My Favorite Kids Discipleship Resources

This post originally appeared at Twinning Babywise as part of Babywise Friendly Blog Netword Swap day.

One of the most daunting tasks as a parent has to be discipling our children and raising them in the Lord. There is nothing in parenting that I hold with the same importance and nothing that I pray and beg God for than my kids salvation. But, I think it is of the utmost importance to remember that salvation rests only and always with Jesus. My greatest victories as a parent cannot save my kids and my greatest failures cannot ruin them. Salvation rests only and always with Jesus.

That being said, I think it is Biblical and God-intended for us to raise our children in a way that they know in their heads and grow in their hearts the truth of God's word. That we teach them and train them according to what the Bible, God's perfect word, tells us is THE truth.

Through the years, both as a mom and as a former children's director, I have gathered some of my favorite resources to help in the discipleship process with our kids. I hope they help you as you walk this journey with your own babies!



Bibles

Baby Blessings Bible - I like this Bible for babies up to age 2. It was recommended to me this past year by a friend who gave it to Archer as a gift, and I'm sad I didn't know about it before. It's padded and durable, and while it is more of a "story" book, every story in it points back to Jesus.


The Big Picture Story Bible - This Bible is my favorite for 2,3,and 4 years olds. The pictures are big and beautiful. The language is easy to understand and captivating and it asks good questions. And again, every story points to Jesus.


The Jesus Storybook Bible - This is my all- time favorite Bible for children. I think you can use it with any age but probably the best fit is 5 years+ . The whole point of this Bible, every single part of it is to point back to Jesus being our rescuer and redeemer. Every part. If you don't own this Bible, you need to.


Missions

Maps - If you want to teach your kids about how much bigger the world is than just our little western bubble, if you want them to be mission-minded, if you want them to love ALL people no matter their skin color or where they are from, you have to SHOW them. We have maps all over our house because I want our kids to be curious. I want my kids to ask questions. I want them to see how tiny of a dot our location is on the map compared to the rest of the world. And when I tell them that God SO LOVED the world, I want them to see what that really means. It doesn't take anything fancy. You can print off free world maps from the internet. You can find maps online geared towards kids. You can find wall maps like the one I have in our playroom. It doesn't matter which kind, you can find something to fit your needs and budget.

Give Your Child The World
This book is a resource full of other resources. I have yet to make my way through the whole thing, but it is absolutely worth the cost of it.

Missions in a Box

This is a brand new resource published by the WMU and I can't wait to get it for myself. I actually had a very similar idea for a missions curriculum and was so excited to see this out on the market.


Music

Seeds Family Worship - This is straight scripture in fun kids' songs. Also, it's not annoying. It's catchy and is sometimes good for the Mama heart too.


Hide 'Em In Your Heart - this is my favorite from when I was a kid and I have now passed it on to my own kids. Again, straight scripture and a great way to help your kids memorize verses. My daughter especially loved these songs! See here sing some of them here: LK is hiding them in her heart.


Church

Your church is one of the greatest resources you have as a parent, especially if you have an active children's ministry (active meaning more than just nursery). Every week after church, we ask our kids two questions: 1. What did you learn? 2. How can it/does it affect your life. Two, easy-to-remember-questions that can help make the Bible applicable to their life, just over a conversation at Sunday lunch. I HIGHLY encourage you to press in here.

Devotions/Books

The Biggest Story - This book is the story of the Gospel clearly and BEAUTIFULLY laid out for kids to see, understand, and WANT to read. We often use this book in family worship


Long Story Short/Old Story New - These are 10 minute devotions that are great for Family Worship or great for an older child to work through independently. The Long Story Short is focused on the Old Testament while the Old Story New focuses on the New Testament. They are OFTEN on sale on Kindle for only a couple dollars and sometimes free.



Hopefully these resources can help you. My prayer is for you to be encouraged as you faithfully raise your kids in the Lord, and I beg Him to save and rescue our babies!

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Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

How To Do Rest Time During School Breaks

Today is Babywise Swap day!  You can find me at Twinning Babywise sharing some tips on surviving the hard mom days.

Over here today, Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom is sharing some tips for How To Do Rest Time During School Breaks. This is so needed around here as I try to work out schedules for my older kids during Spring Break and plan for this Summer. Hopefully you can glean some things from her wisdom!



