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Here is some food for thought as you struggle with going back work.
1. Recognize that sometimes husbands and wives don’t have the same reactions to a newborn baby. Husbands can wrestle with the financial burdens and/or the intrusion of the newest family member. Wives, by contrast, universally struggle with fatigue.
2. Realize that extended family members aren’t as available as they used to be. Organizations like “Moms Day Out” (MDO) have helped provide some help especially if you’ve gone back to work part-time or hours are flexible.
3. Economic realities have made the need for additional income necessary. Avoid feeling guilty about it. Sometimes the guilt even stems from church, with messages from the pulpit that only the husband should be working outside the home. Of course single parents don’t have a choice in this. (studies have actually shown that adolescents who’s mothers work outside the home have more self-confidence than those who’s mother are at home all the time.)
4. Determine who or what is making the demands on you. Are there factors there that need to be addressed? Maybe a complex or expensive lifestyle is adding to your fatigue. Simplifying both the schedule and/or the financial obligations will challenge the notions of bigger and better as being best. Too many families are living over their heads financially.
5. One more reality is that studies have shown that women who work outside the home also continue to do most of the household work. If both are working outside the home, both should share home duties too. Fortunately many husbands are starting to realize how helpful this is in helping the fatigued factor. This is best achieved by the husbands seeing the need and offering to help. It will make a world of difference.
6. Finally, husbands encourage your wife to find something fulfilling. The goal is not to just bringing in more money but to provide an opportunity for her to use gifts that God built into her that are also marketable. Children do take pride in their parents accomplishments.
We all learn differently, including your child. The following is an understanding of how an individual’s learning style works.
The way in which we view the world is call our…PERCEPTION. We perceive in two ways…
Concrete-When we deal with our concrete abilities we are dealing with what is here and now–the tangible, the obvious. We are not looking for hidden meanings. The key phrase is, “It is what it is.”
Abstract- This quality allows us to visualize or conceive ideas–to understand or believe what we can’t actually see. The key phrase is, “it’s not always what it seems.”
The way we use the information we perceive is called…ORDERING. We order in two ways…
Sequential- This method of ordering allows our minds to organize information in linear fashion. The key phrase is “Follow the steps.”
Random- This method of ordering lets our minds organize information by chunks and with no particular sequence. Their key phrase is, “Just get it done!”
Some children memorize things well with structured flash cards, while others use pictures. Some children take everything you say very literally, others can read between the lines. This all has to do with how we learn. If you want help communicating with your child, I highly suggest you read The Way They Learn by Cynthia Tobias. It will help identify your child’s learning style and how you can help them succeed in learning both at home AND at school.
Sunday was Father’s Day! As a gift from my boys, I received the infamous AlumaWallet! The gift wrapping was perfect for any dad…brown paper sack and duct tape. I opened the gift and immediately looked at my wife and thought, “ Why would you let them buy this? I have a perfectly good wallet (I used one of these…seriously).
I did not shame the gift out loud, I think I said something like, “Wow boys, thanks! This looks fancy, I will use this for special occasions!” My 7 year-old said, “DAD, a truck can drive over it and your credit cards will not bend!!!” My 4 year-old said, “Dad, if you hold it under the water your credit cards will stay dry.”
I did not want to crush their joy by telling them that…
Credit Cards can get wet and it is not a problem
Wet money dries easily
Credit cards are fine to drive over
My wallet has never been in danger of being driven over…and if it was, it would hurt the car more than my wallet
What I did do was give the boys a huge hug, told them I loved them, and thanked them. After the gift giving, my wife told me that my oldest had been talking to her about getting me the AlumaWallet for Father’s Day for over 2 months. At that time Keri had no idea what he was talking about but one day the infomercial came on and he freaked out, “MOM, MOM, THIS IS THE WALLET!!!” She said he was so excited to get it for me, he just knew I would love it. Hearing this story, my heart immediately melted. So today, I am the proud, owner of an AlumaWallet that I use every day!
Now…All that said I am on a mission to drop hints to my boys that…
Their mommy loves sun glasses
Their mommy might need some new sun glasses
And remind them that her favorite color is something crazy
Happy Mother’s Day…You better wear them Baby
What gadgets did you get for Father’s Day?
Families seem to be under a barrage of media, peer, culture, greed and guilt pressures when it comes to materialism.
1. First of all, realize that it’s not just children who express this. They just do it more blatantly.
2. See the importance of establishing value decisions and then being able to live up the that value structure. If we show restraint, our children will be more apt to do it also.
3. Establish criteria for both the number and the kinds of toys you’ll permit. Have you ever been to a home where you can hardly maneuver through a room without risking life & limb? Chose toys which stimulate creative play and have a variety of uses.
4. Toys are not to be used to silence whining!
5. Two positive methods are allowances and/or house chores plus grades. How you use those incentives is up to you. The value of a toy in a child’s mind, changes when they “earn” it.
