I love lists. I have some sort of thrill in checking things off and being able see things accomplished. Since having kids my lists rarely get done. I recently have put things on the list that I know will get done. Feed kids. Check. Bathe kids. Check. I love to be able to get some things done and still care well for my kids. In many areas of life we make lists. We plan, evaluate, then re-plan and reevaluate when we are working towards getting things done. Our houses, chores, parties and events, jobs, work performance all have these elements. The big question today is: do we do these things for our kids? Do we evaluate the job that we are doing as parents? Have I thought about the kind of young woman I would like Brooklynn to be when she is 18? What kind of skills will she need to navigate this world? How is she learning to help around the house? Is she learning how to use money well? These are some tough and all encompassing questions that I am afraid I rarely ask. Fairly recently I was introduced to a book called "Leading a Child to Independence" by Paul and Jeanne McKean. It was recommended by some parents that I really respect and have raised their four children well. I have been challenged and encouraged to see how I can be proactive in raising my children. This book is a bit dated, but many of the principles are right on.
There are some great ideas in this book and because I am a list maker, I love the practical side of this book. There are 6 areas that they focus on to develop in your child and give very practical ideas on how to implement them. In part I they introduce the reasons behind the book and some basic ideas behind independence. Then in Part II they go through 6 areas of development expanding and giving examples for each. The 6 areas are: Spiritual Development, Physical Development, Intellectual Development, Social Development, Emotional Development and Financial Development. Each chapter has questions at the end of it. In Part III the authors focus on what it looks like to let go and how to let your child be an independent young adult. Also, there are resouces and worksheet in the back with lists (yea!) of ideas to develop each of these areas. Here is a picture of Chapter 10 (Financial) worksheet:
I did feel a bit overwhelmed at times, but tried to remember that these are just ideas that I can use to grow my children. When my children are ready to leave the house, I want them to know who they are before men and God, be able to relate to others well, know how to do all the tasks in a home, know how to make a budget and stick to it, be able to give generously, know how to take care of their bodies and eat properly and have the skills needed to get and keep a job. These are some of the things my kids will need to be able to do when they go away to college or get a job and move out. I hope we can prepare them well as they grow towards independence. As with any list, not all will get checked off and I hope to hold these things loosely and reevaluate often.
I know I am a work in progress as my kids will be. I by no means have it figured out, but thought it would be helpful to share a book that has give me some vision and ideas on how to implement goals for my children.
To end I thought I could show you some cute bookmarks that my friend made, just to keep it a bit crafty!
How fun are these bookmarks! Just a paper clip and a scrap of fabric. I use them all the time :)