A Different Kind of Birthday

January 16, 2011

Yesterday my youngest daughter turned one year old, and on Friday my other daughter will be turning three, but rather than having a party for them, we have assigned a different way of adding meaning to their birthdays, and that is to make the day special by sitting down with them and helping them plan the next year of their life.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

In order to follow this scripture, first we must know which way our child should go, and this involves planning. I think it is a process that children should be involved in. Of course, at one year old, Jasmine is too young to tell me what she wants to learn in the next year, but as her parent I know what she is capable of and what kinds of goals are attainable for her by the time she is two.

So, for Jasmine’s birthday, I sat down with her and wrote some goals in her notebook, things that we will work together to accomplish this year. A few of her goals for the year are to be out of diapers and brushing her own teeth. On Friday, I will sit down with Acacia and do the same. One goal I have for her is to be finally pronouncing her name correctly. Then, throughout the year, we will go back to their goals and see how they are doing. As they get older, goals will expand to include things like working on character traits, if they want to learn a new skill such as a style of dance or to play piano, anything they think they would like to improve or learn, and together throughout the year we will work to achieve it.

That’s my plan for birthdays. If we ever want to invite friends over for cake and fun, we would probably just do it for the “fun” aspect and not specifically to celebrate something like a birthday.

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