I’m a woman of faith. The word testimony gets used a lot when discussing principles of Gospel Truths. My very loose definition of the word is that it means we have a sure knowledge of something. For example, I have a testimony of the power of prayer. I know that prayers work. I’ve seen the blessings there of time and time again.
Regardless of one’s stance on matters of faith, I think you can have a testimony of other matters. I once heard a Mom say she wanted to have a stronger testimony of her children. What a concept, right? Imagine trying to learn and understand your children in such a way that you truly know them.
As a Stay-at-Home Mom, you’d think I would know all about my kids. I’m with them constantly. I know how they like their food, I know what shows they like, I know that they will whine and complain when I ask them to clean-up, and I know that going to the park still gets cheers from each of them. I know them. But, do I? I want to know more about them. Each of them. Individually.
Recently, I’ve been so caught up in social media that I feel like my children’s lives are disappearing before my very eyes. I want to know more about my kids than I do about the eating habits of people that I once knew vaguely in High School. It’s pathetic really how I get sucked in to the social media world.
So, Step 1, we can have lots of fun. Oh wait! That’s New Kids On The Block. Although, they may be on to something. We’ll get back to their steps in a moment.
Step 1 – Monitor and time my social media activity. I’m giving myself 30 minutes a day. This might sound excessive to most. However, if you knew how much I was really on these sites, you’d realize that this is a significant decrease.
I started timing myself today. I used 8 minutes this morning. Then, I was sitting in the line for gas (it’s illegal to pump your own gas in the fine state of Oregon) and instinct told me to pick up my phone and check the social media circuit. The kids weren’t in the car so I figured it wasn’t taking away from anything anyway, right? Then, I recalled an article that I read this past May called How The Smartphone Killed The Three-day Weekend. It explained how constant media use is, “robbing our brains of critical downtime that encourages creative thinking.”
Creative thinking that I could be using to come up with fun things to do with my children. Which brings us back to New Kids on the Block, we can have lots of fun. I want to know what makes my kids laugh the hardest. I’m pretty sure it’s when they have my husband’s and my undivided attention. If that’s the case, I can so easily give them more of that and therefore more fun in their lives.
Step 2 – More dance parties. My kids love them and they do a world of good for all those involved. I know some of their favorite songs. Maybe if I listen and observe a little more, I can figure out what makes each of those songs their favorite songs. What is it that pulls them in and gets them grooving?
Step 3 – Individual time with each of them. I don’t just want a testimony of my children. I want a testimony of Abigail. A testimony of Vivian. A testimony of August.
Sometimes I forget that playing with my kids is part of my gig. I feel like I should be cleaning and budgeting and cooking and tending to matters of the home. I forget that playing with my kids is as much a part of me raising them as feeding them is. Somewhere I misled myself into thinking that playing with my kids is me slacking. I should be “working.” When in reality, playing with my kids may very well be the most important thing I do with them all day.
That being said, I’m going to go play. They’re outside my window making chalk drawings on the porch right now. I think there may be a flower that needs to be drawn by this Mommy.
I’m going to go strengthen my testimony of my children. Please share ways that you improve your relationship with your children.
One thought on “A Testimony of Children”
Hey, this post just proves you’ve got the right stuff, baby. Seriously, I love that concept about having a testimony of your children. I, too, get so easily sucked into the internet and SO much of my time is wasted while I tell the kids, “Just a few more minutes, ok?” Blah. I want to change that about myself. I was doing okay until my smartphone entered my world. I’ve got to set a time limit or something. Thanks for the inspiration to do so. One thing we do that has REALLY helped in our family is kid interviews (now lovingly called “kidderviews”). On Sunday nights, we put the kids down early and invite each kid in, one by one, for a 10 minute talk on our bed. We snuggle and they can ask us anything and we try to mention things we saw them doing well during the week. It is really good and we’ve had the kids tell us things they never would have normally. I’m hoping we can keep it up even into the teen years and try to keep the lines of communication open.