Columbia


 

Doodle:

Dear Curious,

Ahh….the mother of all questions! This answer is going to be more varied than the ice cream flavors at Baskin Robbins! But, I admit that I like to learn from others homeschool families. I have found that each family has to get their rhythm and their days of homeschooling take on a vibe that fits them and their family. What is Dad’s work schedule? What are the ages of your children? Do you do coops or outside activities? All of this factors into what your “typical” day looks like. I have found though, that for us, routine and schedule is important even though, I would like to be more fluid and relaxed. But, for me, I need a daily schedule.

The beauty of it is this: “my” schedule serves “my” purpose. I am not chained to it, but I do treat it fairly seriously. Here is a sample schedule for my elementary children:

8am – Kids wake and I whip up a simple breakfast. Kids listen to memory work.
8:30am – We get ready for the day and do some light chores (make beds, start laundry, clean kitchen etc)
9am- Bible and devotions
9:15am – Handwriting, cursive
9:30am – Math
10:30am – English Grammar/phonics
11:15am – History readers, Science
Noon – quick lunch break
12:30p- writing and finish up morning work
1:30p – individual readers
2p – piano practice

Love,
Dood

Looking for more answers????

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust

Hyacinth:

Dear Readers,

Remember last week’s post when we so passionately exhorted you to disallow fighting among the jerks who sprang from your womb (Bull’s choice term here; the other two BTers are personally offended by her calling of our precious babies “jerks.”)? Subsequently, at least one of us have had children who have engaged in an all-out brawl (okay, maybe it was just me). My fellow BTers thought you might want to know how I dealt with my little pugilist and his victim.

Normally, I can see the sibling storm a-brewin’, and as the BTers suggested last week, I take swift and certain action to diffuse it early. This brawl, however, was one of those pre-pubescent-outbursts-from-nowhere. My youngest, Phillip, age 8, didn’t comply with something his brother, Patrick, age 11, wanted him to do. The next thing I know, Patrick has punched him, and Phillip is wailing at the top of his outraged lungs.

(Side note: When I recounted this tale to my fellow BTers, Doodle and Snow empathized and strategized with me. Bull merely wanted to know how effective the punch was…….location, impact, etc. Thanks for your support, Bull.)

The consequence for this unbridled flood of testosterone? Bibliotherapy. Since he had a lapse in virtue, I thought he needed an example of heroic virtue, so I had him read a biography on St. Maximilian Kolbe, a priest who gave his life in Auschwitz so a father might live. He also had to write a paper on St. Kolbe’s life and how he inspired Patrick to be a better man. An unplanned consequence was that our little victim had a couple of sweet offers that the pugilist had to skip because he hadn’t finished his paper. Divine justice…..gotta love it!. I swear I looked empathetic, though.

Hope this airing of my dirty laundry helps you to feel better about yours!

Peace be with you,
Hyacinth

Bull:

Dear Readers,

I am offering a response to Hy’s post from yesterday….

In my defense, I offered our more sensitive readers the synonym “sinners” to replace the perfectly good noun “jerks” if they preferred. And my inquiry into the details of the alleged “punch,” was nothing more than good detective work. The details matter, people!

Let’s say the future prizefighter executed a sucker punch. Oh my! Just typing the words “sucker punch” causes a chill to resonate down my spine. I mean, that’s dirty. The “precious baby” possesses some serious skills. Something you just can’t teach in a kid. But, that’s another post. In Bull’s Book of Parental Punishments, the consequence for such a filthy assault is not even in the same chapter as a punch the recipient knew was coming. I mean, a punch thrown in the heat of anger, preceded by a primal war whoop to alert the victim of impending danger, is still wrong of course and yet different. It perhaps merits a 3-paragraph essay, while the former warrants an essay the size and scale of a doctoral thesis.

Now, as to location, I was merely trying to visualize the scene… take it all in, if you will, so that I could empathize with my pal, Hy. I’m just not one to rush to judgment, folks. I like to have all the facts before dishing out the just desserts. The possibility that I might have been slightly entertained by such a visualization is irrelevant — I can’t successfully strategize without all the gory details.

For what it’s worth, I like the creativity of Hy’s imposed sentence. Not only was it punitive, but edifying. Good work, comrade!

Bull

Doodle:

Bull, you have reminded of something super important!

We offend each other. And we do it often.

My children offend each other every day. I don’t believe they wake up each morning and premeditate, “I am going to do my best to offend my siblings.” But offense, by golly, just happens. They live together, share bathrooms, bedrooms and parents. One of my “munchkins” (I can’t bring myself to call them jerks) look for that last piece of cake only to find that his brother has already helped himself. A borrowed item was broken or lost. An older brother puts his younger brother (I won’t mention names) into a headlock in which a rolling and tossing of tangled bodies ensues and it’s all fun until someone gets hurt. You get the picture, offense is an everyday occurrence when you live with people.

