|Some Home Making’s||February 13, 2006|
I had (late last night) decided that in the morning I’d like to share “Some Home Making’s” for today’s blog—and how faithful is the LORD—I had a direction late yesterday and He showed that He had a purpose for it today.
Our friend sent us an email this morning: “Type in your home address or a family members’ address. The web site will bring up a map of your neighborhood with small colored boxes on it. The small House icon represents your address; the colored boxes represent sex offenders in your area. Click on the colored boxes and it will bring up the offender’s photograph and the locations, names and employers. Click ALL AROUND, you will be amazed at the information you get!” http://www.familywatchdog.us/ So, out of curiosity, I did a check and was also amazed. I also found that I just was reminded to be more careful about “strangers” and to talk to the children about “strangers” and the need to be cautious as we go about our business in town or at the park, etc. I find that I need these simple reminders to talk to the children about the realities of life.
I think, as mothers of many children, we might sometimes tend to be lax or think we’ve covered the bases, so to speak, and sometimes forget “who knows what” as far as the different children in the family are concerned. For example: the other day I was asking one of the younger children to do a particular task and they sort of glazed over and didn’t know what to do—and so I smiled and asked, have I not taught you that yet? No. No, I hadn’t. Teaching, teaching, teaching. It never stops—it mustn’t stop. But we get weary in the well doing sometimes. But again, we mustn’t let weariness lead to neglect or indifference or wavering—or worse: giving up. That’s not an option—it may feel (some days) like an option—especially if we listen to bad counsel or the coarse talk of the day that is obnoxious and rude about the precious value of motherhood, parenting and children.
We need to stop and assess, from time to time, the understanding or knowledge of each of the children. Not just a “what are their strengths and weaknesses” sort of assessment, but: do they know this or that basic skill. Do they know particular numbers, protocol for different situations, how to find information they need, what would they do in this or that circumstance, etc., etc. I always amazes me when I realize that one of the younger children missed a particular teaching and how they just went on without it or compensated for it in some other manner. This could be anything from handwriting (how they come up with a particular formation of a letter that looks alright but is incorrectly performed) to sewing, cooking, math, cleaning, personal hygiene (bathing, flossing, tooth-brushing, wiping, etc.), housekeeping or whatever. Skills need to be learned, perfected and maintained. But it requires attentive attention. (sort of the way the LORD told the disciples: “And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.” –Luke 22.15)
It’s attentive attention. It’s hearing *and* listening. With desire we must desire to parent and care for the children.
So, this has led to some “drilling” around here. Perhaps not all at once and not in a scary or confrontational way, but it has meant asking questions (from time to time—for clarity and reinforcement) of different age groups of children , from basic questions like: what is your full name, what is your address, what is your age, what is your phone number, what is your dad’s and mother’s name, what is your birthday, what do you do if a fire starts here or here, what do you do if the toilet overflows, what do you do if someone comes to you in the yard and mother is in the house, what do you do if a person we do or do not know tells you to do something we have told you not to do, what do you do if someone touches you inappropriately, what do you do if your are cut or injured or whatever, what do you do if someone tells you not to tell mother and dad about something—and you know it’s not a birthday surprise or something you need to discern as a “good” secret, etc., etc. All of these things require discretion.
And then, to older children, we need to evaluate from time to time, their responses to some of those similar questions that would be occurring in their lives. They need to know all those same answers throughout their childhood, but the scenarios will necessarily be different as they grow and mature and as their activities increase and their circle of freedom increases. They’ll have more and more opportunities to be “out” for parental sight or supervision and will be in settings where they will have to have earned privileges and trust and will have opportunity to demonstrate maturity and trustworthiness. For the older children, whether in home or public school, I think it’s vitally important to ask and receive answers to these and many more questions resulting from dialogue each day. I guess we cannot just assume they know answers and right responses and we must be very careful to correct wrong assumptions and wrong responses. This is easier said than done if the teens are older and communication has been compromised or limited.
Talking, talking, talking trough the years—and it’s never too early, I’m convinced, has astoundingly important implications and results. Totally open communication really and truly appears to be key in any relationship—-most especially in marriage and parenting. I’m also pretty sure it’s never too late.
So, what did all this have to do with the registered sex-offender link and information? Everything.