I recently read Michelle and Jim Bob Duggar’s book, “Twenty and Counting.” There is a lot to be learned from this amazing family of 19 children. Their commitment to their principles is something to admire. They have been blessed in so many ways, by keeping their eyes on God and not wavering.
Now I don’t think having 19 children is in my future, but I have learned from this book some great ideas for managing a large family as well as discipline techniques. They focus on raising truly godly children. One way of doing this is to focus on Biblical character traits. They focus on one trait at a time for about 6 weeks or so. I decided to start doing this with our kids. Today we started with Obedience. We used the verse from 2 Corinthians 10:5 that talks about taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ. We talked about obedience and why it is important. We played a few fun games demonstrating obedience. For the next month or so, we plan to talk about this trait each day, as well as reminding them whenever the needs arises, why obedience is important.
Another great tip I learned from this book was a Family “Bank.” Now we already have implemented a money system where the kids get a small allowance each week, which part of it must go to savings, part to spending, and part to church or give away. (they each put their own money in the collection plate at church as well as bringing their own dues to AWANA each week. This has worked well except that I rarely have alot of cash on hand, and I always end up “owing” the kids money. Then we have to make sure everyone manages their money and doesn’t lose it (i.e. pants pockets, purses, etc.) Well with this family bank, we are going to start a notebook that lists each child’s family bank “account.” When they earn money we will add to their balance, and when they want to spend we will subtract from their balance. This is a GREAT way to teach budgeting and banking as well. The kids were excited about it, and later today when Daddy comes home, we will set it up.
Lastly, since today was Martin Luther King Jr. day we talked about who he was, and watched his famous “I Have a Dream” speech on YouTube. (I never cease to get teary-eyed at that speech. ) We have always talked about Civil Rights on this day, but this year the kids especially took to heart harshness of the Jim Crowe laws. We have a dear friend Elias who is a beautfiul baby boy who was adopted by our dear friends this year. He is from Ethiopia. We adore him so much and love him. When the kids made the connection that in the sixties Elias would have not been able to enjoy the same rights as them, they really were sad. Elias is a beautiful baby full of life and love. He is so dear to us and they could not imagine him being treated differently because of his skin color. It was a really good conversation. We then sang “Jesus Loves the Little Children” and made a craft. We took various strips of paper of different colors (red, brown, black, white) and wrote on the slips things we could do to be kind to everyone. Then we made a paper chain out of them and hung them up on our prayer board in the kitchen. It was a really good lesson.
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