Patience Perseveres

Patience and perseverance go hand-in-hand like peanut butter and jelly, cream in coffee, cheese atop French bread.  You really need one in order to effectively (or in the case of food, enjoyably!) have the other. This could never be more true than in our roles as moms.

There is so much we wait for as moms, huh? We wait to get through difficult stages, phases and seasons but those times are as necessary as the wonderful times we relish in because we’re parents, and in our job, lays a mixed bag of challenges and joys that we experience, face, teach, handle, and yes, even put up with. Our bags may look very much the same in some ways yet contain things that are uniquely characteristic of our own lives. Sometimes the contents can feel like weights though they ought not to weigh us down. Ahhhh, big distinction, right?

When we look at the bigger picture of what our role is and what’s involved, we know that piece by piece, if we were to break down our jobs, that there are many facets to our parenting. Yes, there are days and phases we can’t wait to get through nor wait to witness change in.  First steps, sleeping through the night, temper tantrums, waiting for life’s lessons to kick in, understanding to resonate, responsibility to take shape. We wait for so much in our own lives and even more in the lives of our children. Not that we can control our lives, but dealing with ourselves seems so much easier since we are in control of our own selves but not so much in control of our children…especially as they grow older and form their own ideas, habits and practices. As a result, our jobs can sometimes feel tougher.

So where do we go with all this? Is this just good jargon for a journal entry or can we take something away to anchor into a little more deeply? How do we wait or endure through the various seasons that come with our roles? Some of us are dealing with some pretty tough stuff.  How do we wait with hope and expectation and not  anxiety, worry and fear?

We know that God has appointed us in our roles and like any boss, chief or commander, will equip us with what we need in order to do our jobs well. Part of doing our jobs well is believing and knowing that God’s plans for us and for our children are good ones, by His authorship. That doesn’t mean everything good will happen to them, but I think it means that everything necessary for His good within them will, and He has appointed YOU to guide them on their journey. And that, dear moms, is a perspective I think we have to have so that we can have the patience to endure through the challenging parts.

Your job is to deliver your child to the finish line of his lifelong race with discipline, love and instruction. If you keep you eyes on that “unseen” faith that the author of Hebrews writes about (faith being something that we believe and trust to be true though unseen), I believe whole-heartedly, that God will develop patience and perseverance in you so you can run the race well with your child. You are on the path that God has marked out for you and you have the child(ren) that He has given you. If you focus on Him, I can promise that He will develop patience and perseverance in you, and the chaos on the sidelines, all the things in those mixed bags, will become secondary. They will take their rightful place on the sidelines and remain there and won’t define your child’s path (nor yours). What will be defining is your faith, patience and perseverance in your child’s life as he/she runs the course. So keep running. Keep cheering. Keep patiently persevering. It will be the best gift you give your child and yourself.

Then celebrate with some milk and cookies.

Scripture References

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (Hebrews, 11:1)

“…let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Hebrews 12:1)

