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Qs to Ask When Considering Marriage

Posted by SK on February 11, 2012 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)


Questions to Ask When Preparing for Marriage

by John Piper 

  In each of these sections one item could be added that I have not listed, namely, How do you handle and live with differences? How do you decide what can remain differences without jeopardizing the relationship? So as you deal with each subheading, include that in the discussion.


Theology

What do you believe about...everything? Perhaps read through the Desiring God Affirmation of Faith to see where each other is on various biblical doctrines. Discover how you form your views. What is the reasoning-believing process? How do you handle the Bible?


Worship and Devotion

How important is corporate worship? Other participation in church life? How important is it to be part of a small accountability/support group? What is the importance of music in life and worship? What are your daily personal devotional practices? Prayer, reading, meditation, memorization. What would our family devotions look like? Who leads out in this? Are we doing this now in an appropriate way: praying together about our lives and future, reading the Bible together?


Husband and Wife

What is the meaning of headship and submission in the Bible and in our marriage? What are expectations about situations where one of you might be alone with someone of the opposite sex? How are tasks shared in the home: cleaning, cooking, washing dishes, yard work, car upkeep, repairs, shopping for food, and household stuff? What are the expectations for togetherness? What is an ideal non-special evening? How do you understand who and how often sex is initiated? Who does the checkbook—or are there two?


Children

Should we have children, and if so, when?  Why?  How many? How far apart?  Would we consider adoption?  What are the standards of behavior? What are the appropriate ways to discipline them? How many strikes before they’re...whatever? What are the expectations of time spent with them and when they go to bed? What signs of affection will you show them? What about school?  Home school?  Christian school? Public school?


Lifestyle

Own a home or not? Why? What kind of neighborhood? Why? How many cars? New? Used? View of money in general. How much $ to the church? How do you make money decisions? Where will you buy clothes: Department store? Thrift store? In between? Why?


Entertainment

How much money should we spend on entertainment? How often should we eat out? Where? What kind of vacations are appropriate and helpful for us? How many toys? Snowmobile, boat, cabin? Should we have a television? Where? What is fitting to watch? How much? What are the criteria for movies and theater? What will our guidelines be for the kids?


Conflict

What makes you angry? How do you handle your frustration or anger? Who should bring up an issue that is bothersome? What if we disagree both about what should be done, and whether it is serious? Will we go to bed angry at each other? What is our view of getting help from friends or counselors?


Work

Who is the main breadwinner? Should the wife work outside the home? Before kids? With kids at home? After kids? What are your views of daycare for children? What determines where you will locate? Job? Whose job? Church? Family?


Friends

Is it good to do things with friends but without spouse? What will you do if one of you really likes to hang out with so and so and the other doesn’t?


Health and Sickness

Do you have, or have you had any, sicknesses or physical problems that could affect our relationship? (Allergies, cancer, eating disorders, venereal disease, etc.) Do you believe in divine healing and how would prayer relate to medical attention? How do you think about exercise and healthy eating? Do you have any habits that adversely affect health?


http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/questions-to-ask-when-preparing-for-marriage

Checklist to Prepare for Becoming a Dad

Posted by SK on June 22, 2011 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

http://www.dadsadventure.com/

Checklist to Prepare for Becoming a Dad


Moms-to-be instinctively reach out to experienced moms and have no shortage of resources to help them get ready to be mothers.  But dads-to-be are generally left to figure things out on their own.  To better prepare you for what lies ahead, here are some tips from new fathers to help you “hit the ground crawling.”


Stock up

Stock up the freezer and kitchen cupboards, as well as on baby supplies like diapers, wipes, etc.  Also make sure you have over- the-counter meds on hand, like headache and cold medicine, etc.  There’s nothing worse than having to run out to the store at all hours of the night.  A few meals in the freezer will also come in handy.

[If you're near Walsenburg, CO, stay connected with Open Arms PRC--with their Earn While You Learn programs, for dads &/or moms, you can earn baby bucks for wipes, clothes, baby swings, diapers, and all that.  Plus, some of those older moms are good cooks and are glad to share with the new baby's family!]


