Monthly Archives: April 2011

Teaching Impulse Control | Part 5


Where Do We Go From Here

Begin by looking at your parenting style.  Ask yourself are you running around to meet their every need or deadline and rescuing them?  Or are you training your children to get control over their own needs and deadlines.

Teaching our children the skill of time management or money management is a invaluable life skill.  If we are rescuing our child at the last minute doing their science project for them, yes they may get the better grade today but what have we instilled for the future.  Not the lesson of impulse control.  Training in impulse control would have been helping them set up a time table for doing their project then making sure to help guide them when they are distracted by the computer, the Xbox or the TV.

Another type of parenting style doesn’t struggle with rescuing their kids they struggle with the rewards.  They expect their child to get up from the TV to go and do homework so it is hard for them to go crazy with praise when a child follows through with the responsible choice.  We have to remember that our children are not mini adults and we are in a training process.  This means that we allow them to make the choice, guide them don’t rescue, and go crazy as their cheerleaders when they do the right thing!


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on impulse control.


Teaching Impulse Control | Part 5 2011-04-25T14:50:42+00:00

Teaching Impulse Control | Part 4


Allowing the Child to Practice Impulse Control

When training a puppy to do a trick you have to practice and practice, when they get it right you reward them with a treat.  It is basic behavior modification.  My husband is great at training dogs.  He worked hard with our dog training him to do many different things.   I had seen a friends dog do this amazing trick so one day I decided that I wanted to train our dog to balance a treat on his nose until I commanded that he could have it.  This was the first trick that I had attempted to train our dog to do and I was very excited to accomplish this and surprise my husband.  I had grandiose ideas that my wonder dog would be able to accomplish this after one try.  This of course did not happen it took many, many practices and rewards for patience.  But I can now with confidence say that my dog will sit with a treat on his nose and wait to eat it, albeit drooling, until I say “ok”.

So if an animal can be trained to that level to control their impulses, we definitely can say no in the face of temptation or desire.  The key is practice.  Allow your child to practice impulse control.   Teaching your child to get out of bed in the morning, not to talk back, slam things or stomp around is mostly about learning discipline.  Learning how to handle your impulses when you don’t get your way is important for the future, so that you can handle yourself appropriately at work if a co-worker doesn’t do something the way you like it.  Getting out of bed teaches the discipline of forcing yourself out of a situation, even though it may be more comfortable, if its not the right thing.  Simple day to day choices help our children to exercise impulse control. Just don’t forget to reward them with praise when they make the right choices.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on teaching impulse control.


Teaching Impulse Control | Part 4 2011-04-25T14:47:28+00:00

Teaching Impulse Control | Part 3


The Example We Set Is Very Important

Our example of how we handle impulse control in our own lives is key to training our children in this area.  It cannot be do as a say but not as I do.  Children are very good at noticing if our words and actions are not matching up.

In order to do a heart check on ourselves, we must ask “who is ultimately in charge of me?”  Is God truly in charge of my life? Or am I in charge? Or have I handed off the remote control of my life to the people around me, advertisers, media, my appetites, my urges or someone of the opposite sex?

The story of Joseph is a great reminder for us in Genesis 39 about how to control our impulses in the face of temptation.  Take time to reread that story and process how it can be applied to something that you may be facing right now.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on teaching your children impulse control.



Teaching Impulse Control | Part 3 2011-04-25T14:43:43+00:00

Teaching Impulse Control | Part 2


Where and When a Parent Begins

It begins now.  Any stage that a child is in can be training for impulse control.  Its no secret that a baby has the world revolve around them. Parents need to be constantly meeting that child’s needs because they are helpless and can’t care for themselves.   As soon as that infant cries a parent is trying to figure out what the need is and meet it, whether it is a diaper change, hunger, or simply the desire to be held.  As the child grows however we obviously teach them how to do things for themselves, as well as how to wait for things.  The two year old sometimes communicates that they want things “NOW” by throwing a tempter tantrum.  This is the beginning of the impulse control training.  We begin this training by not giving into the tantrum.  When we hold our ground we not only teach our child that the behavior is not acceptable, we are also teaching a lesson in self-control.

Teaching older children money management through using allowance and saving, is a great lesson in impulse control.  Helping children learn time management is another great tool for teaching this lesson.  Through every stage we can find tools and areas to help us teach our children the invaluable lesson of impulse control.


For more insight on this topic listen to today’s podcast.



Teaching Impulse Control | Part 2 2011-04-25T14:42:25+00:00

Teaching Impulse Control | Part 1


Why It’s So Important?

Today’s society has become conditioned for “instant life”.  We don’t wait for things to be made we go buy them.  We (usually) don’t make things from scratch, most of us don’t even know how, we microwave.  We don’t process things; we react.  This means that many of our children are missing out on the very important lesson of impulse control.

Why is teaching our children impulse control important?  Wars have been started, marriages ended, and lives ruined because of irrational reactions to things or failure to control impulses.  We need to train our children when they feel an impulse to do something or temptation stares them in the face they need to do a few things.

First they need to take a step back and analyze the situation.  Many times just taking a breath and processing will allow a child or adult to resist temptation. The second thing that needs to be done in the processing is weighing the consequences or ramifications of the action.  Learn to ask yourself, “if I do this what will happen?”

The most important thing that we can begin to train our children to do is to seek God about situations.  If we are always teaching our children to pray before taking action they are less likely to be impulsive.

Training a child to have impulse control can be one of the most important things that we teach them.  It has ramifications over many aspects of their lives from finances to marriage, and even employment.  Join us this week as we continue to discuss training your children in impulse control.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on impulse control.


