Parenting

A Parent’s Response To The Newtown Tragedy

2012-12-17T23:06:35+00:00

“Mommy, Where Was God?”

Parents this week are wondering how to respond to the horrendous tragedy that took place at Newtown, Conneticut.  Children have the same four questions that we might have.
Why did this happen?
Where was God?
Can this happen to us?
What should we do?

It’s important for a parent to be able to help the children with these questions.

Why did this  happen?
This tragedy took place because we live in a fallen world. Our loving Father has given us the option to love Him, to trust Him, and thus to love each other. We are not puppets on a string. And too many choose the evil option of not trusting God.

To ask the question where was God is natural. To assume, however, that God was not with those children is incorrect, unBiblical, and even evil. He tells us “He will never leave us or forsake us”. We will have no idea until Heaven, when we will be given the privilege of seeing what an invisible God and His Angels were doing to usher those little ones instantly into Heaven.

Every child and every adult needs to cling to the FACT that “He knows the plans He has for us…,” and ” He will never “leave us or forsake us…”, and ” this is the day The Lord has made…”. Our job is to help our children trust our loving God, who is not only our God but our Father; a loving Father of each of us individually. He proved that by coming at Christmas and sacrificing Himself at Easter for each of us.

“Mommy can this happen to me?”
“God will not let anything happen to you that He will not take care of.  God is our strength.

What should we do?
“Honey, what we need to do when something bad like this happens, is pray for the families and when possible, do something for hurting families that God has placed around us.  Only God can heal, only God can protect, and only God can get us through the things we don’ t understand. That’s why as a family, we have learned the verses “Trust in The Lord with all your heart and lean not to your own upstanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)

When we are afraid it is because we are leaning to our own understanding. When we feel another person’s pain, and express our love to them, we show we are trusting God. Let’s pray now for those families.

This exact lesson that I am teaching my children, I need to be teaching myself. I can’t establish a foolproof plan of protection by pulling them out of life, putting them in Tupperware containers and squeezing out the bad air. I need to teach my children and myself to trust God and love the people around me.

What can your family do?
This is a time more then ever before that people are looking for answers.  THE answer will be “unwrapped” at the Christmas Sunday.  It’s the perfect time to love your neighbors by inviting then to come to church this Sunday.

A Parent’s Response To The Newtown Tragedy 2012-12-17T23:06:35+00:00

Kindness Consequences

2011-02-04T17:59:32+00:00

Love to me is kind, gentle, sweet, caring and happy. ~ Mischka, age 7

Training a child is a constant state of reminding that there are 
consequences (both positive and negative) for choices made. It is easy in parenting to focus too heavily on the negative consequences and not 
reward positive choices.

One place that we can reward is kindness in the home.  For some 
reason our homes seems to be the place where kindness is especially lacking, this is the most important training ground.  We can watch carefully and wait to catch our children being kind to other members 
of our household. By constantly uplifting those choices, whether it is immediate or at the dinner table, we can create an environment that 
will breed more and more kindness to others.  You can even make a game of catching your children being kind.  Give points for varying degrees of kindness and reward the winner.  Teaching sibling to treat each other with kindness is a very important life skill.  Take time this weekend to catch your children being kind to one another!

Kindness Consequences 2011-02-04T17:59:32+00:00

Love is Kind

2011-02-04T17:59:58+00:00

Love to me means to help others. ~Jake age 6

Nothing teaches a child how to love like giving the child a view of love in action…because love is an action not a feeling. From the original definition of love (1 Corinthians 13:4) we can pluck the love action of kindness. Love is kind.

Have my children observed me expressing kindness to people we encounter? Am I kind to strangers even when strangers are not. 
Kindness is a choice that is best observed in the face of rudeness.  It is also best learned when it is explained to a child after the fact. “Do you know why I didn’t talk back to that rude woman. It’s because I chose to be loving rather then what felt good at that moment.”

Jesus tells us in Matthew 25:35-40
35 For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home.  36 I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’  37 “Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink?  38 Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing?  39 When did we ever see you sick or in prison, and visit you?’
40 And the King will tell them, ‘I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’

Teach the expression of kindness.

Love is Kind 2011-02-04T17:59:58+00:00

Love is Patient

2011-02-04T18:00:25+00:00

Love is… not punching my brother. – Benny, age 6

The first attribute found in God’s definition of love (1 Corinthians 13) is patience.  In today’s society we don’t do well with patience.  We have been trained for the immediate and today’s children are no different.  Patience is something that is taught by modeling this behavior.  You cannot tell a child to be patient with their sibling and then be in the car driving to the grocery store yelling at the driver in front of you because he is going too slowly.

As parents we must remember that there are always eyes watching to see how we will handle situations.  A child is more prone to do what we do rather than do what we say.  They are visual learners. We must be conscious how we are reacting to the things around us in word and action.  When they watch us our children are learning the “love acted out loud” virtue of patience.

What does it mean to be kind?

Love is Patient 2011-02-04T18:00:25+00:00

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling….

2011-02-15T21:36:44+00:00

Love to me means that you care about someone, you love being around them and you do stuff for them.~ Feury, age 10

“I Just Don’t Feel Like I Love Her Anymore,” that from a husband of eleven months. The reason why culture is failing at love is that we are learning about love from all the wrong places; from music, movies and books. We get swept up in the romance of the “love at first sight” and “happily ever after” stories.