My husband and I spend much of our parenting training our children how to get along with each other. First of all, we remind them that “being friends with their siblings” is the expectation, not the exception! Do they always get it? Nope. Frustrating? Yes! Tiring? Of course! But as the parent, we use these moments as opportunities to teach and train them in an invaluable life skill: forgiveness.

These “munchkins” were given to me for a reason. We make it our goal is to teach them to be humble, forgiving and loving. Imagine with me for a moment: what would the world look like if we all did so? Could this help their future relationships at work? What about their marriages? Could this one conscious act of parenting make the world a sweeter place? I think so! So let’s get started…

The simplest place to begin is to teach forgiveness to our kids when they are young, but don’t worry, it is never too late. I concentrate on helping my kids recognize and then admitting when they have done something wrong to their siblings. Simple, yes, but it is not always easy to admit our faults, especially to each other, is it? And what happens when they’ve been wronged? We walk them through the steps on how to be a forgiver. Asking forgiveness and then forgiving is a sign of a healthy individual.

We must model it for them, not only by our instruction, but even more importantly by our actions. Here is a typical scene from our family:

Graham (age 6): “Elliot, forgive me for punching you.. I was wrong, will you forgive me?”

Elliot (age 4): “Gammy, I ‘give you.”

We then have them seal it with a prayer and they give each other a hug (or a kiss on the elbow or rubbing noses…you get the picture). Then it is done. It doesn’t take long before they are really good and practiced at asking forgiveness, and also being the forgiver.

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

Love,
Dood

Looking for more answers????

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Doodle

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Doodle

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Hyacinth

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Bull

Doodle:

Bull, you have reminded of something super important!

We offend each other. And we do it often.

My children offend each other every day. I don’t believe they wake up each morning and premeditate, “I am going to do my best to offend my siblings.” But offense, by golly, just happens. They live together, share bathrooms, bedrooms and parents. One of my “munchkins” (I can’t bring myself to call them jerks) look for that last piece of cake only to find that his brother has already helped himself. A borrowed item was broken or lost. An older brother puts his younger brother (I won’t mention names) into a headlock in which a rolling and tossing of tangled bodies ensues and it’s all fun until someone gets hurt. You get the picture, offense is an everyday occurrence when you live with people.

My husband and I spend much of our parenting training our children how to get along with each other. First of all, we remind them that “being friends with their siblings” is the expectation, not the exception! Do they always get it? Nope. Frustrating? Yes! Tiring? Of course! But as the parent, we use these moments as opportunities to teach and train them in an invaluable life skill: forgiveness.

These “munchkins” were given to me for a reason. We make it our goal is to teach them to be humble, forgiving and loving. Imagine with me for a moment: what would the world look like if we all did so? Could this help their future relationships at work? What about their marriages? Could this one conscious act of parenting make the world a sweeter place? I think so! So let’s get started…

The simplest place to begin is to teach forgiveness to our kids when they are young, but don’t worry, it is never too late. I concentrate on helping my kids recognize and then admitting when they have done something wrong to their siblings. Simple, yes, but it is not always easy to admit our faults, especially to each other, is it? And what happens when they’ve been wronged? We walk them through the steps on how to be a forgiver. Asking forgiveness and then forgiving is a sign of a healthy individual.

We must model it for them, not only by our instruction, but even more importantly by our actions. Here is a typical scene from our family:

Graham (age 6): “Elliot, forgive me for punching you.. I was wrong, will you forgive me?”

Elliot (age 4): “Gammy, I ‘give you.”

We then have them seal it with a prayer and they give each other a hug (or a kiss on the elbow or rubbing noses…you get the picture). Then it is done. It doesn’t take long before they are really good and practiced at asking forgiveness, and also being the forgiver.

Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

Love,
Dood

Looking for more answers????

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Bull

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Bull

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Hyacinth

Bull:

Dear Readers,

I am offering a response to Hy’s post from yesterday….

In my defense, I offered our more sensitive readers the synonym “sinners” to replace the perfectly good noun “jerks” if they preferred. And my inquiry into the details of the alleged “punch,” was nothing more than good detective work. The details matter, people!