Get a Handle on Finances

Hard to do, but worth it.  With your lady, work on a budget that you can both agree on.  If Mommy is spending money you don’t have on baby clothes, a budget on paper (or screen) may be your best line of fiscal defense. [And encourage her to get everything you can from Open Arms before going to the stores to buy the rest.]


Unfortunately, financial worries are an inescapable fact for most fathers.  Talking with your partner about your concerns and mapping out a plan to stretch the dollars is best done before the baby comes.  It’s very difficult to find the time, energy and emotional focus afterward.


Buy Something for Your Baby

Finances may be tight, but you don't have to buy something expensive.  Just something from you.   It can be something low-cost, like tiny booties, or maybe her first baseball mitt. Consider it an early bonding experience.


Car Seat

Listen to what people say about having the car seat ready.  Have it in your car a month before the baby’s due because babies come early all the time.  You can find information on getting it installed correctly at a child safety seat inspection station near you.


Keep Gas in the Car

Not only keep gas in the car, but make sure everything else is in good working order.  Check the tires, battery, brakes and windshield wipers.  Babies prefer to come in the middle of the night when nothing is open.


Pre-Register at the Hospital

Make sure that everything that can be filled out ahead of time is. Check on any limitations or out-of-pocket costs for your health insurance. You can also check on your baby’s social security number application (called Enumeration at Birth for some bizarre reason). Some men report that this is when they really knew they were fathers.


Pack a Hospital Bag

Just like the car seat, you’ll never know if you’re going to need this early. You can pack it and set it aside so it’s ready to go.  [Open Arms has a checklist for what mommy-2-b should bring.]

Some recommended items:

Any important documents, such as insurance cards and pre-admission forms

Snacks to eat and drink so you don’t have to leave for the cafeteria

Headache medication for you (recommended by an OB nurse)

Cash to have on hand

Calling card in case you’re not able to use your cell phone inside the room

List of important phone numbers, just in case your cell phone battery goes down

Long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt – hospitals can be cold


http://www.dadsadventure.com/

Teach a Child the Greatness of God?

Posted by SK on June 20, 2011 at 5:10 PM Comments comments (0)

How do you teach a child about the greatness of God?

Posted by briancroft on June 16, 2011 in Discipleship, Home and Family

We make teaching children too complicated.  Children learn like we do, it just needs to be simplified a bit.  How do we as adults learn about the greatness of God?  God’s Word tells us that “the heavens declare the glory of God the skies proclaim the works of his hands (Ps. 19:1).  Thus, we simply look at the majesty of God’s creation and see the greatness of our Creator.  This is the same template in which we teach children this same basic truth about God.

 

Simply put we teach children of the greatness of God as we point to those things in creation that children see, notice, and conclude as massive and larger than life.  Then, use that as the measuring device to teach how great and glorious God is compared to it.


This lesson came alive to me when my dear friend, Bruce Ware, told me the story of how he taught his daughters this great truth when they were about 5-6 years old while on vacation at the beach.  Bruce took them to the beach one day and said, “Hey girls, you know how the Bible teaches that God holds the oceans in the palms of His hands?  Well, you see how big daddy is, right?  I’m going to walk into the water, cup my hands, and when I pull water out with my hands, I want you to watch to see how much the ocean level goes down.  Okay?”


Of course, they saw no change in the level of the sea once Bruce emerged with water cupped in his hands.  He used that  to teach them: Although Bruce was seen as “big” to his young daughters, there was absolutely no comparison when placed before the greatness of God who made the oceans and holds them in his hands.


