Tag Archive | children

Helicopter or Free Range Parenting?

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Courtesy of SHRM.org

Are you a helicopter parent, a free range parent or somewhere in between?

This week, our daughter  Alicia,  turned 14 and is now a Freshman in high school. The challenge for me is knowing how much to hold on and when to let go.

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What age can she wear make-up, date, attend sleepovers, etc.? We as parents have to make tough choices.

My experience has been to allow activities with clear boundaries and watch to see how your child handles the additional freedom. If they are acting responsibly,  then enjoy their growth. If they are not acting responsibly, then alter the activity to fit their maturity.

It’s bittersweet watching our kids grow.  I am so proud of their accomplishments.  However,  it reminds me they are one step closer to adulthood.

How about you? How do you handle parenting with the bigger issues in life? I’d love for our parenting community to share what worked and what didn’t work. 

Blessings  Rebecca

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Youth Group

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Where do your kids go that is safe and positive?

One place our children go is youth group. On Sundays, our son enjoys hanging out with his friends at our home church Twin Lakes. Their high school program includes a positive message, worship and games such as dodge ball.

On Monday nights, Young Life offers teenagers a fun hang out complete with food, games and encouraging message.

On Wednesday evening,  Vintage Faith hosts a youth group where they hold small group discussions and play games.

This past February, Austin attended a winter getaway to Hume Lake where multiple youth group joined together for a weekend of camp. I am sure it is the first of many to come.

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I am grateful for our community leaders who dedicate their time and resources to mentor our kids. I appreciate them investing in our future.

Blessings,  Rebecca

Benched

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Have you ever broken a bone? Well, my husband and I have not. Thank the Lord! Upon our son’s return from youth winter camp, he complained of a sore right foot. When I looked at it, it was red and swollen.

We took Austin to the doctor and the x-ray showed it is fractured. Ugh! This on the heal of making the high school JV volleyball team (shown above). The podiatrist issued him a boot and crutches (see below) to be worn for 4-6 weeks. All this happened on the first game of the season. I am proud of him that he chose to still support his teammates by watching on the sideline.

20180303_194127.jpgAs a mom, it is extremely difficult to watch your child be “benched” for a period of time. The comfort I have is knowing Austin is in God’s hands and our family/friends are praying for him. Also, I lean on God’s word such as Isaiah 53:5.

But He was pierced for our transgressions,

He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was on Him,

and by His wounds we are healed.

Have you had to watch your child(ren) suffer and/or go through a healing process? Feel free to share with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

Mass Shootings

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As a mother of two children, my heart has been heavy with the news of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. My thoughts and prayers are with all involved: the victims, their families, the lost shooter/his family and first responders. It is a lose-lose situation for everyone and I can’t even imagine the multiplied sorrow caused by this horrific crime.

Just last week, I received notification from my children’s Principals that our tri-campus had a lock down due to one of the students placed a picture of a gun in a car trunk on social media. When the Sherriff questioned the student, he said it was a joke. That’s not funny! I thank the Lord that my son and daughter returned home safely that day.

As a result of this latest incident, I’ve seen a lot of media surrounding gun control. In fact, there is talk of a march to Washington DC on March 24, 2018. I’ve been listening to both sides and it is a much debated topic. On the one hand, folks would like to see tougher gun control to keep guns out of people’s hands. On the other hand, citizens are fighting for our constitutional right to bear arms. One remark I saw on Facebook I pondered is “Guns have been in American homes for 200+ years and mass shooting have only been the past 30 years.” My fear is if there are strict gun control laws in the US, only criminals who don’t follow the rules will get illegal guns and law-abiding citizens will not be able to fight back on equal ground.

All this to say, I believe we need to find better ways to protect our precious children and other innocent bystanders. When it’s difficult for me to comprehend such evil, I lean on Jesus’ word in John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.

In this world you will have trouble. But, take heart! I have overcome the world.”

What are your thoughts on this topic? I’d love to hear your perspective.

Blessings, Rebecca

 

Planning Parenthood

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This week I struggled with writer’s block. So, I spontaneously asked my daughter, “Alicia, what should Mom blog about? She suggested that I write about planning to be a parent.

Are you in a season of planning parenthood? I tell you the truth. I discovered planning my family was more challenging than first thought.

Conception–  at age 35 I married Randy and I “planned” to have a honeymoon baby. Well, one month went by; no baby. Another month went by; no baby. When I spoke to friends, they informed me it could take up to a year to conceive. What? I surrendered it to the Lord and we conceived the next month. We welcomed our son Austin the following July.

Healthy pregnancy – at 36 I “planned” to have our second child. We conceived and unfortunately we lost our fetus at five weeks. Again, I surrendered our second child to God. We conceived again. Yet, during my first trimester, my OBGYN discovered cancer. You can read more about it at My Miracle. Praise God we welcomed our daughter Alicia the following September.

