Children and Chores

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My husband and I, like many parents, love to provide for our children an enjoyable life full of enrichment, love, and joy. However, overindulgence without responsibility will lead to entitlement attitudes and dependence. This is the opposite of what we intend to develop in our children by showering them with our love and gifts. One important tool to help your children grow to become responsible and self-reliant is to assign the children chores, even if you have a housekeeper.

There are some basic chores that my children are responsible for during the week, e.g. picking up their dishes after dinner. However, Saturday morning in my house is the “big clean”. I prepare a checklist and tell them specific times for when I will check their work. Honestly, I was a drill sergeant the first few weeks, when I started this process. However, over time as these chores became the standard, the drill sergeant starts to fade and resurfaces, only when necessary. I even give them a 30 minute warning before the big clean begins.

Some helpful hints to support your success on implementing chores for your children:

  1. Be consistent: Your children may not be willing participants at first. However, stick with it. Overtime, it will become the norm.
  2. Select age appropriate chores. For example, I limit access to areas, like toilet cleaning, due to risk of exposure to germs. For toddlers, it may be picking up toys. For school age children, you can add placing laundry in the correct location, cleaning the kitchen table, and picking up dishes.
  3. Be patient: Your child may not get it done right the first time. Teach them as you go along, while decreasing your involvement in the specific task.
  4. Be encouraging: If you have a negative attitude towards their work, so will they. Help them feel supported and appreciated for a true good effort. Also, when assessing the cleanliness of an area, be encouraging for recognizing good effort and coaching on specific ways to be more efficient or getting areas that were missed.
  5. Be firm: When the effort is lacking from your child, be firm and clear in your expectations followed up with consequences for disobedience.
  6. Make it fun: Play music, open the windows, sing songs, and even make a game of it.

You want your child to have a sense of pride of the work they completed. I love when my child says, “Mom, come look.” As I assess the space they have clean, I sense their feeling of accomplishment. I praise them for it, which is encouraging for them. I am not always sure, if I am doing the right thing. However, this is one area I am confident that I am. One added benefit for you is the additional help around the house. Now, that is marvalous!

My Sweet Valentine

DSCF0662[1]Valentine’s Day is a great opportunity to celebrate the one you love. Although, it should not be on the only time in the year  that you do. Make this holiday special by doing something different and very romantic. I suggest skipping the crowded restaurant or the movies, in lieu for real quality time one on one with the one you love.

Start by writing a love letter. In the letter appreciate the other person for the everyday things that demonstrate how much they love you.  Often times, the everyday things are taken for granted. Your recognizing their love in even the simple things, will make them feel special. Also, write about the qualities they possess that deepens your love for them. It will make them feel loved and very special. Choose beautiful stationary or a lovely card to deliver the message.

Next to address the quality time, plan a romantic date, e.g. a picnic, a walk, or hike. Plan for at least an hour, where the both of you can spark a great conversation and enjoy each others company. Gifts are nice. However a gift, alone, without sincere love, can be lacking. Sometimes, the effort in planning of the date and the genuine show of affection that makes the moment romantic can be much more meaningful than a gift.

I hope this Valentine’s is absolutely “Marvalous!”

Consider The Source

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I am sure that you have heard the phrase, “consider the source.” Often times, we take that to mean that the source of whatever information is unreliable. It reminded me of the scripture below.

18 But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them. 19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts—murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

Matthew 15:18-19, NIV

I ask that we explore this concept further. Why is the source of false information unreliable, for example when it is one person saying something negative about another? What experiences in that person’s life lead them to be an unreliable source? Were they hurt, lied to, or have they misunderstood how or not have had role models to demonstrate authentic healthy relationship with others.

No one except the Lord, our God, is perfect. We all fall short of His glory. I ask of you and myself to pray for those who suffer hurt, forgiveness, jealousy, abandonment, etc., who can only lash out at others or judge others harshly. It is from their pain that they inflict pain on others. Also, pray for ourselves and others who have been harmed from less than legitimate sources of information. May we recognize the truth and know that we are loved and valuable. May we always remember that darkness cannot hide the light. Rather light always shines down on the truth. God bless you all.

My Hair Ritual

Taking care of natural hair can be quite the task. Over the years, I have developed an understanding with my hair. The better I take care of it, the better it will look on me. In essence, I have adjusted to what it takes to maintain it. Washing my hair is a ritual. There are certain things that must be done, such as  using gentle and moisturizing shampoo,  good conditioning, and heat protection from styling tools. Here are the products that help me get the job done.

My favorite hair products.

My favorite hair products.

I adore everything by Carol’s Daughter. Pictured above is the TUI Shampoo and Conditioner, the MONOI Repairing Spray, and The HEALTHY HAIR BUTTER.  After washing and conditioning my hair, I apply the MONOI spray and Organix  Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco Penetrating Oil. To minimize heat exposure, I allow my hair to air dry. I run the blow dryer through for less than 5 minutes. The result is the semi-straight hair below.

A work in progress.

A work in progress.

After the blow dry, I commence with my flat iron, a Chi. Working with small sections of hair starting from the back, I straighten and curl. I finish by applying the Aveda Brilliant Emollient Finishing Gloss. Aveda’s Brilliant hair product line is the absolute best smelling. I love it! The result is seen in the pictures below.

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Last, I apply  a small amount of the Carol’s Daughter Hair Butter and wrap my hair in a silk scarf. I prefer the wrap over sleeping on a satin pillow or wearing a satin cap. The wrap helps to maintain the slight curl of my hair.  Now, I am ready for a Marvalous Monday!

The products listed can be found at:

Carol’s Daughter, http://www.carolsdaughter.com

Organix, Walmart, Ulta, and drug stores

Aveda,  Aveda retail store, authorized salon, or  http://www.aveda.com