After my Peek a Day In a Life (DIAL) post, I had many people commenting on how I do SO Many things with the kids especially in the mornings. Seriously, I was overwhelmed by the affirmation given. I appreciate the sincere responses, but also felt the need to share more and give others a better understanding on how the routine has evolved till today.
Just this morning my routine was bumped by J refusing to co-operate due to the looooong and precious weekend we just had. : )
He staggered his time to shower, played instead of starting his music. The last straw? He accidentally side kicked E’s face while he did a somersault jump to get out of the sofa triggering a siren from E. Before you think ‘it’s just being boys…’ The incidents of such ‘accidents’ caused by J to the stress of the family is pretty high. My hubby wisely reasoned that just because he was careless doesn’t negate the hurt and distress he brings to others. He had to learn self control and learn to be extra careful.
Breathing in, I shot an arrow prayer for help to deal patiently with him. As usual, he had to practise the proper way of doing things 30 times (the number of times depends on the misbehaviour). He complied for a few minutes and became moody, refusing to do. I was multi-tasking, jotting down his piano instructions while eye-ing him. I put everything down. Inwardly I was struggling- ‘There he goes again, hey, where’s your patience? ok, no choice, I’ve got to sit next to him and go through again.’
Then I went to his side sat on a chair to his level and locked my eyes into his and spoke crisply, “I will forego all the lessons-music, reading, everything to spend time helping you practice the proper way of getting down the sofa. God sees our hearts and is interested in our attitudes, not just in how much we know, or how well you can play your music only. I will wait until you change your attitude and be willing to help yourself.”( You must understand that this boy knocks into things and people many times a day due to his ‘carelessness’ and because he is a tough cookie, people get hurt and things get spoilt… he has improved tremendously the recent years though!)
With that, he knew he’s in for a long haul if he contests with me. He started breaking down and requested to pray for Jesus to help him. After prayer, I assured him that there’s no need to cry as we’re doing this to help him improve not punish him. He perked up and began reciting, “There are people beside me, I must be more careful.” Then he carefully climbed down the fat sofa and did his counts ‘One’. This repeated for another 15mins until he completed the 30 rounds. By now, he is back to his cheerful self because he realises the practice is to help him become more aware of his own actions and not just a ‘punishment’ per say. He then flung his arms around me for a big hug, bobbed up and down to E and made his apology sincerely.
I thank God for this stage of growth! This episode had been the result of years of renewing our minds and hearts. This brings me back to how my fruitful routine materialised.
I believe it has got to do with a lot of factors. Like the above instance, being flexible and catching teachable moments like this to spend time working on the inward attitudes of the heart proved far more valuable than going through the motions for its own sake. Along the years, I realised nipping poor attitudes in the bud and replacing with good ones help them grow in their habits and character development. This in turn results in a smoother routine in carrying out any forms of activities.
Other important contributing factors are as follows-
1) Our Early Sleep and Wake Routine.
My hubby and I had decided that our babies will sleep in another room from birth. Only number 2 co-slept with an adult due to space constraints until we moved house. We train them from young to sleep before 8.30pm. Now, it’s become a habit that their body automatically beckons them to bed.
Having 10 to 12 hours of sleep were the top priority for a refresh mind. Since they sleep early, they awake early at 6plus AM. However, we train them to lie in bed till dawn 7am. Then they’re allowed to get up and silent read in their rooms. Click here if you want to know more about the reading process. They can read for a good half to one hour in the past before A entered P1.
I did an entire post on how I survived as a Stay At Home Mum. Looking back, my routine this year in fact has become easier because I have a whole morning with only 2 kids instead of 3. I just thank God it does get easier with the years of training. : )
2) Hubby’s Strong Support
Another factor would be my hubby’s strong support in our home educating journey. Having his love and going in the same direction in our values and firm belief in the same faith smoothened all the rough patches in my parenting.
3) Good Help
I have a teachable and reliable domestic helper . (She’s our third one, after having 2 unsuitable ones) Therefore I can channel my energy and focus on my kids’ learning.
4) Relationship in Christ Jesus
Last and the most important of all, we depend on our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ for a vibrant growth in our family life. It is in our relationship with the Lord that all these are possible in His time.
I am very encouraged by the responses from my DIAL post but am also very humbled as this current routine doesn’t come easy. It comes with years of labour and God’s grace. I am reminded of this verse-
Galatians 6:9 New International Version (NIV)
9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Of course parenthood is an ongoing journey and we’re glad to continue sharing this journey with you. : ) Thank You for growing with us!
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