“Love is patient, love is kind.” 1Cor 13:4

The Search for Significance, By Guest Blogger, Julie Sunne

“So what do you do?” The question hung in the air.
“Stay home with my kids,” I finally managed to mumble, feeling half the size I did a moment earlier.
Why did one simple question invoke such a shameful reaction? After all, I loved staying home with my children. And more importantly, I knew it was the best thing for our children. Nevertheless, the reaction remained … for years … each time such a question was asked.
Truth was, I felt insignificant as a “mere” housewife and stay-at-home mom (SAHM).
I thought of all the corporate executives, the biologists (in my field of education), the teachers, the nurses and doctors, even bank tellers and department store workers. While I was sitting home day after day, wiping runny noses, refereeing disagreements, and washing projectile food out of my hair, they were using their education to make a difference in the world. Others depended on them.
How silly were my thoughts. Who are more dependent and needy than our own children? And what mother doesn’t rely on far more knowledge than just the one area they studied in school? To offer 24-hour care to one or several children requires medical skills, some scholastic knowledge in every single subject area, a logistics degree (especially if there are special needs or older children), and an infinite amount of patience.
Nevertheless, the occupation question still often makes me squirm. Perhaps surprisingly, it often makes those who hold full-time, outside-the-home jobs squirm as well. Even after I added “freelance editor and writer and substitute teacher” to my resume, I still ducked my head at the question.
Why? Because I wanted to do something significant … make a BIG difference in a BIG way. And I didn’t feel I was doing that.
This seems to be a problem many of us have. Discontentment with our current positions and experiences. Thinking we should be doing more and influencing more. Perhaps that is the case with some.
Yet, what we fail to realize is that in God’s hands each little thing multiplies and grows. Each sacrifice and offering we give to Him becomes greater than anything we can imagine.
In the Lord’s mysterious ways, our few becomes His abundance … our little becomes His great.
I love this quote by William Bradford (of the Plymouth Plantation pilgrims), which sums up well the importance of little contributions made to the glory of God:
“Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all praise.”–Of Plymouth Plantation.
The impact and influence the pilgrims had on future generations is incalculable. Yet they began with a tiny settlement of starving individuals.
Every big impact begins in a small, quiet way.
A crack in the earth can become a canyon with the right conditions. A tiny mustard seed produces a large plant. A microscopic cell becomes a complex reasoning human. A grand pyramid begins with one brick. A great city starts with one house.
So don’t look on your occupation, your contribution, as having little significance. Instead commit it to the glory of God and trust that His grace will magnify it a thousandfold—to be even greater in Him.
“I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12)

Share in the Discussion: Have you ever felt insignificant in your role?
 
Julie Sunne has been married to her husband, David, for more than 23 years and is a full-time mom to three amazing boys and a precious daughter who has special needs. In her spare time she writes, speaks, and edits. She is passionate about celebrating “the least of these” and living life by faith in the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ. Julie and her family reside in a state park in Northeast Iowa where she posts her thoughts at juliesunne.com. You can also follow Julie on Twitter: @JulieSunne1 and on Facebook: Julie Sunne.

Always a Mom: Making Motherhood Moments the Best They Can Be – Guest Blogger, Author Cindy Sproles

By Cindy Sproles

If you’re a mom, whether by having given birth or by adoption, you are still a mom. And if you are a mom…you are always going to be a first-time mom. Day in and day out your children will tax you with situations you never dreamed – from fun and humorous to moments you are bursting from the seams with pride. Even to moments of great fear and trembling. They will challenge you physically, intellectually and spiritually because this is what children do. But your job above all else, is to not let yourself become overwhelmed or whipped but to stand firm and gently teach. Teach your children to fear God. Show them, regardless of their age, how you have trod the hard paths and found your way. Teach your babies that you make mistakes and you are not ashamed to admit them or repent of them. Show them how to pray and what to pray – when to pray so they will know what to do when the time approaches. Children learn from example. You will always be a first-time mom, always learning with each new adventure or experience. When you feel discouraged take heart. Rejoice in the Lord even in the moments of deep challenge and make every first-time moment with your children the best it can be.

Come, my children, listen to me;  I will teach you the fear of the Lord.

Psalm 34:11

Cindy Sproles (www.cindysproles.com)

New Sheets – Thirty Days to Refine You into the Woman You Can Be.

http://www.amazon.com/New-Sheets-Thirty-Refine-Woman/dp/1938499220/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

A Prayer for Your Child Tonight

I bet you love to watch your children sleep…I know I do. I love to pray for them while they are sleeping and sometimes I need some specific direction in terms of knowing what to pray. Tonight, I’m going with the prayer on teachability–a willingness to learn and grow taken from While They Are Sleeping, by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell.

“Father, it is your own Spirit who teaches us through your Word. I pray that _______ would yield to your instruction. Please protect __________from developing a stubborn or rebellious spirit. May he/she be a spiritual sponge, soaking up your truth. Grant him/her a teachable spirit and heart. You are the giver of every good and perfect gift. Thank you that you want to give wisdom and instruction to my child.”

Recommended Scriptures:

“Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good spirit lead me on level ground.” (Psalm 143:10)

“The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.” (Proverbs 18:15)

“Those who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens…” (Daniel 12:3)

“Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”  (Psalm 25:5)

 

Do you have a prayer for your children that you has been on your heart?

Endurance: Do You or Your Child Need a Dose?

