We have a large family. Five children is a lot. One in college and four that are ten and under. It seems like we are at (another) pivotal point in our lives. Pretty soon we will have one entering middle school, another one entering elementary school, and our baby! going to pre-school. Friendships and peer relationships are becoming very important in our household. As my children get older and leave our nest for extended periods of time, I realize how strongly they are influenced by the outside world.
To conquer the anxieties I have as my children age, I try to make our home a safe and fun haven for them as much as possible. I want them to WANT to be here. I want them to WANT to invite their friends over. I WANT our home to be the place they come home to when the world has thrown them for a loop.
I have a lot of concerns for my children. Bullying, peer pressure, and inappropriate conversations are a reality in the schools. Our television and commercials are trying to convince my kids that they need soda and junk food to be cool. Social standards tell my daughter that it's okay to sexualize herself at a young age. They tell my boys that the key to a successful life is fame and fortune.
My job right now is to do my best to convince my children that they are great just the way God made them. We do strive for greatness in academics and extracurricular activities, but we also make time every day to just "play", or relax. We want our children to be the best that they can be. But what's really important to us is that they don't find themselves constantly comparing themselves to the most popular kids in the class. I want them to develop integrity, character, and a healthy approach to life. My goal is not merely for them to "be happy". I want them to have the tools to get through life when it doesn't always work out the way we hoped or planned. I pray every day that they develop their own personal relationship with God.
I made these for my kids but have put prints in the shop. The 8x10 boy print is available here, and the 8x10 girl print is available here. If you are interested in a 4x6, 5x7, ot 11x14 send me an email.
Or make your own! Write them a note from a sticky pad and put it in one of the books they are reading. Put one on a mirror that they look at every day. Hide one in their lunch box. Let them know that you love them! :)
Parenting is hard work...some days are better than others, but they always need to know that they are loved :)