Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Convictions

Over the past two years, I've taken on more work but still somehow manage to carve out 8 hours a month to be an assistant in the girls Atrium.  At this point, they are both in Level III of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, and it's Beezus' last year as it ends at age 12.  The lead catechist this year is a woman in her early seventies.  She was a middle grades teacher for 35+ years and has been a Catechist nearly that long. I very much enjoy her company and would love to be friends.

We were chatting today about parenting decisions, and I commented that I had a few parenting convictions that have held true over the test of time. I thought I might write them down to see if they still hold true in another few years. There are so very many things that I do wrong as a mother, but these few hold true.

1. Minimal screen time
We held fast to this one until this past summer, at ages almost 10 and almost 12.  We had less childcare this summer and more screen time was an easy babysitter.  They were at swim team every morning and softball three nights a week, so I rationalized it that they needed some time being still. This advice came to me from a mother friend with older kids, Sue W.  I can't find her blog anymore, but I am forever grateful.  We're going to pull the reins back in on this one though with some rules that will apply to all the family.

2. Catechesis of the Good Shepherd for religious education
We chose our neighborhood in Colorado so that we could get to a parish with CGS within 30 minutes.  That's how important this method of instruction is to me. And now that I'm training to be a Catechist, it's even more beautiful. 

3. Free range experiences
Ramona was riding her bike solo around our neighborhood starting at age 8; they both rode their bikes to the grocery store this past summer; and Beezus rides her bike 1.3 miles to school every day (and home again).  Two days a week she also rides her bike a mile further after school to go to clarinet lessons.  She's not necessarily happy about it, but I know in my gut that she needs this freedom and this responsibility.  She also needs the experience of the physical activity to help reset her mind during the transition from home to school and back again.

4. Buying secondhand
This has been difficult to sustain as they've gotten older and as we've moved to a less transient area.  Nonetheless, we still try to hit up the thrift store before we head to the mall or to Target.

All of these except number 3 have been in place since the girls were very young.  I hope I can hang onto them forever, but I also know that things have to change sometimes.

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