When I was a teenager, I had a bunch of  sappy posters with inspirational sayings taped up like, “Sail on to the end of your dreams,”  “Take your passion and make it happen,” from Flashdance, my all time favorite movie in high school, and many more sayings that I won’t bore you with. (Thank you Hallmark store for having provided the wall decor during that oh-so important time.)  But there was one poster hanging with a saying that we all know is true that I find myself thinking about, not only in my own life but in the lives of my children:  “Winners never quit and quitters never win.”  In layman’s terms: don’t give up.

Endurance: withstanding lasting difficulty.

There is a tough decision between the act of forging ahead or throwing in the towel, and again, each circumstance has its own factors that support either argument–only you as the parent can be discerning enough to know what a situation calls for through prayer, wisdom and personal insight and perspective from your own life experiences.  Wanting to bail out can present itself as an option in many situations that are challenging; there is no shortage of them.  There’s the not-wanting-to-participate on a particular sports team with a screaming, strict coach, challenging relationships, working for a poorly run organization, a disparaging boss, the list goes on in our lives and in the lives of our children.

We have all had those times when we are called to endure yet when it comes to our children, we want to protect them from hardship. I know I need to be careful of that line, for protecting might mean they don’t develop a character trait tied to the lesson of seeing something through with the realization that there are difficult and challenging people and situations in life, throughout life. The world is not perfect. Man is not perfect. The ability to endure has to be taught by pressing on and through. (And please know I am not advocating remaining in situations that are just plain inappropriate, hurtful, unjust or go against your values, ideals and morals. Again, you know what’s what.)

Where in your or your child’s life is God asking you to endure a difficult situation? If there is a place, let Galatians 6:9 encourage you: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will recap a harvest if we do not give up.”

Father, I pray that you would gently build endurance into ___________’s life. Give ________a heart that helps her to keep on pressing on even when she/he faces discouragement and is tempted to give up. (Adapted from While They Are Sleeping, by Anne Arkins and Gary Harrell, published by Family Life, 2010)

Recommended Scripture:

Endure hardship as discipline: God is treating you as sons. For what sons is not disciplined by his Father?” (Hebrews 12:8)

“And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way; bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience…” (Col 1:10)

“Truthful lips endure forever.” (Proverbs 12:19)

And finally, as we endure, “Let us encourage one another.” (Heb 10:25)

 

 

 

What Makes You a Better Mom?

My post from: The Better Mom Blog

From 123RF Stock Photos

 

We are always striving to be better. Better having more patience. Better structuring time management. Better managing our health. Better in our roles as mom.

At day’s end, when I flop into bed, rather than letting myself drift off to sleep, I will often stare up at the ceiling and contemplate what I could have done different that day as wife and mom–and what I could have done better. How could I have responded better when the situation required self-control? What would have been a better approach during a teaching moment with my child?  How could I have been a better support to my husband after he came home from work? I even wonder how I could have prepared a better meal for dinner. (Easy: ordered take-out!)

Each one of us can look at our day and cross-examine our behavior but we have to be careful not to berate ourselves in the process. Having a humble, submissive heart before God and asking Him to help transform us is a powerful prayer when wanting to improve and do a better job. For King David tells us: “Teach me your way, O LORD; lead me in a straight path.” (Psalm 27:11)

For me, I know I need to submit and surrender to God those habits and tendencies that prevent me from not just being better in my role as mom but from being more Christlike. For if I can reflect God’s image, then I can be “better,” but by His standards, not my own, and certainly not by the world’s. And it’s such a process, isn’t it?!

As moms, we have the opportunity to look to God for refinement, and to take advantage of the situations that come up where we can practice becoming the person He wants us to be.  “Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth.” (Psalm 26:2-3)

As much as we want to teach values and insure that certain characteristics are being developed in our children, is as much as God wants to do the same in us. There is a refining process going on that the Lord is doing in me and I need to remember that He continues to mold my character even while I am in the process of raising my children. I just wish I could be molded before they grow up so I can give them my very best, but I know that won’t happen!

So what is it that makes you a better mom? Choosing to play a board game with your child instead of doing the household tasks that can wait? Taking time to replenish yourself by doing what is meaningful to you? Is it when you are enjoying quiet time with the Lord, escaping to a can’t-put-it-down book or perhaps being able to connect with other moms and friends on a regular basis? Maybe it’s in the moments when you take your child to the park when you’re lacking energy to gear up and head out the door, or that moment you decide to stay on their bed when they want to talk at 9:00 p.m. and you still have a kitchen to clean up and lunches to make.

