The Blog 'Cocoon to Butterfly' hosted its first conference on wholesome parenting 'Raising Arrows' on April 16th 2016, at the Cartoon Art Gallery. The key note speaker was Andalene Salvesen a.k.a Super Granny, an internationally acclaimed parenting coach, speaker and author. The event was planned and coordinated by the event planning service 'Sherrie's Lounge'.
Shooting an arrow to a precise target requires developing skill, so it is with raising children, except these arrows will be the pillars of a nation, the voice of our collective future. The mission of the blog is to Encourage and Empower Moms with practical help and much needed cheering on to take on the most important yet challenging role of a mother.
The conference saw mothers from different walks of life in attendance, returning as mothers with purpose... equipped with effective tools and practical steps to be the nurturers they were made to be! The second part of the conference is scheduled for July 2016.
I grew up believing I was a little princess and someday I would find my Prince charming and would be teeming with delightful little ones. I saw myself dressing little princesses in floral cottage dresses and cascading their hair with the perfect bow clips and fascinators. I dreamed of our colossal Christmas table where my girls and I would prepare the most delectable dishes and entertain with finesse. I envisioned teaching them how to accessories clothing and how to decorate a home. Oh the joys of being a girl!
In reality there are many days I feel like a princess trapped in a castle surrounded by hooligans and testosterones. Please do not misunderstand my ramblings. I love and adore my boys and I am ever grateful for them. There is not a chance in a million years that I would ever trade them for any other. However I never imagined of having to live in a house full of monkeys bouncing off stairs, beds and kitchen platforms and who care very little about equilibrium and balance. As for myself this princess of poise is caught very often-screaming “seat-up, seat-down, flush, wash, boogers on tissue not on t-shirt, dirty feet’s off couch”. When I finally sit down I find myself giving them a class on decorum of how they should not be running around naked screaming words like, ‘butt and fart’. My shopping list involves kids body wash and kids toothpaste on every trip. You can imagine why. As a mother who monitors the cartoons my kids watch, I am still trying to get my head around to understand why does a hanger turn into a gun, a balloon into a bomb and a spatula into a sword. What is so fascinating about battles and wars as opposed to doll houses that involves nurturing and loom bands that involve creativity. I look at the limitless energy my boys have and think; I have in my home the answer, the source to our world ‘s energy crisis. Some days can be relentless, overwhelming and exhausting. I tell myself “Breathe in and breathe out” and I say a little prayer and hope that I am gifted every day with a little more portion of patience.
I was that person who went through the throbbing pain of miscarriages and childlessness. I was that person who cried to God to bless me with a child. I would give up anything for this mischief, fun and laughter. So does any of this justify my grievance and annoyance? I agree it is not possible to enjoy every moment. Especially as a mother of little boys you need to be endowed with constant supply of energy and motivation. There may be days I may not enjoy and treasure every moment but I have decided that I will enjoy my boys. I have resolved to lay down standards of raising them that are not measurable. I am determined to refrain from saturating my mind with the infinite legions of instructions that the world has to offer on raising ‘proper organic children’.
There are a few things I have learned in my trek of raising boys and am beginning to recognize is universal truth.
Boys are born to explore. So quit trying to contain their energy.
Boys are created as boys so they will be boisterous and often messy. Get used to noise and dirt. Teach them where and when it is appropriate to indulge in ‘dirt art’ as I call it and to be loud and noisy.
Boys enjoy being funny. Polish your sense of humor and laugh along with them.
Boys do not multitask just like men do not. So stop screaming out endless lists such as tidy up, change into PJ’s, brush your teeth and into bed. Learn to give one instruction at a time and follow up. Oh, did I mention not to forget praising them for a job well done. They love it.
Boys love to be loved. They may not always be expressive but they sure love it when you spent time with them, when you attempt to answer the trillion questions they shoot out, and when you put them to bed with cuddles and kisses.
Little boys are little wonders
Little boys are little wonders, filled with charm, and joy they render.
Two small arms and tiny fingers, someday they’ll stand tall and conquer.
With power packed like fire crackers, they are messy with their cars and tractors.
They hide in bushes, swing on trees, they are hard to find but they are one of a kind.
They are every mothers dream come true; cherish every bear hug as they shout out ‘I love you’.
This weekend my husband and I had the unique privilege of spending the day with our dear friend Daryl Heald. He has been a man who has challenged and inspired us to live life generously for others, not only with our resources but also with our time and family. Daryl currently serves as Director of Generosity with The Maclellan Foundation as well as serving on the boards of Crown Financial Ministries, Excellence in Giving, ProVision Foundation and the Haggai Institute. His wife Cathy is by all means what I would call chief of supermoms. Daryl and Cathy, live in Georgia, with their eight children. They have 5 biological children (Frances, Hallie, Hamilton, Anders and Louisa) and 3 adopted children (Lee Lee,Lucy Wu and Bella from China). Their adoption story is anything but typical.
Daryl and his friend Michael Dennehy, who have adopted, have created a video on adoption. I would encourage all my readers to watch this 15-minute video on their story. I share it with the hope that it may help others who are considering or beginning the adoption journey.
In a self-gratifying world this production is counter-cultural. I promise you this creative effort will tug your heart and take ahold of you as it sheds light on the beautiful world of adoption.
