Review of Busy Mom’s Guide to Parenting Young Children

I’m happy to give a review of a very timely book! It’s called the Busy Mom’s Guide to Parenting Young Children by Paul C. Reisser, M.D., published by Tyndale House.

What’s wonderful about the book is that is so comprehensive, but at the same time being a book that a busy mom can pick up and read about babies through 4-year-olds.  After having 8 children I have read lots of books and articles through the years.  I can’t think of a topic that I’ve needed that this book doesn’t cover!

Here are a few of the things you’ll find addressed in this book:

Finding good healthcare, breastfeeding, getting a baby to sleep better, colic, solid foods, safety, speech development, stranger anxiety, vaccines, weaning, disciplining a toddler, tantrums, teeth care, potty training, night terrors, friends, spiritual development, and lots more!

I also love that the book is written from a Christian perspective.  Here is one quote I loved:

“The question to ask Him isn’t ‘Why did You give me such a fussy baby?!’ but ‘What do You want me to learn about myself and life in general through this experience?’  You may be surprised at the answer.”

So, especially if you you’re a new mom or pregnant with your first baby, I would recommend you pick up a copy.  You’ll feel so much more confident as you enter this stage of your life!

 

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4 Moms 35+ Kids e-book on sale for only $3

Today begins a new sale for this great e-book written by 4 moms who have 35 + kids (a couple are pregnant :)  ).  Only $3!

I’ve really been enjoying reading my copy.  These ladies are very funny!  They have so much content in the e-book (195 pages!), but also lots of links to their blogs where you can read even more about the subject.

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Here are the chapter titles, and each of the four moms answer these questions:

How do you get your family to church on time?

How do you teach children to be still and quiet in church?

How do you prepare children to be around unbelieving
family?

How do you keep things fair for all your children?

How do you keep your patience in the midst of chaos?

How do you manage outings with only little ones?

Do you ever feel discouraged or overwhelmed?

How do you make sure your children get enough individual
time?

Naps: How important are they? How do you make them
happen?

How do you find time for projects that need to be done,
require focused attention and which the children can’t help
with?

How do you teach your children to do chores?

How do you teach children to be diligent?

Which parenting style is best?

How do you teach your children about the birds and the
bees?

How do you deal with sibling squabbles?

It’s on sale right now, so if you’d like to get it for $3 rather than $7.99, use the code 3DAYSALE !

Click here to visit 4 Moms 35 Kids to learn more about the book and to purchase it.  Remember the code 3DAYSALE !

 

(Contains affiliate links.)

 

Become a Woman of Influence at Home

Three years ago I led a session for a few women at my home about loving our husbands and children and homemaking, from Titus 2:3-5.  Below is the handout we used.  It was a really fun evening sharing with other women and encouraging each other in the struggles we all have in these areas.  If you have other websites or ideas to share, please leave a comment!

Become a Woman of Influence at Home

2 Timothy 3:16-17     All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Titus 2:3-5    Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good.   Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

Proverbs 31:10-31

10 A wife of noble character who can find?   She is worth far more than rubies.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.

12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.

13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands.

14 She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.

15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.

16 She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.

17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.

18 She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.

19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.

20 She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.

21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.

22 She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.

23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the eldersof the land.

24 She makes linen garments and sells them, and supplies the merchants with sashes.

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.

26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.

27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.

28 Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:

29 “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.”

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD isto be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I.      Authority of Scripture  2 Timothy 3:16-17

We believe that the best way to love our husbands and children and to be good homemakers is to follow God’s way in the Bible.

II.     What Do We Learn From the Proverbs 31 Woman?

She is a wife of noble character, her husband has full confidence in her, she brings him good and not harm, does all she can at home so that he is respected at the city gate. She is working at home:  works with eager hands/ vigorous and strong arms, gets up while it’s still dark, not lazy, understands finances, has earnings and uses her wages to help her family and not to get things for herself, she has many homemaking skills (selects wool and flax, provides food, plants a vineyard, holds distaff and grasps spindle, makes garments and sells them, makes coverings for her bed), takes care of herself (she’s strong) and her appearance (clothed nicely), helps the poor/ministers to others.  Her character: has strength and dignity, planned-up for the future, wise, teaches faithfully, not idle, fears the Lord.  She’ll be praised by her husband, her children, and at the city gate.

*This is a goal to work towards; it’s not something we’ll be able to obtain overnight!