I have read so many parenting books and have stacks on my nightstand, and the floor, with sticky notes bookmarked at the pages I want to re-read. There are chunks of paragraphs with underlines, highlights and stars at that places that I need to re-read and remember to put into practice.   Are they helping me be a better mom? In some ways, hopefully, or at least helping me understand my children and myself  in the process which hopefully makes me a little better! Watching and talking with my friends and other moms helps as well, as I believe we learn from one another.  I do believe God provides us with resources in the ways He knows will help us (a book, a class, a conversation, He knows what you need and how you need it!)

Ultimately, the question for me really isn’t what makes me a better mom but who makes me a better mom.  The answer is the Lord.  And with Him at our side, we’re even better already.

Lessons on Overcoming Hardship from Pete the Cat: Today’s Nerdy Book Club Post

If you like children’s picture books, this one has a great message about staying true to who you are no matter the circumstances…and staying the course. A great message for our kids and the kid in all of us!

Click here for my post from today’s Nerdy Book Club

 

 

 

U-Turn Parenting: It’s Okay to Turn Around

From Today’s: The MOM Initiative, By Linda Tang

Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_245418_left-or-u-turn-sign.html'>disorderly / 123RF Stock Photo</a>


Have you ever had to make a U-turn as a parent?

Maybe you had a moment where you wished you had hit the verbal brakes on your words harder than you did or needed to downshift a gear or two in your tone of voice. Perhaps you over-corrected on a turn by nagging or missed the off-ramp because you didn’t exit a conversation sooner than you should have. As moms, we have countless moments of regret and “would, coulda, shouldas” in our thinking. Even though a moment may have passed and it seems too late to rectify a situation, when we submit to God, He provides the ultimate map and course that gets us turned around so we can head in a direction with clear, purpose and Godly intention.

When it comes to a harsh tone of voice or negativity expressed, we can apologize to our children. An apology with no buts, explanations or anything that diminishes or takes away from the focus that you are sorry while affirming your child’s feelings. “I am sorry. I know that I upset you and I see that you are really sad.” When we offer empathy and affirm what our children are feeling, they relax and become non-defensive because they are receiving understanding and permission to feel their feelings without judgment.

We also need to humbly come before God with a submissive attitude and confess our sin to Him.

In the case of nagging, when we are exhausted from repeating ourselves, which often leads to tension and arguments, suggest a game plan with your child so that you don’t put yourself into frustrating, verbal dialogues that can be trigger points in tempers flaring. I grew tired of reminding my 8 year-old daughter to put what she needed for school inside her backpack and having her forget. I asked her for her ideas. Making a list, she said. Great. I purchased a set of 8×10 sticky sheets and she wrote down what she needed to remember to include in her backpack and we stuck it on the door so she could read the list before leaving.  This has saved me lectures on the way to school where I would break connection with her due to my stress. Finding a system that works for your child puts them in the driver’s seat of being in charge of their responsibilities (when and if appropriate).

For the bigger issues, it’s okay to go back to your child and let him or her know that you thought about the incident or the conversation you might be regretting and are thinking about how you can handle it differently next time, or that you aware that the position you took on the matter might have been ____________ and are praying about it. We are going to falter many times or handle a situation in a way we are not proud of or that we question. That’s actually a great opportunity for change and growth.  “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26). How comforting to know that we can rest in God’s strength and the wisdom that He imparts to give us discernment and instruction. “Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into your glory.” (Psalm 73:23-24)

Being honest and vulnerable before our children and God is an opportunity for change and restoration while modeling and practicing submissiveness and humility with our Father. What an example for our kids to witness for their own walk as they grow in faith and how pleasing to God when we succumb to His ways, giving Him an opportunity to transform us into the parents and people He intended us to become.

This summer, as you spend time with your kids with the potential of an increase in U-turns, remember that God is in the passenger seat alongside you. And U-turns are often where He does His best work–in each of us.

