Recently when my husband and I were supposed to have 7 year old Eevie and 5 year old Damon for the night, I discovered that my husband thinks that when they are at our home, the kids are supposed to be “entertained”.
To a certain extent that is probably true as we are in the habit of going to Luby’s for lunch, (something they RELISH), reading books, playing board games, swimming in the pool and riding on their little battery operated sports cars.
But if I have to run to the grocery store, or go to a friend’s kid’s volleyball game, or shop for a new mattress, I treat these things as “family business” and let these experiences be a learning opportunity for the kids, while entertainment gets put on hold.
Interestingly enough, even with the sometimes unexpected shift in venue, the kids still respond favorably, depending on how these outings are framed for them…I try to find fun things to focus on when faced with drudgery or chores. When I do this, I have found that they almost always enjoy participating, and though my husband and I are in charge of the operations as “joint chiefs of staff”, we always benefit on the long run when we ensure our “army” is learning the sometimes complicated, but always important processes of how we make decisions, and how we use our freedoms.
Children do not learn these things by osmosis, and learning to trust God, to ask for help with prayer, and to execute well thought out decisions, are skills that result from respectfully and appropriately involving kids at as many levels as possible as they grow and mature.
When my dad wanted to run for US congress, he wanted to know what his children thought about that idea. He wanted us to understand the purpose of a limited government, and how important it is to be fiscally responsible. He wanted us to learn about our heritage, and the story of the flag and its relevance and most of all he wanted us to participate, not just be observers.
Patriotism is an attitude of pride in our country for all the ways we have been in living to the best of our ability, demonstrating a willingness to uphold the inalienable rights of citizens. It is one of the lovely intangibles that is difficult to teach kids in one sit down conversation. Patriotism is more of a way of life, just like honesty, integrity, economy, and spirituality are ways of life.
We want to help our kids to have an arsenal of as many tools as they possibly can so that when they face challenges, disappointment or failure, they can successfully negotiate or navigate themselves, and others, through. Many kids fall through the cracks, succumbing to addiction, apathy, fear and anxiety, or alienation. If they have been grounded spiritually, they have the resources they need, and will have better outcomes. This mental outlook of confidence and success in spite of challenges is not something that everyone has automatically, and these strengths are facilitated by active parenting.
I was just reading about how John Lennon, caused much emotional devastation for his son, because he divorced, and the divorce was due to another woman, drugs and other problems. The song Hey Jude, according to this article, originally called Hey Jules, was supposedly to help Julian Lennon who was three at the time, deal with the divorce. Julian says in the article that the song by the Beatles, did not make anything better and he was ambivalent about it. How can an absent father give his son tools to face challenges? John did not take a sad song and make it better, but somehow his son who was three was supposed to be able to? lol
This story made me think about a different song by the Beatles…”let it be” which is also “giving advice”, and how so many people love the song, but I currently am not loving it like I used to. It is another song that I have listened to for years without really thinking about the lyrics.
But I realized after reading this article, that John Lennon supposedly did everything he did, for the approval of his mother. And after all the mistakes he made, and the drugs he used, according to this song, his mother just said “let it be”????
And that is wisdom? Good advice? How does that help his son? Children lead by the example of their parents.
Someone said that the difference between intelligence and wisdom…is that wisdom is intelligence with love. There is nothing loving about telling the world in a song, that after all the bad things have been done, its all ok because Mom says basically to “leave it”. It is NOT loving to tell someone who needs to make restitution, ESPECIALLY if mom is the one speaking; to “let it be”. There is nothing wise in those words. How can you love the father and not love the son?
I was thinking about the real Mother Mary, and about all the people with issues searching for answers…and I thought about Our lady of Guadalupe…and all the people with issues flooding our boarder here in the USA.
In the bible, the woman with an “issue” touched the hem of the cloak of Jesus, and was healed. And in this little town, in Mexico, an ordinary man, who listened to Mother Mary, found her image on the inside of his cloak when he filled it with roses. He did as she instructed and built a church in his town.
It is recognized as a miracle, but what I really thought was beautiful was that the real Mother Mary when she appears, is NOT saying that poor people should just let it be… or run away from their problems. It says that when they trust God, good can happen to anyone who is listening.
So in order to convey what the REAL Mother Mary might have advised, I rewrote “Let it be”.
Guadalupe has the Blessing
And Our Lady is her name
Roses in the desert,
We are free
And deep within our borders
There is still an image shining there
All those who have issues
Go and see
Go and see,
Go and see
Go and see
Go and see
Virtue is for giving, Go and see.
The fighting has yet started
Prayerfully we have no choice
But to touch the cloak of goodness
Hear His voice
Surrounded by the sound of battle
Truth Advances, victory hails
Corrupt pushed down by honor,
Shout out words of wisdom
Children of the world, who are struggling because of bad choice made by themselves or by parents, do not “let it be”. Prayerfully, turn around and be healed. Mother Mary is encouraging us all to do so.