Monthly Archives: July 2013

Making Your Marriage the Key Relationship in the Family | Part 3

2013-07-29T21:34:48+00:00

How Did So Many Homes Go From Marriage-Centered to Child-Centered

One answer may be that many homes were not honestly marriage-centered.  Becoming one flesh and actually “doing” marriage is a difficult task.  Many couples, when they leave the honeymoon phase of their marriage relationship, begin to focus on their careers as a priority.  We can easily divvy up jobs and tasks and almost become strangers sleeping next to each other.   It is also easy to forget to continually pursue our spouse, to continue to deepen the friendship and intimacy.  If kids enter at this point it is easy to see how their needs become front and center and the marriage needs get placed on the back burner.

Even the strongest marriages will have to continually battle the tyranny of the urgent and fight to be consumed by the needs of children or paying the bills.  Children are an amazing blessing from God but a couple needs to remember that child rearing is just a season of their marriage.  A marriage that is going to last a lifetime needs time and input, even through those frenetic years of parenting.

Make the choice today to keep your marriage a priority.

 

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

 

Making Your Marriage the Key Relationship in the Family | Part 3 2013-07-29T21:34:48+00:00

Making Your Marriage the Key Relationship in the Family | Part 2

2013-07-29T21:31:55+00:00

It’s The Training Ground For The Marriages of Your Children

For better or worse our marriage sets up our children’s expectations for their marriages. This is another important reason to make sure that the marriage relationship is the priority relationship in the home, after a relationship with God. Here are some areas to process through and make sure that your children are seeing Godly examples in, Biblical leadership and Biblical submission.  Do you and your spouse edify each other or tear each other down in front of your children? Do your children observe healthy conflict? Do your children see you having fun together? Can they see that you are still attracted to each other?  Do they see mommy and daddy go on dates and other things that would suggest that the relationship is a priority?

We have discussed some of the ways our marriages impact our children in our series Role Modeling Commitment In Your Marriage.  Click here to check out that series.

 

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

 

Making Your Marriage the Key Relationship in the Family | Part 2 2013-07-29T21:31:55+00:00

Making Your Marriage the Key Relationship in the Family | Part 1

2013-07-29T21:29:49+00:00

Why It Is The Most Important

It is so easy to allow your marriage to fall on the back burner when you have children.  Why does this happen? There are a few reasons, first may be that the couple placed a higher priority on their careers so it was easy for children to fill that spot.  Secondly, life happens so fast and marriage takes time and effort.  So maybe the concept of the tyranny of the urgent takes over and we know that parenting needs to be a priority so we devote all of our time and energy to that.

It is so worth the time and work to maintain your marriage.   It’s God’s plan: Genesis 2:24-25 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. “ The primary relationship for the spouses, other than God, is the marriage relationship.  It is a launch pad for the next generation.  God created the family structure with the marriage as the foundation, a husband and a wife, two very different people becoming one – like concrete and steel – forming the inseparable foundation for the family to be built on. That’s why God hates divorce (Malachi) It is a representation of His love relationship with the church.  We have the privilege to live out God’s love for our children.  That is why it is worth putting in the time and effort to make it a priority.

 

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

Making Your Marriage the Key Relationship in the Family | Part 1 2013-07-29T21:29:49+00:00

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 5

2013-07-10T17:35:55+00:00

The Key that Makes the Plan Work

Being a consistent parent is that key. Once the schedule is set, the rules have been posted,the consequences and rewards are decided and communicated, begin to utilize the plan. You will have to do the plan over and over, because children will test it, over and over. Be prepared for a Marathon not a Sprint! Our children need to see that every time they choose to break a rule they will receive the appropriate predetermined consequence or reward. Remember, don’t give up when it seems like the plan is not working! Don’t give up when it seems like your child doesn’t care! Don’t give up because you get very tired! Remember you are not their friend first, you are their parent. This can seem like a daunting task, but for a parent who tends to be overactive, the plan is freedom because we know that now there is fence and we can hold them accountable in their bounderies. We can back up and take off the leash. For the parent that tends to be in active, the plan is freedom because we don’t have to wonder what we are going to do the next time a behavior issue catches us off guard. The plan has helped to keep us involved, aware and a part of their lives. We can put up the fence knowing we are not being mean by setting up boundaries, we are helping them learn to make wise choices. Remember we are not raising a perfect child, we are raising a capable adult.

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

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 5 2013-07-10T17:35:55+00:00

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 4

2013-07-10T17:35:37+00:00

Be An Informed Parent

In order to come up with appropriate rewards and consequences for your child, you have to know what makes them tick. For example, if your child is not that into video games the idea of loosing the Xbox for a week may not be an effective consequence. But more then that we need to study out children to simply know what makes them tick. If you know what your teen is into it may be easier to get them excited about spending time with you. With that being said we also need to keep in mind that there is probably a twenty year or more age gap between us and our teens. Things are very different for this generation. They deal with more than any other generation before in regards to stress, peer pressure and moral struggles. It is even more imperative for that reason for this generation of parents to know what our children are into. Take the time to become a student of your child. It will be well worth the time and effort.