 

 

 

 

Proverbs 31 Woman: You May Be Closer than You Think – Guest Blogger: Alexis Hassell

Image credit: <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/photo_7559261_the-proverb-s-woman.html’>designpics / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

The Wife of Noble Character: Wrestling with My Identity in Christ

If you have read Proverbs 31, then you might be familiar with verses 10-31, which are devoted to describing, “The Wife of Noble Character.” Even if you haven’t, you might have seen reference to it somewhere because this mantra for Christian women is literally everywhere. At some point in your life, maybe you have wondered: Who is this woman? Is she even a real person? Maybe you have tried to compare her with people you know or have encountered  in your life and even with yourself. I would venture to believe that most of us would think she is the “standard” of what a good Christian woman looks like. If that is true for you then this woman is everything you would want to be, hoped you could be, and is possibly the reason why you might have felt like you don’t measure up.

I can say that for me my journey with the Wife of Noble Character has been full of mixed emotions. Initially, this standard provided me with the groundwork of what a wife could be expected to do for her family and husband. In this department I need all the help I can get. So I got the crazy idea that I would write out this passage on my best paper in my best penmanship. I figured if I had it visibly as a constant reminder then maybe I would never forget what I should be doing. So I did just that. After I finished, I scoured my house looking for the perfect frame. None were good enough, so I vowed that I would buy one that was worthy the next time I was out running errands. I wish I could tell you that I had it hanging up in my home in no time. Unfortunately, my good intentions were short lived. I never bought the frame and there the paper sat. It sat just like my efforts to become this woman.

Years passed by and I pursued other avenues to assist me in becoming a better wife and mother. I went to seminars, took classes, consulted friends, and read books. You get the idea. I revisited the Wife of Noble Character from time to time, yet I didn’t find myself feeling that same enthusiasm. To me she had become the impossible standard, a nemesis actually, and a reminder that I didn’t live up to the expectations. The words of the passage that mentioned about getting up “while it is still night to provide food for her family,” echoed within, confirming that would never be me. I have always been a difficult riser and could never get up early let alone provide food for my family. My kids are very familiar with getting their own breakfast in the morning because Mommy has a hard time getting it together. Other words referencing “(that she) does not eat the bread of idleness,” only further highlighted my inadequacies. Forget eating an occasional slice of that kind of bread; I was probably eating loaves of it. Some days I would be successful but other days I was consumed by the weariness of responsibility. Many other verses in the passage condemned me as well. I felt like a failure. My heart sank and had convinced myself, why even try, this will never be you. I resolved to be good enough and instead, worked on accepting myself for who I was. So I prayed that God would do the same and resolve in me these feelings.

Months passed by and I grew discontented, I wanted more of myself and I wanted more than what I was seeing. At the very least, I wasn’t going to give up trying like I had wanted to before. And God was working inside of me. My heart was changing. I figured out a way to get up early; I was waking up at 6am every day.  I did see the value in waking up early, something that had been a mystery for so many years. This small act became a big miracle for me. I quickly realized it wasn’t ever really about me becoming an early riser because that was what the Wife of Noble Character did. God in His wisdom was teaching me something more important. God was giving me a victory and a glimpse of hope that things could be different. They could be better. Then a few months ago my eldest daughter had opened the Bible and asked my husband to read it. I had been sitting on the couch next to them with our youngest daughter. He read the words describing The Wife of Noble Character. Hearing those words read aloud that day, pierced my heart like a double edged sword. And without warning, my husband uttered the words, “That describes your Mommy” to our daughters. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing my husband say! I knew if he had taken a closer look at each of those verses, he would have known that that didn’t possibly describe me. They just didn’t. I mean how could they? But to him it didn’t matter if I did exactly what “she” had done. It was something he had seen inside “me.” It was the heart of the Wife of Noble Character. Again, it was the hope of something better.

My eyes and heart had been refreshed by God’s faithful work; I was convicted that the Wife of Noble Character represented something greater than a standard to emulate. Her greatest purpose is that she is and will always exemplify the woman who follows after God’s plans for her. These are her own individual plans that God had developed for her specifically. She isn’t following the way that she thinks she should because it’s what she thinks is best. What’s more, do you notice that it doesn’t mention that she is doing what everyone else is doing, or that she spends her time comparing herself to others, or that she is following a standard that society has set for her?  No, she is focused, driven and confident to stay on the path set out before her. She pursues it and doesn’t take her eyes off of the prize for one second. She knows what she has and is content but she also does whatever she can to keep it, to maintain it, to appreciate it. And something ahead of her is guiding her steps.

