Saturday, August 6, 2011

A bit about the boys and kindness

Brady is 8 months old today!  I know every one says this and I say it every month, but where does the time go?!  So quickly it passes and he is taking off on us.  Everyday he becomes faster and more adventurous.  He is pulling up on anything that he can get a grip on, he is army crawling and scooting around, he's crawling under and over whatever is in his way. 

Brady is a happy boy, all the time.  He never stops smiling.  He loves Joseph and the girls, he will watch them closely and hope they will talk to him or catch their eye.  If they don't give him the attention he wants he will grunt or squeal, or if they are close enough he will grab the girls hair.
The other night all the lights were out in the house except the kitchen light, which was casting very harsh shadows in the living room.  Brady was crawling around and he sat next to the wall and kept watching his shadow. Soon he started trying to touch his profile and watching his hands as they shaped shadows on the wall, it was adorable!
 Joseph had flag football evaluations this morning.  He is pumped about playing football.  He asked me to take his picture making a tough face.  Little boys crack me up, how much fun is this!  Practices don't start for several weeks but he's ready to get Joe in the backyard and work on his throwing and catching.
Don't tell him I said this, but I think Joe is just as excited as Joseph about football.  Joe bought him a football today and couldn't wait to give it to Joseph.  Joseph had to re-arrange his dresser to accommodate the football.  He wanted to keep the box it came in so that he could to store it in the box when he wasn't using it.
 Our first week of school was wonderful.  We are still getting into the swing of a school day with 2 kids, plus a preschooler and a baby, but each day it got easier.  For me, there is nothing like teaching my children and watching them learn and discover.  It's amazing, they're amazing.
Joseph is not into penmanship or writing, he likes to keep it very simple.  I'm trying to push were I can, but not too hard.  I don't want him hate it, all along he has been a very slow writer.  Only a few months ago he started holding a pencil correctly and decided it felt better to write with his right hand.  I am letting him write with a pen because he says it feels better, but he still has trouble.
He was writing letters one day this week and he started pouting.  When I asked him why he was pouting he said, "I just gets dots."  I didn't understand and when I tried to make sense out of it he said, "I get dots in my legs and arms."  I assume his legs and hands tingle when he writes.  I gave him a step stool to rest his feet on since they don't touch the floor, again it helps a little but we've got a long way to go.  Besides that though, he is eager to learn and I'm happy we're using EIW Primary Arts of Language, it suites him well so far.
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

There has been a huge amount of ugliness in this home all week, hitting, fighting, sticking tongues out, slamming doors, smirking when others are hurt, taking joy in others pain, I could go on.  It's not been pretty and certainly not pleasant.  One morning my mom called me as we were doing Bible time.  She asked what we were doing and I said in a very exasperated voice, "Kindness!"  I reminded myself of her.  I was doing something she would have done when my siblings and I nearly killed each other.
I wrote Kindness on the board and we read the definition of kindness, then we talked about it being the fruit of the Spirit.
Later in the day, I was reading Thriving Family, a magazine by Focus on the Family, I read The Strength of Gentleness. {It's a free resource, you should sign up for it if you don't already get it!} The article was exactly what I needed to help my kids get it, I decided Bethany and Joseph needed to do the egg activity.
Without explaining it to them, I gave them both an uncooked egg with their name on it, they were in charge of that egg for an hour.  The object was to take care of it and not let it get broken.  They had to keep it inside a Ziploc bag with them at all times.

Both of them thought it was pretty cool to be able to carry an egg around the house.  Joseph made a bed for his egg, wrapped it in a wash cloth, fed it a baby bottle and let it nap in front of the fan.  Bethany and he thought it was hysterical.  He even took his egg for a walk.
Bethany hadn't had her egg very long at all when she accidentally hit it against a chair and it cracked.  She was very disappointed and really wanted to win the game.  It didn't quite last an hour because her egg got smashed but we talked about the importance of gentleness with others.  How sometimes we accidentally hurt others and don't mean to, but then I added that every time one of them had gotten hurt that day it was because some one meant to hurt them.
This was a great object lesson, I wish I could say it was life changing and they haven't had a cross word or glare since, but that isn't the case.   We're taking one day at a time, learning and re-learning as we go.  Thank God for His forgiveness!! As always, I'm learning with them.


Sweats, Nikes, and No Make-up said...

Glad the first week of school went well for you! Your patience and grace with your children is such an example!

Bonnie said...

I so needed the egg lesson for my children. Maybe when we get back from the lake. My 5 year old twins are really having a hard time dealing with each other.