Monthly Archives: August 2011

Performance Focused Parenting | Part 3

2011-09-26T21:25:45+00:00

The Parenting Curriculum

How ridiculous would it sound if we went to our child’s open house at school and their teacher had no lesson plans for the year?  Even if the teacher explained the plan for the year being to watch what the other teachers do, then sit over coffee and discuss what worked and what didn’t.  We as parents would be incensed that there was no plan for our child’s education.  But how many of us do this with parenting our children?

We fly through life dropping our kids off at school and activities and our parenting style appears to be trial and error.  When we are so busy life seems to fly by even faster.  It would be such a tragedy to drop our child off on a college campus or watch them go out the door as adults and have regrets about our parenting.   One way to make sure we are able to do our best to train our children is to have goals or a parenting curriculum.  Take the time to process through the areas your child needs to be trained in before adulthood.  There are several places to start. You can start with thinking through the areas that you wished you had more training.  Another great place to start is the book of Proverbs.  This is a book written from father to son and has some wonderful insight.  Make sure that you sit down during one of you parenting staff meeting with you spouse and think through your goals for parenting.  This way you can help to make family and parenting a priority and not just get caught up in the busyness of life.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Performance Focused Parenting | Part 3 2011-09-26T21:25:45+00:00

Performance Focused Parenting | Part 2

2011-09-26T21:25:51+00:00

Who are we performing for?

If we are attempting to ensure that we are training our children to be human beings not “human doings” then we need to first step back and examine ourselves.  There are a couple of questions we need to answer in our own lives.  The first is, are we too busy ourselves?  Do we have unrealistic expectations for what we can accomplish?  We need to be able to model down time for our children.  Our children must be able to observe our times of quietness before God, with our spouse and times of simplicity together as family.

The second question we need to answer in our own life is, for whom are we performing?  Are we placing the pressures we feel from others on our children?  For example, our parents may be putting pressure on us for the way we parent or make us feel like our children must be involved in certain activities.  Other families around us may also add to the pressure to have our children involved in activities.  Our peers may inadvertently guilt us into pressuring our children by comparing their children to ours.  We need to remember that we serve only an Audience of One.  He is the only one who will hold us accountable for how we raise our children.  Until we as parents can shift our focus to Him we cannot hope to pass this concept on to our children.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Performance Focused Parenting | Part 2 2011-09-26T21:25:51+00:00

Performance Focused Parenting | Part 1

2011-09-26T21:25:57+00:00

What is the Focus of Parenting?

Have we put so much emphasis on the “success” of our kids that life has simply become racing from one activity to another?  Society would have us believe that our children need to be academically, socially and athletically successful to be ready for the adult world.  So childhood flies by in a whirlwind of homework and practices.

We touched on this topic when we discussed time management but we need to take this concept a step deeper.  Have we gotten to the point as parents that we have become our children’s performance enhancement drug?  Have we placed so much pressure on our children to succeed that they may be missing out on the very basics of childhood?  Picturing childhood should conjure up images of swings, ice cream cones and times filled with imagination.   But these pressures have been placed on our children as early as elementary school.  There are areas that need to be developed in our children in order to be marriageable and employable, such as the art of conversation or even think time, that need some down time in order to be taught. We need to remember that we are raising a human being and not a human doing.

This week we will be discussing performance focused parenting as we do make sure to take some time to step back and process what the focus of your parenting is.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on the topic of performance focused parenting.

Performance Focused Parenting | Part 1 2011-09-26T21:25:57+00:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 5

2011-08-15T10:57:24+00:00

Listening and The Dinner Table

Like we discussed yesterday teaching children how to listen using their siblings can be a great training ground for the future in work and peer relationships.  One place to put this into practice is the dinner table.  Creating family dinner discussion rules can help.  Such as only one person talks at a time or we finish discussing one thing before the next is brought up.  This is an area that we need to lead by example.

Another fun thing that can be done at the family dinner table is to create a listening game.  You can have each child tell the family one thing that they learned from someone else that day.  Whether it was at school, home or even each other.  This can help create an atmosphere of listening.  On Sunday’s you can have your children tell you one thing that they heard in Sunday school or small group and one thing they remember the pastor saying.  This will also begin to train them to listen in a big group setting.  If you make it into a game you may be surprised at the things that your children come away with!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The How To’s of Listening | Part 5 2011-08-15T10:57:24+00:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 4

2011-08-15T10:57:06+00:00

Using Siblings to Teach Listening 

One thing that as a culture we seem to be failing to teach our children is patience.  We are trained for instant gratification and if we are not careful our children will be no different. An area that can be used to teach both listening skills and patience is sibling communication.  Like we discussed yesterday active listening is something that is a choice.  It is also something that needs to be taught because most of us are born with the “me first” attitude.  As parents we can begin to teach active listening by having our children look at us when we are giving an instruction and then simply requiring a response.  This will begin to teach children that they need to look at the person that is speaking to them and answer.  The next step to teaching listening is with their siblings.  We need to train them that their siblings deserve the same kind of listening respect.  This is where the patience comes into play as we are helping them to wait their turn in talking.  Which means no interrupting.  As children get older we also need to train them to stay with the conversation until it has been completed before we bring up something new to talk about.  All of these things, that are seemingly simple, are listening skills that some adults have not mastered.  This small listening skill that can be practiced with siblings can be invaluable for a child later and help them in both adult relationships and jobs.  

