Defining Signal Behavior
The assumption is that kids are born able to communicate. Why would anyone married over a week think that people are automatically able to communicate? We actually spend a lifetime developing our means of communication, more importantly we have to be taught to communicate.
Take my 3 year old son. Everything’s fine. He gets into the car seat with his mother and grandmother up front. We are talking to each other, not him. He wants to be the center of his world so he starts speaking or singing loudly in order to get us to pay attention. If we don’t he escalates the attempt by asking things repeatedly or even misbehaving. Before we know it we are reinforcing negative behavior to get attention.
When we can’t talk we still communicate. We just speak a language that is more difficult to understand: The language of behavior. We are going to spend the rest of this week discussing signal behavior and how we listen to it. A verse to remember this week is James 1:19, “My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry.”
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Teaching Purity And Modesty
This is such an important thing to instill in your children. Click here to check out our week long series on this topic of sexual purity.
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Hope For Kids In Bad Schools
There are circumstances in which a parent can’t simply pull a child out of a school. So what can parents do to help a child sift through the negativity around them? Probably the most important thing a parent can do is talk. Have an open door policy in your house for questions. Don’t over react to a question that your child brings up because that may shut them down. As parents, we need to be the ones giving our children the answers so we always want them to feel comfortable bringing questions or concerns to us.
Secondly, we can get involved in our children’s schools. Try to schedule a time to volunteer, go to PTA meetings or school sporting events. Get to know your child’s teachers and consistently communicate with them. The more involvement you can have at your child’s school the more likely you are to get a feel for the issues that your child may face. Even if your child is in a difficult school, don’t give up. Choose to make the best of the situation and make sure you are going overboard to pursue relationship with your child.
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Dealing With Diversity
One of the things that’s beautiful about the United States is the beautiful tapestry of ethnicity. There are so many different races, ethnic groups and religions here that if we take the opportunity we can have many cultural experiences. One of the biggest blessings to me personally is that as we raise our boys here in South Florida they get to have so many different cultural experiences. With that, however, can come hostility towards different cultures, races and religions. Sadly, we tend to naturally fear whatever we think is different. It is so awesome to observe my small children, because of the diversity here, there is no sense of “difference” between groups. Unfortunately, as they grow up they will encounter and observe hostility.
What can we do to counter it? We can make sure to give our children experiences around other cultures. City sports leagues and schools are a great place for this. We also need to teach them, never to return evil for evil. We can also teach them how to see the unique things in each culture. Once a week in the residential homes we would try to have a night where we would eat foods from different countries, in an effort to learn about their customs. This can even true of other religions. While we don’t agree or believe the same things we can always make a point to learn things from others, such as how they serve those around them or their total devotion to their religion.
Take the time to teach your children to appreciate the amazing diversity around them.
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Discussing Gay Marriage
This is an issue that can be dealt with even before questions come up. Like we discussed yesterday it is important to lay a scriptural foundation for when the difficult questions are asked. Just like sex outside of marriage the Bible is clear on this issue. In Genesis, the Bible states that a man must be united with his wife to become one flesh. This is a spiritual, physical and emotional reference. God made us to “fit together” to become one.
One of the things we must teach our children is not tolerance but love. Love is seeing past things you may not agree with. We are not very good at “loving the sinner-hate the sin” sometimes because we tend to forget that we are all sinners in need of a Savior. It is easier to focus on the sins of others, then your own sins.
Secondly, we need to make our own marriages something that is to be desired. For the next generation to grow up seeing that we are we so in love with our spouse that our children can’t help but think, “I want that!”
Thirdly, we need to keep our home an environment that is always an open door for discussions, even the difficult ones.
Check back the rest of this week as we discuss more of some of the issues our kids will face.
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