Wednesday, April 15, 2009

get them thinking . . .

I was just reminded of an earlier post where I mentioned some of the Fout Family Values. It is times like these that I think I should write in a series, methodically, post after post adding layers to to continuing story. HOWEVER, I don't want to take the joy out of these random acts of writing. The layered style I'll leave for the book writers. I will mention another thing that we try to concentrate on here at the home.

Concerning Relationships in Our Family . . .

5. We love one another, treating others with kindness, gentleness and respect.
6. We serve one another, humbly thinking of the needs of others first.
7. We encourage one another, using only words that build up and bless others.
8. We forgive one another, covering an offense with love when wronged or hurt.

Now, does this ALWAYS happen in our home? Sorry to inform, but the answer is a resounding NO. But it is a goal of ours and a standard we are constantly working on.

One of the things I have tried to do over the years when the children start treating each other horribly is to ask them a few questions. Questions get them takes them out of the anger makes them reflect on THEIR behavior and not the one they think is wrong. Here are a few questions I ask.

What do you want?
Is doing that, or saying that, helping you get want you want? (ex. One is yelling at the other to stop doing something . . . does the yelling get them to stop doing it?)
What kind of person are you being to them?
What are you doing? Is that how you want to be?
What kind of person do you want to be?
What kind of brother/sister do you want to be remembered as?

We are definitely a work in progress, but these are helping us all to evaluate how we are treating the ones we should be loving.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

at the bottom of the stairs . . .

"It's raining and it's windy" . . . so my three year old says now as he is in bed for the evening. Each night, ritualistically, we follow the same routine. Right around 7pm, it's off to the bathroom for a couple of activities. Next, at the bottom of the stairs he hops on my back and I carry him up to his room. After I drop him off in his bed to play with cars, or the Etch a Sketch, I sit in the rocker and usually am working online doing something. Tonight was finishing an article I wrote for on how to make a paper STAINED GLASS WINDOW.

As I sit here writing this, I am convicted of the focus of my time spent right before he sleeps. Obviously I don't want to have stimulating conversation to keep him awake any longer, and I want him to understand that when he goes to bed it is to sleep. And then there is the rationalizing that I do that says "my dad never sat with me . . . " justifying my attention to something other than him. I am not 100% sure what to think of with this conviction, but I do know that it the Lord getting my attention in a small way to help me in being a better father.