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The How To’s of Listening | Part 4 2011-08-15T10:57:06+00:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 3

2011-08-09T20:56:53+00:00

Where is Your Front Porch

Yesterday we talked about training children to listen by taking the time to hear what they have to say.    There are other places that we can listen by example as well.  A child often observes how mom and dad interact.  In fact how we live out our marriage will have a direct impact on the future marriages of our children.

One of the things that is easy for a child to observe is how their parents communicate.   Do they see communication that builds or tears down?  What do they observe when their parents disagree?  Most of all do they see their parents listening to each other?

Before the age of television families could be seen sitting on their front porches enjoying the evening after dinner.  Maybe the children were playing in the front yard while their parents sat and enjoyed each other’s company.  The important thing about this was not just the time spent as a family but the fact that children could daily watch their parents interact and communicate.  So the question for today is where is your front porch?

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The How To’s of Listening | Part 3 2011-08-09T20:56:53+00:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 2

2011-08-15T10:56:19+00:00

 Listening By Example

There are many things that we teach our children by simply showing them how to do it.  One of the most important and sometimes difficult things about parenting is that we must always be aware there are little eyes watching everything we do.  This means our words and actions need to match up.

Practically, other then instructing your children to “listen to mommy/daddy”, how do we teach listening?  We can first be an example to our children in how to listen.  This, however,is not always as easy as it sounds.  Do we find ourselves absently answering a child’s question without really listening to what they are saying? Are there ever times that we assess a situation and make up our minds about what happened without listening to our children?  That is just in everyday situations, when a child is acting out listening can become even more difficult.  We need to remember to be intentional because our children will learn how to listen from how we listen to them.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

 

The How To’s of Listening | Part 2 2011-08-15T10:56:19+00:00

The How To’s of Listening | Part 1

2011-08-09T20:57:34+00:00

Listening

Many times when you think of listening it seems like a passive activity but listening is an action verb.  It is not only something that you do but it is something that you do very intentionally.  It is a choice.  Listening takes hearing a step farther.  When a person is communicating, you are not only hearing the words that are coming out of their mouth but becoming engaged in what they are saying.  It involves not just your ears but mind as well.  We need to practice something called active listening.  This means that our whole body is communicating that we are listening as well.   We are facing our children, looking them in the eyes and attempting to understand what they are saying.  It is hard to train what we do not practice.  When a child feels listened to they will tend to be more and more communicative.  The reverse is also true, if a child feels brushed off or absently dismissed it can cause them to clam up.   So as we are training our children to listen we as adults need to remember it is a choice but one that will ultimately help to make your child feel valued!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

The How To’s of Listening | Part 1 2011-08-09T20:57:34+00:00

Who is Influencing Your Child? | Part 5

2011-08-11T14:01:56+00:00

Choosing To Be Your Children’s Greatest Influence

We have mentioned this week, as well as many times previously, one of the places that is an easy place to build relationship with your children is at the dinner table.  When we simply spend time together around the table sharing a meal it does wonders for our children.  In fact the Miami Herald produced an article which combined research from several places, University of Minnesota, Harvard, and the American Pediatric Association to name a few.  The results were astounding, it stated that children who at with their families just five times a week had a lower body mass and were physically more healthy.  There was a strong association between these meal times and academic success, psychological adjustment and abstinence.  The article went on to state that teens who ate with their families five times a week were 42% less likely to drink alcohol, 59% less likely to smoke cigarettes, 66% less likely to smoke marijuana .  It also stated that teen girls we far less likely to have a propensity for an eating disorder.

Those are amazing statistics.  It is not just the eating that does this for a family it is the relationship.  The “group therapy” that can take place is great.  Everyone can download and process their day with others, as well as feel like a priority to those around them.  All this by simply taking the time to sit down to meals together, it definitely is worth the effort!!!

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Who is Influencing Your Child? | Part 5 2011-08-11T14:01:56+00:00

Who is Influencing Your Child? | Part 4

2011-08-10T16:47:32+00:00

Communicate

One way to watch who is influencing our child is to be in constant communication with them.  We have talked about this a lot and even spent two weeks discussing this topic.  First and foremost creating times for communication allows us to hear what other people are saying to our children.  It also helps us to see how certain things are impacting them.  There are media influences that we can discuss with our children, such as games, TV, movies and music.  When we see something that we don’t agree with or is offensive in one of these arenas, we must get involved and open up a dialog about it. 

The second thing that communication does is it continues to allow us to be a big influence in our children’s lives.  Most teens still report that their parents are their greatest influence in decisions that they make.  This means that we have to choose to be in that position by continuing to work on communication and relationship.

Check out our previous series on communication by clicking here.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

Who is Influencing Your Child? | Part 4 2011-08-10T16:47:32+00:00