The Importance of Fun – MBFLP 224

Who said school can’t be fun? This episode, we sit down with our friends Roger and Jan Smith, long-time homeschool parents and leaders in Louisiana. The topic is simply, “Fun” – what it can do to create memories, bond family members, and make learning a lot more enjoyable for parents and students alike!

Recently we visited with Roger and Jan Smith, leaders in the Louisiana homeschool community and dear friends of ours. One evening our family and our friends were playing a fast-paced game together, laughing hysterically, and thinking about what an important, bonding thing that is.

We were noticing how well our teenagers interacted with the adults in the room, and the obvious respect going in both directions, and we were talking later about how the shared experiences build that sort of relationship. They’re more and more important as we all become more individualized and isolated, focusing on our work and entertainment through private screens—even when we’re in the same room, we’re not interacting.

That’s one reason we love audiobooks when we’re driving or working together, because the whole family can share that experience and have a basis for conversations later. It’s a good reason for reading aloud together, even when the children are reading well on their own. We try and make intentional choices to do things together so in later years, our adult children will have memories that draw them back to their family home.

Another thing we do is make a big deal over family holidays. Birthdays are an example. In our home, the one we’re celebrating gets to choose the family menu for the day. At supper, we center the conversation on memories of the birthday person. Afterward, we take turns sharing things we love or admire about them. It’s really touching – everyone loves being appreciated, and it’s very easy to overlook the chances to communicate that respect.

A Sense of Humor

Shared humor is another thing we look for. A study of newlywed couples noticed how they interacted, especially the moments of humor in the midst of a problem. It defuses situations and reduces tension if we can refer to a shared joke or inside story. It’s a sign of a healthy relationship if you can still smile, if you can still laugh, if you can lighten up in the midst of your stress. That applies to your kids as well as your mate!

In fact, that study really pointed out that our relationships are formed from the moments we share. Little things count. It’s not like you have to learn a new language to really score points with your kids. Instead, you just need to  hear when they speak, make eye contact, and come back with a positive response.

And that’s something you get a dozen times a day to do. If you miss one, just determine to catch the next. It’s something you can build up without feeling like you have to make a huge investment before you see any benefit.

(Listen in for more great ideas about building memories and relationships with your family!)

Flourish at Home – Training Our Children

Flourish At Home

Flourish At Home

People often ask me how I manage to homeschool and run a home business as a single mom. One of the most important factors is that I have taught my sons how to run the household. In this episode, I’ll talk about how to train your children to be independent and responsible, how to take initiative, and how to serve others cheerfully. These four things will prepare your children well for adulthood and contribute greatly to building a balanced life for your whole family now.

These sample chore charts will give you an idea of how I allocated housework and other responsibilities among my sons at different stages of our family life:

Training Your Children – Sample Chore Charts

How do YOU teach your children responsibility, independence, initiative, and service? After you listen to the podcast, please leave a comment and share your best tips with us!


Joyful Balance for Busy Moms

Are you exhausted? Overloaded? Teetering on the brink of burnout? Whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom, or homeschooling mom, it’s easy to be paralyzed by an overwhelming to-do list. False guilt only adds to the burden.

Mary Jo Tate—an international editor, book coach, and veteran homeschooling mom of four boys—wants to help you find peace in the space between the ideal and reality so you can stop struggling and start flourishing. Learn how to:

· Stop the juggling act and find a balance you can live with
· Minimize interruptions while being sensitive to real needs
· Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family
· Value and protect your time to do what matters most
· Establish a pace you can maintain for the marathon of life

Visit the show page for replays here


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Change is in the Air Movie

This story embraces the imperfections that make us human, offers a way to set ourselves free and asks us all to take a good, long look at the wild birds in the sky.

Watch the trailer here!


Changing Your Parenting Style – MBFLP 125

MBFLP - Changing Your Parenting Style - V

 

Every older sibling, sooner later, will say, “You never would have let me do that!” And they’re likely right. The question is not, does your parenting change, but rather, why, and sometimes, why not already?  This episode we look at four very good reasons that your style might change — and some reasons it ought to!

 

MBFLP 102 – Family Life Q&A

QandA - V 600x900

One thing we’ve seen since we started this ministry is how often families encounter the same questions, the same problems. You’re not alone, and this episode we talk about several questions we’ve heard recently!

Show Highlights

1:31 – What do you do when fellow church members are hostile toward your parenting decisions?
5:40 – How do you manage bullying, including in your own home?
10:47 – When should you begin handing over personal responsibility to your budding adult kids?
15:24 – What should I do, now that I caught my 10-year-old watching sex on YouTube?
20:09 – What’s your decision process for extracurricular activities, especially for younger kids?
23:13 – How do you survive parenting an active little boy?

MBFLP – Helping Siblings Love Each Other

Helping Siblings Love Each Other

Is sibling rivalry an issue at your house? The Bible often speaks of love among brothers – it’s used as an example of how we should get along in the church, for instance. Yet that image doesn’t have much meaning if our relationship with our earthly brothers is marked by anger, resentment, and hurt feelings, does it? And too often, that’s the kind of relationship which seems to be growing in our families.

This episode, we talk about some practical things we’ve discovered that help our kids grow in trust and appreciation of each other. We’re finding these ideas have wider application to other relationships, too, and we talk about that aspect as well!

MBFLP – Romance Once You’ve Got Kids

MBFLP - Romance Once You've Got Kids

Romance Once You’ve Got Kids

It’s Valentine’s Day this week, and for parents with small children, no money for a sitter, and no relatives nearby, the response might be “So what?” It can be discouraging when the world is full of ads urging dinner out, expensive jewelry, and barrels of roses, when your life is more about diapers and phonics, and your budget is more of the dollar menu and less of filet mignon. This episode, we talk about finding romance in real life, wherever it may be – and sometimes, it will surprise you where it can be found!

Flourish at Home – Training Our Children

Flourish At Home

Flourish At Home

People often ask me how I manage to homeschool and run a home business as a single mom. One of the most important factors is that I have taught my sons how to run the household. In this episode, I’ll talk about how to train your children to be independent and responsible, how to take initiative, and how to serve others cheerfully. These four things will prepare your children well for adulthood and contribute greatly to building a balanced life for your whole family now.

These sample chore charts will give you an idea of how I allocated housework and other responsibilities among my sons at different stages of our family life:

Training Your Children – Sample Chore Charts

How do YOU teach your children responsibility, independence, initiative, and service? After you listen to the podcast, please leave a comment and share your best tips with us!