Let’s say the future prizefighter executed a sucker punch. Oh my! Just typing the words “sucker punch” causes a chill to resonate down my spine. I mean, that’s dirty. The “precious baby” possesses some serious skills. Something you just can’t teach in a kid. But, that’s another post. In Bull’s Book of Parental Punishments, the consequence for such a filthy assault is not even in the same chapter as a punch the recipient knew was coming. I mean, a punch thrown in the heat of anger, preceded by a primal war whoop to alert the victim of impending danger, is still wrong of course and yet different. It perhaps merits a 3-paragraph essay, while the former warrants an essay the size and scale of a doctoral thesis.

Now, as to location, I was merely trying to visualize the scene… take it all in, if you will, so that I could empathize with my pal, Hy. I’m just not one to rush to judgment, folks. I like to have all the facts before dishing out the just desserts. The possibility that I might have been slightly entertained by such a visualization is irrelevant — I can’t successfully strategize without all the gory details.

For what it’s worth, I like the creativity of Hy’s imposed sentence. Not only was it punitive, but edifying. Good work, comrade!

Bull

Looking for more answers????

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Hyacinth

Quick and Dirty Tips from the Brain Trust – Hyacinth

Hyacinth:

Dear Readers,

Remember last week’s post when we so passionately exhorted you to disallow fighting among the jerks who sprang from your womb (Bull’s choice term here; the other two BTers are personally offended by her calling of our precious babies “jerks.”)? Subsequently, at least one of us have had children who have engaged in an all-out brawl (okay, maybe it was just me). My fellow BTers thought you might want to know how I dealt with my little pugilist and his victim.

Normally, I can see the sibling storm a-brewin’, and as the BTers suggested last week, I take swift and certain action to diffuse it early. This brawl, however, was one of those pre-pubescent-outbursts-from-nowhere. My youngest, Phillip, age 8, didn’t comply with something his brother, Patrick, age 11, wanted him to do. The next thing I know, Patrick has punched him, and Phillip is wailing at the top of his outraged lungs.

(Side note: When I recounted this tale to my fellow BTers, Doodle and Snow empathized and strategized with me. Bull merely wanted to know how effective the punch was…….location, impact, etc. Thanks for your support, Bull.)

The consequence for this unbridled flood of testosterone? Bibliotherapy. Since he had a lapse in virtue, I thought he needed an example of heroic virtue, so I had him read a biography on St. Maximilian Kolbe, a priest who gave his life in Auschwitz so a father might live. He also had to write a paper on St. Kolbe’s life and how he inspired Patrick to be a better man. An unplanned consequence was that our little victim had a couple of sweet offers that the pugilist had to skip because he hadn’t finished his paper. Divine justice…..gotta love it!. I swear I looked empathetic, though.

Hope this airing of my dirty laundry helps you to feel better about yours!

Peace be with you,
Hyacinth

Looking for more answers????

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

Siblings Fighting

Siblings Fighting

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

~ Losing it in Louisville


 

Hyacinth:

Dear Losing (not to be confused with “loser”!),

I’m going to sound pretty harsh here, but don’t put up with it. This is a problem you’ve simply got to commit to solving. Find a parenting book that addresses the issue, and make this issue a priority. For me, one of the surprise blessings of homeschooling is the relationship my kids have built with one another, but that’s not accidental. We place a high value on kindness, and when there’s a slip (and there frequently are!), I don’t ignore it. I think some parents think that fighting among siblings is inevitable, but I strongly disagree. Kids must be taught kindness, forgiveness, and negotiating skills. These are the most powerful, life-changing lessons we can teach during the natural course of the day, so embrace the opportunity (okay, maybe that’s a little naive……should I say, “embrace the horror”?). You can do it!

Dear Brain Trust readers, can you help Losing in Louisville with a recommendation for a book that addresses the issue of fighting siblings?
Or some tips of your own?

Peace be with you,
Hyacinth

Doodle:

Dear (Not) Losing it,

You’re in good company! This problem of sibling “fighting” can be traced back to the beginning with Cain and Abel. That doesn’t give us much hope that we will be exempt, does it? But I do believe we can hope for better. Hy is right, we must be aggressive and ready to deal! The tools you give your children to handle conflict with their siblings will be one of the greatest gifts you give them! We must put on our big “girl/boy” pants to face these issues!

I have four sons and one daughter. The competition, the wrestling, the one-liners and the sheer physical presence of that much testosterone is amazing. So, each morning I put on my game face. Yep, I am like a hawk waiting for their first move, and it doesn’t take long before one of my lovelies is throwing out “signs” that a conflict is brewing.

So this is how it works in our home: I watch for attitudes. A glare. A snarled lip. A comment that slights. A huffy response. These all reveal positions of the heart. An attitude, or a thought, gives way to action. I spend much of my energy and effort training attitudes. I find that if my work thwarts a sour or grumpy attitude, many times that will curb the inevitable, full-blown fight. Yep. I am attitude-buster. I don’t wait for the fight. Here is a scripture that fortifies my position from Proverbs 17:14, “The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts.”