That caused me to start looking around at God’s creation more than I had previously.  And as I looked for ways to teach my children, I found myself more enamored with God’s greatness myself.  Start looking in the sky and see the stars.  Grow in amazement of the colors of the sky at sunset, the birds that fly around your trees at home, and the beauty of the vast landscape we see everywhere.  You will find more than enough practical examples to affirm what you teach children about God from His Word—He is indeed great.

http://practicalshepherding.com/

 

The Royal Wedding & You

Posted by SK on May 14, 2011 at 12:12 AM Comments comments (0)

http://www.cbmw.org/Blog/Posts/The-Royal-Wedding


The Royal Wedding

by Mary Kassian

May 2, 2011


Last week, over 2 billion viewers--about a third of the world's population--watched the Royal Wedding.  As is common in marriage ceremonies, the Officiate opened with: "Dearly Beloved; we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the face of this congregation to join together this man and this woman in holy matrimony--which is an honorable estate, instituted by God Himself, signifying to us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and His Church . . ."


I wonder how many observers caught the depth of meaning in those opening words. That one sentence contains some profound, staggering truths about marriage and the meaning of manhood and womanhood and sex.


The traditional opening to the marriage ceremony acknowledges that marriage isn't a man-made institution. It was instituted by God Himself. He's the author of marriage, and therefore, He alone defines what marriage is all about.


The Reason God Created Marriage

The opening states that the reason God created male and female and marriage was to "signify" to us "the mystical union between Christ and His Church." When God described the work of His Son as the sacrifice of a husband for his bride, He was telling us the ultimate reason why He made us male and female, and why He created marriage and sex. Christ and His Bride is the reason.


God created manhood, womanhood, marriage and sex because He wanted us to have symbols, images, and language powerful enough to convey the idea of who He is and what a relationship with Him is all about.  Without manhood, womanhood, marriage and sex, we would have a tough time understanding concepts such as desire, love, commitment, fidelity, infidelity, loyalty, jealousy, unity, intimacy, marriage, oneness, covenant, and family.  We would have a tough time understanding God and the gospel.  God gave us these images so that we would have human thoughts, feelings, experiences and language adequate and powerful enough to understand and express deep spiritual truths.  The visible symbols display and testify about what is unseen.  That's why the symbols are so very important.


Marriage puts the Gospel on Display

Human sexuality is a parable --a testimony to the character of God and to His spectacular plan of redemption through Jesus. This spiritual truth is so magnificent that God chose to put it on display permanently.  Everywhere.  Men were created to reflect the strength, love and self-sacrifice of Christ.  Women were created to reflect the grace and beauty of the Bride He redeemed. God created marriage and sex to display the joining of Christ and the church in an indivisible covenant.  History started with the covenant wedding and sexual union of a man and woman because it will end with the covenant wedding and spiritual union of Christ and His Bride.  Marriage was created to tell the cosmic love story of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


Marriage is Holy and Honorable

Finally, the introduction to the ceremony identifies matrimony as "a holy and honorable estate." The Lord wants us to respect the deep, holy, sacred meaning of marriage, and uphold the sacredness of the sexual act. God intended that sex "seal the deal" of a marriage covenant. The physical union of a husband and wife illustrates-in the physical realm-that a permanent, legal, unbreakable covenant of love has been established in the spiritual realm.

The one-flesh union of husband and wife is to model and mimic cosmic truths about the mystical union between Christ and the Church.  A covenant must be in place before any union can occur between God and man. The Lord wants us to tell this same story with our sexual conduct.  Sex outside of a permanent, one-flesh, legal, heterosexual marriage covenant is a violation of God's design. Hebrews 13:4 says, "Let marriage be held in honor among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous."


The Royal Wedding

Last week's Royal Wedding was a joyous event. I was so glad to hear the Officiate acknowledge--right up front--that as splendid as the marriage of William and Kate was, it pales in comparison with that to which it points. The guests in Westminster Cathedral, the millions of spectators on the streets of London, and the billions crouched around TV screens in nations all around the world were all "gathered in the sight of God" to witness the joining of another man and woman in holy matrimony--which is an honorable estate, instituted by God Himself, signifying to us the mystical union that is betwixt Christ and His Church.


I wonder how many got the real message.

 


From The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood  http://www.cbmw.org/

How Does the Cross Matter to ME?

