Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Parenting 101

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In my years working with kids, I have been asked by several parents, “How do I raise my kids the right way?”  Below there are some thoughts that may ignite ideas on how to better parent your children.  By no means is this an exhaustive list, but a few simple ideas that we may need reminded of.

1.  Let your children be children.  Laugh, joke and be silly with your kids.  To often we try to make mini adults out of our kids.  Let your kids know its ok to have fun.  Enjoy life!

2.  Love your kids.  That may seem like a no brainer, but do your kids KNOW you love them?  Have they heard you say the words?  Each day tell your kids you love them and back it up with your actions.  Also, if you are married, make sure your kids hear you say those words to your spouse.  Kids need to know that their home is bound by love.

3.  Mean what you say!  If you say that ABC is going to happen, make sure that it does.  Either with punishment or reward, if you say this will happen, make it happen.  I don’t know if I would suggest the shirt above for a punishment…but it did make me laugh.pic_141_clean_790

4.  Give them notes.  I am not the best at this, but my wife is.  It’s not unusual for my kids or even myself to have notes from her.  It can be a Post-it in the fridge or a note done with a dry eraser on the bathroom mirror.  It’s a great way for your children to know you are thinking of them when you are not there.  Maybe they will give you a note that will be just as special.

5.  Set expectations.  Let your kids know that you have high expectations for them.  That these expectations are not to control them but to shape them as they grow.  Challenge and stretch them to achieve their very best no matter if it’s chores, academics, or sports.    Make sure you are accepting their best, not someone else’s.

6.  Pray together.  Take time to pray together as a family.  Encourage your kids to take the lead on this as well.  Teach your kids that a relationship with Jesus is most important in life.

7.  Serve together.  If you serve in your church or volunteer for an organization, let your children serve with you.  If they are younger, find ways that they can participate in what you are doing for others.  If they see you do it, they will see the importance of it and do it themselves.

Again, not an exhaustive list, but something I hope helps you in your walk as a parent.

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Duck, Duck, Amen!

1350915368788_duck_dynasty_new_1920x960_Overlay_590_295For about a month now my family has a new TV addiction…Duck Dynasty.  This show documents the Robertson family who are owners of “Duck Commander” a very succesful duck call and decoy manufacturer.  The show consists of Redneck logic and a family that is merging from humble beginnings to much wealth.

Though somewhat scripted, this family makes it a point to thank God for their experiences and blessings. At the end of each episode the family gathers around the dinner table and each time they have a prayer.   Now the prayer isn’t deep or lengthy, but it can be powerful.  Each time I find myself glued to what is going to be said during the prayer.  What if our children, family, or friends witnessed us in a prayer time that is powerful?  I challenge you to take time during the craziness of the holidays to sit with your family and spend it in prayer.  Sometimes we just need to take time to let God know He is our priority.

The following is a simple way to pray:

1.  Honor God.  Simply humble yourself before Him and honor Him as God.

2.  Confess to God.  Let God know you are sorry for your mistakes and your desire to reconnect with Him.

3.  Thank God.  Let God know how thankful you are for what you have been given.

4.  Ask for Help.  Do take time to ask God to bless your life and direct you and your family.

Leaving a Lasting Legacy

As any parent would say I have the best kids.  I am proud of my kids and love how greatly different they are.  My son Dakota, is a compassionate, humble, and caring individual.  He shows great leadership in the sports he plays.  Sydney is a funny, witty, and artistic little girl.  She is all about the moment, and lives life hard.

Watching my children get older,  I see bits of myself and my wife in their personalities.  Mostly the good ones.  I believe as parents we want that, we want to see our children become the best parts of who we are.  It’s the drive to pass on a legacy, not just an inheritance or material possessions,  but an inner core of who they are, a lasting legacy built on Godly values.

Recently, a young teen in my church was in some trouble at school.  He was punished and remorseful about his actions.  After spending a few days away from school his parents asked if he needed to pray about the situation.  Quickly, his brother stepped in and informed them that he had already took time to pray with his brother about what had happened.   Most siblings would have ignored it or even used the situation to tease, but not in this case.  This is an example of leaving a true lasting legacy.  These boys see prayer at work at home, not just a token comment before a meal, but really getting what prayer is about.  Their parents are leaving a lasting legacy.

So as you watch your children grow, what part of yourself do you see in your own children?  What are you doing to leave a lasting legacy?  I would love to hear what you are doing.