I want so much to get this new school year started off on the right track.
Dave had the kids write out their schedules for Family Home Evening minute-by-minute, practice times are all set, jobs are being done and all that jazz, but I need to have my own time lined out and managed well in order to help each of them the best I can.
This means I need to really know exactly what they're up against with school, friends, etc. I want to get to the bottom of their most desired extracurricular activities and I want to know what they may be worried about, etc.
And with five kids running around sometimes the unique, individual needs of each one of them get lost in the shuffle.
That's where "Five-Facet Reviews" come in (another great idea from my parents).
The idea is that you sit down with your spouse (or someone else who knows and loves your children) once a month (or whenever is feasible) and talk about how each child is doing in their "five-facets" of life:
I love discussing the specifics of each child with Dave in the light of these particular categories because man alive, there is so much that he notices that I don't. And there are so many solutions he comes up with that I never in a million years would have. There's something about having that detailed conversation that puts up red flags in my mind about things we need to work on that I may have never thought of otherwise. It also helps me feel content about the things that are going well. It helps me be deliberate, and that's my main goal as a mother.
Most of all, Five-Facet Reviews help me see into the personalities of my children in a deeper way.
And I love that.
Now, please don't picture us doing this like clockwork every month (although I wish we would). In our family it doesn't work to do some formal deal like my parents did. Sometimes I just make sure we cover these topics casually during a date-night or Dave will bring up something he's been worried about one particular child as we fall asleep at night. Dave doesn't clap his hands in glee when I say stuff about five-facet reviews because he doesn't go for formal stuff like that. But we are both well aware of the "facets" and we make sure we talk them through whenever we can.
Because of these discussions I've been prompted to push a little more spirituality with some kids. Dave and I discuss Lucy's eating habits and how we can guide them. We've talked about how Max needs help getting more excited about reading (please send great book suggestions if you have any...), and things like whether or not we should push Elle into trying out for the volleyball team. In our discussions we have realized things like how Grace needs more math help and Claire needs to somehow get more sleep. Then we make a plan and get to work.
It helps us to know our children in a deeper way.
Really know them.
I think parenting has to be made and re-made over and over and over again. It seems like just when we figure out the perfect solution to a particular situation through endless tweaking and prayer and pushing, another child will throw you for a loop and will need parenting from an entirely different ball-field. Each child is so darn unique. That's why I love this so much. It makes the "re-mix" of parenting for each child that much easier.
Items of business for other parenting ideas:
Do you ever have a tough time getting your husband on board with things a five-facet review? Or is your husband one of those guys who is always on the lookout for new parenting ideas? Either way, Power of Moms has a retreat coming up that is for you. It's a motherhood retreat that includes the dads too. It's coming up next month. How is that for awesome-ness? I think it's so great to get parenting ideas as a couple because it is so much easier to implement when you're both on board. Click here for more info. about the details for that.
I also keep forgetting to say that my mom and I are doing three different Time Out for Women events this Fall. The first one is in Logan, UT in September, the second is in Richmond, VA in October, and the third is in Phoenix, AZ in November. I know these sell out relatively quickly so click on those links and get tickets now if you're interested.