“Whenever you have organization in your mind, life just gets easier automatically. I love that idea in parenting because it is so complex and it is so exhausting—it can get crazy sometimes,” said Loyla. “If you don’t understand the changes in motherhood, you are going to sabotage the season you’re in by trying to carry into a new season something that only worked in the last one.”
“We know study after study shows us that having meaningful, open conversations about race is what leads to children who are most able to navigate a multiracial world without the prejudice or bias,” Elizabeth said. “Each human is made in the image of God and God is so big and so amazing that you couldn’t just have one picture of him with one kind of person.”
Have you ever thought about parenting as seasonal? At times, you may feel you’re making little progress in raising your kids, so it can help if you think of child-rearing as fitting into four distinct seasons.
“The top eight allergens are wheat, dairy, egg, soy, peanut, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish, and here in the United States, that also includes coconut under tree nuts,” Kathlena says. “Including people with food allergies can be overwhelming sometimes and yet at the same time, it is one of the most amazing gifts you can ever give a food allergy family.”
“I look back and I realize that God and so many people helped us and carried us and were of service to us. If we had not gone through those challenges, I wouldn’t have had those people stepping up and showing how much they cared for us and cared about us,” David says. “I think a lot of people, especially those who don’t have faith look at our story and think that it’s totally backwards. How can you have faith after all that you have gone through?”
“One thing that I think that can really help you to stay sane is to just let our kids be kids. I think that it’s so important for us to remember that their kids,” Lettice says., “We shouldn’t allow them to be disruptive or disrespectful, and they should know there’s a time and place to be silly and crazy. But life is meant to be enjoyed, not to just be lived, and childhood is a really special part of life and it should be a carefree time of life.”
“Volunteering is a wonderful way to begin to introduce kids to this idea that there is something bigger than themselves, there is something more than their family, their immediate community, their friends, their school, and that they are part of something larger,” Alexandra says. “I have found that it also led to some really great conversations about big topics with my kids. … We want our children to understand that we live in an interconnected world, and how even small steps, like taking two hours on a Saturday morning to pack meals, can make a significant and positive impact on their larger community.”
“You’ve got to know what you’re going to do to know what you need to pack and what you need to bring, and how you need to pack it,” says Melanie. “I know that sounds so silly, but you can make your stay wherever you are headed so much more convenient and organized if you just plan ahead.”
“Whenever possible, I would strongly encourage families to watch together,” Melissa says. “I think too that it’s easy for us to err on the side of thinking our kids are more mature emotionally than they are or better able to handle or cope with what they see. And remember that no system is 100% foolproof, and nothing takes the place of just being there and being able to help your child work through what they are seeing onscreen.”
Overall, remember that chores aren’t only about getting things cleaned or accomplished—it’s about learning tasks, contributing to the family, and working together for everyone’s good. When we keep the bigger picture in mind, we will have more success in having our kids do chores.