So, my recommendation is to look for the “start” of a quarrel and let training begin there. Teach forgiveness and how to turn a cheek. Train your children on how to serve the brother and sister when they don’t feel like it. Give them examples through scriptures, as well as personal and historical examples to fortify their hearts. Love always wins. Getting along with people is not an easy business, but this gift you are giving your children will live long past their time in your home.

Love,

Dood (not sporting a “tude”)

Bull:

Dear Losin’ It,

What a predicament for the ages! And one that is cramping my style at the moment as well. The bad news is: I don’t think there is an answer. Egads! Not what you hoped to hear from an advice guru, I know…. but I’d rather give bad advice than flat out lie. As Dood pointed out, sibling warfare isn’t a particularly recent phenomenon. And I’m afraid we could spend years trying to unearth the deeply rooted psychological reasons for the chronic bickering between siblings only to be left with yet another fire to extinguish.

So let’s deal with this head on: kids can be jerks. They can be jerks for no good reason. And they can refuse to express an ounce of remorse for it to boot. Why? Because they’re jerks — someone isn’t paying attention here. If you prefer church lady lingo, simply replace jerks with sinners and proceed. I’m going out on a limb here, but adults think the same thing kids do. The guy who pulled out in front of you in traffic is a “cutter.” The friend who didn’t invite you to her cook-out is a meanie doo doo head. The scarf you gave Aunt Edna is a tag, you’re it, no tag backs gift. The difference between us and them is “socialization.” We know better. We were taught better. And on our good days, we behave better. How, exactly, you teach your children to behave better is entirely up to you so long as it doesn’t involve child authorities. Every household employs different techniques. Maybe you make the juvenile offenders do hard labor in the vegetable garden. Or perhaps they give each other simultaneous foot rubs until they display a suitable degree of remorse and swear on their no-good honor to abstain from further squabbles. Use your imagination — you’re the parent for crying out loud. I personally try to enforce consequences that will keep my children’s future therapists entertained for hours. But I’m sure you’re a more civilized meanie doo doo head than me.

Bull

Snow:
Dear Losing it,

Bull makes me laugh! What she says is funny, but oh so true! Our children are miniature versions of us who lack refinement.

My girls fight everyday. Mostly, the oldest corrects the youngest… the youngest pesters the oldest… the oldest corrects the youngest… the youngest pesters the oldest. You get the picture. It is a vicious cycle. It is easy for me to be one of two extremes: hypersensitive to it, or completely ignore it. To be quite honest, this is an area where my consistency lacks!

When I am on my “A” game, these are some things I have found to be effective:

  • Stop it as soon as it starts
  • Point out the environment they are creating in our home. I often ask them how they would feel if their daddy & I spoke to each other that way? They always say it would stress them out… and that’s the point! It stresses people out, so take that into consideration!
  • Make them stop and serve one another… When they do that, their attitude is always terrible to begin with, but then it turns around. I typically have them clean each others’ rooms.
  • A year or so ago, we used a thankfulness notebook. Anytime there was hatefulness happening, they would have to write something in their notebook about their sister that they liked, but it couldn’t be superficial. It had to be a character trait or a gift they saw in the other. It was hard but good!

I think siblings fight in order to learn how to get along. Wish it was easier on us as parents, but I have hope that eventually it will bring about peaceful and loving relationships for them!

Grace & Peace,
Snow
Image courtesy of Amy Teague Photography, www.happilysituated.com

Looking for more answers????

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

I feel myself burning out, what do I do?

Siblings Fighting – Snow

Siblings Fighting – Snow

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

~ Losing it in Louisville


 

Siblings Fighting – Hyacinth

Siblings Fighting – Doodle

Siblings Fighting – Bull

Snow:

Dear Losing it,

Bull makes me laugh! What she says is funny, but oh so true! Our children are miniature versions of us who lack refinement.

My girls fight everyday. Mostly, the oldest corrects the youngest… the youngest pesters the oldest… the oldest corrects the youngest… the youngest pesters the oldest. You get the picture. It is a vicious cycle. It is easy for me to be one of two extremes: hypersensitive to it, or completely ignore it. To be quite honest, this is an area where my consistency lacks!

