Learning and Growth…

For family night, Brandon taught us on a lesson about the importance of education. We have been basing our lessons each week on a section from the book “For the Strength of Youth”.

IMG_1399Lifelong learning seems to be a key to a bounteous and fulfilled life, more prepared for the future. We all went around and shared some things we have been learning in class or life that is interesting or helpful. Erik has been learning about interactive data visualization for some of his work projects. Brandon said he has been learning about evolution in biology. Robin shared some of the favorite things she does in math lab. Maren said she is learning all about fractions in math. Nicole told us about learning about the world economy in her economics class, as well as reading poetry in English and differentiating integrals in Calculus. I have been learning to enjoy teaching groups of adults about family life and working with children on ways to create a positive school environment and decrease bullying.

Sometimes learning comes in fun, active ways. Robin is loving her weekly ice skating class with her good friends, Gigi and Ben. Maren and our neighbor also joined in the skating fun today.IMG_1397IMG_1396

I love seeing my kids enjoying friendships while they are learning something new.

Learning comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes the learning comes as we tackle changing family dynamics. We are still trying to learn how to get to bed at a good time each night. We have been learning methods for coping with anxiety and high emotions. We are definitely learning how great it feels to work hard and save money toward a family goal, and then how to have fun and decompress after the hard work. With the learning are lots of growing pains, bumps in the road, mini-successes, relationship stretching experiences, joys, sorrows, and increased capacity.




Saturday Learning

This morning we had our annual Women’s Conference in church. I taught the class on Teaching Kids about Work and Money – Empowerment not Entitlement. I learned so much from teaching and from all the comments and insights from class members. Then I attended a class about how to have a healthy body image. I wanted to attend since I am raising so many daughters. Some insights I gained was to limit negative media exposure, keep a strong relationship to God, avoid comparisons, and to value the amazing ways our bodies are blessings to us. I also believe as women we should not constantly comment to each other about how we look and what we wear, rather focus on the whole person.

Another class today taught about valuing each of our children for their individual qualities and strengths. It is based on a book called The Child Whisperer. It talks about four different personality types  — the sensitive child, the serious child, the determined child, and the social child. By identifying and understanding our children in this way, we can honor their styles and love them and nurture them in those different ways. I believe in that way of viewing individuals, but it is easier said than done. I want to read this book.

This evening we gathered for our cousins’ book club and talked about this book.IMG_1322The book describes some boys in an alternative school for kids with behavioral problems. As the boys struggle to get along in school, the main character discovers each of the boys’ hidden talents — reading minds, foreseeing events, etc. The boys decide to use these “problem” areas as hidden strengths by harnessing how they use them. The main character has the ability to sense people’s weaknesses and make comments that point those out and hurt their feelings. His rude comments antagonize the people around him, especially the teachers. As he discovers his ability to sense people’s sensitive areas, instead of being rude he begins to learn how to tell the truth in positive ways. I felt like this character described me in my teenage years and early 20s. I could give the sarcastic zinger that would make people uncomfortable. I hope I have learned to channel that by instead being sympathetic and understanding of what people are going through.

I have had the chance to read, learn, and have insights today and this week during study and active listening. I love the idea of having our difficulties instead be looked at as gifts that just need to be directed in a positive, empowering way. I want to view my children in this way. Even if we have a different approach, both can be valid and used for good.