III.    How to Love Your Husband

     A.     Genesis 2:18  The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”   Great resource:  Created to be his Help Meet by Debi Pearl (www.NoGreaterJoy.org).  We are created to be our husband’s helper.  (By the way, I do not like all of the Pearl’s resources, and there are things I don’t like in this book as well.  But overall, it’s a great way for learning our role as our husband’s helper.)

     B.    Ways to be Your Husband’s Helper:

Have a merry heart; be thankful, joyful, and content; be playful, available, and fun.

Submit to his authority (Eph. 5:22-24  Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.  Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.   Col. 3:18  Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  1 Cor.11:3  Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.)

Understand him and adapt to that understanding

Serve him

Be feminine (long hair?, different clothes?—but modest. Don’t cause any other men to lust)

Respect him

Don’t do or say anything that will cause him to mistrust you; never say anything bad about him.

     C.     How can I Be My Husband’s Helper When He’s Such a Jerk?

From Created to be his Help Meet:

“Our obedience in the role of ‘help meet’ is not dependent on our husband’s obedience to God.”

“You have two choices.  You can doubt God and say, ‘I know God does not expect me to honor this mean man.’ Or, you can say, ‘God, I know your Word teaches me to be a woman who is there to help all my husbands’ desires and dreams.  Make me that woman.’  God made you to fulfill this eternal vision.  Until you embrace that divine plan for your life, your life will never make sense.  You will always be struggling.  When you can finally let go and believe God, life will become so simple that you won’t have to wonder what you should do.  You will know.  This eternal vision will change your mind, thus changing your actions, and, most importantly, it will change your reactions.  Ask God for the wisdom to become the very best help meet.”

     D.     Three Types of Men and Ways to Adapt to Your Husband’s Type:

Mr. Command Man

Mr. Visionary

Mr. Steady

**Find an excerpt of Chapter 8  here.

     E.      Work on Becoming Best Friends with Your Husband.

Another great book is Passionate Housewives Desperate for God by Jennie Chancey and Stacy McDonald.   Quote from pp. 114-15:

“Today’s wives are told they cannot expect their husbands to be their best friends or to meet all of their needs.  We are encouraged to seek out women friends who can share our woes, listen to our marital problems, and commiserate over the difficulties of bringing up children.  We’re supposed to schedule time to just “hang out,” spending money or dishing out the latest “news” over a cup of coffee.  Of course, there is a place for relationships between women, but these cannot be based upon gossip, family disloyalty, shared bitterness, or unwholesome intimacy.”

     F.      Assignments for Loving Your Husband

On p. 123 in Created to Be His Help Meet Debi Pearl lists a project for each day of the week, such as writing down three things that you can do that will be a help to your husband.

Another assignment can be found at Nancy Leigh DeMoss’s Revive Our Hearts website:  30-Day Husband Encouragement Challenge for Wives.  It’s also wonderful to pray for your husband for 31 days.  You can find some neat (free) prayer cards at Better Life Bags.

IV.   How to Love Your Children

     A.     The Best Way?  Love your husband/ their dad!  See above.

     B.    Teach Them About God

Deut. 6:5-7  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Eph. 6:4  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

How?  Don’t rely on church, Sunday School, Awana, BSF, etc.  You (and your husband, hopefully) should read through the Bible with them (try one chapter or a few verses each night before bed when they turn 1 year old), use a devotional guide (see church library for lots of ideas—I like Leading Little Ones to God by M. Schoolland), memorize verses together as a family (start at age 3 or 4), learn a hymn or praise song every week, pray for them aloud every night and teach them to pray, read books/ biographies to help the understand godly character, worship at church together as a family.  Also, read and study the Bible yourself and pray daily!

     C.      Discipline Your Children As God’s Word Says

Prov. 22:15  Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him.

Prov. 13:24   He who spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline him.

Prov. 29:15   The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother. (NASB)

Col. 3:20   Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.

Heb. 12:11  No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

Prov. 23:13  Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with the rod, he will not die.

Prov. 19:18   Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death.

Prov. 29:17   Discipline your son, and he will give you peace; he will bring delight to your soul.

Eph. 6:1, 4   Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.  Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Along with the “rod” (some kind of negative discipline, will be different for different kids or parents, but is NEVER abusive), they need the “reproof”:  Use God’s Word to teach them why what they are doing is wrong.  Help them to examine their own hearts to discover their motives.  And have them practice doing it the right way.

Ginger Plowman’s resources (such as “Wise Words for Moms”) are wonderful!