Posted by SK on April 23, 2011 at 10:22 PM Comments comments (0)

http://www.truewoman.com/?id=1680


What Difference Does It Make?

Posted on 04.22.11 by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Relationship with God, Relationships with Others

On behalf of all our team at Revive Our Hearts, I want to wish you a blessed and joyous Easter celebration! 


This weekend we focus on two events that form the hinge of human history—two events set the Christian faith apart from all other religions. The first of those events—the crucifixion of our Lord—was both the greatest crime and the supreme act of sacrificial love in the history of mankind. The second of those events—the Resurrection—turned despair and apparent defeat and into eternal hope and victory.


But what does all this mean for us? Almost every day, I hear from our ROH [Revive Our Hearts] listeners, many of whom write to share deep struggles and burdens. What difference do the Cross and the empty tomb make for those who are facing pain or tears or failure? Here are some of the implications of that momentous weekend for people like you and me: 


Are you plagued with guilt from your past? The Cross means that God's righteous anger against sin and sinners has been satisfied; the price has been paid.  It means that there is no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. When Satan stands to accuse you to the Father, Jesus stands to defend you! 


Are you frustrated with your inability to please God?  The Cross means that Jesus has fulfilled all the righteousness of the law; because He has perfectly pleased His Father, those of us who are in Christ are also pleasing to God. 


Has a friend or family member sinned against you and caused you much grief?  The Cross means that Jesus bore their sins as well as your own, and that He can enable you to extend forgiveness to the one who has wronged you the most deeply. 


Is your heart lonely, because friends or family members have neglected you?  The Cross means that Jesus knows what it is to be utterly forsaken by family and friends.  He endured the loss, so that you and I would never have to be truly alone. 


Are you grieving over loved ones you have lost?  The Cross means that God understands what it is like to give up the one you love the most.  Because the Father gave up His Son, our separations and losses are only temporary.  


Do you struggle to be free from sinful bondages and addictions?  The Cross and the empty tomb mean that you do not have to continue in sin . . . Christ has broken sin's power to control you.  Are you (or is someone you love) facing a terminal illness? The resurrection means that Christ has overcome death and that we, too, will be raised from the dead in the last day. 


Do you find yourself in circumstances that seem hopeless?  The resurrection means that there is hope in the midst of every circumstance. It means that one day all tears will be wiped away and all sorrow will be turned to joy. 


Have you been disappointed by someone who broke a promise or was unfaithful to you?  The Resurrection means that God always keeps His promises. 


Are you overcome by circumstances beyond your control?  The Resurrection means that God is all-powerful and nothing is beyond His control. 


He can bring beauty out of ashes; He can cause even evil circumstances to bring Him ultimate glory.  So . . . this Easter week . . . don't try to run from the Cross.  Let God use the pressure and the problems to make you more like Jesus. 


And be sure to move beyond the Cross to the empty tomb. Allow the risen Christ to turn your doubts to assurance and your fears to faith.  Lift your tear-filled eyes upward and let the Lord Jesus fill your heart with true peace and joy.  Refuse to give in any longer to despair or discouragement or guilt.  As the darkness and tears of that infamous crucifixion day gave way to the joy and victory of resurrection morning, be assured that He will surely turn your darkness to light and your tears to joy.

 


Blaming, Rationalizing, & Justifying When Corrected

Posted by SK on April 23, 2011 at 7:07 AM Comments comments (0)


Blaming, Rationalizing, and Justifying When Corrected


Some children won’t take responsibility for their offenses. They rationalize, blame, justify, defend, and otherwise deflect correction. Parents often feel frustrated because they know that a child who won’t accept correction will continue doing the wrong thing. In many cases, parents recognize the negative path and are disheartened by the direction it’s heading.


