Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Don't Play the Wildcard

A few weeks ago John and I were camping with Zach, Becca, Mack, and Macy. Once the day’s activities were over and we were settled in for the evening, Becca, the girls, and I played several games of UNO. I love playing games with these two little angels. Macy is four, and Mack is six—the perfect age for being able to play. 

Becca and I sat beside the girls rather than across from them, though, in order to offer help if they needed it. And sure enough, Mack needed a few reminders that using her wild cards was something she should reserve for when she had no other options.

At first she didn’t get it. “I don’t want to play that card,” she’d say. “I like this card.”  The first few times we tried to explain why she needed to hold on to the wild cards, she wasn’t so sure she cared. “I don’t care, I want to play the wild card,” she said again.

Why did she resist? Maybe because she thought the wild cards were prettier? Maybe because she wanted to change things up even though it most likely would have cost her the game later on? I’m not really sure, but what I am sure of is that it didn’t take long for Becca and me to explain to Mack why she shouldn’t waste her wild cards and she was soon playing like a pro.

In the days that followed I thought about Mack and her wild cards and how as parents, we have a responsibility to teach our kids to think things through…to not always play the wild card. Part of being a parent means teaching our children NOT to make choices based on what’s prettier, more exciting, easier, or more popular. Instead, we need to be diligent in instilling strength, integrity, and a strong sense of self-worth in our children. We need to teach them to have the confidence and the ability to see that life is about making wise choices—choices that will lead to the next step in life that is best for them. We need to teach our children that life isn’t about settling for whatever comes their way, but rather thinking things through and having goals and dreams they set out to achieve.

Don’t think this is something reserved for older children and that your little ones can’t do this, because they can. Even toddlers can make choices like picking up all their books or blocks so that they can have a bubble bath instead of a plain ole soap and water bath.

Choices…it’s about teaching our children how to make wise choices and to love them through each and every one they make.


Momma D

                            Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used of copied without permission from the author. 


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

NO Cake Mess Here!

Last weekend we celebrated Essie’s first birthday, and it would be safe to say a good time was had by all. Cake…ice cream with toppings…root beer floats…fresh fruit…a room full of toys for all the kids to play with…and of course, presents and the singing of “Happy Birthday” to the sweet little birthday girl. But there was one thing about the day that was a little different than what you see in most first birthday pictures…NO CAKE MESS!

Dwight and Emma put the cake just out of Essie’s reach so we could sing and they could ‘help’ her blow out her candle. I know—nothing so different about that. But when they put the cake in front of Essie for her to dig into, nothing happened. She wasn’t interested in getting covered in frosting and cake. They put her hand on it and yes, she grabbed a handful, but as soon as she did, she started wiping it on her highchair. She didn’t want anything to do with it.

One aunt was relieved she didn’t turn into a chocolaty mess while another was a bit disappointed she didn’t. That’s the way it is with life—you’ll never be able to meet everyone’s expectations and you shouldn’t expect your children to, either.

Yes, every child (and adult) should be expected to obey the law, treat themselves and others with respect, do their best in school, and strive to be the best possible ‘them’. But your child’s best will not always be the best, and that shouldn’t matter one teensey, weensy, bit. And how they go about being the best possible ‘them’ won’t always look like you or anyone else thinks it should look, but as long as they are happy, learning to make the most of their talents and abilities, and are taking steps toward maturity and growth, then it’s all good.

Face it, some kids meet or exceed all the ‘normal’ expected milestones, while others don’t. NO BIG DEAL. Some kids go after life with gusto—mastering everything they try, while others are more timid and don’t like to compete or spend time in the spotlight. NO BIG DEAL. Some kids are bookworms, while others are more grounded with good ole’ common sense. NO BIG DEAL.

Remember…a well-rounded, happy, moral, and socially responsible child is the goal, and the best way to help this happen is to help and encourage your child to be the best ‘them’ possible instead of worrying about meeting everyone’s expectations.


Momma D
                         Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be copied or reproduced without permission from the author. 


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Don't Worry, Your Kids Aren't Nearly As Breakable As You Think They Are

In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought I would share with you some of the most important lessons I have learned in the 32 years I’ve been a mom.
No matter how many children you have, you love each one with your entire being.

No two children are alike, and that’s just fine.
Your older children will torment the baby of the family when left in charge of her.

Pretending wadded-up pieces of tissue are popcorn is not a life-threatening occurrence.
A six year-old boy has his limits when it comes to riding on a school bus with a substitute drive and will take matters into his own hand when he reaches that limit.

Fingers really do get stuck in VCR players.
It’s better for your almost-two year-old to suck on a pacifier than a Happy Meal toy.

Ponies can climb stairs with your children on their back without breaking them (your children, that is).
Your daughter can be a ballerina AND a farm girl at the same time.

Seeing your son cross the finish line in a Cross Country meet makes you very proud and very humble.

Pet turtles have feelings, too.
Watching The Sound of Music with your pre-teens can have embarrassing after-effects.

It’s a big sister’s responsibility to start her baby sister’s milk shake up the straw—no really, it is.
Making memories with your kids is a priceless treasure.

You should never, ever, ever give up on your kids because they’re worth it.
Giving your children over to the LORD is the most important and valuable thing you will ever do for your kids.

One of the greatest joys a mom can have (and I speak from experience) is catching their children in the act of being loving, caring, and wise parents.

Happy Mother’s Day!
Momma D

                    Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.