6. As a child begins to see that he/she can make responsible choices in spending they’ll begin lifelong patterns for saving and spending.
7. Even well-healed parents can teach responsibility at an early age. Buying your child a pony can come with strings attached…cleaning, feeding etc. And for those with minimal means, garage sales and second hand stores can be great sources for toys.
8. Care for the child’s toys goes hand in hand with teachings them how to put their toys away, with consequences if there is a problem. Good quality toys can last a long time. We still have some of them…waiting for them to become antiques!
A counselor friend whose practice has dealt with thousands of families over the years, has some wise advice on how to deal with such outbursts.
1. Your first choice is either to respond or react. Reaction is spontaneous while responding can be constructive. The statement itself is loaded with emotion and its easy to feel rejected and unappreciated.
2. Next, accept the reality of anger and learn how to deal with the seeming rejection. Is anger even an accepted response in your home? How well do you accept your own anger?
3. If anger is simply denied in your family, as is it is in some Christian families, then there’s a greater problem. You must know how to accept anger as an emotion common to all.
4. Make sure that the feeling stirred up by your child’s outbursts don’t define your relationship. How much do you depend on your child’s love and respect?
5. Ask yourself what your child is really saying? Is it manipulation or is it a hurt you’ve caused? Ephesians 6:4 reminds us not to “exasperate” our children. Or maybe he/she is actually angry at someone else and you got in the path of that emotion.
6. Children need to be shown and taught how to express their anger appropriately. “I feel angry at you” can express the same idea without the fallout.
7. Sometimes when a child is expressing anger it’s really aimed at themselves. You might need some outside help with that one.
8. You initial response is crucial. “Tell me how I’m hurting you” can easily open up an expression of compassion as well as defuse the harsh statement.
This past Friday I had the opportunity to see the highly touted movie, HUNGER GAMES, on opening night. As this is one of the big blockbuster movies coming out in 2012, we figured parents would want to have a heads up on what their kids are seeing.
HUNGER GAMES is based off a three part book series. The typical audience the series reaches starts as young as preteens and goes up through young adults. I personally have not read the books and only saw the movie, which is the first part of the trilogy. So far from what I have learned from the movie, some fancy Wikipedia searches, and talking to friends who have read the books, the story is about an annual battle to the death tournament (HUNGER GAMES) between 24 randomly selected kids between ages of 12-18. There are twelve districts in the societal structure of the book and each district has two representatives (1 male, 1 female) known as Tributes. The main character is Katniss Everdeen, who comes from the poorest district, district 12. The government (known as “the capitol”) forces the districts to participate in these games every year as a reminder of the rebellion the districts had against the capitol 75 years prior. However, the HUNGER GAMES become much more than form of punishment. It has become the capitol’s form of the Super Bowl with the upper class rooting and gambling on their favorite tribute as if it was the Bears playing the Packers!
The games do not actually start until about halfway through the movie. The most disturbing scene from the movie comes at the beginning of the games when the teenagers are forced to kill each other for supplies. The actual deaths are not terribly graphic, but it is the morally incomprehensible moment when teenagers are killing one another that is most upsetting. From that point forward, tributes continue to be killed until there is a winner. The most troubling deaths consist of a tribute having their neck snapped and another grotesque death by mutated yellow jacket stings. There are also some nasty looking battle wounds. With regards to language, the lords name is used in vain but there is very little profanity that I can remember looking back.
Ignoring the disturbing nature of the plot for a moment, this was a well done movie I thought. It was engaging and had me locked in for the entire time I was watching. I intend on seeing the next two movies to see where the plot goes from here. Part of me wished I had the opportunity to read the books first but unfortunately that is not the case. I hope to read them soon so I can have a more well-rounded understanding for what is going on. Also, a lot of students have read these books, so it is helpful to have some insight into what they are reading.
The most difficult part of the movie is not the actual killing, which students see in other movies all the time, but the disturbing nature of the plot. Talking to fans of the books, they felt like it was much more shocking seeing the tributes actually kill each other on a movie screen than it was reading the books. The realization of a government allowing a battle to the death between kids is a very weird thing to see on screen. Parents have a couple decisions to make with this movie. The first is, how well does your child handle fiction? Some movie watchers take movies like this very poorly because, even though it is fiction, the plot is difficult enough they still struggle with the brutality of it. The second is deciding what age your child can watch this. I think at the least, parents should wait until their child is in Jr. High to see this movie. It is PG-13 after all and I have already heard preteen parents who wished they had not taken her child due to the darkness of the plot. For teenagers, I think it depends on what you are comfortable with. The movie does not have anything that is way out of the norm from a regular PG-13 movie. Nonetheless, you will still have to decide if murder, alcohol, and a general dark plot line is something you are okay with your student seeing. Also remember, if your student sees the first film, they will likely want to see the rest of the trilogy and possibly read the books.
While this review was written by Josh Afram you can get more reviews at http://www.pluggedin.com.
