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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What are the Three Most Important Things We Can Do for Our Children?

We all have different answers, and these answers depend on our children and our values.

Our answers may be different than our children's answers, and we need to keep that in mind, too.

What do we value and how much time do we put into answering this important question for our children?

Letting Go of Material Possessions and the Ego... and Holding Onto Our Children.

My husband and I believe that the most important things we can do for our children are:
  • Love
  • Protect
  • Empower


I Hear You, I See You, I Understand, and I Care

The Child's Language of Play

When my oldest daughter was a baby, I attended a filial therapy workshop at George Fox University in Portland, Oregon with Garry Landreth. The purpose of the workshop was to teach counselors how to teach parents to play therapeutically with their children. This can be important after a traumatic event, but truthfully, it's something that needs to be done in the parent-child relationship to have healthy communication, because the child's language is play.

During the workshop, he explained that children need to feel loved. They need to know the following from their parents: I see you, I hear you, I understand, and I care. He explained specific behaviors and sincere words we can use to communicate this to children. He explained how important play is, and that play is the child's language. He explained (in detail), specific play therapy techniques parents can use to help communicate effectively with their children. What I learned at this workshop became the rock on which I began to develop my parenting style. It was at this workshop that I began to specifically focus on what I could do to show my children that they are loved.

One thing I love about Mother Goose Time preschool curriculum is that play is a part of the learning curriculum. One of the themes coming up for the beginning of the next academic year is Feelings and Friendship. It is so important that true friendship starts with the family... Making eye contact, loving, listening, caring and understanding.


When children feel safe they are more likely able to think clearly, are more joyful, and it is more likely that they will be able to reach their fullest potential. As parents, it is our responsibility to protect our children, beginning at conception. Children today face many dangers, and many are fortunate to survive the womb. This is very sad, and it is clearly reflected in the eyes of today's children.

Instead of thinking about how we need to make life more convenient and comfortable for ourselves, as parents, we need to start thinking about growing up and protecting our children.

I'll give you are real-life example in my own life. When I was pregnant with our second child the genetic "counselor" (not really a counselor) told me that our baby was "test positive" for Trisomy-18 from a blood test that was taken. She told us there was a 1 in 5 chance our baby was going to die when she was born, and she assured us that it was a pretty slim chance she would even live to leave the hospital. (She said this in front of our 3-year-old daughter even though we asked her not to. Our daughter was heart-broken.)

The genetic "counselor" was manipulating me into getting an amnio (needle in the belly next to the baby to pull out amniotic fluid). I knew that this amnio had a 1 in 100 to 300 chance of killing our baby, who had at that age developed the ability to feel and react to pain. Even though the doctor and genetic "counselor" kept manipulating me and harassing me about it, I refused to endanger our baby's life to see if the blood screen was correct. So, I had to protect our baby for several months from this unnecessary risk.

Fortunately, the genetic "counselor" either lied or she was mistaken and our daughter was born 100% healthy. I did not know that she was going to be born healthy until the last month, after I changed  providers. I could have felt sorry for myself and caved in and endangered our baby's life to see if she had Trisomy-18 ahead of time, but I realized that I was an adult and she was a baby. She needed me to protect her because doing so would have endangered her life. This is an example of being scared, but fighting to protect our children, regardless of how perfect or imperfect the world may think our children are. After all, we aren't perfect either. And the fact is, they will likely be born more "perfect" (if you even think you are perfect ;) yeah, right) than we are.

After our children are born, we need to protect their minds and their hearts. Too many people seem to think television is appropriate for children. More people need to learn to protect their children by turning the television off. No, this does not make them na├»ve. It helps our children not get brainwashed and learn to have a mind of their own in real-life, not fake television. Our children are also being exposed to inappropriate toys (like the horrible Monster High dolls). It's important not to let our children think that these types of toys are normal or okay to play with, even if the store tries to put them at eye-level. We intentionally avoid retailers that sell these types of toys.

Spending time with our children is also important. Leaving children with people they don't even know is a serious problem in our culture that is becoming commonplace. This is made worse when families split in divorce and children loose the protection of having a father.


When I was in college a professor I had mentioned the different levels of power:
  • Physical
  • Mental
  • Psychological
  • Spiritual
Being healthy ourselves in all of these areas simultaneously is a challenge. I feel like I never am. Do you?

