Posts Tagged ‘Family’

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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Crazy Christmas?

It’s the most wonderful time of the Year, or so the song goes.  Christmas is a wonderful time, but I see people absolutely loosing their minds this time of year.  What makes people so crazy?  To put it plain as I can, its when people don’t keep the main thing the main thing.  I listed a few things I do with my family each year to keep us sane through Christmas time.

  • Santa only “brings” things that will fit into the stocking.  One thing that kids can be overly focused on is what they  get from Santa.  If someone brought me several hundred dollars of goodies each year, I would be a little nuts for him too.
  • We are always home on Christmas day.  This maybe hard for some families, but we made this a priority from day one.  It has been hard at times, but I know my kids treasure it.
  • We talk about the man Santa, and the good he did, long ago.  When we are asked about Santa we always talked about the man who was Saint Nicholas who spent his life helping the poor.  The last couple of years we have given cards, or a gift, to people who are working on Christmas eve and personally delivered them as a family.  This has been a great lesson for my children (as well as myself) to give to others.
  • We put more emphasis in Jesus than Santa.  One way we do this is with a birthday cake for Jesus.  It maybe a little corny, but it does take away from the other distractions.  It gives us a time as a family to sing, pray, and celebrate Jesus.

What do you do special for Christmas?  Would love to see your thoughts in the comment section.