In between taking care of our newborn, our toddler, and homeschooling our girls, I’ve been attempting to “feed” myself with our pastor Steve Murrell’s latest book entitled MY FIRST, SECOND, AND THIRD ATTEMPT AT PARENTING (after more important modes of feeding, of course….like reading my Bible and….uhm…having cake *cue a guilty grin here*). I have to admit my pace is rather slow since I’ve been trying to squeeze in this reading time during the rare moments that my brain is actually functioning– and not just running on autopilot.
One of the things I am loving about the book so far is how it targets the heart and teaches biblical principles, yet at the same time allows and challenges you to think about how you can apply the principles in your own family.
In one of the chapters of the book, Pastor Steve was describing how each child is different, therefore there is no cookie-cutter way of doing parenting. This holds true for our family. At this stage, of course, the differences that are more pronounced are that between my two daughters. I even wrote about some of their differences in a recent post.
Another point that I got from the book is how as parents, we are to acknowledge and appreciate the different strengths in each child, and how one of the ways we can show our appreciation for their individual gifts is by supporting and investing in their interests and talents. To be honest, this would take a lot of faith on our part, since our budget is limited. Dennis and I understand though, that we are to provide as wide a platform as we can for each of our kids.
Case in point, Alyanna has been leaning towards playing the piano and doing sports, while Mika is more interested in the arts and acting. She sometimes says she wants to be famous someday (a thought that Alyanna dreads). Will it be fair for me to force Alyanna to perform in front of people each time there’s an opportunity? No. Will I force Mika to train hard in sports? The thought of that alone stresses her out, which would eventually stress me out as well, so no. But I do try to get Alyanna to overcome her shyness by asking her to perform sometimes, and I do try to still convince Mika to overcome her fear of getting hurt physically by letting her engage in some form of physical activity.
The good thing about supporting our children’s interests and strengths is that we don’t have to force them into those activities. Well, training them to discipline themselves in being consistent and committed is another story, but don’t we all have work to do in this area?
For example, we first saw Alyanna’s love for sports when she decided she wanted to know how to swim. She would challenge herself to learn to swim every afternoon.
The next one was when she wanted to learn how to ride the bike without training wheels. We bought her a bike and within two days, she learned how to ride it with confidence. She even volunteered to accompany her dad and get some exercise while biking around nearby villages. Within the same week, she and Dennis rode the bike for 10 kilometers one afternoon. I was surprised she had that kind of endurance as a beginner.
Most recently, Alyanna is into Floorball. It’s so cute watching her play with her fellow homeschoolers. They haven’t won any tournaments so far, but they’re not complaining! It’s for “the love of the game.” 😉
As I said earlier, our budget is limited, but our support doesn’t have to be. There are ways to go about showing our love and support, while still keeping it practical for the whole family.
Taking formal classes is a given. What else can we do?
- Let daddy do the training.
Mom can do take on this role, too, but there’s just something about dad being the one to train them. There’s a bond between them that forms that just makes me smile each time I watch them together. (May I say, I am thankful that the season of training and learning for her was also my pregnancy season, so….I am excused from the sweaty stuff and I just had to take on the role of cheerleader. 😉 )
- Form a small group and hire a teacher together.
We found this to be more affordable for us, rather than to take the classes that are offered commercially. Another bonus: Since the moms are friends, we get to have time to talk and encourage one another on a more regular basis, too!
- Ensure they stay healthy.
A sporty lifestyle is an active one, so make sure their bodies are well-conditioned for the level of activity they have. Since they will also be mingling with other children, make sure their bodies are strong enough to fight off whatever virus they can get exposed to.
We are currently giving Alyanna Propan TLC. It has 100% RENI (Recommended Energy and Nutrient Intake), giving Alyanna stronger immunity benefit from Vitamin C for her active lifestyle.
Aside from the obvious benefits of vitamins, there are three key ingredients found in Propan TLC that I find are significant at this stage of Alyanna’s growth– taurine, chlorella, and lysine. Taurine is known for its various benefits including its role in metabolism, detoxification, brain function, and as an antioxidant. Children’s bodies are not yet capable of manufacturing this. Also, when the body engages in extreme physical activity, it is no longer able to supply the necessary amounts of taurine. Thus, the need to supplement. Chlorella is a known superfood that aids detoxification and growth. Lysine helps produce carnitine and collagen. The former is responsible for converting fatty acids into energy, while the latter helps in building stronger tissues and the absorption of calcium, helping build a stronger skeletal system.
Of course, there is no substitute for healthy food. Alyanna is also trying very hard to improve her eating and water-drinking habits. 🙂
- Be there.
Be it a serious tournament or a friendly game, be there. Cheer. Give snacks. Make a banner. Have pompoms….however you want to go about it! Just be there.