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Parenting Page Session Six
God's plan for me

This week's goal:
To allow each family member the opportunity to make choices and decisions in his or her life.

What the experts say:
"Making good decisions is a characteristic of maturity, but one we often don't develop early in life. The inability to make choices, or a lack of self-confidence in decision-making, creates an inner anxiety that is hard to handle at any age. Set the stage for your children to learn how ... to make responsible choices," says Dr. Bobbie Reed." Starting with small decisions, such as what to wear or eat, can lead to
larger decisions. These larger decisions include allowing God to be the center of their lives and accepting that God has a plan for them (and He has a plan for you, too).

One family's story:
After his wife moved out, one father stayed in the family home and tried to preserve the only home his daughter had known. When it came time to sell the house, he took his daughter to the townhouse he had chosen to buy. He did everything to try and convince his daughter to like this house. Minute by minute, the daughter got quieter and quieter. Then she disappeared. The dad found her outside crying and saying, "I don't want to move out of my home." The father gently consoled his child. He explained they had to move and his daughter could choose to adjust or she could choose to stay upset-it was her choice. When it came time to move, the dad had the daughter decide which boxes to pack. Then she helped make decisions about where to place the furniture in the new house. Many decisions were made
in this move. The daughter eventually accepted the new home.

This week's Scripture focus:
Jeremiah 29: 11: 
''For I know the plans I have for you,'
says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for evil, to give
you a future and a hope" (LB).

Building family strengths:
As a single parent, have you taken time to make long-range plans: Do you have dreams for the future? Have you prayed about major decisions in your life? In your next family meeting or at a family meal, share with your children some of your dreams for the future. Ask the children to share some of their dreams. Together, plan a special family event you haven't done before. Some suggestions are to attend a
concert, serve a holiday meal at a homeless shelter or help another single parent family move.

* Adapted from Bobbie Reed's Christian Family Activities (Standard Publishing, 1982), p. 33. Used by permission from the author.