Chores and Choices

Children need responsibilities. They learn valuable lessons such as structure and discipline through chores. Even a very young child can pick up clothing and put it in a laundry basket or carry toys to the storage box. It creates habits that last throughout their lives. Tidy adults begin as orderly children. A chore chart can keep everyone focused on what needs to be done to keep the home neat as a pin. It is important for Recycled Moms and the little ones alike. We feel more peaceful in a clean, uncluttered home; the mind can relax without a mess and chaos surrounding us.

The following website has over a dozen chore charts to choose from. They can be adjusted to fit every family’s needs. Since we have been using one, I am relieved of small but time consuming projects. I highly recommend one for every home. Those extra minutes saved can be spent reading a book with out small treasures or playing a game with them. Letting them learn and help fosters independence for them and free time for us.

Choose chores and beam with pride when your own grandchild builds character skills and tell you they are happy to help. Even if you have to secretly rewash the dishes for a while until he/she gets it right, you are on the right track. Sometimes this Recycled Mom business is precious and tender!

 

http://www.titus2.com/chores/chore-charts.html

 

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Guiding Them As They Grow

Hello Recycled Mom friends. Like myself, I am sure you see your grandkids change every day. Sometimes it seems mine has grown taller in his sleep and even emotionally grew while he dreamed. Yesterday, we were working in the yard (which needs a lot of help by the way-volunteers welcome!). I was mowing and my grandson was raking the old grass. While I took a short break, I noticed him carefully examining the lawnmower. Then he said he wanted to learn how to mow. This is a very old and heavy push mower. So I went through the safety and cranking process, then we walked side by side pushing that old mower across the front yard.

My heart was so full at seeing his willingness to help me and at how capably he really is at performing tasks. After that last patch was mowed, he went back to raking and we eventually carried it all to the compost bin. He was tired and hungry by then, but proud and showed me how strong his muscles had become because of all this exercise. He even calculated the calories burned. So we got our yard in order, spent time together, had a science lesson and both learned quite a bit.

How can that little five pound baby I remember now be big enough to mow a yard? Well, it is how God designed the human body, soul and spirit to function. It is going to happen whether we like it or not. So rather than letting them grow, let us guide them while they grow. Someone will teach our kids something and the person doing the most teaching has to be us.

As we worked, I explained the importance of doing a job right the first time and working with integrity. Another person might have taught him to just get it done so he could go play games. But our own lesson was successful. He asked for his own lawn rake so we drove to the local hardware store where he selected, paid for (I gave him the money) and carried out his own tool. It proudly sits in the utility room awaiting little hands. I am visiting the future where I see a strong man who knows how to take care of his home and one who works hard and proud. It was a great day and built a strong foundation.

Guiding them as they grow is an awesome and joyful responsibility indeed. Please share any stories and helpful ideas you have. Together we will raise a generation that changes our country for the better and breaks the cycle of parentless children; one that knows the value of hard work and takes care of loved ones, especially their Recycled Mom!

Happy Recycled Mom Day

On this day dedicated to mothers, we are in a unique, and sometimes painful, place. We grieve the children we bore that have made such grave mistakes yet cherish our roles as mother and grandmother. Our grandchildren really have two mothers. I recalled this fact as I wrote a poem for a friend on this day. She is 89 and has become a mother figure to me. In many ways it is apropos for our grandkids. I call it My Other Mother and thought to share it with all of you. I made a few revisions so it would suit our situation more. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Mother’s Day.

 

My Other Mother

Thank You Lord, for this gift of another mother,

One who is loving and kind, gentle and mild.

My first mother carried me in the core of her body;

Nurtured me with her very blood and marrow.

This other mother holds me safely in the womb

Of her heart and gives me what the other now cannot.

First mother, I think you somehow would look in love

Praising the Father for bringing me this precious other mother.

She loves me like you did Mom, teaching me her wisdom and joy.

As your voice is recalled in my memory, I know that together

My two mothers make me the person God has called me to be.

 

I Dreamed a Dream

We all had dreams when we were young. Some have come true and some have not. We let go of ones that seemed unreachable and that saddens me greatly. Often, life beats the dream and faith out of us. Our little loved ones have had a rough start and life has already kicked them, but we Recycled Moms have gathered them up with arms of love. We hold them close and listen to their pains, sorrows, joys and victories.

