Performance Focused Parenting | Part 3


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.


Performance Focused Parenting | Part 32018-11-07T11:58:51-04:00

Teaching The Gift Of Giving | Part 5


What to do with Santa…

The discussion of Santa will stir up different emotions in Christian circles.  For some, Santa totally distracts from the message of Christmas and so there are very strong feelings against Santa.  Others feel strongly that there is no harm in the fun of Santa.

We would like to say that this must be a personal family decision but there are some things to consider.  First is if we are teaching gratitude and teaching our children how to give to others then obviously Santa cannot be the one bringing all the gifts.  If you do decide to do Santa in your house maybe Santa could bring one gift or be the one who fills the stockings.  Secondly the attempt is to make the center of the Christmas season Jesus and not Santa. Which is another reason why it is a good idea for a gift, not all, to be from Santa.  Finally, we need to remember that childhood should be about imagination and fantasy.  The harsh adult world is imposing itself far to early on our children.  It is our job as parents to fight for their childhood.  The fun of Christmas may be a perfect time.  Whichever you decide to do take full advantage of this Christmas season to begin or enjoy family traditions.

Listen to today’s podcast for what we did with Santa growing up in the Barnes’ house.

Teaching The Gift Of Giving | Part 52017-12-14T11:36:25-04:00

Teaching the Gift of Giving | Part 1


Fighting Materialism at Christmas

Christmas season can be very stressful and overwhelming to parents.  There are so many parties and activities.  Probably the most stressful is the feeling that we must give our children a perfectly magical Christmas experience. And of course have found the perfect gifts.

We need to look at big picture.  When our children are grown what do we want them to remember about Christmas? Was it a time spent focusing on the true meaning and through the Joy of that, serving others? Or was it a time for materialistic overindulgence?  This is not to say that we don’t give our children gifts but more what is our focus for the season.  Take the time this season to think through what traditions will help our children focus on what the true meaning of Christmas is and the joy of giving to others because of it.


Teaching the Gift of Giving | Part 12017-12-14T12:03:16-04:00

Communication Blockers – The Busy Schedule


Our focus this month has been training children how to communicate.  This is one of the lessons that can branch out into all avenues of their lives.  We are going to spend this week discussing the different things that can become communication blockers if we are not aware of the potential problem and trying to place boundaries to prevent problems.

For many, the summer is a down time for the family. Because the kids are not in school there is extra time to do some fun family activities.  With the start of the school year, for some even this week, the family day to day activities begin in full swing.  Even if your children are not yet in school many churches kick off all of the fall events and small groups as well.  All this to say we are no longer in relaxed mode and for many the busy season begins.  It is so easy to look back during the holiday season and think, “wow where did the fall go?!”

This time of crazy schedules can really be a communication blocker if we allow it to be.  We must carve out time for family to be together and be intentional to take full advantage of those small moments we have previously discussed.  Sit down with your spouse and schedule in family nights if you have to.  Look for times daily to communicate with your kids.  Be Intentional!

Communication Blockers – The Busy Schedule2010-11-11T14:05:58-04:00

T- Minus 4 “Money Management”


There are so many college freshman who hit the college campus unprepared for what life is about to throw at them.  There are several of these areas that with a little time spent, we can help our kids avoid some of the damage done by bad decisions made in the college years.    Like we have said previously, beginning to prepare them for some of these areas requires us to train and then step back and allow our children to make decisions.

One of the hardest areas for those college students who are untrained is money.    Because of the cost of tuition and other financial responsibilities that go along with college, many students struggle to make it through those years.  It would also seem that credit cards may be a challenge for the unsuspecting student.  It is imperative that we teach our older teen, not only how to budget but how to use a credit or debit card responsibly.  This may require that we help them open a checking account as they hit the later high school years.  It is important that they practice with in the safety net of family.  Keep in mind that many college students leave college with not only student loans to pay off but other debt as well.  Sometimes this can be avoided with a little bit of training and practice.

T- Minus 4 “Money Management”2010-07-27T19:59:03-04:00

Ready for Lift Off?


Before they send a shuttle into space, there are countless things that are checked and rechecked; there are practice run throughs.  The shuttle may even sit on the launch pad for awhile before the actual launch. Then the count down begins.   There are so many factors that can affect the launch of a shuttle, even down to the weather.