You, as a parent, can have a tremendous influence on a child’s approach to correction. The reality is that there are four different kinds of faults that parents correct for. They’re not all sin, but they still require correction and redirection. 1) Deliberate sin -- children choose to do the wrong thing. 2) Unrecognized sin -- the child is doing the wrong thing but doesn’t understand or realize that it’s wrong. 3) Mistakes -- the child is acting foolishly. Although the action isn’t wrong, it will have negative consequences and the child can’t see it. A lot of childhood immaturity falls into this category. It’s not sinful, but it’s unwise and so the parent corrects the child. (Talking too much, or being annoying are examples.) 4) Offenses -- the child may not do anything wrong, but someone else is hurt and therefore the offense needs to be addressed.


One of the jobs of parenting is to correct children. How they are corrected often determines the outcome. The goal of correction is a changed heart.  Many parents miss the heart and use simple behavior modification techniques to get kids to merely change on the outside. There’s a better way. We offer several tools for helping children change on a heart level.


The first thing is that you must have a positive view of correction.  Proverbs 6:23 says, “the corrections of discipline are the way to life.” That means that correction is a good thing because it’s one of the ways that we learn. You can learn by reading a book, watching a video or having a coach train you. You can also learn from correction. It’s one of the tools God uses in our lives to help us grow. That means that correction is a positive thing.


Many parents view correction as an interruption in their lives, express their frustration to the child, and pass on a negative view of correction. Rather, you must allow time in your life for correction. It’s part of your job. Many parents plan their days so full, that it’s no wonder they get angry when they have to stop and discipline a child; there just isn’t time. We suggest that you plan margin into your days so you have the flexibility necessary when it’s time to correct. After all, the discipline time may be the most important thing that you do all day. It’s often in the discipline, that heart moments take place. You want to have time.


Another tool is to use a Break (below). Children must learn to pull back instead of push forward when they’ve made a mistake. Just like a huddle in a football game, a Break gives children an ability to step back and rethink life. A Break is different than Time Out. Time Out is a sentence for a crime committed and you as the parent must act as the policeman to keep the child there. A Break is significantly different.  Although it requires that a child sit down for a bit, that’s where the similarities to Time Out end.

In a Break, the child is sent on a mission to change the heart. Furthermore, the child helps determine the length of time spent in the Break. This focus on heart change requires that the child do some heart work before returning. Repentance is beginning to take place. Most children are unable to process all of the parts of repentance in the Break and need the help of a parent. But the Break helps the child settle down and be ready to work on the problem. You can read more about how to develop the Break as a tool in your family in the Training Manual and CD entitled, Correction Ideas that Touch the Heart. That workbook and CD can be purchased separately or as part of the 8-lesson kit, Heart Work Training Manuals and CDs. The Treasure Hunters Children’s Curriculum, session #3, also helps you teach the value of the Break to children, using Bible stories, crafts, and other activities.


Another tool to help children take responsibility for their actions can be used when children return from the Break. We call it a Positive Conclusion (below). It’s a debriefing you have with your child after the offense that contains three questions and a statement. You’ll want to use this Positive Conclusion every time you correct or redirect your child. The first question is always the same, “What did you do wrong?” This question isn’t asked in an angry or accusing way. It’s just part of process. Confession is one element of repentance and children need to become accustomed to doing it. You might want to learn more about the Positive Conclusion in the Training Manual and CD entitled, Ending Discipline Times with Impact. That workbook and CD can be purchased separately or as part of the 8-lesson kit entitled, Heart Work Training Manuals and CDs. The Treasure Hunters Children’s Curriculum, session #5 also helps you teach the value of taking responsibility for an offense using Bible stories, crafts, and other activities.

Sometimes children need more motivation to change. That’s when we recommend the use of consequences. We have a Training Manual and CD entitled A Toolbox of Consequences. That workbook and CD can be purchased separately or as part of the 8-lesson kit entitled, Heart Work Training Manuals and CDs. The Treasure Hunters Children’s Curriculum, session #4 also helps you teach the value of correction to children using Bible stories, crafts, and other activities.

