I had the pleasure of Mrs. Wilt from The Sparrow's Nest (one of my very favorite blogs!) interview me. Not only did she do an interview, she did a product review on my Basic Cake Decorating DVD. I truly value her review because she too bakes and decorates cakes. Her words were very kind and gracious!
I am posting the interview here, but you may want to hop on over to her blog for the comments that followed, which were a little surprising to me. How can anyone equate teaching practical skills or a love for home as a cult?
1. Kathy, it is a pleasure to be able to ask you some questions about your home business, Teaching Good Things? How did it all begin?
Thank you, Kelli, for giving me this time. My daughters and I are loyal readers of yours!
A few years ago my daughters (then 10 and 13) and I joined our local quilter's guild. We fell in love with quilting. We wanted to pass this skill on to our fellow homeschoolers, so I thought I'd write an easy to understand book for girls. A friend suggested I make a DVD instead. This started us on a course for our website and making DVDs on several different topics. After months of trial and error we produced our first DVD, Basic Cake Decorating.
We want our website to be a place where parents can come to find information and resources to help teach their children learn practical skills.
2. I totally agree that children need to be taught "good things" in order to become hard workers. How did you implement this in your own family?
I think the main thing is that we have never had a lot of money, and we have strong convictions that I need to be at home with the children and homeschool them. So I guess you could say our circumstances have made us be creative, and for that I am thankful!
My husband and I are pretty industrious people, so our children really had no choice. We didn't allow for a lot of idle time. Even now that our two youngest are in their teens their idle time is limited, mainly by their choice. We want them to always have a project to be working on. Sometimes the project may be a way to make gifts or to make money and sometimes it is a way to serve others.
As a family, if we want something done, if at all possible, we do it ourselves, whether it is repairs, improvements or gift giving. There is such satisfaction in being able to do things for yourself. I think if we were to become extremely wealthy we would still do as much as we could ourselves.
We just released our Basic Crochet DVD which walks you through all the basic stitches, how to read a pattern, how to make a Granny Square, a dishcloth and a scarf.
Our next video will be about How to Make and Sell Your Own Bath Products. Our quilting video is in the works along with How to Make Your Own Wedding Cake and Canning the Harvest! There will also be videos for the boys that my husband is working on, such as; Building Birdhouses and Bird Feeders and The Young Man’s Home Maintenance Course.
We also offer summer day camps for girls to learn domestic skills and boys to learn carpentry skills. Summer is a great time to learn the life skills that they will need to be a productive adult.
4. As a mother of boys, I am concerned at times with teaching them work ethic. I look around and see so many teenage boys with a "slacker" mentality today. What can I do as a parent to discourage this prevalent attitude with my boys?
The number one thing parents need to do is PRAY! There is no formula to insure that our children will not grow up to be slackers. I cannot stress that enough!
Second, our job as parents is to teach our children as we walk along side them. Our children learn more from what we ‘DO’ than what we ‘say’. They will learn as they watch us as we carry out our responsibilities; are we through? Do we complain about our duties? Does our attitude stink? Do we look for ways to meet the needs of people around us? I think these are the two most important things to do! Pray and walk our talk!
I honestly believe that while children are very young they want to please their parents. They want to be given tasks and know they are doing a good job. I think parents make big mistakes when they push Jr aside and clean up the mess themselves instead of teaching Jr how to clean it up WITH them. It may not be done perfectly when little hands are doing the job, but when they are young we must first train their attitude. Let them take responsibility and help, and then praise them. When they are not looking, go back and do it 'right'. Encouragement is the way to lead children; criticism is the best way to push them away.
5. Although we haven't been blessed with a daughter yet, I want to be prepared! :o) Can you list 3 ways we can prepare our daughters to be effective helpmeets in the future?
As wives and mothers we need to respect, love and adore their dad, in word, expression and deed. This is the most important aspect of family life. If you make a mess of everything else, but you love and respect their dad, they will be just fine! Encourage them to find ways to do special things for their dad while he is gone to work. As women (young and old) of the house, our day should include thoughts of how we can make it easier for him to be known in the gates. Do his socks match? Does he have clean clothes? Is his food ready when he is? Rub his feet. Meet him at the door and try to smile. The smallest things mean so much.
Be a keeper at home by staying at home as much as possible. Teach them to love homemaking, which really is an issue of the heart more than the décor and menu. Help them understand that making a home for the family and guest to feel comfortable, safe and welcome should be of high priority. Home is where needs are met. We cannot meet needs when we are physically not at home. What is even worse is when we are not home emotionally. Our hearts can be caught up in outside 'ministries' and miss our God given responsibility that brings forth much fruit. Constantly remind them that loving others through our home is pleasing to God. (Titus 2:5)
Equip them with skills to be frugal and efficient. In my opinion this is just as important as any academic subject, and in some ways more important. This takes many years, and a lot of us moms are learning right along side our daughters, and that is OK, we have to start somewhere. Don’t put homemaking on the back burner thinking you’ll teach that later. It needs to be taught everyday.
6. Finally, as a mother of children who are preparing to leave the nest, can you give a word of encouragement to those of us who have little ones we are just beginning to teach?
Raising children for the glory of God is a wonderful way to impact the world! Never take it lightly! Again, as I said earlier, prayer is the most important thing to do. Also, let us not boast in ourselves, but know all we do is by grace alone. We are to be faithful to love and train them, God is responsible for the results.
Include you children in everything you do from shopping to mopping the floors. Start out slowly, not expecting perfection. Be VERY selective in what outside activities, even ministries to take part in. Time with our children is so short, although it may not feel like it on a bad day. Love them, play with them, and teach them to be givers, not takers. Just take one day at a time, and enjoy them because before you know it they will be teaching the next generation! I honestly believe we make life too complicated thinking we have to do it all, and have it all. More than anything, know our total dependence is on Christ alone!
NOTE: I had the pleasure to review Kathy's outstanding Cake Decorating DVD and will be posting a review on Monday. You won't want to miss it!
Thank you, Kathy, for being so gracious to chat with us! If you would like to know more about the Brodock family and their passion for this work, click HERE to go to Teaching Good Things!