Upon decluttering my room, I found my children’s journal exchanges with us and this jar of stars still intact after 7years.
My kids were 6yo, 5yo and 3 yo when we did this Jar of stars. It was a trying period where sibling quarrels and fights were still intense and I was struggling with their constant unrest at home. I shared in Jars of Stars not Scars.
As I turned the pages of my journal exchanges with each child, tears of joy and gratefulness rolled down my cheeks. The events that took place and the replies we receive from each child were so precious to behold!
We also unwrapped our stars and read through the slips of papers together as a family. The children were amused by what took place and we reminisced the past with fondness and relief. I came away gaining the most from this precious experience from a mother’s heart.
There were easily more than 200 over stars deposited for a period of 3 months for this project on Faith, Hope and Love. It was a simple idea. At the end of the day, think of one positive affirmation or absence of usual negative actions to add one star or more to this jar.
I want to lock these examples down here so that 10/20 years down the road, our children can witness how God has been faithful in growing the hearts of our home!
- Observed by Bao: Korkor was more patient and spoke gently to me in Sentosa’s beach play.
- No tantrums or yelling today
- Well behaved at Aunt’s place while waiting for mum to do make up for her
- Played well with siblings and led Bao to explore his school.
- Did not throw tantrums when he was unsuccessful in his pottery attempts (2nd time), and he pressed on finally succeeding the third time.
- Observed by Bao: Korkor did not get angry when he could not find the book he wanted to read.
- Played well with siblings after school and helped clear 12 items for donation
- Showed courage by trying out the playground obstacles despite his fears.
- Exercised self-control and patience when he forgave sibling for ruining his Lego structure
- Put in a lot of effort in painting the army target board for Bao’s birthday party
- For the past 2 weeks, we have seen you grow in self-control increasingly. Daddy and Mummy are proud for you!
- Played well with meimei while waiting for mum and Bao at music class.
- Prayed for everyone on behalf of mummy when she was too exhausted to pray.
- Was very patient with siblings during food preparation for dinner. He spoke gently to them and let Bao share and use the other side of the chopping board
- When you were upset over a stranger, touching your head and you thought she was making fun of you, you still graciously waved goodbye to her eventually. Mummy is proud of your gracious act!
- You willingly waited at a bench for siblings to have fun at the playground despite being very tired.
- Tian observed: Korkor yelled much lesser today at her
- Pressed on and focused on today’s lesson with mum
- Received praise from school on your wonderful behaviour in obeying instructions and behaving very well and calmly in class.
- experienced God’s peace to remain calm even when a friend scolded and hit him, he did not retaliate.
- Did his prayer copy writing independently
- Recovered from his anger much faster while playing with siblings.
- Endured the consequences together with didi patiently and even encouraged didi to obey together
- Paid attention in music class
- You prayed for God to grant you army toys for your birthday cake decoration and Saturday’s good weather for your birthday party. God answered both of them! Jas yee yee bought for you without me knowing! And the storm came just after most of the guests left the party!
- Showed love to mum by picking flowers for her. Thank YOU!
- Papa Observed: Very gentle towards all during sand play at Sentosa
- Danced very well in his concert
- Was more and more gentle towards Tian and frequency of disturbing her has decreased
- Yi Observed: Bao did not disturb him for the whole day.
- Readily shared his kettle with another boy during sand play at Sentosa
- Prayed for korkor to have more self-control
- Obeyed mum by following the consequence given instead of throwing tantrums
- Very helpful and diligent in preparing spaghetti dinner for the family
- focused on God and did well for his bible study
- prayed well with Korkor when Korkor led in prayer
- followed brother to the playground while mum went to a nearby shop.
- had faith in mummy and quietly let me cut her hair.
- Waited patiently in hope for Aining yee yee to bring her to an outing.
- When the time came, she had faith and trust to go out with her alone! Was her first outing with another adult.
- Learning to use her words to express a dislike for something done to her instead of whining or crying
- Paid attention to sunday school teacher
- Offered her marker to Bao when his marker ran out of ink
- Very focused during her chinese lesson with mum
- Bao observed: Played gently at sand play in Sentosa
- Yi observed: Cooperated with him and did not disturb him
- Helped mixing the beef balls for dinner
- Improved in self control- screamed less today
- She played by herself and allowed mum to rest
- Created her sticker art quietly during church wedding
- after much persuasion, she played on her own and kept all her toys
- Showed faith when she trusted Peiwen yee yee to climb the spider web obstacles
The above are just a few different examples of our records. There were too many and many repeated instances to be recorded. The goal was to help all of us see the VISIBLE PROGRESS that we have made as a family. Any absence or decrease in a negative behaviour, we would treat it as a reason to celebrate and praise the child for their effort in increased self-control. As less of throwing tantrums, means the child has improved in ability to recover faster, and manage his/her own emotions better than the last time. This itself, when celebrated and highlighted encouraged them to press on in the improved behaviour.
I also ensured that after each star was deposited, we praise God and thank Him for the slow but sure transformation taking place, and continued reliance on God to help mould us. At the end of the full jar, we went to Swensons to celebrate a full Jar of stars and marked progression of habits developed through this 3 months long daily exercise of giving thanks, looking out for the positive moments in our daily living.
Thereafter, it gave us a fresh perspective of each other. This is a never ending journey of Faith, Hope and Love. At this stage, my heart is filled with thanksgiving unto God. A privilege to witness the amazing and gradual transformation of our children. This helps us to persevere on in not giving up teaching and training them in God’s ways.
Dear parents, let us not grow weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest of righteousness if we do not give up. (Gal 6:9)
Do check out my book on GrowingHearts for more Christian parenting tips and anecdotes.
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