1. The first is Faith—Christian Faith. Children need to see us living out our faith in God and at the earliest age reading them Bible stories and praying with them. All that helps to give them a picture of how great God is and how much he loves and accepts us.
2. Secondly, hope—that the God of the Bible has a life and a plan for them and it unfolds over time. Proverbs 4:18 says “ The way of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn, which shines ever brighter until the full light of day” (NLT) As you express hope that God’s way is best they’ll start to see it play out in their life. And of course the “blended hope” of Heaven is also a reality.
3. The third is love—God’s kind of love…unconditional. They need to hear, even when they make poor choices, “We have loved you; we do love you; we will always love you.” Their choices later in life can sadden or hurt you and you can express your opposition to those choices but still express that you still love them, and mean it.
4. Number 4 is discipline—Proverbs 10:17 says “People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life… (NLT.) children need to know what the rules of behavior are, and what the consequences are to misbehavior. “You cannot do that” may lead to “ You may dislike us for the discipline but we have to do this.”
5. This one many seem obvious to most but children need you to be a parent more than a buddy. Too many parents choose to be liked rather than respected and it comes back to haunt them later. Don’t confuse the two roles.
6. The last one is trust…first trust in God and also a trust in your children. Trust in an ability to release them into God’s custody and leave them there! A valuable lesson for them to learn is that trust is easily broken and difficult to recover. But they also need to see you trusting God in both large and small things.
In an article by Dr. Norman Wright, a Christian family expert, entitled “Good Marriage, Good Kids,” his opening statement emphasizes the enormous good that is gained when children’s sense that their parents love each other. Children’s antennas can actually pick up disruptions in the parents relationship. Conversely, when they’re positive about a stable, loving home, they’re much more able to strive for their full potential. Plus it enables them to see a good role model for their marriage some day. Her are the elements needed for both the marriage and the children”
1. Each spouse feels the other is allowing them to be themselves, and to develop their own unique qualities.
2. Both husband and wife can feel safe in expressing feelings and emotions as good communication is a must. Again good modeling gets passed on to our children.
3. Time to nurture the marriage is also vital. The children need to see that the marriage is important enough for their parents to carve out time for just the two of them.
4. Love and affection can be modeled positively even if the parents aren’t necessarily “touchy/feely.” A hug or a kiss at the end of a work day, if its genuine, says that all is well on the home front.
5. Mutual encouragement goes a long in building a nurturing home. Conversely, put-downs and competiveness tears down the family. Always publicly stand with your spouse and have each others back. Clarifications and disagreements over things affecting the kids need to be done privately.
6. It is also important for children to see that their parents can disagree and express differing opinions on other issues not pertaining to discipline and other children-related issues. It shows the difference between disagreeing and behaving disagreeably.
7. A huge positive factor for a family is spiritual unity. A family is strengthened when parents share a strong, common faith in God.
Keep in mind, no marriage is perfect and it’s not easy and we sometimes, maybe often, have to say “we’re sorry,” but it helps them to see that there is healthy growth.
PARENTS – They’re the number one influence in all areas of a teenager’s life, but especially with regards to faith. Having committed Christian parents enables a teenager to have a constant source of discipleship as well as a model of what the Christian life looks like on a daily basis. Find out why
ADULTS – The other members of a teenager’s church matter, whether they are “youth workers” or not. The support, advice, love and help they offer is essential to the faith development of a teenager. The more of these adults they have, the more likely they are devoted.
PRAYER – This goes way beyond simply praying before meals and bedtime. A relationship with poor communication will quickly sour. It’s the same with God. The more a student prays the more they are connected and committed to God.
SCRIPTURE – God has chosen to reveal Himself in His Word. In order to know Him you must know the Bible. This is more than just the who, what, when, where, why and how. A developing passion for God’s Word reflects a developing passion for God Himself.
VALUE – If a teenager doesn’t recognize a need for faith in their everyday life, then they will soon abandon that faith as emerging adults. Holding faith to be important is a very personal decision, yet seeing how valuable it is to others helps instill that same value in the life of a teenager.
BELIEFS – The less doubts a person possesses as teenager, the less doubts they will possess as an adult. This is true because this isn’t about blindly going along with whatever you’re told. This is about firmly knowing what you believe and how to back it up with why you believe it.
EXPERIENCES – God is a personal being who lovingly interacts with His people. The more a teenager personally experiences this divine interaction the more they come to love God and understand what it means to abide in Him for a lifetime.
via [Student Life]
There is a good post for parents over at crosslineyouth.com that you should read. The post is on what questions you should be asking your kids when you pick them up from church. Here are 3 of the 5 that they recommend.
5 Questions To Ask After Bible Class
1. What did you learn?
2. How does that change the way you think?
5. Do you think there is something we all need to change?
Head over to http://www.crosslineyouth.com/parents/what-not-to-ask-your-kid-after-church/ and read their post.