Friday, March 2, 2012


# 2: Malachi Time

In addition to talking to our babies and toddlers in the mornings, Dad also communicated with our toddlers and preschoolers at night through what we called “Malachi Time.” Based on the verse in Malachi about “turning the hearts of the fathers to the children and the children to the fathers,” Ray would tuck each child (age two or so and above) in their beds and talk to them. Sometimes he might read to them; sometimes it might be a quick prayer time. Other times, depending on the kids’ needs, Malachi Time would be a thirty to sixty minute event. (We often alternated who got short “Malachis” and who got long ones, making exceptions or changes to the schedule based on kids’ needs [and kids’ behavior—i.e. bad behavior sometimes needed even more talk time-- that day!].)

 Malachi time was such a special time for our olders that they all remember it fondly. They remember that Dad never had to hurry them to bed in order to go watch sports or play his computer game. He never had to rush through their bedtime in order to do his own thing. They knew he always had time for them. (And yes, he worked a lot—had a demanding job working sixty hours a week minimum at that time.)

I have fond memories of our little Cami when she was two chasing Ray around the living room crying out, “Ky ky time! Ky Ky time!” (How many two year olds do we know who beg to go to bed?? Smile…) Truly, Malachi time was the beginning of a long (fifty to seventy year?) tradition of availability for our children.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Twelve Terrific Times to Talk--#1: Baby Talk!

                                           Twelve Terrific Times to Talk

In keeping with our blog’s themes of TWELVE this year for 2012, we are starting a series called “Twelve Terrific Times to Talk.”  There are so many great times to talk to our kids that it is hard to narrow it down to only twelve! We are so adamant and passionate about talking to and communicating with our kids that we write about it and speak about it frequently. For this series, we will go in a somewhat chronological order—so invite your friends with olders to join us—we’ll get to that age group soon!

#1: Baby Talk

We are the most balanced baby people I know! No extremes here of nursing a child on demand until age three ---or of putting a baby on a four hour eating schedule while he's still in the hospital! Somewhere between those extremes is an amazing way to parent babies and toddlers in which everybody (baby, parents, and siblings) enjoy each other and fall into a comfortable family rhythm that does not over-emphasize one child’s “wants” over another. And one in which wants and needs are sorted out and met as appropriate. This is certainly not an article about baby and toddler training (check out our blog for more on that!); however, our parenting of our babies really did have something to do with the deep, communicative relationships that we developed with our children.

Yes, we talked to our babies! Once our children were four to six months old, they were seldom rocked completely to sleep. They learned to go to sleep just like the rest of us—after all of their needs for cleanliness, food, warmth, and comfort were met. However, when we got our babies and toddlers up in the morning, we spent even more time with them. I would get our babies and toddlers up, rock them, read to them, sing to them, walk around their rooms and read their posters and plaques to them, etc.

We began talking baby talk early! Talking to babies and toddlers via books, songs, rhymes, etc., then eventually discussing these things, was the beginning of communicating with our kids. So….go for the baby talk! Start communicating early with your kids.

Want more BABY TALK info?

*For more about "rockies and reading," see Part I (Part II follows) here:

*For more information about toddler character training, start with this post and read on:

*For more about "first thing in the morning with babies and toddlers," look here:

*For a post about praising "littles":

*And teaching babies and toddlers with posters and table mats: