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Sabrina S

Simplifying ???

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Ok, I've tried to write this post several times....some of those times I've had trouble getting my thoughts coherently down in writing and some of them the forum seems to be glitching and deleting large amounts of what I typed. So...I'll just get this conversation started simply and add details as it goes along if needed. I am feeling pulled toward simplifying our life....almost to an extreme. I think this would help with some bad behaviors/habit/attitudes that have started to take over my family. I think a slower, simpler, less cluttered life (in all ways-physical stuff, activities, mental clutter, media exposure etc) would help everyone. What I'm wondering is how simple can we get? What is going too far? I want to replace the bad habits, attitudes, and behaviors with which we are currently dealing with good character qualities like gratitude, diligence, obedience, kindness, respect, helpfulness etc. But I don't see how to do this without cutting most of the outside influences and activities-these little sponges pick up EVERYTHING they see and hear!! I mean we can't become Amish (and I really like electricity and running water, and a car!) but can we drastically move away from the pace of life that has become normal? And if we do how do we find like-minded families to spend our time with so that our kids don't just feel like they are missing out on things? I hope this makes sense. I'll try to elaborate more if needed. 

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Michele has that 30 (34?) weeks of clean (decluttering) thing on her blog.  That might be a good place to start.  I've been following it sporadically.  I gave up FB for Lent and finding way more time to do Bible study, work on behavior, and tidy up/organize.

I think I'm pretty much in the same boat as you.  I agree with *everything* you just typed.  LOL  Also, I'm feeling more conservative about the limits for our kids than my husband is, so there's that issue, too.

 

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I'll look that up....as far as the physical stuff in our house goes I know HOW to do the decluttering it is more of an issue of finding the time (and it is easier to do when the kids aren't around trying to "rescue" things from the get rid of piles lol). I'm more thinking activities outside the house, friend time, screen time...that sort of thing. 

For example, I have one kid who is constantly asking to watch tv and if I let him he throws a fit when it is time to turn it off and then is constantly begging for more. We already watch very little tv so this isn't an issue of being used to watching more and me suddenly cutting it. He is just that easily addicted to tv. 

I have another kid who brings home bad behaviors from church and awana. I swear this kid goes in looking for ideas everyone else in the family crazy. I am just so weary of having to deal with it all.

I'm wondering how many activities can we cut and how much can we just stay home before we really are the "weird unsocialized homeschoolers." LOL Can I get rid of the TV? (Pretty sure hubby won't actually approve of that one). Can we just quit everything but church? How do we find a few like-minded friends who just want their kids to have a childhood that is a cross between little house on the prairie and the Andy Griffith show to hang out with? Because it seems like even the friends they have now (church friends!) are bad influences. 

I want to develop closeness in our family that isn't here right now (even though I've tried all their lives). I want to develop imagination and work ethic too. I feel like outside influences, even the ones that should be "good" are just so contrary to that. Our culture is so against family unity that it has seeped into church and even some homeschool activities! 

Maybe you can make some sense of my ramblings :)

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Sabrina,

Feel free to be "that Mom" who makes her children live a different life than everyone else.

When our girls were in Awana, I was the first parent who asked if they could offer something besides candy as a reward. They said "sure" and before you know it, almost half of the kids were choosing something other than candy each week.

If you find you have a child who is easily addicted to the tv, it is totally ok to say it will only be on when Dad is home and in charge of the remote. Some kids really struggle with screen time, and I think the easiest thing is to take it away until they are older. Once they have gotten through those 10-12 year old hormonal shifts, most of them seem to have a better understanding of the addictiveness of escapism.

Perhaps you should take break from your regularly scheduled schoolwork and spend time doing purging, and reading biographies aloud. Just stick with these very basics - bible reading and biographies - especially of missionaries, and have the kids help you do the purging. Give them each a place to put their 5 favorite things. Then for each item you encounter that you think should go in the give-away pile, they have to weigh it against their 5 favorites. I'm not saying they only get to keep five things, but you can have some real discussions with even the smallest children about choosing wisely.

 

After you've purged for a while, play a game, then bundle them up and send them out into the yard to run off some energy. 

You need a Spring Break for yourself, even if you don't think you should give them one. In between the lines I read that you are one worn-out mama. I'll be praying that you can find some rest. :)

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Those are great suggestions!! We are taking school VERY easy and we took two weeks off all outside/extracurricular activities. I am worn out. I feel like I keep cutting and cutting back on things (both kid things and personal things) and still I'm running myself ragged, not getting everything done (often sacrificing the important for the urgent) and just feeling tired and frustrated. That and it really seems like my kids do not react well to outside activities or influences on TV. I'm just struggling with what and how much to cut (of the going and doing mostly). 

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Sabrina,

With all the changes your family has been through this past year or so you are probably all worn out. Would it really be so horrible if you just ditched all the outside activities for a couple months? I'd still go to church, but I'd call a mental health break on all the other running around and give yourselves a chance to recharge. 

I've had times when I just want to sit down and do nothing for an entire afternoon. It''s ok to do that once in a while, as long as it doesn't take over your everyday and cause your house to be neglected too awfully. :)

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I thought I responded to this one too.....hmmm my computer must not have been cooperating one day I came in and responded to posts....

Yes, I think I do need a break. I'm trying to hold out for summer when most things naturally break for a couple months. We really aren't in THAT many outside activities but I am indeed just feeling worn out. My health is taking a hit too and the fibro that I have successfully kept under control for the last 5+ years is flaring up, so that isn't helping. I'm trying to go easy on myself and focus on seeking the Lord's will for my days.

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I'm curious about something, everyone keeps mentioning Awana, but I have never had any contact with it. Or heard what it is. Could somebody inform me?

Stupid,

Signing off.

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AWANA is like scouts for Bible stuff. That is a really basic way to describe it. They get Bible lessons, memorize verses, have game time and earn awards based on certain things. Its a pretty good program but I do have a few things I personally think could be different. 

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