Raising Grateful Kids

IMG_2995“I am NOT wearing jeans! I’m never wearing pants, EVER,” she screams as she collapses onto the floor in an absolute fit. <insert disciplinary action> Dresses only, thank you very much, for both of my girls right around the 3-4 year old mark. And while I don’t mind them wearing dresses a majority of the time, it’s not practical for the everyday…at least not our everyday. Pants and jeans were purchased for a reason and we are going to wear all of the clothes that we have with a grateful attitude, I explain for the 42nd time. She lets out a scream as I say this and collapses onto the floor again, mad as can be. <insert 2nd disciplinary action> After this scene is repeated another time (oh yes she did!), I got smarter. “Sweetheart, because you chose to continue throwing fits, being disrespectful and having an ungrateful attitude about your clothes, you have now lost your dresses, nightgowns and dress up clothes through Sunday.” <insert wailing and gnashing of teeth and a profuse amount of “I’ll never do that again.”> She, of course, did lose her “dress privileges,” but, an amazing thing happened…she stopped fighting me about the pants. It’s a small win, but I’ll take it!

Continue reading

Your Title Is Dad, Not Friend

IMG_2617I know some of you may read that title and think “I want to be both” and while that concept is good in theory, it’s often poorly executed and leads to kids with issues.

We are called to be Fathers and lead our children in a way that glorifies God, our Heavenly Father. To model that, takes far more discipline then most of us guys want to exert. We’d rather just leave it to our wives to be “the mean parent” and we’ll be the hero, the cool parent, the fun one.

When we aim for “being a friend”, we miss the target God set before us altogether. It’s through you that your kids will learn discipline, patience, anger management, integrity, character, etc. (Moms don’t get upset, they learn this stuff from you too, but Dads/Husbands are called to lead their homes) Continue reading

Intentional Parenting

IMG_0183_2I started out my parenting journey in survival mode: survive the pain, survive the nights, survive the long days when she wouldn’t nap, the unending feedings, the screaming…it was hard! No, of course it wasn’t all that way, but it was definitely an awakening! Not all the rainbows and unicorns I imagined! But somewhere after those first few crazy months, we realized we were going to have to stop just surviving and be more intentional about raising our child: from the simple things like sleep and eating habits to some of the really important ones like character development, correction, etc. It wasn’t just going to magically happen…at least not for us! So we got more deliberate about it. Not overnight – we never sat down and made a list or anything. It’s just been an ongoing dialogue about who God wants them to be and how to best train them for life. But what are the true differences between those “Survival Mode” parents and the Deliberate or Intentional Parents? Here are some of my observations and experiences: Continue reading

You’re Being Watched

IMG_2239If your kids were asked to describe how you are at home, in the car, at the store…what would they say? It’s a sobering question that many of us would be embarrassed to answer, at least sometimes. In fact, some of you probably just skipped a heartbeat or two thinking about things that have slipped out of your mouth!

With our attention on other things we often react to problems like no one is around. That’s troublesome on several levels:

  1. Why would we be reacting differently if someone were around? Shouldn’t our behavior be the same regardless of surroundings?
  2. Our kids take their cues from us. Their words are formulated from what comes out of our mouths. It doesn’t matter if your child is 18 months or 18 years old, they absorb your words, actions, and body language.
  3. Have we forgotten about God? He’s always with us, which is something we treasure when we’re in need, but disregard when we’re “doing our own thing.”

Continue reading