Ahhh, summer vacation. Or Spring Break. Or Christmas Break. They can be so rejuvenating and a time for fun memories with the children. Without any structure, however, these vacations quickly make you realize why the line in "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas", "And mom and dad can hardly wait for school to start again" even exists.  

A simple long weekend can be fun to wing, but if you have an extended break, you will want some structure. Many parents worry about how to have "structure" on non-school days because that structure isn't part of the every-day norm. Let me ease your worries. They may also worry because in general, rest time has been dropped since their child entered school.

Your school-aged child is accustomed to very predictable structure at school each day. Being at home with some structure, even if it isn't what it is like at school, will feel normal. We also need to give our children major credit. They are smart beings. They understand school is different from home, and they understand that just because they don't always do something at home doesn't mean they can't sometimes do things at home. Some benefits of rest time include:
  • Time to rest and even take a brief nap in the middle of the day. I love something like rest time in the heat of the day during summer months to get out of the sun, drink some water, and rest up.
  • A quiet house. This can be good for your sanity and also very helpful if you have younger children who need to take a nap.
  • Time to be alone. When siblings spend all day every day together, they can easily bicker.  A break is good for everyone.
  • Structure to the day. It is nice to have just a little structure every day to help keep everyone grounded. 
Currently at our house, our three school-aged children do not have rest time Monday-Saturday, but they do on Sunday. Even though it is only once a week, the foundation we set with naps and rest time when they were babies, toddlers, and preschoolers means that when mom or dad say "Rest time!", they know what that means and what to expect. They also know there are no negotiations or complaints that will lead to happiness. 

Here are some suggestions for successful rest time when your school-aged children are home on break.
  1. If your child is still young, establish that habit and expectation now. You will thank yourself later. 
  2. I find it best to give some warning before the rest time happens. If you tell your children at breakfast, "Today we are going to do rest time at 1:30," you will have more compliant children than if you declare so at 1:30. With that said, however, if your children are having a hard time getting along and you weren't planning on rest time, absolutely declare a rest time last minute. 
  3. I allow my children to read books during rest time. You can have your own list of acceptable activities that are quiet and independent. I have two girls who share a room. I do not allow them to be chatty with each other. I want it quiet and individual. 
  4. Remember rest time can happen in any quiet location. If you have children who share a room and have a hard time being quiet for rest time, you can have one set up on the couch. 
  5. Have a set amount of time for rest time. We vary from 30-60 minutes, depending on what we want time for after rest time and also how much the children need some time alone. 
  6. It doesn't have to be daily. Rest time is great, but you can easily skip it on days that you feel like skipping it. Are the kids having a blast outside and you don't want to stop the fun? Skip rest time that day. Do you want to go to the splash pad all day? Skip rest time. Does your child want a friend over to the house and it would cut over rest time? Skip it. 
If you want your child to have alone time but don't necessarily care about it being rest time, independent playtime is a great alternative. 

During your next school break, remember you are the parent and you get to decide what is done. If your children need some rest time, don't be afraid to do it! Even if it is only every once in a while. 

For more on rest time, see:



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Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

Freedom and Responsibility for Older Children

(This post originally appeared here at The Moses Home as part of a Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day.)


I naturally have always struggled not to underestimate my kids’ abilities, and I’m always surprised by how much they actually can handle and are ready for. I have always been the parent that would notice my kids’ friends doing something and think to myself, “Oh, I guess my kid could do that too!”
My oldest is 8 now and I am just now starting to be able to stay ahead of the game and recognize her readiness for new freedoms and responsibilities. I have found that it does take intentional thought and sometimes a little trial and error.


Here are some readiness Markers to Look For:

A Happy Heart – This is a phrase we use often in our home. We work towards our kids obeying right away, all the way, with a happy heart. But a genuine content, happy heart signals to me a certain amount of maturity. If my child is in a season of complaining, grumbling, whining or being easily frustrated, then I don’t think they are exhibiting the maturity necessary that could “Buy” them certain freedoms.


Peer Standards – While every child is created differently, there are such things as developmental milestones and age-appropriate expectations. This particular readiness marker has been the most helpful for me with my oldest, because she will always be my first 8 year old, 9 year old, etc… So I think it’s important to educate myself on what peers her age are doing at each stage. Most of the time I am intentional about this, I find myself surprised and have a new goal or activity that I can implement.