Correction is an essential part of parenting. We have a lot of ideas and suggestions to support you in this work. Visit our web site regularly for more ideas to help you parent your children.


http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-correction.asp

 


Helping Children Deal with Tragedy

Posted by SK on April 21, 2011 at 6:00 AM Comments comments (0)

http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-tip7.asp

Helping Children Deal with Tragedy


Children need help to deal with tragedy. Sometimes it’s a global tragedy like a war or national disaster. Other times it’s the personal loss of a loved one or the breaking up of a home. How should we respond to these things? Parents have the opportunity and responsibility to teach their children how to think about and react to these events, as well as to their inner feelings and the confusion they may be experiencing.

Notice how, in Deuteronomy 6:6-9, God instructs his people to teach their children through life experiences. “These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Day to day life provides opportunities to teach children about God. It is the job of parents to frame the picture of world events, to help children understand life from God’s point of view. Teachable moments become available in times of crisis. That doesn’t mean that you preach or lecture. It means that you ask questions and carefully share information that can guide your children to right thinking.

So what do you say? How do you respond to their questions? How do you draw them out? What kinds of things can you do that will help your children during this time?

1. First, be sensitive to your child’s emotions. All children are different and will process these events in different ways. Some will openly cry or make angry threats. Others will act out or become more aggressive. Some will become very quiet and withdrawn. Teens may become glib or sarcastic. Ask God to show you what emotions your child is experiencing. Below you will find some indicators which may get you started dealing with fear, anger, and sadness.

2. Validate feelings. It’s okay to experience emotions, but it’s not okay to act those emotions out in hurtful ways. By validating a child’s feelings you are “grieving with those who grieve” as the scripture commands. Be careful about criticizing your children’s emotions. [For instance, don't say, "You shouldn't be afraid of that...] Thoroughly working through difficult experiences in a complete way will help your children fully deal with the events and their emotions and even grow through this experience.

3. Remember that trials provide opportunities to grow. Romans 5:3-5 says, “we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” The things you say and the way you teach your children in times of tragedy can help build character and develop hope. Furthermore, you can help your children grow spiritually during tough times and give them the spiritual tools to deal with life as they grow older. Take the time to talk about the events and talk about Godly responses.

4. Continue regular routines. Routines provide security, and many children need that security in order to process difficult things effectively.  Although you’ll continue the schedule and maintain the agenda, that doesn’t mean that you ignore the issues. Take time to talk and discuss what’s happening. Your children need a sense that they have somewhere to go to process what’s happening in life.

5. Limit TV viewing. Some parents believe that they should encourage their children to watch the events because of their historical value. Although being informed can be helpful, the continual display of destruction and violence can do more damage than good. Many parents who wouldn’t let their children watch a violent movie, allow them to see the same kinds of things on the news over and over again. This can feed negative emotions and hinder a child’s ability to process what’s happened. Young children think concretely and when they see the same thing over and over again, they may believe that the event is continuing to happen over and over again. Even adults experience the same emotions when they see the event repeated. TV has a number of benefits but reliving tragedy can be counterproductive and hinder the growth process.

6. Be sensitive to developmental stages and a child’s unique personality. Preschoolers think concretely. Somewhere around 6-9 years old, children usually develop the ability to understand concepts like terrorism, death, or patriotism.  At 10-12 years old, children begin to understand those abstract ideas in very personal ways. The 11-year-old may now realize the permanence of death and the significant value of patriotism to them personally. Teens are choosing values to live by and hunt for them in life. They often want things clear cut and challenge those who might disagree with them. Some children withdraw while others speak out.  Some may joke about things inappropriately.  As you talk to your children, take all these things into account. Share with them, on their level, as much information as they need or want. Trying to protect children from this by not talking about it can produce more fear as they sense something is wrong. Also, be careful about overdosing a child with too much information. Your sensitivity here will provide tremendous opportunities to help your children understand and deal with these events properly.

7. Model right-thinking with your children. Many parents are modeling revenge, worry, and panic. The way you respond to these events may teach more than your words do. Teach your children what it means to trust God in very practical terms. Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your kids and talk about how you, as a family, are experiencing and learning from these tragic events.