When I am on my “A” game, these are some things I have found to be effective:

  • Stop it as soon as it starts
  • Point out the environment they are creating in our home. I often ask them how they would feel if their daddy & I spoke to each other that way? They always say it would stress them out… and that’s the point! It stresses people out, so take that into consideration!
  • Make them stop and serve one another… When they do that, their attitude is always terrible to begin with, but then it turns around. I typically have them clean each others’ rooms.
  • A year or so ago, we used a thankfulness notebook. Anytime there was hatefulness happening, they would have to write something in their notebook about their sister that they liked, but it couldn’t be superficial. It had to be a character trait or a gift they saw in the other. It was hard but good!

I think siblings fight in order to learn how to get along. Wish it was easier on us as parents, but I have hope that eventually it will bring about peaceful and loving relationships for them!

Grace & Peace,
Snow

Image courtesy of Amy Teague Photography, www.happilysituated.com

Looking for more answers????

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

I feel myself burning out, what do I do?

Siblings Fighting – Bull

Siblings Fighting – Bull

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

~ Losing it in Louisville


 

Siblings Fighting – Hyacinth

Siblings Fighting – Doodle

Bull:

Dear Losin’ It,

What a predicament for the ages! And one that is cramping my style at the moment as well. The bad news is: I don’t think there is an answer. Egads! Not what you hoped to hear from an advice guru, I know…. but I’d rather give bad advice than flat out lie. As Dood pointed out, sibling warfare isn’t a particularly recent phenomenon. And I’m afraid we could spend years trying to unearth the deeply rooted psychological reasons for the chronic bickering between siblings only to be left with yet another fire to extinguish.

So let’s deal with this head on: kids can be jerks. They can be jerks for no good reason. And they can refuse to express an ounce of remorse for it to boot. Why? Because they’re jerks — someone isn’t paying attention here. If you prefer church lady lingo, simply replace jerks with sinners and proceed. I’m going out on a limb here, but adults think the same thing kids do. The guy who pulled out in front of you in traffic is a “cutter.” The friend who didn’t invite you to her cook-out is a meanie doo doo head. The scarf you gave Aunt Edna is a tag, you’re it, no tag backs gift. The difference between us and them is “socialization.” We know better. We were taught better. And on our good days, we behave better. How, exactly, you teach your children to behave better is entirely up to you so long as it doesn’t involve child authorities. Every household employs different techniques. Maybe you make the juvenile offenders do hard labor in the vegetable garden. Or perhaps they give each other simultaneous foot rubs until they display a suitable degree of remorse and swear on their no-good honor to abstain from further squabbles. Use your imagination — you’re the parent for crying out loud. I personally try to enforce consequences that will keep my children’s future therapists entertained for hours. But I’m sure you’re a more civilized meanie doo doo head than me.

Bull

Looking for more answers????

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

I feel myself burning out, what do I do?

Siblings Fighting – Doodle

Siblings Fighting – Doodle

Brain Trust,

Dear Brain Trust,

My children fight from sun up to sun down and it’s driving me crazy! Help!!

~ Losing it in Louisville


 

Doodle:

Dear (Not) Losing it,

You’re in good company! This problem of sibling “fighting” can be traced back to the beginning with Cain and Abel. That doesn’t give us much hope that we will be exempt, does it? But I do believe we can hope for better. Hy is right, we must be aggressive and ready to deal! The tools you give your children to handle conflict with their siblings will be one of the greatest gifts you give them! We must put on our big “girl/boy” pants to face these issues!

I have four sons and one daughter. The competition, the wrestling, the one-liners and the sheer physical presence of that much testosterone is amazing. So, each morning I put on my game face. Yep, I am like a hawk waiting for their first move, and it doesn’t take long before one of my lovelies is throwing out “signs” that a conflict is brewing.

So this is how it works in our home: I watch for attitudes. A glare. A snarled lip. A comment that slights. A huffy response. These all reveal positions of the heart. An attitude, or a thought, gives way to action. I spend much of my energy and effort training attitudes. I find that if my work thwarts a sour or grumpy attitude, many times that will curb the inevitable, full-blown fight. Yep. I am attitude-buster. I don’t wait for the fight. Here is a scripture that fortifies my position from Proverbs 17:14, “The start of a quarrel is like a leak in a dam, so stop it before it bursts.”

So, my recommendation is to look for the “start” of a quarrel and let training begin there. Teach forgiveness and how to turn a cheek. Train your children on how to serve the brother and sister when they don’t feel like it. Give them examples through scriptures, as well as personal and historical examples to fortify their hearts. Love always wins. Getting along with people is not an easy business, but this gift you are giving your children will live long past their time in your home.

Love,

Dood (not sporting a “tude”)

Looking for more answers????

What advice can you give a new homeschooling mom to help me navigate this first intimidating year?

In the world we live in today, how do I teach my kids to be responsible human beings?

I feel myself burning out, what do I do?