Thursday, April 06, 2006

Secret of My Success (Night Ranger)

Please tell me if I’m wrong, but the more I dig into information about Gen X Parents, the more I discover that there are people our there JUST LIKE ME! No seriously . . . for so long I thought I was the only one who wanted my family to sit around the dinner table every night. The only mom who stressed about having a fun, yet spiritually uplifting, bedtime routine.

In a recent article titled: “Gen X sheds slacker image” this comment is made:

"[Gen X Parents are] willing to do what it takes to have family stability, because they didn't get it when they were young," says Ann Fishman, president of Generational Targeted Marketing. "So this is something new, the importance placed on raising your children." (You can read the whole article here.)

Ever since my children were young, I have fallen in love with that word “stability.” Seriously, it’s one of my favorites. I’ve always wanted my kids to be raise with a firm foundation based on the love of God and their parents. How have I done this?

I mentioned two of the ways already: family dinners and a bedtime routine. Even though we live busy lives, our family eats dinner together approximately five times a week. Some days (like today!) I’m really on the ball and after breakfast I get dinner going in the crockpot. Other times, when I haven’t had time to THINK about dinner, I run to the store and grab the fixings for sub sandwiches. It really doesn’t matter how complex the meal is, the best part is having us interact as a family.

Our bedtime routine is just as sacred in our home. On most nights, we gather our kids to pray and read together. The prayer time is simple. Starting with the youngest, each of us takes one or two minutes to pray for our family or any special concerns. Then my husband reads from a “Chapter Book.” (My kids still love this, even the sixteen-year-old.) The number of books we’ve gone through is in the dozens. We’ve read The Chronicles of Narnia, the Lord of the Rings series, Frank Peretti’s Cooper Kids’ Series, and too many more to name. The criteria are that John has to enjoy the books as much as the kids. (He wasn’t about to read any boring “First Readers.” No way.)

Not only do we enjoy the stories, but my kids have benefited by their active imaginations and great scores on Standardized Testing. In fact, all three of them score WAY above their grade level when it comes to reading comprehension. (Which, of course, is important to Gen Xers—providing double benefits for our efforts.)

Other things that I feel helps with family stability include:

--Serving together at church every week.
--Talking about “current events” in relation to Biblical truth (which means great mealtime discussions about things like dating, video games, television shows, etc.)
--Opening our home up to our childrens’ friends.

So what about you? What have you done to build family stability? I’d love to hear about it!

1 Comments:

At Thursday, 06 April, 2006, Blogger ScrapbooksbyKarrilee said...

Hey there...

I can't remember HOW I found your Blog - but I have been reading it for a little while now... and couldn't believe that no one had commented yet?!

OK - maybe today is not the day for me to respond! LOL! My daughter has been enjoying Spring Break this week by spending the night(s) with friends the past two nights... and my husband has worked late this week... Anyway - I am first and foremost a Stay at Home Wife and Mom... then comes my ministry and business priorities... So - this week has found us out of our schedules and routines but in a NORMAL week - we too have those sacred goals of Stability and Routine! Dinner Table and Bed Time - Yes and Amen to both of those! They are a must! Our almost 11 year old insists on not only the bedtime reading and prayer - but the one-on-one time with each parent individually as well! As much as it can interfere with our alone time (and - she thinks - slyly prolongs her awake time) we love this routine! I pray that through these next few years of maturing and changing - that will not fade away!!!

I work from home as a Scrapbook Designer and (sigh - someday) a Writer, so my schedule is flexible around waking her up, getting ready, having breakfast together, and getting her off to school each day! That is precious time! I also get to pick her up and am the designated Carpool Mom... so I get 'all her words' right away - before she has given them to someone else! I treasure this talkative time!!!

It is encouraging to hear that there are more and more of 'us' - who are wanting to give our children that stability and focused attention that maybe we missed growing up ourselves. I am a child of the 70's - which means I was raised with two working parents and a neighborhood pack of kids to run with... good and bad... I can recall often times when there was no way any parents knew where we were or what we were doing?! Of course - I was not raised in a Christian home either and I falsely believed that if I was - that would have solved the problem. It may have helped... but the 70's - well - overall it seems that is just how it was done!? I hate to say it but it seems that the Women's Movement - while it did bring benefits as well - has mostly backfired on us!? The 70's was full of selfish ambitions and 'anything-to-get-ahead' priorities! I can remember being all of 5 or 6 and thinking - "When I grow up - I am going to be a Stay at Home Mom and make cupcakes from scratch!" No Joke! And Praise God - that is what I am able to do! And it brings me so much joy!!!

~Karrilee~

 

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