Intuition – I think parental intuition is not something to take lightly. There are sometimes in my parenting that my husband or I will just KNOW or FEEL like something is right or our child is ready for something new, or the next stage. Have we been wrong before? Yes! But I will say that our intuition has been more right than wrong. This is something we pray heavily about and ask for wisdom for as we guide our kids.


Trial and Error -And that brings me to the last point. Sometimes it just takes some trial and error to see if they are ready.  When my son Shepherd was 2 and half, we really felt like he was ready to potty train. So we did the whole shebang: Potty Party, Undies, rewards, etc.. It flopped and 9 months later he was still having consistent accidents. On the other hand, when my mom told me that my oldest helped her efficiently with the dishes at her house one night, I decided to try and see if she was ready to handle that responsibility at our home, and she absolutely was! Sometimes you have to just try it and see what happens.


Here are some Freedoms and Responsibilities to consider if your older child might be ready for:

Bathing – this is one of the first things we allowed our daughter to be responsible for on her own. Turning on and off the water, washing her hair and her body thoroughly, drying off, and getting her pajamas on and brushing her teeth.


Cleaning/Chores – Like I mentioned earlier with the dishwasher, this is an area that is SO HELPFUL when they are ready for more chores and responsibilities around the house. Valerie Plowman wrote a very helpful article for A Beginner’s Guide to Childhood Chores on my bloga while back. This has some  really helpful tips for training your kids to be ready for chores.


Cooking – There are some basic cooking and food prep that I have allowed my oldest to help with. In particular when we have date night, we feed our kids early and this is simple easy food prep that my daughter can help with: making PBJs, warming chicken nuggets, dividing chips on the plates, etc… (Read about How We Do Date Night here).


Later Bedtimes – After a while of my daughter lying awake in her bed and taking longer to fall asleep, and after a chunk of time of observing a happy heart from her, we decided to extend her bedtime a little bit later than her younger brothers. We still have her read and wind down during this time (Read about how “Reading Time” has been a Sanity Saver here), but she is allowed the freedom to be awake longer. She has handled this beautifully.


Activities – We try to be pretty careful about our kids commitments and time. But as they get older, I have realized how much more they really can handle because of their maturity. This can be anything from clubs at school to Sports, Dance, Music etc…


These are the readiness markers and areas that I have experienced when it comes to freedoms and responsibilities in our family! What about you? What would you add to the list?

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

What It Means To Raise Adults

I am so excited about this post. For as long as I can remember, my dad has talked about his parenting philosophy of "raising adults". Now I'm pretty biased, but I think my parents have been pretty spectacular parents. All three of us are now law abiding adults, who love Jesus with all our hearts, value the importance of family,  and are now seeking to instill the same truths in our kids that our parents taught us. I asked my dad if he would flex his writing muscles a little (ha... writing is like breathing to him!) and write out what it means to raise adults. Read and re-read this post, friends. Enjoy!


Seventh grade.  A new dimension of tribal behavior, hormones from hell, and drama.  Lots of drama.

And did I mention roller coasters?

Not the kind that make you scream bloody murder at Six Flags or Disney.  Not roller coaster emotions.  No, I’m referring to Mr. Chisholm’s annual roller coaster assignment in seventh grade science class.  The task: design a roller coaster that a marble can successfully careen down from beginning to end, and it had to last 60 seconds.

This was yet another of the typical assignments that evil, godless science teachers give their students to taunt their non-scientific parents. Just kidding about godless. Mr. Chisholm was/is a godly man I’m sure.

But I showed him. See, as a parent I had this crazy idea (brace yourself) that I had already done my homework and graduated. And if somebody gave one of my three kids homework, that it was actually homework for them to do, not for their mother or me.

So Joel was on his own.  With, of course, the advice and consent of the Senate. That would be his mom and me.

Did I mention we are not scientists?

He went to work solving the problem and assembled the thing out of cardboard and cut up aluminum cans.  I helped him haul it to school.

Ever get that sinking feeling you may have let your kid down? That maybe you just flunked the Parenting class?  I watch some pretty impressive monstrosities emerge from cars – stuff made out of wood, metal, and for all I knew, tungsten steel.

It was not a proud day for either of us.

But I had the high-horse satisfaction of knowing that at least my kid did his own work.

That… that is the stuff of raising adults.

