Podcast & Blog: Putting the Pieces Together- A Mom's Survival Plan
In this episode we look at Essentials in Parenting in Crisis as well as the first three steps on a ladder that I describe as a Child's Hierarchy of Needs to Reach God's Will for their life both daily and long term.
For the first few minutes of episode 30, I share some thoughts about celebrating Holy Week (Easter/Resurrection Sunday) as a family, Here's a link by Jelly Telly, for helping younger kids with this concept, JellyTelly Link. And here's a Link to Val's 2019 Easter Blog post
1. Speak up - Let those who care about you support you. They may provide prayer, a listening ear, network for resources, or be able to identify resources they personally have that could help your situation. God's rescue often comes in the form of a person. Don’t’ rob people of the blessing of being a blessing.
2. Make a list – reduce your load by transferring all your worries and thoughts onto paper. This will help you begin an on-going to-do list about your situation, as well. The act of writing it down moves the burden from your mind (a part of your body) to the paper (something separate from you). I can't tell you how many times the simple act of making a list has brought me much needed relief. It is like I have transferred the burden from me physically and emotionally when I placed the content of my mind on the paper. Writing it does take the pressure off of me to remember all the details. It makes the plan seem more manageable also.
3. Be honest with your family and let them productively brainstorm, helping you divide the to-do list into four categories: A. Do it (This is the list of things that ONLY YOU can do.) B. Delegate it (What can the other family members do? What about other people who love your family or are connected to your family or who provide a specific service? Mom, you do want to keep a list of the obligations that have been delegated so that you can followup. It's a Delegated List). C. Dump it (Sometimes even good things need to be reduced, especially when you're in crisis). D. Leave UnDone and handle it with prayer -"God, give me Passion for YOUR purposes in my day and Peace about the things that you don't want me to get done"
Your children should not partner with you in the burden of the crisis, but can help in the brainstorming and implementing of a plan, if they are old enough and capable.. You might be surprised at the creative solution ideas they have, the compassion they will display, and the bonding it can bring to tackle a problem together as a team. Your children will be more on board with the solution when they help to create it. Not all family decisions are supposed to be a group decision or group plan, but you might be surprised in what your kids are capable of and how much they may even enjoy being a part of the solution.
Working on a SOLUTION together teaches them important life lessons:
* In crisis we neither panic nor ignore the problems. We don't retreat; we face reality with clarity of mind (at least, that's the goal).
*We make a realistic action plan, dividing the responsibilities and working together.
*Our action plan includes eliminating some activities or expenses that we normally are used to participating in because short term adjustments in our routine may be a necessary part of relief. *Accepting help is not a sign of weakness. It shows that we are part of a loving community. We are capable of both giving to others in their time of need and receiving from others in our time of need.
4. Make a chart– Or better yet, let the kids create the chart. It should contain very clear expectations in writing for each family member and for the family as a group so there's no confusion AND no excuses, either. Let the chart be the guide and reminder to them so that you don't have to focus on reminding them. Let it provide the accountability so that your words can be reserved more for words of Hope, Trust, Love, Truth
"Truth comes from hearing and hearing from the Word of God." Romans 10:17
If you don't have the strength during a time of crisis to speak words of hope, trust, love, and truth, turn on Christian music or an audio Bible and ask someone who loves your kids to speak love into them.
If your children are very young, they may need you to take them to the chart a few times a day until they're in the habit of looking at it for their direction. But if your children are older, please don't remind them or reiterate what the chart says. Let the chart do its job. If you turn your mouth into a reiteration of what the chart says, you took back on a role that you had just removed yourself from. If you take it back on you, then your words have to begin being about all the responsibilities and tasks instead of about hope, truth, love... Let the chart do its job. You implement a consequence with a good attitude if they don't follow through with their portion of the chart, and that reinforces in their mind that the family really is going to rely on the chart to keep the system going.
5. Don't forget about your personal essentials: rest, nutrition, margin, boundaries, and time with your Heavenly Father who has spiritual nourishment for you. When we neglect our own needs, we begin parenting from a depleted place. Add to that the crisis you're dealing with and now you've got a depleted parent, parenting in crisis. You have got to make your needs a priority. This isn't selfish, it is loving to your family. Not only will you parent them better, but you will be setting an example to your children. Whether you are taking care of your needs or neglecting your needs, either way, you're children are watching and are being affected by the example you set. Make time and space in your life, even in crisis, for meeting your needs. It will be an act of love to your family.
A Child's Hierarchy of Needs for Experiencing God's Will for Their Life - both Daily and Long Term
In the final portion of this week's podcast, I share with you what I consider a child's hierarchy of needs to reach God's will for their life. Think of it as a ladder and each rung is a necessary step in their journey to God's will for their life. This ladder being both a daily journey to God's will for that day, and a lifelong journey to God's bigger purpose for your child's life. I only cover the first three rungs of the ladder in this episode because our topic has been about a parenting plan for crisis. During crisis, we're really not able to focus on higher goals for our children, but the first few rungs are absolute essentials for daily life. If you can't meet these needs, then you must get help. The first three rungs are: Safety and physical needs, Love & justice needs, and Truth needs -about who God is and who the child is as a uniquely-designed-for-a-purpose being (a child needs to know they have significance in this world). There are higher rungs on the ladder for our children to reach God's will for their life daily and long term and I show these in my book When Littles are Loud: Maximizing the Moments without Drowning in Chaos, and I'll share the diagram when I present the entire thing in a future podcast.. Here's today's podcast that ends the episode by talking about the first three rungs.
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