Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Family: Childhood

 When you have a larger family, it is easy to be busy with the older kids schedules and to just bring the younger ones along.  It was common for me to feel like we had 'been there, done that' and that we didn't need to do it again.  For me it was in the area of field trips to places like Philadelphia and Washington, DC, for example.

It came to a head one day several years ago when I realized that this younger batch of kids (as I call them) had never seen the Liberty Bell or Independence Hall.
 It happens easily in a larger family because, even though the younger kids get to an age where they can really enjoy and get something out of a trip, you now can't go because the older ones have jobs, and need rides, etc.

 A few years ago, I had the thought that this is these kids childhood and that they needed to have one full of memories of something other than riding in the van to take their siblings to work!

We started to be more deliberate about going places, getting them together with friends.  In short, we are giving them a wonderful childhood.  We've taken trips, watch movies, read books aloud, visit with friends, help others, indulged in our love of buying books.  We work together here at home, we listen to music, we laugh together.  We enjoy each other's company.  

I am not an advocate of having everything revolve around the kids.  I believe that kids are a part of the family not the center of it.  Our kids need to be involved with what we are doing. They also need to have responsibilities around the house.  This is important.

I guess what I'm wanting to say with this post is that if you are still raising kids, be deliberate about what you do.  Take the time to go on that bike ride together, or to make a run to the store for ice cream.  Work along side them washing dishes and folding laundry.

Talk to your kids and get to really know them - know the things they love, and are interested in.  Read the Word together, pray together everyday.

We pray together every night before bed.  Soon Tim won't be here when the kids go to bed.  I will still pray with them, but I am sure that Tim will read with them and pray with them during the school day.  It builds closeness and lays a foundation for relationship.

Our kids only get one childhood.  Let's make it a good one with lasting memories, strong foundations, good relationships.  Tim and I like to say that we are not raising kids, we are raising adults.  We want them to be mature, and grown up when they hit adulthood.  

What are some things you did as a family that you have fond memories of?


  1. There were many family times and trips to the cottage; however, the big things like Washington, D.C. and Philadephia did not happen. We sent our kids to private school so funds for travel were not readily available. I, on the other hand, did visit all those places as a child. My kids' father did not travel until he was an adult and then only in the military or on business trips. Both my kids think of other things to spend their discretionary funds on now, though I have heard rumors about a big trip coming up for the grands.

    1. I so love Tim's Canadian family's cottages on the lake. I bet your trips there were so great!

      Can't wait to hear what's up for your grands!

  2. Camping was a large part of our childhood, starting with me as an infant in a tent and my mom warming my bottle on a camp stove, to the later years of campers and RV's... we went from Michigan to California and back one summer... that was 46 years ago and it still brings back awesome memories...

    1. Camping was the main activity in our family when I was growing up. We didn't do much else for vacations or everyday.

      I can imagine that amazing trip from Michigan to California. I've driven it several times when we were in Bible School in Jackson, MI and I was from California.

  3. Childhood flies by. And you are making the most of your kids. I think those of you who have a younger set and and older set have an advantage of experience for raising the younger set!

  4. I remember camping trips to a provincial park when I was 12-13 with cousins and they were fun with family nighttime activities around the fire.
    We also went to Florida in February practically every year because that's where my father's parents were for 6 months, living in a home my grandfather built.
    Charades, board games and the traditional Sunday pot roast dinner are fond memories too.

    1. I love those everyday, weekly memories. My younger kids have lots of great memories of Sunday activities with our church, that the older ones, only started in their teens. So it's different for them.

      My family went to Nevada every summer when I was a kid, to visit my dad's mother. It was very different from where I grew up, so we had fun.

  5. I have fond memories of weekly visits to my grandparents' house. Listening to my mom telling stories of her childhood while she ironed. Playing games on New Year's Eve. Almost daily trips to the grocery store where my dad was the manager. Stopping at Dairy Queen for fountain cokes. Christmas shopping with my mom. So often, it's the little things that are memorable.

    I am nodding my head as I read this post. I can relate to the older/younger children family dynamic. You are must be intentional and guide each individual child. And isn't it a wonderful privilege to still have younger children in the home? (I know that you feel that way!)

    1. I do consider it a privilege to have kids in my home. They are all as different from the older kids, as they are from each other. I have grown and am a different person both as a mother, and individual because of each child in my life.

  6. My parents did the same in our family as my sister and I are 7 years apart. They made sure that I had adventures as they did with my older sister.


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