Monthly Archives: August 2017

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 4

2017-10-05T11:25:08+00:00

Responsibility

One of the best ways to teach our children personal responsibility is by allowing them to have family chores around the house.  We have to be prepared as parents for the chore process.  It is more involved then simply telling your child what chore they will be doing.  First we need to take the time, maybe in a family meeting, to explain why we do chores.  (the reason is we are all a member of this team called family and we all work together to get things done, parents and children)  Next we need to take the time to explain our expectation for the chores.  This may mean taking the time to actually do the chore with your child the first time so they can see what your expectation is.  Next we have to monitor and check the chores.  Finally we have to process what are the rewards and consequences for chores.  The reward may even be as simple as verbal praise but there must be some form of affirmation for a job well done.

Sounds like a lot of work but we as parents need to decide where our focus is, are we training focused, time focused or task focused?  Meaning is our focus on the fact that I can get this job done so much faster or so much better or is it on training our children to be responsible?  Chores are not about teaching our children life skills, although that is a benefit, the are about teaching your child they are a contributing member of the family.  We set our children up for success when we teach them this because they can go through life not only being responsible adults but adults who look for ways to contribute.  We are helping to model not the “what can I get” attitude but because I am a part of this what is my responsibility to give?

 

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

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 4 2017-10-05T11:25:08+00:00

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 3

2017-10-05T11:25:02+00:00

Routine

One thing that a lot of parents don’t realize is that kids flourish in routine.  Of course it may be fun to stay up late, sleep in late and do whatever you want but most kids actually prefer a routine day in and day out.  A routine makes everyone feel comfortable and secure because it alleviates chaos.  Another area to process as you gear up for this school year is what does your family routine look like? We’ve discussed in the past how important sitting down as a family for dinner is, but what about breakfast? Even if it is only 15 or 20 minutes extra it is well worth it.  Studies have shown us how important a good breakfast is for fueling your body, it is even important for proper weight management.  It also creates a calming atmosphere before everyone runs out in different directions.  You can even take the time at breakfast to read a quick family devotional to start everyone’s focus out right.

Routine does several other things for the family as well, such as allowing for self-discipline.  As your children get older part of their routine can be getting up at a certain time.  Allowing your child to wake up by an alarm is a great way to train in self-discipline.  It also saves the parent from frustration and possibly screaming matches over your child getting out of bed.  That definitely doesn’t help everyone start the day in a good mood.

Another thing routine does is it helps the parent get out in front of possible issues rather then waiting for those issues to arrive. Homework is a great example of this.  If a time for homework is set into the routine everyday then a parent can see not only if the homework is getting done but also be available to help if the child is struggling. This doesn’t leave interim reports to be the wake up call for the family to scramble to work on grades.

Make sure to set aside sometime to come up with a routine that works for your family during this “preseason”.

 

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

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 3 2017-10-05T11:25:02+00:00

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 2

2017-10-05T11:24:58+00:00

Recreation

As we are processing through this time of “preseason” for the school year, one thing we need to make some decisions on is our children’s recreation and extra curricular activities.  What boundaries are we going to place to protect our family time.  If we don’t do this it is so easy for our family calendar to get eaten away by activities.  When this happens we can become only a carpooling parent and not a training parent.  After you and your spouse have come to decisions about guarding your families schedule, it’s time for a family meeting.  Sit down with your children and discuss what are activities that they really want to do and what can be cut.  You may even want to get a calendar for each child as well as having a central family calendar to help keep planning organized.

There are several reasons that we don’t want to over schedule our children.  Even though most of the extra curricular activities are wonderful and teach great things.  One thing that is very important for our children to learn is what to do with down time.  Constructively handling down time is something that can be key for college/adult success.  It is also very important to have family time religiously on the calendar that way we don’t loose touch on who each other are as people.

Check out our series called Performance Focused Parenting for more information on this topic.

 

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

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 2 2017-10-05T11:24:58+00:00

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 1

2017-10-05T11:24:53+00:00

The Five “R’s” of Education: Reason

As parents we need to head into the school year prepared ahead of time for the days to come.  If we are not then we can easily get caught up in the whirlwind and all of a sudden it is June again. If this happens we may find ourselves disappointed because we were not have been able to reach some of the goals we had for our family and our children.  We need to treat these few weeks before the “crazy season” like a coach would treat preseason and go in with a goal and a game plan.  Set up some time to process with your spouse the goals you have for the year for your family as a whole and for each individual child. What are some things that you would like to see different by the end of this year or some things that you would like to focus on.   This is the first “R” of education, reason.  What is the reason behind what we are doing this year?  The rest of this week we will be discussing the other five “R’s” which are recreation, routine, responsibility, and relationship.

Don’t let this year run away with your family.  Take sometime before it all starts to think through some of the areas of growth you would to have taken place in your family by June.

 

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

 

Getting the Best Start to a New School Year | Part 1 2017-10-05T11:24:53+00:00

The Importance of Family

2017-10-05T13:00:23+00:00

We all look for affirmation from some one or some group.  God gave us the family as a support system and a healthy place to receive affirmation that we are “worth it.” A problem arises when a child doesn’t receive the affirmation they need from home.  There are many reasons this can happen. The family becomes so busy that it doesn’t have the time for affirmation. Some parents don’t see the need for affirmation.  Other parents fall into the trap of only affirming performance.  For example, good grades, sports or good behavior.  Click here for more on performance oriented parenting.

When a person doesn’t feel affirmed for who they are, not what they do, at home they will look elsewhere for that affirmation that they are valuable.  What use to be inner city gangs have now become more wide spread, why? The answer is needy kids.  Today’s child is lonelier then ever.   They live in a busier family then ever before, they are thrown into a peer environment more then ever and they have been introduced to the cyber world.  This child has been set up to crave the affirmation of their peers/culture more then their parents.  Affirmation is vital to all members of the family unit.  Make sure you are being intentional about affirmation.

