As a homeschooler, when you see me in public you will likely see one to five of my children at my side. It doesn’t matter if it is 10:00am on a Wednesday at the grocery store, or 11:30am at a busy doctors office. The kids are always with me.
What baffles me is the reaction of the adults we come in contact with during our day.
Many are dumbfounded that I am wearing ironed clothes and have my hair styled. Most think I should be going crazy.
My kids Do Not Drive Me Crazy.
(most of the time)
I always have 1-5 children (ages 8-20) at my side no matter where I go. They are my buddies. I am blessed beyond words!
I find my children to be amazing individuals. Unique, creative, and interesting.
I want to spend time with my boys. They are quirky, fun and entertaining.
I love being the one who gets to hear about all those crazy ‘imaginings of childhood’. Why should I be in the dark about what brings them joy?
I appreciate that my boys work side by side with me to manage our home. They understand that we are a team.
Family is the focal point of my children’s life.
My kids spend their time around people of different age groups and can readily relate to almost anyone. They are a joy to be around.
I spend so much time with my kids that they are not clingy and needy.
I do not feel like I am missing out on their childhood. I am there to witness the quality moments encapsulated in the quantity of time.
If my kids are hurting, they come to me. They know I can be trusted.
If my kids are afraid, they come to me. They know that I will reassure them.
My children do not question my desire to be a part of their lives.
I am “all in”.
Why Do Children Drive Their Parents Crazy?
They are not used to having their children around them; they are usually at school or daycare.
The heart of their kids life is lived out away from them.
During the school day, kids laugh, cry, and are amazed.
At the end of the day parents ask their kids, “What did you do today?”
The kids say, “Nothing.” They do not know how to relate to each other.
With working parents, public school, and extra-curricular activities. Families shuffle from one destination to the next, often marinated in tension because the kids cannot find their shoes, backpack, or sports equipment. Families are fuelled with anxiety.
Children capitalize on their parents time. They need attention. When parents and their kids live their lives away from each other all day, they try to squeeze in their quality time. You rarely get quality time without quantity time. While special moments can be created, spontaneous moments are missed.
They do not know their kids the same way that they would if they spent all their time together. This is a quantity thing. Best friends seek each other out. They invest their best in each other. Next to our spouses, our children should get the most of us.
School is the focal point of the child’s life.
Kids spend most of their time surrounded by kids their own age, so they do not readily relate to people of other age groups.
They believe “me time” is essential for daily living. (I believe “we time” is essential. So do my kids)
I think our society has been seriously misled. Our children should not be shuttled off to a classroom where they are surrounded by their peer group and force fed information that does not inspire them to learn more.
I know that homeschooling is not for everyone. Honestly, homeschooling is hard. Very hard.
Parents should do everything they can to refocus their kids so that family is the center, not school. This may mean turning off the tv, quitting sports, and renting a rv. I think that kids need to know their parents are “all in”. It may take some convincing, but our kids need this!
I think parents need a mindset reset.
It is good to be around your children.
It is OK to have many, many, many moments that are unstructured. That’s where quality time lives!!
It is good to snuggle and read together.
It is good to cook with, clean, and create with your children right by your side.
It is good to
drag bring your kids to the store, to the doctor’s office, and to the zoo.
It is good for your kids to see you laugh.
Kids are entertaining.
Kids are a blessing.
Family time is more important than me time. Almost. Always.
You may be thinking, but you do not know my kids. They want nothing to do with me. You do not need to pull them out of public school necessarily, but your time is ticking. This is one of those mountains worth dying on. Your family is everything. Reclaim your family. It will take time and energy you do not think you have, but it is worth it.
If you know that you cannot homeschool your kids, you can still reclaim your family…
Turn off the TV at least one day a week.
I am not against television, I am just more into my children. The TV stops kids from building, creating, and talking. Its true your home is cleaner and quieter with the set on, but at what cost?
Start eating at the table. Re-establish family dinners. Have the kids help plan and prepare at least one meal a week (or month).
Clear the calendar and establish a Family Game Night.
Wake your kids up early and go watch the sunrise (once a month). Make sure you bring or pick up a yummy breakfast.
Let the kids stay up late and put a telescope in the yard. Sit outside and look a the stars with your kids.
Read aloud to your kids. No matter how old they are. Find a gripping story and stop at a hanging point. Let them enjoy a bowl of popcorn while you read. Need a few suggestions?
Learn to ask questions that cannot be answered with a yes or a no.
Learn to wait for kids to answer. We can be so busy that we do not have patience for our kids minds to form answers.
Teach your kids to do something hard: change a tire, use a weed-eater, unplug a drain, reprogram a computer, build a fence, ANYTHING. Make this a regular habit.
Expect your kids to help around the house. Kids need chores, but they are not slaves. Work alongside them. Put them in charge of background music (Maybe only once a week if you cannot quite stomach their choices).
Set boundaries. Kids need to know you will keep them safe. This means different things for each family. You are the parent. You set the standards.
TURN off YOUR smart phone, laptops, iPads or any screen that pulls your eyes away from your kids. Make it a policy that during your short time together, you will be “ALL IN”.
Turn off the house phone during the evening. Family time is sacred!
Read a Proverb every day to your kids. There are 31 Proverbs so you look a the calendar and read that Proverb. If you really want to reclaim your family, you need more of God. Period. Start where you are. Ask God to help you and start reading your Bible. Proverbs is a good place to begin because it is filled with incredible wisdom for your family. No it is not outdated.
Cut out any activities that do not strengthen your family. This can be REALLY hard. Be honest with yourself. There are no One Size Fits All families. What I need to cut in my family will absolutely be different for yours. Just be real.
Family time is precious.
Cut back expenses. This may seem obvious, but it is not. If you cut back your expenses you can carve out more and more time for your family. With some creative financing, maybe you can even afford to stay home!
Set your kids down and let them know you are reclaiming your family.
Implement one new habit at a time. If you have older kids, let them pick one thing to change first.
Set a reminder in your calendar and re-evaluate your efforts at least once a month.
Which mom would you rather be?
The one who loves being around her children,
or the one who is driven crazy by them?
Make any changes necessary to make the right choice.
It may not be easy, but it is still worth it!