I’ve said for years that as parents, God didn’t call us to raise kids. He called us to raise adults. People who could go into the world and make a difference, fend for themselves, and raise a new generation of adults to take my place.  Somehow in our culture we’ve gotten that backwards.  We’ve even coined new terms like “helicopter parents” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helicopter_parent) to describe those parents who need to be needed by their offspring.

In the interest of the fact that those precious little babies of yours are going to eventually choose your nursing home, it may be a good idea to teach them to make good choices. Adult choices that they will bear the responsibility for, which may turn out well, or may not.  In the words of the Bible’s famous “love chapter,” it is vital to teach them to grow past “speaking like a child, thinking like a child, and reasoning like a child” and to learn to “put away childish things.”

So allowing for some age-appropriateness, what’s the difference between raising kids and raising adults?

1.  Talk to them as people, not playthings.

It’s cute when a toddler can learn a few words and say them over and over for approval or attention.  My grandson Archer has the cutest way of saying “No!” right now. And we all join in in mimicking him.  But as soon as he can put a sentence together, his parents will begin communicating with him the way they do with his three older siblings – as people.  Thoughtful, gifted, flawed, interesting, growing, frustrating responsible people.

The best way to communicate with kids as people is to give them opportunities to be part of adult conversations. If your child is sent to the “little kids table” every time the grown-ups are having a conversation, she will learn to fear adults and will ultimately become an age snob, caring only for her generation.

On the other hand, if you carry on conversations with her, first by listening, then by responding to her (again, age appropriately) as a human being, using the same kinds of tones and language you use with everybody else, you will help raise a new generation of grown-ups.

2. Teach them to entertain themselves.

I don’t mean with mindless hours of TV or video games. I’m referring to the ability to remove the word “bored” from their vocabulary.  Of course it’s a parent’s job to play with their kids, read to their kids, and provide a safe, fun environment for their kids. But it is NOT the parent’s job to the sole source of their entertainment – or for that matter, even the primary referee.

Let. Them. Play.  Play is the language of a child’s problem solving ability. Combined with fantasy, it is also a developing child and adolescent’s way of writing themselves into the epic stories unfolding around them at the speed of life.

3.  Carve out room for them to disagree with you.

I didn’t say defy or rebel. Disagree.

Case in point: I was raised by a long line of Auburn fans. My granddaddy went there and my uncle graduated from there. But when I was about 5 years old, for reasons that still make sense to me today, I announced I was an Alabama fan. (If you don’t understand that rivalry, just roll with it. It’s a big deal in the Heart of Dixie.) And over the years it turned into an annual family rivalry. Now my dad could have been heavy-handed about that.  After all except for 15 days a year it’s a trivial pursuit.
But that one choice led to quite a few arguments about recruiting and referees and great coaches and stupid plays and a whole lot of other stuff.  And in the process I learned to think for myself and defend my point.  To this day I will bait my kids into an argument just to exercise their ability to think for themselves before God.  It’s a lot of good, clean fun. And that ability – to think for ourselves and not just to go with the crowd – is the stuff of adulthood.

4.  Teach them to collaborate AND to stand alone.

Life is a team sport. So is work. And your precious baby needs to learn to hash it out, talk it out or yes, duke it out with other people to make things happen. They need to learn to negotiate, compromise, or speak up.  If blood is spilled or laws or bones are broken, it’s OK to intervene. Otherwise, let your little darling work it out.

That said, you’re raising adult individuals, not lemmings. And in every adult’s life, especially Christian adults, there comes a time when we have to have the courage to stand alone.  Usually this involves (or should involve) issues of truth, character, or lifestyle.

OK, so sometimes you go along and sometimes you stand alone.  Expect them to get this wrong before they get it right.  Discernment takes time to develop. Coach them. Converse with them. Don’t tell them what to think, but do give some boundaries and consequences for their choices. As they mature, they will learn when to agree and when to stand. Which leads to…

5.  Give them choices and let them live with the consequences of those choices.

One year we were on a tight Christmas budget, so we told our kids (preteens) that we had a certain amount to spend on each of them. That was the year Dr. Martens shoes were all the rage, and one of my daughters decided that even though this was more than 80% of her Christmas budget, that was what she wanted. So that’s what she got.

Who knew that whatever they tanned those sandals with was a tasty treat for one of our dogs?
Stupid dog.