 

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

The Importance of Family 2017-10-05T13:00:23+00:00

The Importance of Affirmation

2017-10-05T13:00:16+00:00

We all look for affirmation from some one or some group.  God gave us the family as a support system and a healthy place to receive affirmation that we are “worth it.” A problem arises when a child doesn’t receive the affirmation they need from home.  There are many reasons this can happen. The family becomes so busy that it doesn’t have the time for affirmation. Some parents don’t see the need for affirmation.  Other parents fall into the trap of only affirming performance.  For example, good grades, sports or good behavior.  Click here for more on performance oriented parenting.

When a person doesn’t feel affirmed for who they are, not what they do, at home they will look elsewhere for that affirmation that they are valuable.  What use to be inner city gangs have now become more wide spread, why? The answer is needy kids.  Today’s child is lonelier then ever.   They live in a busier family then ever before, they are thrown into a peer environment more then ever and they have been introduced to the cyber world.  This child has been set up to crave the affirmation of their peers/culture more then their parents.  Affirmation is vital to all members of the family unit.  Make sure you are being intentional about affirmation.

 

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

The Importance of Affirmation 2017-10-05T13:00:16+00:00

Helping Your Child Deal with Peer Pressure

2017-09-05T15:01:51+00:00

In order to help our children we must first ask the question what is peer pressure? The phrase peer pressure is a reference to when the people around us (in this case around our children) influence us to act in a certain way that we might not act if it weren’t for them. As parents it is tempting to want to give up sometimes when it comes to competing with peers as the primary influencers of our children.  This whole concept of peer pressure is predicated upon the thought that peers automatically have a greater influence than anyone else. There are many forces of influence that impact the behavior or thinking of our children.  The first is self.  A thought process may go something like, “I won’t do that because, I don’t want to, it’s wrong, or I fear the consequences.” The opposing thought process being “as wrong as I know that is to do, I want to do it.” This would show no impulse control or desire for impulse control. (Click here for more teaching your child impulse control.)  The second is family; “I won’t do that because of the impact it will have upon my family.” With the opposing thought process to this being, “ my family doesn’t care, won’t know, or is so busy and removed that this behavior will get their attention.” Another is God, with the thinking “God has a better plan for me and I don’t want to step out of God’s will for my life.” The final influence would be peers or culture around our child.  Either the thinking will be “The culture around me says this is right so it must be,” or “I know because of what I have been taught the culture around me is wrong.”

We can see that there are many influences on our children we must be conscious to instill values in our children so they know right from wrong and can navigate the pressures around them.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more.

Helping Your Child Deal with Peer Pressure 2017-09-05T15:01:51+00:00

When Parents Lose Their Influence

2017-09-05T15:01:28+00:00

We mentioned yesterday that many teens report that parents are still a major influence in their lives but are there things that can happen to cause parents to loose influence in their children’s lives?  The answer is sadly yes, there are a few ways this can happen.  First, when the relationship is not a priority it is hard for a parent to have a high level of respect and influence in their child’s life.  Relationship takes time. One of the ways we can give our child one on one time is “dating” our children.  Taking time out to spend with them individually to give them a chance to open up and talk.  Children are very intuitive when the relationship isn’t a priority they can sense it and it causes them to feel devalued to their parents.  Another way that we loose influence may seem counter-intuitive, it happens when we don’t have a plan for discipline.  Children thrive in structure and they function best when they know what to expect.  When we don’t have boundaries set up and clearly communicated consequences and rewards in place the relationship can suffer.  It is easy for the parent to become the consequence in this scenario because they may have to fall back on yelling or using the relationship as a consequence. Click here and here for more on both these topics.

It is easy to see that when the parent/child relationship suffers we loose influence in our children’s lives.  Listen to today’s podcast for more on this.

When Parents Lose Their Influence 2017-09-05T15:01:28+00:00

Who Is The Primary Influencer in Your Child’s Life?

2017-09-05T15:00:31+00:00

Part of parenting is learning to let go and training your child to handle independence well.  With this journey, as our children gain more and more independence, there are other things that can begin to have influence on them.  We need to first be aware of who or what these influences are and then look at how they are influencing our child.  Are they positive or negative?  Who is showing them what “normal” is?

Where do these “influencers” come from?  There are many options such as home, school, church, sports and activities, extended family and the internet.  Thankfully most teens still report that their parents have the most influence on their lives.  We need to instill in our children the importance of playing for one Audience, their Creator.

“Romans 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will. “  NIV

Check back this week as we look at what we can do as parents to help our child know how to filter through peer pressure and listen to today’s podcast for more on this topic.

Who Is The Primary Influencer in Your Child’s Life? 2017-09-05T15:00:31+00:00

Raising Daughters | Part 5

2017-10-05T11:21:49+00:00

The Gift of Time

One of the things that is imperative to raising daughters is time. While this is true for all kids, daughters really need the one on one time to communicate. Look for ways to give your daughter your focused attention in the busyness of life. This is especially important for dads. It is easy for a dad to give time to his sons because they probably share similar interests. Fathers and sons may spend time talking and bonding while playing catch, fishing or other similar activities. While a daughter may participate and enjoy these things, she may benefit from a father/mother daughter date night. Look for ways to give your daughter time to communicate. This is especially important as she gets older. During the teenage years you want to be the one she comes to talk, not just her peers. Make sure to put quality time for your kids on your calendar.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more.

Raising Daughters | Part 5 2017-10-05T11:21:49+00:00