So I ask you, who is the Wife of Noble Character? It isn’t just her or someone else. It is YOU; each and every one of you has the ability to accept this identity in Christ today. I challenge you, if you already haven’t, to find your own path. Not in just any direction but the one that God has designed for you personally, the one that is the very best for you and your family. Don’t worry that it may be different than everyone else. Keep your eyes off of others and you will do just fine. The first step is taking one step and putting your foot right in front of the other. It might seem scary, but I promise you, it will all work out better than you could have ever imagined. And if you are looking for proof, take another look at the Wife of Noble Character.

Alexis Hassell is mom to two daughters, ages 6 and 4. She lives in Westlake Village, Ca with her daughters & husband, Kris. She has a strong passion for learning new things and a love for the Lord.  God has used this passion & provided the opportunity for her and her husband to homeschool their girls this past year…a journey to which they hope to continue on with in the years ahead.

 

 

True Play is Truly True

Image credit: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/photo_6505175_two-beautiful-children-enjoying-their-painting-education.html'>prometeus / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Last week, my friend Deirdre and I took to the beach for some fun in the sun with our elementary-aged kids. It wasn’t long before they retreated to the water’s edge and got very busy. First, by jumping over waves, then by hauling over pieces of drift wood, seaweed, digging holes and picking flowers for the finishing touches on a fort they had constructed. They mapped out a plan, worked together, problem solved, used their muscles and bodies and had a great time doing what came naturally.  Not one argument. Not one, “I’m bored.” Not one whine or “that’s mine.” Ingredients? Spontaneity, open-ended time and self-direction.

Deirdre mentioned that she was glad we had neglected to bring the sand toys….not that there is anything wrong with a pail and shovel but we agreed that not having an object to interact with put the kids on equal footing with one another, forced them to create, initiate and take charge of their time and space in a more imaginative way.

When we get into nature, or spaces that resemble blank slates where we can play as we wish, the sky’s the limit. As many bells and whistles that our toys and crafts have, they aren’t necessarily promoters of growth, imagination, curiosity and fantasy. As Author David Elkind, Ph.D. puts it in his book, The Power of Play:  “An unintended consequence of using toys to promote social acceptance and positive self-esteem is that it encourages conformity. Children come to see toys as vehicles of social acceptance rather than launching pads to imagination and fantasy.”

I am grateful for the friend who told me about Horizon Hills Preschool (Thousand Oaks, CA), whose teaching philosophy is that children learn best through self-directed play. At this school, if a child wants to paint a picture while wearing a costume they had put on in the dress-up area, they can. If they want to roller skate for 20 minutes, a teacher is not going to tell them that their time is up (unless there is another child waiting!) Children not only have the freedom to engage in an activity until their bodies and minds feel ready to let it go, but they have the opportunity to master a skill and confidence around a particular activity if they wish.  By being able to collect and hunt for bugs for as long as he needed, made one child develop an interest and knowledge in insects and later, science. This environment helped me to make sure that throughout their childhood, my kids have unstructured time so they can gravitate and explore the things they connect to naturally, which fosters a love for learning and perhaps a growing appreciation for a particular subject, sport or hobby because of the freedom given to explore it.

Taking it one step further when it comes to education and academics, learning a particular subject or concept that might be challenging can often be more interesting and actually fun when it involves a play element…especially if those reasoning skills aren’t quite developed yet. But academics and whole-child learning is a post for another day!

I leave you with this wonderful song by Fred Rogers, for beneath the play, is the child, and the child directs his/her play experience better than anyone else. Who knows just where the two meet…you would have to follow your children’s lead to find out.

I’m Still Myself Inside

I can put on a hat, or put on a coat,

Or wear a pair of glasses or sail in a boat.

I can change all my names

And find a place to hide.

I can do almost anything, but I’m still myself inside.

I can go far away, or dream anything,

or wear a scary costume or act like a king.

I can change all my names

And find a place to hide.

I can do almost anything,

But I’m still myself

I’m still myself

I’m still myself inside.