She was heartbroken. Bitterly disappointed.  And the temptation was to try and find a way to replace the expensive shoes. But as disappointed as we were for her, we couldn’t, and probably wouldn’t have if we could have.

Lest you feel too sorry for her, she also decided at age 13 to raise support for a group mission trip to Russia and we let her go with people we trusted.

All this started at Christmas. Around age 4.  We give them a certain amount of money, took them to Dollar Tree, and let them shop for their siblings and grandparents. They made the choices. We just supplied the boundaries (money) and playing field (store).

As adults and parents themselves, they now make lots more choices for keeps. Sometimes they ask for advice; sometimes not. Sometimes they make choices we agree with; often they do things their own way. But any way you slice it, to be an adult is to live with a sense of responsibility for the choices you make, and I like what I see so far.

6. Demonstrate confession and forgiveness.

Lest I come across as an arrogant, I-can-do-no-wrong jackass, let me be clear: I have failed my children in epic and colossal ways, and they know it. They have also seen what confession and forgiveness looks like in the wake of those failures.  One of the greatest compliments ever paid to my children and their mother came from a child psychiatrist. She said, “Your children have a very sophisticated understanding that sometimes good people can do bad things.”

We have taught our children – sometimes by necessity – that life is an adventure in forgiving.  We continue to walk with them through their adult disappointments and hurts to this day, hopefully with the same message.

One of the little surprises of having adult children now is that all three of them are still vitally interested in us, their parents. They’re as much friends now as they are offspring, and our conversations, when not about their children, are usually about things that matter in the grander scheme of things.  I have learned that with a determined commitment to add three mature, spiritual, loving, healthy, tax-paying adults to the world, I can be forgiven for a lot of my own childish missteps along the way. 


I’m pretty excited and blessed by the results.  Hey, even the roller coaster got an A.

Andy is a husband, father, grandfather, consultant, teacher and writer. He has 36 years of experience in leading churches, owning businesses, and teaching on an undergraduate, graduate, and corporate level. All of this is a big deal, but my favorite credential is that he's my dad. You can read more from him at www.lifevesting.com

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Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

BFBN Week {Discipline}: Discipline As Discipleship



I'll be honest. The topic of discipline is one I like to avoid. It's a topic that can become heated really quickly and because of that, can become very hurtful as well. I'm speaking from someone who has been deeply hurt over this topic as well as regretfully said some hurtful things myself.

Because of the tenderness of this topic, I want to cut through the methods of parenting and go to the heart behind the parenting choices that Kyle and I make for our family. I've known Godly people whose methods are contrastingly different but the heart is still for the same goals and purposes.

For us, in our home as believers, we view discipline through the lens of discipleship. A disciple is a student, someone who is being trained to follow a particular way. Discipleship in parenting looks like "training them up in the way they should go" (Proverbs 22:6). As a Christian home, we know that "the way they should go" is the ways of Jesus and to learn and follow what the Bible says. We want to be disciple-makers, not just disciplinarians.

Discipleship looks beyond behavior to what the root and oftentimes sin behind that behavior is. This is a motive shift for a lot of parents who might discipline to produce a certain behavior in their kids. Discipleship is more concerned about the heart than the behavior because a heart right after God will produce fruit in their behavior. That's called the fruit of the spirit and we can read about that in Galations chapter 5. I talk about this more in another post I wrote, but I want to re-address this idea here. Yes, discipline is important to teach that there are negative consequences to our behavior choices. But I think we have to be very careful to not lean on rules to produce fruit and the way we should train our children to go is to connect to the source of the fruit. Rules can punish disobedience, and there is a need for that, but they cannot MAKE someone more loving, joyful, etc.. They can make people compliant but they are not what produces transformation. I don’t want to teach my kids that they can behave their way into joy.  I want to teach them to connect to the source of joy, and the joy will take care of itself.

The Bible says that "Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord" (Psalm 127:3). Here's the thing: it doesn't say that the gift is conditional on how the blessing behaves and acts. This verse actually means that the riches of your heritage are INCREASED. This is really important because when we start viewing and remembering that our children are truly a GIFT, then our role as a parent becomes a stewardship idea. Meaning, our role is to manage well the gift(s) we have been given. It's one huge opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus. 

