Monday, August 24, 2015

I "Regail" you with...Thinking Proactively

Proactive parenting means thinking ahead before your children reach a certain age. So before you have children think about what approach you will use for discipline. Before an infant comes on the scene think about how you will manage your time. Before you have a toddler think about safety in the home. Before they're school age think about their education. Before they're teens think about how much outside activity you will allow. Before they go to college think about what you want them to know about dating. Etc. Etc. Etc. Thinking ahead, reading, discussing with your spouse, seeking advice from people you admire, will help form your goals as an effective parent.

The opposite of proactive parenting is reactive parenting. Reactive parenting is letting life take you where it will. You wait until you're at that stage and there is a situation you weren't expecting and then you scramble to find answers. 

An extreme example is the teenager who gains weight but never realizes she's pregnant until one day she has terrible cramps and goes to the bathroom and out comes a baby! Yes, I knew a gal that experienced that exact situation! Alright... most of us aren't that bad... but are you prepared for the next stage? When my firstborn was just a baby I began to think about his schooling. Some of my friends were exploring homeschooling and that intrigued me. How could a mom teach her own child at home? So I took baby Ben in his little car seat and the two of us sat in a corner of my friend's living room to watch homeschooling in action. What I saw totally amazed me.

My friend knew her son had ADD. So she set up a little trampoline there in the living room and allowed him to jump up and down while reciting his math facts. This showed me that parents really do know their children better than "experts". Parents are the experts of their own children. 

That set me on a research project to read everything I could on homeschooling. My husband and I had a few years to think and pray about that and explore other options so the decision to homeschool, which we ultimately made when he was 5, was a well thought out and prayed over decision.

Now for a refashion...

Here is the man's shirt I bought for $2 at our local thrift store:

And here is what I did to it...

I am submitting my shirt refashion to the Refashioners Challenge contest. Such fun!

The Refashioners 2015 - Grab a Button

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Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Regailing Defined

To "regale" is to entertain lavishly, or to feast or delight. Since my name is "Gail" I've chosen to call my blog "Regailing" as I aim to offer a feast of parenting advice as well as to share my hobby of sewing and refashioning.

More about me... I am a mother of 4, happily married to Steve, pastor of Christ Chapel ( I love Jesus! And so we have raised our children from a Christian worldview. Our four amazing kids are all grown (almost out of the house) - our oldest is an archaeologist, our second is a nurse, our third recently married and manages a clothing boutique and our 4th is still in college). I homeschooled all 4 all the way through (K through 12) and with the empty nest staring at me in the face I returned to the classroom and currently teach at Covenant Love Community School (

My first bit of parenting advice is to engage in PROACTIVE PARENTING. I call it that because the training of children is most effective when decisions on how you plan to discipline, communicate, educate, etc. is done BEFORE you are actually at that particular stage of life. Too often parents engage in REACTIVE PARENTING and wait until something negative is upon them before they decide how they should deal with it. The risk is a rash or emotional response that confuses or abuses a child. For example, you walk into your child's room and see it's a mess so you yell, "What a mess! Clean this up now!" The child sees you are angry and cleans up to keep peace. The child learns he doesn't need to clean up until he sees you angry. Now, imagine how much more effective it would be to establish early on that you expect your child to pick up his room each evening. You say, "Each night before we go to bed you will put everything back into its place.This is a good habit." The expectation is stated and then when the child obeys and you see his efforts you will praise him, reinforcing the good habit. If he doesn't obey, you must stand in the room and encourage him until he does. The motivation this time is to develop a good habit rather than cleaning to avoid your bad reaction.

And now for a refashion...

Here is a long dress (from the sixties) that I found at a thrift store. Before I took the picture I had already started to take off the daisy lace.

And next is the dress after I refashioned it. I shortened it, replaced the lace with a fresher looking lace around the waist. I wore this on Easter. Here is a pic of our fam on Easter Sunday after church and a lavish meal with graduate students. Now THAT's regailing!