Then, teaching children how to use each level of power is also challenging. Honestly, the best example we can give them is how we live our lives. Yes, they will see our flaws and our strengths, and they will likely learn from it. It's amazing how we can teach our children to use these levels of power by understanding their gifts and talents. Empowerment in these areas could be a book, and I'm sure there must be one out there. The highest level of power is spiritual, and this is the level that many people overlook. Prayer and the Holy Spirit are powerful forces children can learn to use at an early age.

So, why do I keep showing Mother Teresa quotes. Well, I'm not the best example, but I know she is.

I'm wondering how my answer to this will change over the years, as our children get older. I do know enough to know that I don't know it all. I'd love to hear what you think.

What are the three most important things you do for your children?

(Please feel free to share in the comments.)

Friday, July 17, 2015

Mother Goose Time - Follow the Light, Experience God

The Lamp of the Body
"No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are healthy, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are unhealthy, your body also is full of darkness. See to it then, that the light within you is not darkness. Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be just as full of light as when a lamp shines its light on you."  
Luke 11:33-36
Teaching children this truth in Luke truly means living it ourselves. No, it does not mean that we are perfect. It means that "This is the love for God: to obey His commands. 1 John 5:3." When we give up our power to the Holy Spirit, we are more able to live with this light. Reach for God, do not look at what is not from God. Look at God's light. (The Follow the Light activity below illustrates this clearly to children.) After all, we all know that what we do is the truth of our spirit, and whether we choose to let light shine into our hearts is revealed in our daily interactions and seen in our eyes.

Children know the truth in our eyes, and so does God.

How do we look at our children?
How do we talk with our children?
How do we reveal ourselves to the world on a daily basis?
How can we have this light spoken of in Luke?

This light is faith in Jesus and the Holy Spirit shining God's love into the world through our eyes.


It is a Choice We Can Teach Our Children...

Mother Goose Time shared this fun activity, Follow the Light, as part of their Experience God Add On.


Singing Praise

A few months ago our 7-year-old daughter was in the grocery store and she was singing. She was singing with a power from the Holy Spirit. I could see people in the store amazed at her voice, and reacting in a very positive way. Many were smiling and some were coming from other isles to see this little light shining so brightly as she sang in joy...

"God sent His son, not to judge the world, but to save the world."

(Powerful words coming from a little girl, indeed.)
A Muslim woman in the store heard her singing and made a point to comment that she must have practiced for hours to sing that way.
What she did not know is that she did not. Her gift is from the Holy Spirit. She has had an amazing voice since she was only 3-years-old.
Her voice singing praises to God was designed for her to shine God's love and light into the hearts of those who will listen.

Singing Songs of Praise, Paying Attention and Listening

What gifts has the Holy Spirit given to your children?
What gifts has the Holy Spirit given you?

We must listen to the Holy Spirit's light within our children and let it shine into the world to bring peace, love and joy.


This Little Light of Mine Song

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!
This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
(Hold up your finger pretending it is a“little light”.)

Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine!
Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine!
Hide it under a bushel? No! I’m gonna let it shine,
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine!
(Put one hand over your “light” when you sing ‘under a bushel’ and remove quickly when you sing, “no!”.)

The Word of God

"I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God. And everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." Luke 12:8-10

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mother Goose Time - Experience God, My Father's House and Heaven Bracelet Craft

Here is a fun Mother Goose Time Experience God heaven bracelet craft you can create at home or at school with your children.

This craft is part of the Experience God add on from Mother Goose Time.

First, we read the Bible Story - My Father's House
Based upon Luke 2:41-52 and John 13:31-14:1-7.

Mother Goose Time provides colorful posters with the text to read on the back, which is based on the above Bible verse.

Heaven Bracelet Craft

My daughters loved creating heaven bracelets. In the Bible there are details about heaven...

I began by asking: What might you see if you were in heaven? (Listen to their answers.)

  • Heaven is surrounded by gates, each made with one pearl. (Each child held a pearl in her hands.)
  • The roads of heaven are made of gold. (Each child is given a gold pipe cleaner.)
  • As the children put white pearls onto the gold pipe cleaners you can sing together, Jesus is the Way. Mother Goose Time provides this song on a CD.
We talked about how a cross is like the key that opens heaven's gates. Christians who believe in him, repent and keep Him in their hearts will get into heaven. God, knows what we think about, and he knows what is in our hearts.

  • White beads
  • Gold pipe cleaners
Pray together: "Father God, thank you for being King of heaven and earth. Help me live on earth for you, so that I can live in heaven with you, too. In Jesus' name, Amen."

More Free Lesson Plans and Printables at Carol Brooke Books.

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