Overcoming The Mean Parent Voice

OS02003If you are a parent, you have done it. If you have a newborn, it’s not a matter of if, but when it happens.

Your precious child will stir anger up within you and you will use the mean parent voice. I really don’t know what else to call it because it sounds different in all of us, but the overarching fact is that it flat out sounds, well…mean. Some parents are screamers and yellers. Some are sarcastic or rude. Some parents belittle and accuse or are passively mean with their tone. Some parents have great self-control most of the time, but have random moments where like volcanoes they just erupt. It may not happen often, but when it does, everything in its path gets burned.

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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!

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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

2 Tips For Dads

IMG_2722There are a lot of things that play into you being a good Dad, but for this post I just wanted to focus on two of them…

1. Get Down On Your Knees

There is nothing more engaging to your kids, than to get down on your knees to interact with them. Whether you are hugging them, building something with them, giving horsey rides, etc. Getting down on the floor with your kids speaks volumes to them and helps them know that they are important to you. Continue reading

Eliminate Chaos In Your Life

AA017960You know the moms with the planners; the crazy organized, perfectly scheduled kind?  They absolutely amaze and intrigue me!  I, unfortunately, didn’t get that gene, but I’m finding more and more that I need one!  See, I could get away with my disorganized chaos so much better when I was younger, before I was married; before I had kids.  It was just my sanity it affected.  Now, with the husband and three small kids, I’m having to rethink how I go about my day; how my choices effect them.

There’s so many things I want to do, to be a part of, but most of the time I can’t figure out how to fit one more thing in or the thought of one more thing just overwhelms me.  Now, I agree that many times our lives our filled with business and chaos that we just don’t need, but that’s not what I’m talking about here.  I’m talking about just finding time for the things that mean something to you; the things you’re passionate about or that you feel called to do at this moment in time, but are struggling to make room for.  I feel like many of my weeks are spent running around from chore to chore, errand to errand, putting out fires ALL OVER THE PLACE, doing multiple things at once and forgetting what I was doing to begin with and rarely sitting down until after the kids are in bed.  Anyone? Anyone?  Well then, lie to me – tell me you’ve done this too and I’m not alone! Continue reading