Give birth to a healthy baby – I “planned” to have healthy babies. Because I was over the age of 35, the doctors tested for potential genetic issues such as Spina Bifida,  Downs Syndrome, etc. I’ll be honest, these tests spurred a sense of fear in me. But I know fear doesn’t come from God. It is a tactic of the enemy. Again, I gave it to Him and thankfully we have two healthy children.

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Recover quickly – I “planned” to quickly recover from delivering my babies. It turns out, it took longer than expected to recover from my second delivery. I experienced more abdominal pain after my C – Section and I was exhausted raising a toddler and newborn.

Raise your child(ren) into adulthood – I remember thinking how fun it would be to have a baby…Their cute little toes and hand, smell so good, outfits are adorable, chubby cheeks, etc. BUT, I realized I was a Mom the first time I stayed up late one night nursing my sick infant back to health. It was difficult trying to sooth him while he struggles with fever, vomit and diarrhea at 2:00am. Walking my kids through life’s ups and down is challenging and yet so rewarding. I wouldn’t trade it for anthying.

In sum, we make plans, but they don’t always come to fruition. However, we can believe that God works all things out for good.

And we know that in all things God works for

the good of those who love him, who have been called

according to his purpose. – Romans 8:28

 

Feel free to share your parenting planning with us.

Blessings, Rebecca

Community Hours

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When I was a child, we volunteered to serve our community in different ways such as picking up trash in the neighborhood. At my kids’ schools, they now call it community hours.

My thirteen-year-old daughter, Alicia, is taking a leadership class in 8th grade. One of her requirements is to perform a certain number of community hours for class credit.

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At church last Sunday, they announced an opportunity to assist with a pajama program designed to support children going through transition. Alicia said, “I want to help.”

So, on the following Saturday, we joined approximately 40 other volunteers fold, pack and sort hundreds of PJs for local children.

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Who knew it would be so fun and rewarding…Mom and daughter spending quality time together helping others? Wink,Wink.

Has your family participated in community hours or volunteered? I’d love to hear about it.

Blessings, Rebecca

Work Force

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This week, our son joined the work force. Austin is now landscaping for Mount Herman in the Santa Cruz mountains.

I am a proud Mama as he is following in his father’s footsteps gardening.  What a great skill set to have.

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It is a new season in his life. I believe once he receives his first paycheck, he will be proud of his accomplishments and appreciate the hard work that goes into buying items you need or want; an invaluable life lesson.

Do you have children who entered the work force? I’d love to hear their successes and challenges.

Blessings, Rebecca

Working Mom

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Do you ever struggle balancing working with motherhood? I think a lot of moms find it difficult to balance career and parenting.

When I was fresh out of college, a 60 hour work week was the semiconductor industry standard. Initially, I found my manufacturing management position rewarding. Down the road, I dreamed of having a family of my own. Most of my friends were married and had children. In fact, one day a co-worker of plopped in my office chair and said, “Rebecca, why aren’t you married yet?” I sat stunned, “I’m not sure. I just haven’t met the right guy yet.”

Fast forward a few years, my focus became my marriage and family life. Now, I enjoy watching my kids grow. My new challenge is balancing work, taking care of our household, and helping with homework.

One way that helps me balance my day is starting out with some quiet time with the Lord, praying and reading God’s word. Carving this time out of my busy schedule always helps me keep focused and makes my day go smooth.

Can you relate? If so, what tips have you found successful?

Back to School

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It’s hard to believe that our kids are back to school next week. Some children in our County are already back. Where did summer go? I can remember our excitement to start summer break.

With school, comes supplies. We have been shopping for clothing, shoes, paper, pens, backpacks, etc. It can be a fun time, but it can also be a stressful time financially.

If you find yourself stressing over school funds, there are agencies that will help your child prepare for the school year. Here are some I’ve found helpful:

Department of Education backpack program

– Church Stuff the Bus program

VCUM backpack program

Lynda’s backpacks project

I pray you and your children have a fantastic school year.

Blessings, Rebecca

Street Children

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Lion

We recently rented the movie Lion about the street children of India. In short, it portays one boy’s adventure of getting separated from his family and his struggles living on the streets of India. It weighed heavy on my heart for many days following. I thought to myself, I wonder if there are street children in the United States.

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A few weeks later someone gave us Sometimes God Has a Kid’s Face which where Sister Mary Rose McGeady shares several stories about the street children her ministry, Covenant House, helps. It opened my eyes to the dark world of runaway American children who are abused emotionally and/or physically

After reading it, I asked myself what can we do to help these kids. My thoughts are:

Pray – Ask God to help these children find healthy homes to grow up loved, safe and live fulfilled.

Donate – Give financially to organizations that help children get off the streets and into a safe haven until they are able to take care of themselves.

Serve – Donate time and skills to support organizations that help children thrive.

If you have any suggestions how we can help children around the world be safe, warm and fed, I eagerly await your ideas. Feel free to share with us.