MONTHLY ARCHIVES: February 2013
My church is going through some “aging” pains… sometimes I feel like I’m one of the “young people” at the church, and at the age of 56, that’s not a good thing! Our church has a lot of older folks, and then, surprisingly, a good sized youth group. That’s because our youth pastor has made a concerted effort to reach out to young people in the community, engage them in their faith, and get them plugged into our church community. For most of them, it is sad that their parents don’t come as well. Yet the teenagers continue to come, despite the lack of modeling by the parents.
While church by itself is not the point, it seems clear that God has chosen to use the local church to consistently draw both children and parents to His side.
I am thankful that I had parents that made me go to church, and they went as well. There were many Sundays during my childhood that I wanted to stay home and watch cartoons, or sleep late, or do anything but go to church. But our family was consistently there every Sunday, and it was a priority in our family. Because of that modeling by my parents, I went to church enough to learn about a Savior that changed my life!
If your family has made it a priority to be in church on Sunday mornings, then God bless you, and I’m sure he does! If your family is like so many families today that try to get to church every now and then, then I would encourage you to consider making church going a priority in the life of your family. Parenting, and raising children is a daunting challenge if faced alone. We pray that your family would find a community of believers that wants to pursue our God together… Proverbs 22:6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Good advice… God bless!
Happy day after Valentine’s day! So I have a confession: I am slightly obsessed with the chevron pattern. As I was trying to think about what craft I wanted to do next, I decided to combine my love for photos, camp and chevron and I came up with a chevron picture frame. Parents, it would be great for you to partner with your campers and do this craft with them! You can even use the time while you’re painting together to talk about camp and ask them what activities they’re excited about this coming summer. This craft is inexpensive, relatively clean, and full of possibilities!
- Wooden frame – $5
- Craft paint – $3.50
- Paint brush – $1
- Optional: ruler or card stock triangle – $1.50
- Optional: Krylon acrylic crystal clear spray – $3.99
- Picture of camp friends – priceless!
There aren’t rules to this project. I decided to go with the chevron pattern on mine, but you could do anything you want. Leave it up to your camper to decide what pattern they want to paint – or let them splatter paint it!
I cut out a triangle from card stock paper for the chevron pattern. I decided I did not want to use painters tape for the chevron pattern and have to deal with cutting each piece of tape. Instead, I traced the top of the triangle and moved it down the frame. I also used the ruler to make sure it was even in between each one. I know it won’t be perfect, but I want it to be fun and whimsical and besides, we’re not perfect around here!
Then I carefully started to paint in between the lines. The foam paint brushes make it easier since they have a straight edge. This is the tedious part but if you’re doing another pattern it might not take as long.
When you’re done painting, let it dry and then you can spray it with a clear finish to protect it and make it glossy. I decided that I like the rustic look since it’s a wooden frame and I opted out of spraying it with a clear finish. The last step is to put a picture of your camp friends in the frame!
For around $10 you can create a custom picture frame! I’d love to see what patterns you or your campers choose to paint. You can send pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can post it to our Facebook pages!
Make sure to check out my next craft on March 15th!
Enjoy this excellent article from Focus on the Family…
This clever discipline method is less exhausting and more successful than ranting, raving, blaming, pleading, begging or threatening.
I once read a newspaper headline that made me chuckle: “Red Lipstick Empowers Women.” The caption, coupled with a photo of Marilyn Monroe wearing a white flowing dress and painted crimson lips, made me think that perhaps I’d found the answer to the discipline problems with my elementary students. That’s been my problem all along — I’ve been wearing champagne pink!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if changing lipstick was all it took to become more effective and empowered in handling discipline problems with children?
While child psychologist Dr. Kevin Leman is an out-of-the-box parenting problem solver who might buy into the lipstick method if it worked, Dr. Leman instead teaches parents about the effective “Reality Discipline.” This clever method of getting little “ankle biters” to obey is less exhausting and more successful than ranting, raving, blaming, pleading, begging or threatening.
It’s all about responsibility
The first thing to remember about Reality Discipline is that you want your children to learn to think for themselves and learn to become more responsible through guidance and action-oriented techniques. In an article from First Things First, Dr. Leman says, “Action-oriented discipline is based on the reality that there are times when you have to pull the rug out and let the little buzzards tumble. I mean disciplining your children in such a way that he/she accepts responsibility and learns accountability for his actions.” Here’s an example.