     D.     Don’t Provoke Your Children to Anger

Eph. 6:4   Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Col. 3:21   Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

A great resource for this topic is Lou Priolo’s book The Heart of Anger.  Here are 25 different ways that parents can provoke their children to anger (see the book for further explanations):

Lack of marital harmony

Establishing and maintaining a child-centered home

Modeling sinful anger

Habitually disciplining while angry

Scolding

Being inconsistent with discipline

Having double standards

Being legalistic

Not admitting you’re wrong and not asking for forgiveness

Constantly finding fault

Parents reversing God-given roles

Not listening to your child’s opinion or taking his “side of the story” seriously

Comparing them to others

Not making time “just to talk”

Not praising or encouraging your child

Failing to keep your promises

Chastening in front of others

Not allowing enough freedom

Allowing too much freedom

Mocking your child

Abusing them physically

Ridiculing or name-calling

Unrealistic expectations

Practicing favoritism

Child training with worldly methodologies inconsistent with God’s Word

     E.      Basics

*Have good schedules/ routines for eating and sleeping.  (I like Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Weisbluth, latest version.)

*Very little screen time (includes TV, video, video games, computer).

*Healthy food and eat together as a family

*Read aloud a lot!

*Protect them—be careful whom you leave them with.

*Provide lots of free imaginative play and outdoor play. (A great book is Susan Shaeffer MacCauley’s book For the Children’s Sake.)

 V.   Be a Worker at Home

Titus 2:4-5  Then they can train the younger women . . .to be busy at home (NIV), homemakers (NKJV), working at home (ESV), keepers at home (KJV), workers at home (NASB), keep a good house (Message), work in their homes (NLT).

     A.     We Must Become Content in This Role

1 Tim. 6:6-8   But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.  But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

Phil. 4:11   I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.

Heb. 13:5  Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said,  “Never will I leave you;  never will I forsake you.”

A great book to read on this subject is Passionate Housewives, Desperate for God by Chancy and MacDonald.  A quote from p. 47:

“Christian women must reject any distorted view of the modern housewife—whether it be the miserable household drudge; the fanatical, sock-matching wonder-woman; the child-centered, worn out soccer mom; or the deceptive, apron-wearing vixen.  When we consistently renew our minds by absorbing Scripture and by passionately embracing the sacred calling God has truly given us as women, we will refute the perverted image of the desperate housewife by believing His promises and showing the world there is something better for which we can truly be passionate!”

     B.      Meals

Plan ahead, make extra and freeze, use crock-pot (can put the stuff in the night before), plan out monthly or seasonal menus (“think once and write it down”—Kym Wright), have a pre-printed grocery list, e-mealz.com, have a stocked pantry and fridge/freezer, organize a recipe binder or notebook of recipes you use (not hope to use).

     C.     Organizing

Simplify—throw or give away what you aren’t using.

Mail—try to touch each piece only once, have folders labeled to file away (e.g. Coupons, Read Later, File Later, Husband, Bills to Pay, Need to Answer, Fliers and Coupons that Expire This Week), have shredder/trash/recycle box nearby.

Bills—do as many automatic and/or online as possible, have certain days each month that you pay the others, have a chart of every bill and mark it off as you pay (so you won’t miss any).

Calendar—paper, online, pda.  Just use it!  This one is great: Click here to visit Motivated Moms.

OrganizingPro.com—free articles and downloads

     D.     Cleaning

Schedule it—choose one: once a week, one day upstairs and another day downstairs, a different room every day.  Use this wonderful calendar, which has the schedule all figured out for you:   Click here to visit Motivated Moms.

Learn how to clean—FlyLady.comTheCleanTeam.com

Use safe cleaners—Like Shaklee, so your kids can hang around you or do it themselves.  Search internet for recipes to make your own.

Teach kids—to clean as soon as they are able

Get help—be creative (share with a friend, make some money so you can afford a maid, etc.)

      E.     Home Business

Make sure God, husband, and children come first.

Research well before investing.

Get your husband’s advice and approval.

     F.     Learning New Skills

HomemakersMentor.com

Homestead Blessings DVDs, by the West Ladies.  I love these DVDs!

Set goals (e.g. learn one major skill every year, such as sewing or quilting, canning or baking your own bread, gardening, etc.).

Get with other women to learn; find a mentor.

     G.     Practicing Hospitality

1 Pet. 4:9  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Rom. 12:13   Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.

It’s ok to start small and simply.  Set a goal, such as inviting one single person or a family every two months.

Get the house ready, plan the meal, and just do it!

Good book—Karen Ehman’s A Life that Says Welcome:  Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others.

     H.     Saving Money

Amy Dacyczyn’s Tightwad Gazette and Jonni McCoy Miserly Moms.

Freecycle.org (give away or get things for free)

Local Library (DVD’s are free!)