Isn’t love something you do rather than something you feel?  The mother of an infant doesn’t feel like getting up for the three AM feeding but she is doing love. Children of elderly parents don’t feel like helping those older parents during their last years of life but they do it because they are expressing love. These are selfless choices that are made.

Because Love is something you do, it needs to be something a parent teaches a child to do. The resource for how to do this has to be the Creator of love, and He has written down what love actually looks like in 1 Corinthians 13.  Do these things and your loving. Teach these things and you’re preparing.

What are some creative ways to teach patience?

You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling…. 2011-02-15T21:36:44+00:00

What is Love?

2011-02-04T18:01:09+00:00

Love to me means that I have a open heart for others.  ~Dani, age 7

While Valentine’s Day in the classroom means candy and parties, for others it is a source of pressure and for some it is just downright depressing.  What would happen if families used the month surrounding this holiday to teach children what it means to show love to the people around them?  We are told in Matthew 22 that to love our neighbor is “equally as important” as “loving the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.” In fact the word love is used over 600 times in the Bible.

Sadly in today’s society we have no idea what it means.  To a child life revolves around them but we are raising a generation of adults who have not grown out of this.  To raise a marriageable and employable adult we have to cultivate the concept of love in our children.

What better a time to focus on this trait as a family then Valentine’s week?

How do we teach children real love? Please join us as we spend this week discussing the responsibility we have as parents to teach “love”.

What is Love? 2011-02-04T18:01:09+00:00

Communication Blocker – Impatience

2010-11-11T14:04:53+00:00

The final blocker this week is one that we all have to deal with at one time or another.  It is impatience.  This is an emotion that can sometimes be avoided if we are simply more organized and not having to rush everywhere.   But ultimately patience is a Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22), which means that it is not something that we come by naturally.

When we are impatient with our children for whatever reason we can more easily brush off what they are saying and not truly listen to them.   If we get in a pattern of impatience it can cause them to clam up and either turn elsewhere to be listened to or internalize everything.  Both of these are bad especially when it is our job to make them feel loved and valued.

Choose to be patient with your children.  Make sure that you are spending time communicating with God.  Only through His strength can you be patient through any frustration, and communicate to your children not only your love for them but ultimately His!

Communication Blocker – Impatience 2010-11-11T14:04:53+00:00

Communication Blockers – Peers

2010-11-11T14:05:12+00:00

There is another area that can become a blocker for teaching positive communication and that can be a child’s peers.  Peers can be a positive practicing tool for communication, but if peers are the only place our children are learning how to communicate it can be detrimental.  If we as a family are not placing an emphasis on communication then our kids will have to learn somewhere.  Peers can also end up being a listening substitute for your child.  This means that if your child doesn’t feel listened to at home they will search for a place where they feel that acceptance.  One of the ways we can make our child feel valued and accepted at home is simply by listening to them.

A second way that peers can be a blocker for positive communication is if they are a negative influence on your child.  Issues with attitude and negativity can rub off on our children if we are not careful.  As parents we need to take the time to get to know the people who can also have a big influence on our children, their friends.

August 27

Communication Blockers – Peers 2010-11-11T14:05:12+00:00

Communication Blockers – Technology

2010-11-11T14:05:30+00:00

Another blocker for teaching communication, ironically, can be technology.  One of the things that technology is supposed to do is make it easier for everyone to communicate.  In fact through things like facebook and twitter we can be updated on even the small details of what is going on in each other’s lives.  Through texting we can discreetly communicate small snippets of information.  Even email has replaced most interoffice communication and the need for buying stamps.  But with the need for instant communication we may be loosing the personal touch which comes with face to face communication.  There was a time when you wouldn’t think of telling something important over the phone because it was too impersonal.  Now we blast our important announcements over the social networks and twitter.

We need to be careful through all of this that our children don’t miss out on being taught how to communicate properly.  If the only way they are learning to communicate is through text and tweets, they are seriously missing out.  You cannot have a deeply heartfelt conversation about emotions through this venue.  That training takes lots of time given by mom and dad.  Make sure there are times of your day where there are “no cell phones allowed”, so your family can communicate to each other with some good old fashioned talking!

Communication Blockers – Technology 2010-11-11T14:05:30+00:00

Communication Blockers – The TV

2010-11-11T14:05:43+00:00

Yesterday we discussed how busy the day to day family life can be.  We need to make each day count and not just live for the weekend or those vacation days.  So often it is easy to pass the time or just attempt to relax in front of the TV.  But this is another thing that can become a communication blocker if we don’t set up boundaries around it.

It can be a fun family night to pop popcorn and have a movie night.  We cannot however depend on the television to be our only source of family entertainment.  The family obviously won’t be communicating if they are all zoned out in front of the TV.  Have a family game night when every one is done with their homework or think of another fun activity where the family can interact.

Another place the TV should not be allowed is the dinner table.  Dinner can be a great segue from the craziness of everyone’s day into the relaxation of the evening.  But if the TV is on, even in the background, it will distract everyone from talking about their day.

Communication Blockers – The TV 2010-11-11T14:05:43+00:00