Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Who is minding the kids?

The purpose of the 7 Daily Nuggets is to teach us what we need to know to live a prosperous life; the things that we may not have learned or are not currently learning in church, school, home or at work. Let’s apply what we learn here and share these nuggets with others. We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give. Be a giver in a world of takers.

Who is raising the children?

We can and must raise our children to be responsible adults by taking responsibility to raise them well. Can government and institutions raise our children? Be careful as you may end up with monsters you have to deal with.

Last month I met a family at a friend’s birthday party. This family caught my attention. Mother and father were very sharp individuals. They have two daughters, one 3 ½ years old and the other 5 ½. The mother works at home to raise the two daughters and the father works for a Fortune 500 company as a food scientist. The mother does some freelance editing work. A thought came that we should learn more about this family.  The mother agreed to be interviewed.

Today’s nuggets are from an interview with a stay home mother Anne Marie Warren. Ann Marie and her husband decided to take full responsibility to raise and educate their two daughters. Time will prove them right.

The following are the nuggets gleaned from the interview:

1.    The right decision. The couple used to live in the Chicago area and the family relocated to a smaller city in West Michigan for dad’s new job and for the parents to raise the children. We decided that it was best for the mother to stay home instead of sending the kids to day care or school all-day care says Ann Marie. If we lived in Chicago I would have to work outside of the home for sure, says Anne Marie. Anne Marie has been home since the children were born. Both parents came from families where one parent stayed at home, so the decision was a logical one. Mom’s nugget “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

2.    Delay gratification. It is a difficult job to raise the children right. Kids have high expectations and are not as considerate as adults are. There is no instant gratification from raising kids. One has to think long term and delay the gratification by knowing that the right thing is being done. Mom’s nugget “I have days when I feel I am not a good mother but I know I cannot leave this job so I am willing to sacrifice for the benefit of the children.”  
3.    The benefits. The children learn life skills by watching the parents. The kids watch me make the beds, do the laundry, prepare meals, etc. They watch me do volunteer administrative work for their preschool and or outside work like picking vegetables or weeding. Anne Marie and her husband are not just growing a garden, they are growing their daughters. By having the kids home I know what they are learning and who they are learning from. I do contribute to the household finances by being home I do cost avoidance in many areas like day care, food, etc. says Anne Marie.  Mom’s nugget “Children learn best from their parents that love them.”

4.    The importance. It is important for the kids to learn how to learn, to work, to pray, to play, and to read with the parents. It is important for parents to let their kids direct their creativity and imagination; let the kids direct their own things so they take ownership of their own education. Mom’s nugget “Parents must be involved and committed to their kids’ education.”

5.    The memories. We take time to create family memories during the week and weekends, says Anne Marie. We have reading time, playing games time, devotion time, creating things time. If it is a nice spring day we go outside and the kids play with chalk; I love watching them play. Mom’s nugget “Kids attach meaning to things and creating memories for them.”

6.    The example. It is hard to get feedback from the kids. My husband is very supportive of the work that I do at home; he helps a lot with the kids on weekends so I can go to the library and have some personal time.  I play close attention to faith, fitness (food and physical activity), family, fun, and finances. We rarely eat out so we can eat healthy and save money. Mom’s nugget “I am very frugal, I am DutchJ.”

7.    The love. Love spells t i m e. Summer is very important for the kids so I love to spend time with them. Kids don’t care how much parents know until they know their parents care about them. During the summer I contribute to their education. Mom’s nugget “by staying home with a child you send them the message that he/she is worth your time. The time you give them is a gift worth more than the money you could be making.”

The gift of time is the best gift we can give to a child.

Thank you Anne Marie for sharing today's nuggets with us. 

Be blessed and be a blessing to others.
Carlos Fontana, President of Phalanx
Co-author of the book Follow to Lead (The 7 Principles to Being a Great Follower)

Author of the book PRICELESS (Sixty-Six Simple Stories of Reflection, Love, and Legacy)

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