The teaching of kindness is on her tongue... or is it on her tapes?
I believe I got this idea from the blog Preschoolers and Peace, originally. The homeschooling mom who writes it says she records messages for her children on tape, anything she wants them to know, and then makes them sit aside and listen.
She says that this "Tape Time" serves to keep at least one of her several children occupied for while, so she can work with another child without as many interruptions. But, more importantly, she says the tapes strengthen listening skills and remind her kids of all the little, but very important things she is trying to teach them. It sounded like a good idea to me, so I recorded Norah's first tape tonight.
Before I started, I typed a rough outline to help me organize my thoughts and remember the things I wanted to say. It may seem silly, but I also had to wait till my husband was in bed before I started recording. For some reason, recording with him in the room felt too awkward. I think I would have looked at him and that would have caused me to start laughing. I have no doubt he will hear the tape, now that it is finished, but that doesn't bother me for some reason.
I will include an outline of my message to Norah below, if you are interested in reading it. Maybe it will give other moms, like me (or other grandmothers, like ours... Hint, Hint) some ideas to use for their own "Tape Time."
I started with basic instructions on how to use the tape player, which button Norah needed to use to pause, play or stop the tape. I warned her to never to press the record button, etc.
I talked to Norah about discipline first. I explained to her that, "Your dad and I love you and that is why we discipline you when you do things that are wrong." I didn't give the specific Bible references, since I felt they were unnecessary, but I used the same tone and several texts from the book of Proverbs. I said that the Bible tells parents, “Discipline your daughter and she will give you peace. Your daughter will be a delight to your soul, if you discipline her." I told her she was, in fact, "a delight to our souls."
Next, I thanked her for being a good helper. I found another Bible verse that instructs people to "Offer help to each other without complaining" and says that "Each person should use whatever talents he has to serve other people." I praised her for the good attitude she has when she is asked to do things within her power to help us around the house. Then, I sang her the song "Make me a Servant."
I listed several things I'd like her to start (or continue) helping with around the house, including reminding me to brush her hair everyday. As obvious as this must be to other moms, it is something I often overlook and now that Norah is old enough, I think she can help me remember to get the tangles out of her hair before they get out of control. I also asked her to do things like clean the paste off the sides of the sink and put her step stool away when she is done brushing her teeth, asked her to stay closer to me in crowded places, talked to her about strangers, and the dangers of water even now that she is learning to swim, etc.
I listed the things I like about her and the things I like to do with her, my favorite being snuggling, reading and then falling asleep. I recited some of the memory verses she has to learn for AWANA and talked to her about what they mean. The club motto for the kids her age is "Jesus Loves Me" so I sang that song to her as well. Finally, I went over several phonics pages from her Handbook for Reading that I know she can use extra practice with.
I plan to use the tape with her tomorrow. We will see how it goes!