Teaching Impulse Control | Part 1 2011-04-25T14:23:37+00:00

Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 5


Questions About Family Time

As we are processing this topic many parents may be asking the questions what if?  If my kids have too much down time won’t they just spend it online?  Or what if my kids don’t like what we are doing on family night I don’t want to feel rejected. Many parents may not know what to do with their kids because every one has been so busy for so long they don’t really know each other anymore.

First thing we need to do is choose.  We need to choose to no matter what be together as a family.  This also means choose activities that all can be involved in.  Ultimately that means that we are choosing to be family!  That also means that we need to choose not to be discouraged and give up if changing the routine is difficult at first or if your children don’t warm up to the family night idea right away.  That’s ok!   Keep at it, you are communicating to all involved that family is important.  God made us first and foremost for relationship, relationship with Him and relationship with each other.  When we can begin to balance relationship and learn to say enough is enough then the stress will begin to be relieved because you are communicating you are important to me because you are you.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on kids and stress.

Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 5 2014-06-02T11:53:49+00:00

Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 4


What Can We Do?

In order to help our kids/teens cope with today’s pressures we first need to ask ourselves what’s the goal?  Often good goals over power best goals.  It is a good goal for your child to get into a good college.  It is a good goal for your child to he well rounded.  But building for my child’s college application is not worth sacrificing my child’s well being.  Like we have stated our ultimate goal of parenting is raising a child who is employable or marriageable.  In order to be either of these things we need to teach our children to be balanced.  We do not want to teach a child to be a workaholic or they will not be marriageable because they will not know how to make time for family.

So realistically what do we do?  We need to know when to say enough is enough.  If you do have a child who is a gifted athlete then let them pick the sport that they want to focus on.   They do not need to do all of them.  Make sure that you do have family time carved out.  Make the time to eat together as a family every day.  This doesn’t mean throwing food down in the car as you are trying to get to the next thing.  Get up early and sit at the breakfast table together, start the day as a family.  You can even take the time then to read a verse or two from scripture at the table to focus everyone on what really matters.    Weekly take the time to have a family night.  Put it on the calendar and require that every one is there.  Make sure that there is time in your schedule for down time as a family.  If you are looking at your schedule and can’t fit in a family night then you are too busy.  Get creative and make sure to fit it in!!!


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on kids and stress.

Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 4 2011-04-13T19:40:41+00:00

Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 3


What does stress mean for today’s teen?

Today’s overachieving society can have detrimental effects on the teen.  Like we said yesterday, the well meaning parent can be trying to help their teen get into college and fill their plate so full that it becomes overwhelming.  It is not abnormal for a focused teen to get up be at swim practice before the sun, go to school and spend their days in AP or dual enrollment classes, go back to swim practice or a meet until dinner, and then be up until after midnight completing homework.  There is only so much of this a teen can take day in and day out before it begins to wear on them.  Some teens can’t handle the stress and begin to retreat away from family, or begin to make bad choices.  This can leave many parents struggling for answers.  How many times have we heard parents say, “I don’t know what happened he/she was doing so well!”

This ends up being a very lonely life for a teen.  It leaves them feeling that they are only as good as they perform.  Their entire self worth is not based on how much they are loved or valued but by how well they do.  What can we do as parents to help our kids off the hamster wheel and help them balance their life and time?  Check back tomorrow because that is what we will be discussing!


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on kids and stress.

Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 3 2011-04-14T23:16:24+00:00

Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 2



Unfortunately many of us, unintentionally add stress to our children rather than being the calming force that helps them cope.  We try to give our children “opportunities” by keeping them in many different sports, dance or gymnastics.  We also want them to be able to be able to do whatever they want so we add to the academic stress by pushing good grades.  For some parents it is that they have gotten in the trap of performance focused parenting.  For others it is, innocently wanting what is best for our children.

For some reason we have been taught that idle hands are the devils tools.  So out of fear that they may get into trouble we keep our teens busy. But as we will discuss tomorrow this can have negative consequences.

We need to keep in mind that our children and teens are not just mini adults.  They do not need to bare the same stress levels or have as many things on their plates as an adult can balance.  Our children need time to play to imagine, to dream.   They need the time to just be children.  In order to train up a well rounded individual we have to allow for our children to have time to dream up what they want to be in the future.  Protect their childhood and make sure that your children have down time, just to be children!


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on children and stress.


Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 2 2011-04-14T23:16:47+00:00

Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 1


“A Race To Nowhere”

It would seem for the past few years our society is suffering from severe stress levels.  There are many factors that play into this, from the current financial situation to inter personal and family stress.  There are days where it may even feel like we are running around like rats in a maze getting nowhere with no real purpose.  So, in all of the frenetic activity how are our children faring, many of our children are suffering from major amounts of stress.

A documentary film that has been release called “A Race To Nowhere” helps us to have a view into the life of today’s teens and the pressures of the education system today.  The film looks at the dilemma of the attempt to help our children succeed and keep our schools accountable, has put an inordinate amount of stress on both student and educator.   Because such a high priority has been placed on testing, for accountability reasons, children today not only have the educational pressures of making the grade, completing mountains of homework, but also performing well on the standardize testing.   Through working with the middle school kids at Sheridan House I have seen personally the level of stress that these test place on the kids.  Some have even gotten sick with worry over them.

All this to say, we as parents need to realize the level of stress our children/teens are under and not pile more on their plate.  We need to look at our goals for parenting and not pressure our children to achieve but rather to be well-rounded individuals.


Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on children and stress.



Helping Our Children Handle Stress | Part 1 2011-04-14T23:17:21+00:00