I think oftentimes, we as parents (myself included) are geared and maybe steered by society, to discipline to produce behavior either because we care so much about how we look to others or because it's more convenient for us. The problem with both of those ideas is that they are still focused on the behavior instead of digging to the root. And if you just address the behavior and not the root, it's not going to produce any kind of transformation. My ultimate goal as a parent, my only goal really, is lead my kids to follow after Jesus. Can I produce salvation in them? No I cannot. But I can be faithful to teach them about Jesus and His perfect word and about God's ways. We can set the precedent in our home of faithfulness to follow after Him, and we can model those ways every day for our kids.

I'm not saying we're awesome at this. As we are walking out this parenting gig, we are also walking out the ways of a child with our Heavenly Father. We are still very much being trained ourselves. And we're going to get it wrong sometimes. And when we do, we have another opportunity to model repentance for our kids, the very same thing we are asking of them when they mess up. We don't ask our kids for perfection, but for soft and teachable hearts, the same that we want to have with our good Father.

If you're interested in reading more about my heart behind parenting, you can check out these three articles that I have written previously:

I Don't Want To Teach My Kids To Be Loving

Dear Mighty Warriors

Planting Trees


This week, the ladies in the Babywise Friendly Blog Network have been discussing the topic of "discipline". Be sure and check out all of their posts linked below!


Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
TuesdayNatasha at Let's Be Brave
Wednesday:Katrina at Mama's Organized Chaos and Shea at The Moses Home
Thursday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright and Carrie at Wiley Adventures
Friday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood and Cole at Twinning Babywise




Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

BFBN Week {Discipline}: Knowing and Teaching the Final Desired Expectation

Today, on the topic of Discipline, Katrina talk about Knowing and Teaching the Final Desired Expectation. I LOVE this. I really appreciate the idea of thinking ahead. It's like the Babywise concept of start as you mean to go on. Enjoy this post and come back tomorrow when I discuss discipline as discipleship.



Discipline. What does that word mean to you?

Webster defines discipline as "The practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience."

I'd like to alter this definition slightly- "The practice of training people desired behaviors based on expectations, using a proactive approach and consequences when necessary". 

I probably wouldn't have phrased it the way Webster did to begin with, but with some simple alterations, I think my idea comes across. To me, discipline is the big picture, not just the response. It incorporates who, what, when, why, and how. In order to discipline effectively, all of these questions need to be thought through, a plan devised, and consistency provided.

In my journey to find our "discipline" method, and what works well for our family, I find myself coming back to the root of the idea: expectations. Without expectations, there would be no disciplinary action. (Click Here To Read More). 

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

BFBN Week {Discipline}: Disciplining Foster Kids

Continuing with our theme for Discipline, today Natasha addresses discipline in foster care. As Tash's friend and someone who walks through life with her, I know this can be difficult because there are so many perimeters withing the foster care system that can limit your discipline options. I think Tash finds a good balance and is always on the lookout for natural consequences and creative ideas. Enjoy her post below.


When you take in children from foster care, there are A LOT of rules and restrictions.  One of those restrictions is no spanking or physical discipline (understandably so in a lot of cases) so we've had to come up with creative alternatives that actually work to keep our sanity and avoid having out-of-control kids.

Natural consequences

This is our preferred method of discipline.  Connecting the consequence to the action goes a long way with our foster kids who have likely never been taught about logical consequences.  For example, if they make a mess, they clean it up (even the 1 and 2 year olds).  I refuse to be their maid, and we want to teach them to care for and be responsible with the things they've been given.  (Click here to read more). 



Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
TuesdayNatasha at Let's Be Brave
Wednesday:Katrina at Mama's Organized Chaos and Shea at The Moses Home
Thursday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright and Carrie at Wiley Adventures
Friday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood and Cole at Twinning Babywise

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

BFBN Week {Discipline}:How To Discipline Without Spanking

This is the week for the Babywise friendly blog network where we all pick one topic to write about and share it every day during the week. This week's topic is "Discipline". I think this is an important one because as a parent, it is a big part of our job! I have some thoughts that I'm looking forward to sharing with you on Thursday, but until we get there, I hope you'll glean some tips from my friends in the Babywise network.

Today, Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom is kicking off the week by sharing how they discipline without spanking. I really enjoyed this post from her because I think her tips actually work well whether you spank or not - especially because of her thoughts on consistency. Enjoy her post and check back every day this week for more on the topic of discipline!


I am not afraid to say that my children are very well behaved. Oh sure, they make mistakes. They do things they shouldn't. Most of the time, however, they are very respectful and very obedient. They behave well at home, school, church, and wherever else they go.

