Another week! You can do it!
Day 15. (Monday) You know how when you work on these things, you tend to do it by oldest to youngest or youngest to oldest? Well, this time we’re going alphabetically. Start with the child closest to “A” . What talents does he seem to have? What are her strengths? Are there interests that he has that you’ve put off developing? Think through everything about that child that you can. Write them all down. Any ideas that come to mind, write those down too.
Day 16. (Tuesday) Ok, today, look at yesterday’s lists. Child A. You’re going to do two main things today. First, you’re going to ensure you catch every occurrence of whatever “sin” is his particular problem today. If he whines, you’re not going to miss a single solitary instance. (Well, you will but you’re going to work like you won’t). If he’s a thief, you’re going to make sure he gets plenty of opportunity to steal and you’re going to catch every single one of them OR you’re going to make sure he doesn’t get any chances to fall. He can’t steal anything no matter how hard he tries. Whichever way you want to make your focus, you’re going to do it.
Conversely, you’re going to catch him doing three things right. Make sure you get at least three things that he did right. If that means that you say, “I’ve noticed that every day you get up on time,” then so be it. Catch. Doing. Right.
Day 17. (Wednesday) Don’t give up on Child A’s main weakness. Keep a close watch out for it. But today, you’re going to focus on his strength. Give him something TO do that will make him a success rather than always drilling in what NOT to do. If he has a strong sense of justice and you’re usually harping on him to quit tattling, quit trying to control the sins of others etc, then find a way to channel that in a good way. Show him how God has made him is GOOD and it’s just how he’s using it that is wrong. Let him pour out that sense of justice in a cause that can truly benefit something and isn’t self-righteous. Have him write letters to congressmen on behalf of the unborn. Have him write notes of encouragement to soldiers. Have him be a referee for outdoor games with the rest of your children… whatever you can come up with that utilizes your child’s strength in a positive way. Find a way to do it, and help him see how a good thing (justice, decisiveness, tenacity, etc) can, when used selfishly or improperly, be a bad thing (glorying in other’s disgrace, impetuousness, stubbornness etc).
Day 18. (Thursday) Keep focusing on this child. Don’t forget to smile. Keep writing down observations. Don’t ignore your other children but take special note of this kid in BOTH ways. Both negatively and positively, focus on child “A”. Meanwhile, what can you do to help make you feel refreshed in your parenting journey? Would a new book help? An hour of time alone with the Lord? An investment of time in your relationship with your children? Some kind of project or new toy/game etc that would enliven you? Maybe a new schedule? Maybe a mini schedule for part of the day even though most is unscheduled? Think about it and post what might help unless it is definitely private. Let’s see how we can help each other achieve a refreshing!
Day 19. (Friday) Keep focusing on this child. Don’t forget to smile. Keep writing down observations. Don’t ignore your other children but take special note of this kid in BOTH ways. Both negatively and positively, focus on child “A”.
Day 20. (Saturday) Watch how hubby interacts with this child. Is there something he does that you should emulate? Is there something he does you should make sure you balance or avoid? Have you ever written down goals for this child? Not “Johnny will be a theologian whose career as a neurosurgeon provides him with a mission field where he’ll convert patients left and right. He’ll also be a concert musician who spends his vacations on tour.” I’m talking about things like, “Johnny will learn to channel his energy to appropriate outlets in order to learn self-discipline. I will provide him with physical outlets in the form of…” Write down one goal.
Day 21. (Sunday) Day of rest. Don’t do more than maintenance. Keep up your countenance. Avoid allowing the stress of getting ready for church to get under your nails. As you help a child dress, pray for them. “Lord please help us prepare the feet in these shoes with the gospel of Peace so that he may bring others to you.”