Hatching Fun

Summer is in full swing and many kids are getting bored. School has been out for a while and vacation has come and gone. There are still many fun things to do though. My friend and fellow blogger Brenna has a fantastic idea that kids will love. She has posted it on a fellow blogging site.

This activity has the kids mixing up a nontoxic recipe and creating dinosaur eggs. Here is the link.

http://www.madetobeamomma.com/2013/07/summer-fun-with-kids-day-one-diy.html

Now I want to make some myself! Enjoy.

Make Some Dinosaur Eggs!

Make Some Dinosaur Eggs!

Parental Resilience-A Protective Factor

Lean on me is the title of a popular song by Bill Withers. It is also great advice for Recycled Moms and the children in their care. Indeed our little ones lean on us for love, support, life lessons and love. We are a huge oak tree in their eyes, one that stands strong and steady throughout storms. They know nothing of the tears we weep in the wee hours of the morning or the weariness that so often overtakes us.

Yet we continue on because this is a sacred journey, it is a pilgrimage and we sojourners on a path we never chose. How can we be strong for our little ones? We must have support. The tree in the photograph is leaning and it is hard to believe the thing remains upright. But it has roots that are anchored deep into the ground. Those roots are the support system.

One root we can grow is Parental Resilience. This is one of the five Protective Factors taught by child abuse prevention organizations. Life and child rearing is full of crisis and stress. Parents who are resilient and flexible have an inner core of strength, the ability to bounce back. I call it being a Weeble. Do you remember those little toys that fall over but immediately pop back up? The song was “Weebles wobble but don’t fall down.” That is the definition of Parental Resilience.

We wobble but don't fall down

We wobble but don’t fall down

 Few of us reach adulthood in one piece. Childhood stresses and crises such as abuse, poverty and the like often injure people so we become brittle and not resilient. Then the pressures of being the responsible person create more fractures in that fragile shell placed around our emotions. The ability to cope becomes further reduced when a person is faced with marital conflicts, employment issues, special needs children and a thousand other problems parents must deal with on a daily basis.

Learning about parental resilience and building a firm foundation on this protective factor increases the possibility of good outcomes for oneself and for the children in our care. How do we increase parental resilience? There are four basic levels:

  • The Individual
  • The Family
  • The School
  • The Community

 While it optimally begins in childhood, parental resilience is often never established at that critical time but one must learn it while in the trenches of parenthood. Fostering positive attachments with children is a stepping stone to other strategies in coping. While teaching children to build resilience parents increase their own. Take time to:

  • Exercise
  • Eat Well
  • Rest and Sleep Well
  • Celebrate Milestones
  • Sing and Play with Children
  • Respond to Your Own Needs
  • Make Friends
  • Develop and Maintain a Daily Routine
  • Remember You Do Many Things Right
  • Keep a Journal (letting it all out on paper reduces stress)

There are many more ways to develop and grow parental resilience. Most of them connect with other Protective Factors. We will be discussing those in the next few weeks as I present a new Factor each week. Leave a comment with questions or requests for other information. Thanks. Have a great Recycled day!

Lean on Me

Lean on Me

Pickled Kids

Hello Recycled Moms and faithful other readers. I assure you we will not be pickling our children today or any other time. The title of this post comes from something I observed last night.

My grandson S. and I attend a grandparents raising grandchildren group every Monday evening. We always have a meal before the children go to their group and we weary grandparents to our own area. Last night we had barbeque and all the fixings. I took several different kinds of pickles because I didn’t know what really goes with barbeque.

The kids were so excited to see the pickles and dug in even before dinner was served. They loved them! I watched, smiling as I saw a Bread & Butter boy, the Kosher Dill toddler, that Gherkin girl and other varieties of children. They all were so uniquely different yet so right and perfectly cohesive just as pickles are. Kids and pickles do not care about size, color, taste and all the other nonsense that the world deems important. They just remain themselves regardless and touch the world around them gently and memorably.

Our collection of children is typical of kids found anywhere. No matter the flavor, they all are loveable, smart, funny and eager to explore. They range from little ones who climb onto any available lap to older ones that must look cool and self controlled at all times, yet end up with their heads resting on adult knees.

Like pickles, they go well with anyone who loves them. So let’s do that with gusto. We all enjoy a good meal, the kind where afterwards we pat our belly and declare “That sure was good!” I firmly believe and declare we will do the same when we see out little pickles grown and out on their own, strong and confident; able to love because we first loved them and accepted their variety for its own contribution.

So go enjoy a salty, sweet, sour, briny, sliced, whole, half or unique pickled kid today!

No Matter The Variety, They Are All Perfectly Wonderful!

No Matter The Variety, They Are All Perfectly Wonderful!

What Love Looks Like

Love is the foundation of life. God is love, Jesus’ great command was for us to love one another as He loved us. Men and women love, make a commitment, marry and that love reproduces itself, resulting in children. Then the real fun begins!

Love comes easy, especially toward children. However walking out the path of love is a road filled with stones, ruts and pitfalls. This is so because we live in a harsh world full of trials. We are human beings who grow weary, become impatient and allow worry or fear to block the way.

We Recycled Moms who are starting to walk this life path all over again are already battle scarred from raising our own children. Even the most blessed, easy to raise child wears one out. By the time our grandchildren come along, we just want to sit down and play with them. Yet many of us have found ourselves frantically looking for a road map and setting out on the journey all over again.

We accept that we are at mile one again and just start walking in love. It takes a toll but we continue one baby step at a time. I was reminded of this when I ran across a picture of my own little grandson’s sleep toy. It is a tiny lamb that he receives when he was one week old. They were very close to the same size as my grandson only weighed five pounds at the time. Baby Lambie as he came to be called, has been a staple in the boy’s life. He went everywhere and was cuddled close while S slept.

Now that S is ten years old, Baby Lambie still remains a loyal and devoted protector. He still lays on the pillow at night, a fierce protector. He remains home though when S goes out or away for the night. S says he stays home to bring me comfort.

Bably Lambie once was white, fluffy and sported bright eyes and a pink button nose. His eagerness was glowingly apparent in his fresh appearance. Now he is a dull grey, is limp, stained, his “fur” is worn down to a nub and frankly he smells bad. But he never gives up or goes away.

Recycled Moms, grandmothers, we are like Baby Lambie. Life has left marks on us. We have grey hair, wrinkles on our foreheads and around our eyes. The cost of love was high. We do not count the price though, we look at the reward which is a happy, healthy child. Like Baby Lambie or whatever the beloved toy is named, we are loyal. We never will abandon these children that sought us out. We are their sanctuary, their fortress, their guide to the future. Through us, they will build a foundation, know what love really is and how to reach the end of the journey in joy.

No matter the cost, we love every day, every night, without fail. We love-like Christ first loved us.

Love Looks Like This

Love Looks Like This