And we don't spank. 

Not at all. 

Neither my husband nor I grew up with parents who spanked, so it isn't something that comes to us naturally. One day when Brayden was a young toddler, he did something he shouldn't and I though I would try spanking. He immediately slapped me back. I kind of laughed and said, "Let's not hit each other again." 

My husband and I talked about spanking for the first time that evening. We decided to keep spanking out of our parenting toolbox. I would describe myself as neutral when it comes to spanking. I don't find it necessary and so we don't do it. I am not one to go around declaring there is one right way to parent, either, so if spanking is your thing, this post isn't for you (although this post will provide a lot of helpful discipline advice...so I guess it is for you anyway). If you want to discipline without spanking, though, please read on. (click here to read more).


Monday: Valerie at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom
Tuesday: Natasha at Let's Be Brave
Wednesday:Katrina at Mama's Organized Chaos and Shea at The Moses Home
Thursday: Kimberly at Team Cartwright and Carrie at Wiley Adventures
Friday: Emily at The Journey of Parenthood and Cole at Twinning Babywise

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

One Quick Trick For a Happier and Healthy Marriage


From the very beginning in our marriage there is one thing that Kyle and I agreed upon that has helped us tremendously through the years. We have avoided arguments and worked together as a team through many different seasons in life. This one thing has helped us honor each other and help us think of the other and put the other above ourselves. 

We decided not to keep score. 

for anything. 

We don't keep score for who got up the most with the baby(ies).

We don't keep score for who was away the most during the week.

We don't keep score for who had a friend night the latest.

We don't keep score of who won the last argument.

We don't keep score of which points won arguments.

We don't keep score of who last changed out the laundry.

We don't keep score of who last let the dog out or took her for a walk.

We don't keep score. 

The reason this is important is because when you keep score, you are thinking of yourself first. It's making sure that you get what is fair or what is owed to you. Marriage is about thinking of the other person first, it's about being a team and we all know there is no "I" in "team" ;). A team doesn't work if everyone is only looking out for themselves. But when you are each looking out for the needs of each other, you both end up giving, but you also both end up receiving.  

For more ideas for a fun, healthy marriage, you might like this post:



Today is Pinterest Day for the Babywise Friendly Blog Network. The Ladies are all talking about the topic of marriage today. Be sure and check out all of their posts below.


Valerie from Chronicles of a Babywise Mom

Emily from The Journey of Parenthood

Natasha from Let's Be Brave

Katrina from Mama's Organized Chaos

Kimberly from Team Cartwright




Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

5 Tips For Successful Outings With Your Kids

(This post originally appeared here on Team Cartwright as part of a Babywise Friendly Blog Network Day).



After each of my babies have been born, I have had to re-learn systems that work well with running errands with my babies in tow. Be it grocery shopping, or other various errands, outings WITHOUT your kids is like a vacation. Outings WITH your kids is, well, NOT a vacation.

Here are some tips I’ve gathered along the way:

1. Make a plan

Before you leave your house, think through your errands ahead of time. Plan the best time of day to go (if possible) for your daily schedule. Think through possible deterrents or problems and try to decide how you will handle them.

2. Make Lists

Having a grocery list significantly helps my shopping experience. If you are running multiple errands, make a list of each store and what you need from each. Bring a pen with you to cross off your lists.

3. Set realistic expectations

Honestly evaluate yourself and know your sanity limitations. Don’t expect to conquer the whole world in a shopping trip. Set your priorities on your list to match what you know you are capable of doing and save the other things for a time when you can go without kids. 

4. Communicate

Once your kids are old enough (which is probably sooner than you think), talk to them about what you expect from them. Remind them how you expect them to act, and make suggestions for how they can help you make this a successful trip.

5. Involve your kids

Grocery shopping? Assign a kid to cross items off your list for you. Talk to them about what you plan on making that week for dinner as you gather ingredients. Have them practice counting items in the basket or even practice reading the boxes in your cart.  

Hopefully these tips will help you as your embark on your outings with your kids!

Hi! I'm Carrie! I like to drink Earl Grey Tea, watch Gilmore Girls, hang out with my man, read a good, suck-you-in fiction book, play with my babies, take long bubble baths, and learn about Jesus. Connect with me on Facebook for even more Wiley Adventures!

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