HillbillyHousewife.com

Internet has tons of free stuff

Food co-ops

Coupons—find a system to organize them.

Bulk stores like Sam’s and Costco, discount stores like Garden Fresh and Aldi

     I.     Don’t “leave home” by phone, email, Facebook, blogging, etc.

Schedule it in your day; set limits.

**To purchase any of the books listed above, check Barnes and Noble (BarnesandNoble.com Logo - 88 x 31 )     You might find it used or on sale!

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Model of the Heart

We were  studying human anatomy and physiology in our homeschool co-op this year.  Each time we went, the kids were supposed to bring a paper model of part of the body.  On this particular day,  the model was of the heart.   As we were driving there, my oldest daughter said,

“Mom, do you have our hearts?”

It made me think.  Do I?  What more can I do daily to make sure that I have their hearts?

Shepherding a Child’s Heart

This past summer my homeschooling mom’s group met once a week to discuss Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp.  What a great book!  I’ve heard it recommended for years but had sadly never read it.  I am being much more focused on my children’s hearts now.

Here is some of what I learned:
(Many of these are quotes by Tripp)

You must not be embarrassed to be authorities for your children.  You may not direct your children for your own agenda or convenience.  Children generally do not resist authority that is truly kind and selfless.

What is shepherding?  guiding, helping your child understand himself and the world in which he lives, helping the child understand the “why” of his actions, helping him learn discernment and wisdom.

Proverbs 13:20  “He who walks with the wise becomes wise.”

The goal of parenting can’t simply be well-behaved children.  If it is, we’re open to hundreds of temptations to expediency.

What is the goal, then?  The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever!  From their earliest days they should be taught that they are creatures made in the image of God and made for Him.

Proverbs 4:23  “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life.”  Evils in action and speech come from within–from the heart.
The basic issue is always what is going on in the heart.

Determination is the incorrect belief that if we parent correctly our children will turn out perfectly.  Actually, children are active responders and we can’t control their response.

How can I design winsome and attractive ways of challenging the idolatry I see within my child?

Never have any anger in disciplining the child.  They may behave better, but they are learning the idolatry of the “fear of man.”

Help the child to understand and believe Proverbs 15:32  “He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”

Don’t use behavior modification or reward kids for fulfilling normal responsibilities.  We don’t want their hearts to be trained toward greed and selfish interests or toward working for rewards.

Seek to listen and understand your children.  Help them learn to articulate their thoughts and feelings.  Proverbs says “The purposes of a man’s heart are deep waters, but  a man of understanding draws them out.”  Skills I need to develop myself:  learn to help my child express himself, learn to facilitate discussion, know how to get under behavior and words, strive to discern matters of the heart.”  Don’t ask, “Why did you. . . ?”  Instead ask, “What were you feeling when you did that?”,  “What did he or she do to make you mad?”,  “Help me understand . . .” , “What are some other ways you could’ve responded?”  Ask “What . . , How. . ., etc.” instead of “Why. . . .”

There are many types of communication which are necessary for a parent.  In addition to rules, correction, and discipline, we should use encouragement, rebuke, entreaty, instruction, warning, teaching, admonition, showing the benefits, and obedience.

When the child is in the mood to talk, drop everything and listen!  If my child trusts me, he’ll want to stay in a relationship with me.  Honest, thorough, and truly biblical communication is expensive.  My children need to be known and understood.  But the benefits far exceed the cost.

Authority diminishes, but influence should increase as the child gets older.

The child needs to learn that he is an individual under authority.  If he obeys he is in the “circle of safety.”  Things will go well with him, according to Scripture.  Obedience is without challenge, without excuse, and without delay.  If I accept any response to my request/ command other than doing it without challenge, excuse, or delay, I have trained my children to disobey.

Children should be taught how to appeal the request/ command of the parent.
1.  They must begin to obey immediately.
2.  They must be prepared to obey either way.
3.  They must appeal in a respectful manner.
4.  They must accept the result of the appeal with a gracious spirit.

The parent can change his mind in the context of respectful appeal, but not in presence of blatant rebellion.

For ages 5-12, the focus should be on character development, such as dependability, honesty, kindness, consideration, helpfulness, diligence, loyalty, humility, self-control, moral purity, etc.

For teenagers, the focus should be on teaching them to fear the Lord, teaching them to listen to parental instruction, teaching them to disassociate from the wicked.  Make your home an attractive place to be and where there are solid relationships, and teenagers are far less likely to “run” from it!

I have now started reading “Don’t Make Me Count to Three” by Ginger Plowman.  It’s a great follow-up with very practical applications.