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

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 4 2013-07-10T17:35:37+00:00

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 3

2013-07-10T17:35:25+00:00

Consequences

In order for rules to have value in the eyes of the child, there must be something of value placed on them. This is where the concept of Consequences/ Rewards comes into play. Many parents punish instead of using a consequence.
A punishment is something that has emotion attached to it. Something you feel you are doing to them in the heat of the moment. This is usually for something they have done repeatedly but we have let slide with, “if I have to tell you one more time!” Things can get so intense that after the moment has passed we may feel bad about how harsh we were and never fully enforce what we had said. For example” Your grounded for an entire year!” In order to break this cycle , we need to have a predetermined consequence set up and understood before the rule is broken. Getting emotionally involved makes YOU the consequence and can in turn hurt the relationship.
Remember, rules without Relationship leads to Rebellion.
But we must hold them accountable because Relationship without Rules can also lead to Rebellion.
So what is a Consequence?
A consequence is predetermined, unattached to emotion, communicated BEFORE the rule is broken. A consequence is a direct response to a choice the child has made. We tend to also focus more on the negatives in our children and miss the little positive moments when they are doing the right thing. Have a positive consequence consequence, or reward, ready when the rules are followed.

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on creating a parenting plan.

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 3 2013-07-10T17:35:25+00:00

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 2

2013-07-10T17:35:13+00:00

The Boundaries

One of the hardest things in creating a parenting plan is where to start. One of the analogies we use with our residential kids and parents is sports games. A football game has a set of rules and a set of boundaries. There are boundaries drawn on the field for the players to stay in. The boundaries wouldn’t make much sense with out the rules but the rules wouldn’t work either with out those out of bounds lines. So an easy place to start in creating a parenting plan is a boundary for your house rules to exist within. That would be the schedule. The first thing in creating a schedule is a wake up time and a bed time. Those are the framework for your day, everything else can fit into it. We have mentioned many times that children feel secure in a routine/schedule because they know what to expect. If you can have consistent meal times add those in next followed by leaving for school time, homework time, chore time and whatever else that is important to your family schedule. If you can set this up and begin to follow it, adding your house rules will be a little easier because they have a framework to fit into.

Listen to today’s podcast for more on creating a framework for your parenting plan.

 

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 2 2013-07-10T17:35:13+00:00

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 1

2013-07-10T17:34:58+00:00

Choosing To Find A Balance

When we don’t have a parenting plan it’s easy to fall into one of two extremes. Most of us will have a bent, due to personality or parenting style we’ve observed, to either being an overactive parent or an inactive parent. The overactive parent or “helicopter parent” hovers over every decision their child makes. They keep their child on a tight leash. The inactive parent takes the “oh well, kids will be kids approach. ” The problem is with both these styles of parenting the child never learns to make wise decisions. Either mom/dad is making the decisions for them or they are not being held accountable for their actions.
We must learn to find a balance between these two and become an active parent. An active parent is one who utilizes an established plan to help their children learn to make wise choices. They “drop the leash” and set up a fence, or boundaries, for their child to learn in. Check back the rest of this week as we talk about how to create that parenting plan.

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

Becoming A Better Parent with Guest: Adam Roberts | Part 1 2013-07-10T17:34:58+00:00

Mothers and Sons When Dad Is Not Around | Part 5

2013-07-10T11:19:06+00:00

Be Content With What You CAN Do

It is easy as a single parent to get overwhelmed at the parenting task before you.  One of the things to do when this happens is to focus on all the things that you can do as a single parent.  One of those things is finding a mentor.  This is someone who you can lean on even set up a weekly coffee/ lunch time to have someone to bounce of parenting ideas with.  This must be a woman that you trust and someone who is very Godly, so that you know you are going to be getting wise godly counsel.  The next area that you can look for support is family.  Many family members would be more then willing to watch the kids, while mom spends a little bit of sanity time by herself, even if it is grocery shopping.

Finally and most importantly the person who you can lean on most for comfort and support is our Heavenly Father.  It is amazing that the One who can give is the most comfort is often the One we go to last. Daily choose to give your situation and your children to God.  Make it a daily absolute that you are finding time to spend in prayer and in scripture! Remember He knows about our circumstances, feels our pain and loves our children even more then we do!

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

Mothers and Sons When Dad Is Not Around | Part 5 2013-07-10T11:19:06+00:00

Mothers and Sons When Dad Is Not Around | Part 4

2013-07-10T17:29:57+00:00

Don’t Depend on Him For Your Self-Esteem

One thing that we have reiterated several times on parenting today is that we cannot allow our self-esteem as parents to be wrapped up in our children. If our emotions are tied to their performance then we cannot discipline properly or be objective. This is very true for the single mother.  She cannot allow her self worth as a mother be tied to how her children are doing. Often times if a son isn’t doing well it is easy for a mom to beat herself up. On the other hand she also can not push him hard finding her self- worth through his success. She needs to remove the emotion from it in order to get proper perspective. Click Here to see our previous week on the topic of performance and parenting.

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

Mothers and Sons When Dad Is Not Around | Part 4 2013-07-10T17:29:57+00:00