This week is all about parenting – since this is how most of my day is spent, this is where I’m having all my successes (and failures… one of these days I’ll write a “What’s NOT Working Wednesday”).
I am passionate about teaching truth to my children. When my son was about a year-and-a-half, too young to start memorizing whole verses of Scripture, we started teaching him catechism questions, using a book our dear friends Hannah and Brady had given us. We started with “Does God ever change?” and other one-word-answer questions.
We were amazed at how fast he learned! Once he knew a couple of answers, we would make a big deal of answering them on Sundays, giving him an M&M for each correct answer. He’s now coming up on his third birthday, and he knows the answers to more than 25 questions (he’s highly motivated by chocolate… must be genetic!). It’s amazing how many conversations these questions have opened up as we practice them during the week.
A huge help when learning these questions was this CD by my friend Eric Gilbert. These are fun songs to listen to, and they make learning the catechism easy for kids AND their parents.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (NIV)
If you haven’t discovered this show for pre-schoolers, you’re missing out! And yes, I mean you, not just your kids. Though the characters often sing slightly off-key, it is still one of the most pleasant kids’ shows on TV. Each episode features a classical piece of music and a somewhat-classic art piece. The theme of the music is repeated throughout the show as the characters teach musical concepts like “forte” and “crescendo.” They also incorporate movement and rhythm. I enjoy hearing the music (sans singing) from this show, and the plots haven’t included the political insanity that has invaded other shows (Sesame Street for example).
You can buy episodes on iTunes. Two of my favorites are “Knock on Wood” about a woodpecker, and “Hello Cello!” about a baby cello. OR, and this is a huge perk of liking this show, you can find current episodes on the Disney Junior App on your iPhone or iPad. Sometimes (okay, lots of times), when I want an extra 30 minutes to sleep in the morning, I’ll bring my early-rising son into bed with me to cuddle and watch an episode of Little Einsteins on my phone.
Have you ever noticed how awful the words of “Rock-a-Bye Baby” are? Rock-a-bye baby… this tree branch will be a perfect place for a CRADLE… don’t worry, Baby, a little wind never hurt anyone… and the cradle and baby go crashing to the ground! This is the song I’d been singing to my baby, who fortunately wasn’t old enough to be terrified by the words yet. Anyway, I found some new words to put to this tune!
My sweet and wise friend Vanessa told me about some questions that are helpful in parenting. I loved these questions/answers, so I put them to the tune of “Rock-a-Bye Baby.” My son LOVES it, and even asks me to sing it when he’s feeling sad or has been in trouble. It makes me so happy that he has a specific way to ask for reassurance when he’s needing it, because I always want him to know he’s loved – not because of how he behaves or what he accomplishes, but because he’s MINE.
Here’s a rough sample of the song (rough = baby noises in the background), followed by the words:
When does Mommy love you? All the time! Good or bad, rain or shine.
Why does Mommy love you? Because you are mine, and I will love you all the time!
When does God love you? All the time! Good or bad, rain or shine.
Why does God love you? He says, “You are mine, and I will love you ‘til the end of time!”
What’s working for you this week?