Don't you love knowing that when you are playing with play-dough or throwing snowballs you aren't just "wasting time" but you are answering your child's need to belong? When they start pestering you to pay attention to them, that's really their heart speaking.
But there's another Question on their hearts that they need an answer for. It is:
"Am I significant?"
Some of us are still asking that question. It means "Do I matter? What is my place in the world? Do I have value?" The question of significance goes way down deep in our souls.
Your home life is the best place to start answering that question. You can do that for your children by providing opportunities to learn important life skills and character development.
That's a fancy way of saying give them responsibilities and help them gain self-esteem.
OH YEAH! Chores! Responsibilities! Feeling good!
Trying to break this "Nature Call" down into one Small Thing is like trying to eat an elephant in one sitting. So while you think about this concept as a whole, let's just take one little bite of it for today.
Character development and self-esteem come from learning to contribute to your family's operation. In other words, it's not good for Junior to sit on his rear in front of the TV while you slave away with all the household responsibilities.
Giving children manageable and age-appropriate chores helps them realize their significance to your family, and eventually to the bigger world.
Your Small Thing today is NOT to create an Excel spreadsheet with a complicated chore chart for your kids. We'll do that some other time. Today, I want you to think of ONE THING that your child could begin to master, and then imagine how you might help him work toward it. This could be a chore, but it could also be a life skill, like tying shoes or riding a bike or loading a wash machine.
How can you encourage him to learn this skill? Make it as do-able and pleasurable as possible.
Finding Significance in life is a gift. It happens when you have someone patiently encouraging you again and again to keep trying, keep working, keep putting effort into it. As a parent, it is one of the most exasperating and frustrating experiences. But it is also one of the most exhilarating.
Because when you're helping your child answer one of his Nature Calls, you're also answering your own.
POINTS: 30 for identifying a skill/chore to master (perhaps consult with your child on this)
BONUS: 10 for finding a way to encourage it (verbal praise, chart, reward, etc.)
40 points max, even if you have a boatload (or is it "buttload??") of kids....
If your children aren't old enough for "life skills" (i.e. still working on that first tooth) or if they are grown, encourage someone you know who is significant in your life by telling them how they've impacted you. And hey, take 30 points for sharing some Home Sanctuary Love!
Tell us about it! I LOVE reading what you girls are doing!!!