There are several lessons to be applied to parenting here.   Like we have talked about all month, the “launch” of a child into adulthood should be a process with just as much meticulous consideration.  As a child is approaching their “launch date” or the end of their high school years, we as parents need to be looking at our checklist.   This is the time to fine tune our preparations.   We will be discussing a few of those fine tuning elements this week.  Just like a shuttle ready to launch, as your child approaches the launch pad their foundation should have already been laid.   But remember it is never too late for last minute preparations.

Ready for Lift Off?2010-07-26T20:47:02-04:00

Maturity Matters


As we continue with our theme of “training to launch”,  we  need  to discuss a major issue- the maturity of the child.  Yesterday we touched on the fact that boys and girls mature at different rates, but even children of the same gender will mature at their own pace. What this means for parents is that the parameters placed around one child at a certain age may not work for the next child even if they are the same gender.   This forces us as parents, to know our children very well so we are able to determine what they can and cannot handle.  For example, one of your children may be very responsible and mature enough to handle driving  a car at the age of 16. Lets say later on one of this child’s siblings, who has now reached the age of 16, wants to start driving the car like the older brother or sister did. This child, however, has not proven that he or she can handle the great responsibility that comes along with driving a car.  We must then make a decision because now not only are they taking their life but the lives of others on the road into their hands.   This is a “launching point” that must be evaluated for each child.  If a child is not ready, then there needs to be goals placed in front of them so they can prove that they are mature enough to handle any given responsibility.  As children grow there are many areas like this one that need to be evaluated for each individual child.  There cannot be a “one size fits all” for these areas of parenting, that require certain levels of maturity to attain.

Maturity Matters2010-07-23T20:27:02-04:00

Parenting to Launch


For the month of July we will be discussing one of the foundational principles of parenting.   If two of the primary goals of parenting are to raise a child that is both marriageable and employable then it can be said that we are “parenting to launch.”   The first eighteen years of a child’s life are the foundation, the launching pad, for what will hopefully be a successful and productive life. 

Over the next few weeks we will be discussing, through the different stages of childhood, how to prepare your child for independence. Independence is not something that just happens at 18, or as they head out the door to college.  It is a process that does begin even in infancy. We as parents are responsible to help groom our child for this independence.  We have to help them move from total dependence on us for everything to being able to make mature, responsible decisions for themselves. 


Parenting to Launch2010-07-08T14:17:49-04:00

Training Each Child as an Individual


It seems as though the push to act like an adult is getting younger and younger with each generation. Children feel as though they should be able to have adult privileges at scarily young ages.  Like we mentioned last week, it’s very important to have established your family rules, concerning hanging out with friends, at an early age.  If you don’t, you will be unprepared when the pressure from your child arrives. Their constant requests for freedom may cause you to give in and allow them to do something that you would ordinarily say “No” to.

We mentioned yesterday, that the age requirements for allowing the beginning stages of freedom will vary for each household, and possibly for each child.  Children are each different due to personality and development. This is where we must make adjustments as parents by taking the time to know your children. As with many aspects of parenting, what worked or didn’t work for the oldest child may take some tweaking as younger siblings come up the ranks!  It is so important for the protection of our children that we take the time to train each individual to become trustworthy as we take each step toward trust.   Don’t give them any more freedom than you are willing to examine.

Training Each Child as an Individual2010-05-10T08:52:10-04:00

Dating Your Children


Something that you can do even when your children are small to help prepare them for future dating is taking them out on dates yourself.  This one on one time can help to serve many purposes for their future.

Even at a young age you can begin to instill in them how to show respect to members of the opposite sex.  For instance, if a father is taking out his young daughter, he can open doors for her ect.  If a mother is taking out her son, she can teach him how to open doors for her and begin to train him how to be a gentleman.

As years go by, maintaining these special times can set the stage for awesome communication.  Parents often wonder how they can communicate with their teens.  Consistently having a weekly “date” is a perfect way to keep open doors of communication…especially if this has been established from a young age.  See, your kids are never too young to begin this training.

Dating Your Children2010-05-02T13:32:50-04:00