My Kids, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH

Raising Grateful Kids

In our home, we eat left-overs. One early afternoon, many months ago when we had no helper, I heard Danae complain about the food saying “AGAIN?!” I would remind her to be thankful that we have food to eat because many don’t. I tend to be real or maybe even over dramatic about these things, so I remind her about kids we see in the streets that have to beg or work, so they could have money to buy food. This happened a few times. She would eat the food but not before complaining. I really hate that kind of attitude and so I made a new rule. I sternly told her that if I hear her complain about the food, she is not going to eat any of it. She would have to wait for the next meal.

It worked! I do not hear her complaints or ungrateful comments anymore. She would ask me if it’s the same food again, but in a very different tone. If I do see a complaint coming, I’m quick to remind her and she changes her attitude.

My kids are pretty good eaters, even of vegetables thank God, and I don’t force them to eat anything that they normally don’t. I don’t serve them bad food. I don’t always serve them left-overs either. It’s not about that. It’s about the ATTITUDE. I want my kids to be grateful for what they have, whether it’s fried chicken from KFC or home-made vegetable soup, or steak and ribs from Racks or home-made vegetable spring rolls. I want them to always appreciate what they are given and be thankful most especially for the people who give it to them.

Marriage

SEASON OF CHALLENGES

I really enjoyed what Yeng and Michelle did to start their session entitled SEASON OF CHALLENGES, at our recently concluded Couples’ Getaway 2011. We were divided into groups of 8 or more couples. The task was for each spouse to instruct his/her blindfolded spouse to avoid stepping on the unnecessary toys and pick up the one item that is assigned to them. Whichever team would get all 10 items first, would win. Strategic planning, then the blindfolding were done in the function room. The game was outside. I was the one blindfolded. I did not see which lane was for our team, or see the arrangement of toys. King & I were the 3rd in our line and our item was the wrist watch.

I’m so proud of King! He was an excellent leader and team player! As I was blindfolded, waiting for our turn, he already gave me specific instructions. He told me that if he says PENGUIN, I’m supposed to take baby steps. I demoed it for him to confirm. If he says BIG STEP or SMALL STEP, I’m supposed to take a step but wait for him to tell me how much further or nearer, and wait for him to tell me when to set my foot down. Instructions were clear from the very beginning.

When it was our turn, I trusted him completely. When he said STOP, I stopped immediately. When I was not clear on what he wanted me to do, I would clarify. If I could not understand the instruction, I told him so, then he would change it in a way that I understood. He was calm and very patient. I was attentive and surprisingly calm too. I followed his instructions carefully, as best as I could. We went through the challenge JUST ONCE! Which means I didn’t step on any object at any time, else I’d have to go back from the beginning all over again. Of course, my Crocs flats helped too, because they aren’t big shoes. It was easier to avoid the little toys. After our turn, King helped the rest of our teammates by guiding them and encouraging them.

Our team did not win the challenge, we finished 3rd, but it was such a cool experience. The game was very telling of how a couple TRUSTS, how they COMMUNICATE, and with what kind of ATTITUDE they approach challenges in their marriage.

Much like in our marriages, we start the game on the same page. But along the way, things happen, things change. There are times that communication is not clear or is not working. We need to work to understand each other. Re-adjusting is necessary. It was great that I ended up being the one led, just as a wife is. I had to trust my husband’s leadership. I did not assume that I knew better, because I couldn’t. I was the one who couldn’t see anything! Sometimes, we have blind spots. We must be wise & loving in how we tell our spouse of their blind spots, and when we are the ones being reminded, we must trust in their wisdom and love too. Attitude is everything! If you let your temper or frustration get the better of you, then communication, wisdom, trust go out the window, and are replaced by PRIDE.

Haha, I’m getting rebuked as I write this. We did great in the game, but reality is a different story. MUST APPLY IN REAL LIFE! 🙂

Check the previous blog SEASONS to find out what our assigned item represented, along with the rest of the 9 items. Included there are the lessons we learned from the other speakers as well. 🙂