My heart was thumping like a heard of galloping horses as I awaited the results of my oldest s' MRI scan. AB was rushed to the hospital as he suffered excruciating pain and had restricted movement around his neck and head. The doctors ran many tests to investigate the underlying cause of the pain and to conclude what events lead to this. Upon examining the medical reports and hearing my boys’ story they arrived at a diagnosis that he suffers a condition called ‘strain’. Phew, that’s a relief! Not as serious as one would imagine it to be. Watching a screen in an unsuitable position for extended periods caused this. Prior to this incident AB was enjoying his playtime indulging in some Xbox extravaganza at our neighbors home with his buddy’s. I had reasoned with him that the great outdoors had much adventure to offer than plugging into a fantasy world indoors. He convinced me saying he would play outdoors 4 days a week and 3 days he would spend time gaming indoors. It seemed like a reasonable proposition, so I agreed. In hindsight I wish I had not.
This incident left me turning back pages in my memory book. It brought back spirited memories of my childhood. When I was AB’s age I was rushed to the doctors after I fell off a guava tree in my grandmas home. It was painful, but at least I re-lived ‘Mowgli’ from ‘Jungle book’ and enjoyed a few bites of ripe organic goodness before my fall. This one little incident taught me 2 valuable life lessons: how to measure risks and how to take responsibility of myself. Looking back, I cannot recall one amazing memory of watching the little TV I got to watch as a child. But I hold close an array of fond memories of exploring the wild and running barefoot on my granddad’s 10 acres of rustic landscape.
Growing up I was let loose to enjoy free-unstructured play. I eagerly waited for the holiday seasons to head to my grandparents home where I could build dollhouses with thatched coconut leaves and twigs. I even remember building a hideaway hut for myself. I enjoyed trawling the wild and scouring them looking for cashew fruits and fallen mangoes. I have a particular fond memory of trying my hand at milking a cow and getting kicked by it at the same time. My favorite part of the great outdoors was at dusk where the children got to chase the hens, ducks and lamb back to its coop and barns. There were ponds, woods, muddy patches and open spaces. The environment was challenging and inspiring and I created my own adventure. I learned problem solving, managing resources, flexibility and teamwork. I have learned to love nature and to survive and be creative. I am dreaming that my children will experience this to some extend and all this would not just be a fairy tale from yester years.
With the invasion of technology sadly, children’s contact with nature is declining and they are on a road to transforming to what I would term ‘Digital zombies’. I agree we cannot bring back the vast countryside experience to our urban kids. But there is always room to teach them appreciation for nature, creation and the creator.
Usher your little treasures into an experience of enjoying the brilliance of God’s paint over the sunset. Engage in chasing the bright visions of spectacular prints in every unique butterfly. Experience the feeling of God’s rest as you remove your shoes along with the tiny feet folks and sink your toes in the lush green grass. Encourage the younglings to close their eyes and enjoy the kiss of a soft breeze, which resonates with the creator’s peace. Connect with your tiny sparks as you help them perceive the wonder of nature which points to a creative genius. Help your kids create memories as they live a life bursting with flavor.
This week I have dedicated my time with my kids to teach them about ‘STRANGER DANGER’. The city where we live is considered one of the most safest, yet we frequently hear about predators targeting children as young as a 3 year old. As parents, we often think our children are way too young to practice safety measures. I say 'Better early than Sorry'. It is tricky to strike a balance between teaching children safety without having them to feel this great world is a dangerous place to be and most people they meet are scary. I am on a journey of creating some family rules for our boys to abide by. I have also thought of making this teaching a practical one by inculcating some role-play sessions with my kids. I urge Parents to make it a point to be intentional about bringing safety awareness into your family. Join me in this ‘GUARD OUR TREASURE ‘run. ‘I have attached an interesting video for preschoolers and young kids to watch as a first step towards learning about ‘STRANGER DANGER’
Have fun while you equip your children with the knowledge and strategy to protect themselves in a dangerous situation. The most important lesson as parents we need to bear in mind is that we are not taking our children through a journey where we instill fear,rather we empower them with confidence and assure them that help is a prayer and shout away.
I come from a home where ‘ I ‘ was celebrated, ‘I’ was made to feel important and ‘I’ was special. I had a wonderful childhood not because of the things I had but because of the way I was made to feel.
God created each child to be a wonderful unique individual. My oldest is spirited and he loves all the attention he could possibly have. He loves to play with automobiles and planes. My second is calm (now moving on from there) and independent. He loves to play with pots and pans. My third is a mix of both. What motivates one child does not motivate the other. Each of my pea's is so different although they are from the same pod. They are uniquely different in their personalities, interests, strengths and capabilities.
As for me I wish every little boy were calm and easy to parent. I wish every little boy would play with automobiles and planes. However, I have learned that there is absolutely no value in comparing our children to the other. As parents, my husband and I are constantly reminding each other to be conscious not to exercise favoritism. As parents, we have realized that each of our 3 children possess different strengths and require unique support to meet their individual needs. It is up to us as parents to be involved with our children, to observe their gifts and to help nourish them. I am reminded of the famous verse “Children are like arrows in the hands of a warrior”. We have to be mindful of raising our children, not as objects that we control rather raise them as powerful tools that we can release for a greater purpose.
Every child is a perfect reflection of God’s magnificent diversity. Let's celebrate each of them for who they are and who they were created to be. Every child is special, every child is unique, and every child is extraordinary!
Welcome to SignetRing, where we share our love for all things - Gourmet, Fashion and Culture. I’m SnehaRebecca, the woman at the helm of this pursuit. SamuelJoy a.k.a Absolute Achromat, my brother is the man behind the powerful visual storytelling. SignetRing aims to approach life with an eye that evokes curiosity, discovers creativity and captures the magic of the moment.