When my brother was in high school, my mother implemented Reality Discipline without realizing it. My little brother, Gannon, could sleep through a tornado (or a hurricane or tsunami) and my mother was tired of waking him up every morning and saying, “You’d better hurry, or you’re going to miss the bus.” Finally, Mom thought, I’m not waking him up anymore. He can be late. Just as she suspected, Gannon did miss the bus and was forced to walk the mile to school. Much to my mother’s delight, he was never late again. She didn’t have to beg, plead, give him ultimatums or nag Gannon one more time. Instead, she let reality do the discipline.
A little bit of ice cream can do the trick
One afternoon, I had the privilege of listening to Dr. Leman explain on the radio how reality discipline teaches responsibility. He told an engaging story about a mother whose preschool son was driving her bananas because every day when she stopped to pick him up from preschool, he ran from her on the playground. She felt like a fool for being outrun by a preschooler while teachers and parents looked on. Desperate, she asked Dr. Leman for advice.
Dr. Leman suggested that if her son ran from her next time, she should ask another adult on the playground if they would be kind enough to keep an eye on her son for a few minutes. Then she should drive away, go to the nearest ice cream shop, purchase a cone for herself and drive back to the school to pick up her son. Then, when her little guy got in the car and asked, “Where’s my ice cream?” he told the woman she should cheerfully say, “Well you could have had some ice cream, but you ran away; so I had to go get some alone.”
One point for mom; zero for Junior. That’s Reality Discipline. No ranting. No raving. No warnings. Just cool, collected action with some quick, clever thinking to make your point loud and clear.
Sounds great, right? Here are some basic principles of Reality Discipline to help you get (and keep) the upper hand with your kids.
Don’t focus on creating a happy child
In his book Have a New Kid by Friday, Dr. Leman says that the goal of parenting is not to create happy kids; rather, it’s to create responsible kids. This means Junior will probably be pretty unhappy that he didn’t get an ice cream cone; he may even throw a fit, and rant and rave — but he will become more responsible and respectful. Don’t back down, but do stay cool as a cucumber. Remind yourself that it’s a battle of the wits and the wills, and you will win.
Understand your child’s reality
According to Dr Leman, if you want to use Reality Discipline effectively, you need to know what’s important to your child — what really moves him in his reality. Your child may value money, sports, a daily cookie break, staying up late or spending time with friends. Parents who know how to use Reality Discipline make creative connections between bad behavior and discipline through action rather than through warnings, nagging or threats.
For example, suppose you ask your ten-year-old daughter (who loves saving money) to take out the trash. She ignores you, and thirty minutes later the trash is still sitting by the back door. With a little creativity, you decide to implement some Reality Discipline. Instead of reminding your daughter about the trash, you enlist her younger sister to take it out . Then you take some money out of your ten-year-old daughter’s allowance and give it to her sister for a job well done. Can you imagine the peace and satisfaction that could come from being such a quick-witted parent?
Note: If you want to use Reality Discipline, you have to listen to your child. Then you’ll know what will move him to responsibility. The more you understand what’s important to him, the more ammunition you’ll have in your arsenal to “train up” your child in the way he should go.
Make sure that Reality Discipline is grounded in love
In Have a New Kid by Friday, Dr. Leman writes, “Show me a mean teacher, and I’ll show you a good one.” If you find that you are a permissive parent who is afraid of “pulling the rug out from under your child” as Dr. Leman suggests, remember that Reality Discipline is not unkind. Instead, when it’s motivated by love to help your child mature into a responsible adult, it’s a very good gift.
How can you keep this conversation going at home? Try bouncing some of these questions around at the dinner table, as you’re driving your kids to school or an activity, or even while you’re shopping together:
What is your favorite game to play with your friends? How do they help you win the game?
What are some things you like doing with other people? What makes that so special? How do you see God helping you make good choices about right and wrong? How can you lead your friends toward making wise choices?
Who is someone you think never struggles with internal battles with sin? Why? How does knowing Paul struggled with that conflict make you feel? How does knowing the Spirit can help you experience victory over sin make you feel?