It is my goal to teach my grandson that his own dreams can indeed be fulfilled. Recently, I read about a woman named Martha Ann Ricks who never gave up on her dream. She had been a slave until her own father purchased his family’s freedom after years of saving pennies. He then took them to Liberia to start a new life. Martha saw British patrol boats sent by Queen Victoria to prevent slavers from capturing the people and returning them to America as slaves. Martha greatly admired the Queen and wanted to personally thank her. So she also began saving her pennies.

It took Martha Ann Ricks 50 years to make the dream come true, but one day she was escorted into Windsor Castle, given a tour, then presented to the Queen of England. How many of us would keep the dream alive for 50 years? It is my belief that we all have such determination within us and can achieve what we set out to do.

Children are easily distracted in our modern times. It is our job as caretakers to teach them discipline and forbearance. Let us listen carefully to their dreams and goal. Let’s encourage them no matter how lofty the goal sounds. Tell them about people like Martha, people like Abraham Lincoln and George Washington Carver; people who got stuck, tired and discouraged but never gave up on the dream.

We may not be here when our grandchildren’s dreams come true but they will remember that we cultivated the soil and fertilized it for them when the dream was only a spark in the mind of a little child.

http://www.amazon.com/Martha-Quilt-Queen-Victoria-ebook/dp/B004THZ7DK/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336674917&sr=1-1

Can You Spare The Time?

Recycled Moms are busy, busy, busy. The days fly by and we struggle to find a few minutes to sit quietly with our little loves. Yet the importance of that is paramount and even crucial. Great relaxation and joy are found in the moments we spend playing games with our grandchildren. Mine loves to play Sorry and he grins mischievously when he sends me back to Start. He usually is still smiling when he goes to bed after we have spent time playing a favorite game. These minutes or even an hour spent in play can be a time of bonding and learning.

As we play the chosen game, I can slip in casual questions about my grandson’s school days, his friends, his dreams and much more. I learn a lot about him and issues that might have passed by unnoticed otherwise. He tells me things that are in his heart. They are easy to talk about in an atmosphere where no pressure is applied. Some are seemingly little; perhaps a friend doubted his word that there is an Avengers 2 animated movie. This is the perfect opportunity to teach a lesson about integrity and how it comes from within and is not dependent upon the perception of others. He does not even realize we have done anything more than play the game.

Depending on the age of your child/children, the game can be a simple board game like Candy Land or more challenging like Monopoly. We play a Star Wars trivia game where I always lose. Really! I have never won and my grandson gloats for days after we play that one. Other favorites are Boggle which helps the kids learn spelling and reading, Checkers, Chess, Battleship which helps him learn strategy, Mancala which led to a history lesson about Ethiopia and is a secret math lesson.

I urge you to make time and play sit down quiet games with your grandchild. You both will love it and will feel closer to each other. The days are filled with loud television shows, stressful school functions, and physical sports activity. Playing peaceful games will calm you and your child. I guarantee you both will sleep better and have lovely, peaceful dreams.

How Do You Like Me Now?

As grandmothers, we love our children any way and any time. No matter what their actions, the love never fails or wanes. This reminds me of a time when my own grandson popped into the hallway from his room and struck a dramatic pose. “How do you like me now?” he asked. He had dressed himself in a “creative” outfit which consisted of pajama pants, an A undershirt, flip flops and a neck tie. I gulped and swallowed a laugh before answering. Then I told him that I liked him just fine and he wore that outfit to Wednesday evening church service.

It seems the world is constantly trying to change our kids and we often do the same. It stifles their creativity and exuberance. It melts them and forces them into a mold that constricts. But we can fight against that and allow our child to retain his/her natural personality and joy. There will be a time when they must realize society requires certain standards and they will adapt but remain rooted on a firm foundation of who they already are.

Do not ask “What do you want to BE when you grow up””, but rather “What do you want to DO when you grow up?”. Hopefully, our grandchildren will always be exactly who they are right now, just with more experience and life under their belts. As they mature, they will learn the ability to control a situation rather than allowing it to control them. We will still like them for it and respect the adult they have become. We will “like” them then just as we do now. And we sure do like them now, don’t we Recycled Moms?