8. Look for proactive ways to be involved in the solution, not just talk about the problem. Adopting a soldier, taking food to those in need, creating a care package for those who are hurting are all examples of ways to help children help and care for others.

Take time to ask your children how they are doing. Come back several hours after a significant conversation and say things like, “I wondered if you had any other thoughts about what we talked about earlier.” As you work through these things with your children you are giving them a gift. You are helping them understand life and how God works and the important values they desperately need. You will contribute to your child’s future well being and their ability to process other tragedies in helpful ways.


Fear

Some ways to tell that your child may be experiencing fear are:

They have trouble separating from parents.They don’t want to be alone. They don’t want parents to travel.They ask questions about safety and security. They ask questions about why it happened. Can it happen again? They joke or use sarcasm with fear as an underlying theme. They experience nightmares or are afraid at night. Some scriptures to share with children might include Joshua 1:9, Philippians 4:6-8, Proverbs 3:5-6, Luke 14:27.

Some things to consider when helping children deal with fear:

Be careful about lying to your children by saying, “It’s all okay.” Your children can see that things aren’t okay. In fact, this kind of statement can be counterproductive and cause children will feel like they can’t trust you, further increasing feelings of insecurity. Explain that the world isn’t out of control and help put these events into perspective. “Some very angry people did some very bad things but God is using government leaders to track them down and punish them.” God is with us always. We can trust Him. His angels protect us. God loves us and cares for us and He is in charge (Psalm 46). Answer your child’s questions. Explain the details briefly in clear terms and then focus on the good that we see in God and the people who are helping. The solution for fear is to learn to trust.  Trust is the ability to release control to another. Children can learn to trust when they take small steps of risk and have positive experiences over a period of time. Gently encourage children to take small risks of separation and then provide the comfort they need. During that process children need a lot of parental love, patience, encouragement, and support.


Anger

Some ways to tell that your child may be experiencing anger:

They talk about or act out revenge. Their play becomes more aggressive and mean. They have more frequent or intense angry outbursts. They use violent words or actions especially pointed toward the terrorists. They demonstrate an unusually bad attitude. They are easily angered and have a short fuse. Some scriptures to share with children might include Romans 13:1-4, Ephesians 4:26-32, James 1:19-20.

Some things to consider when helping children deal with anger:

Being angry isn’t wrong. In fact, anger identifies a problem. Seeking revenge is wrong and turns the angry person into an ugly person. It’s more productive to move toward sorrow than anger in many cases. You may even use the current events as an example, “These people who did this are deceived, angry people and have done terrible hurtful things. We don’t want to use anger to get back at them. It’s very sad when people deliberately hurt others.” The job of government is to provide justice and punish those who do wrong (Romans 13:1-4). Individuals are called to love enemies and pray for them (Romans 12:17-21). Older children especially need to understand this difference between revenge and justice. Revenge is when individuals seek to get back at someone. Justice is when an authority punishes those who do wrong. For more suggestions for dealing with anger view our other pages.


Sadness

Some ways to tell that your child may be experiencing sadness:

They cry or are lethargic and appear sad. They appear depressed or withdrawn. They have an inability to experience joy or happiness. They have a loss of appetite or seem unmotivated to do anything. Some scriptures to share with children might include 2 Corinthians 2:3-11, Psalm 46, 91:15, and Psalm 23.

Some things to consider when helping children deal with sadness.

Look for ways to help others. Serving, comforting, and giving help children to become part of the solution instead of wallowing in the problem. Be creative by giving money, time, and energy to worthy causes. Sadness often causes a person to become self-focused resulting in self pity. Contributing to solutions helps children get outside themselves and can be very therapeutic. A child who responds to tragedy by becoming sad is likely to be a sensitive and compassionate child. These are good character qualities and should be encouraged, but when children become overly introspective they may lose their ability to help others. Pray for government leaders, our president, victims, and families.  Allow children to grieve. It’s okay to be sad and mourn over current events and the pain behind the scenes.  Be ready to talk and look for ways to draw your children out through questions, stories, and just observations of what you see in their behavior.  Remind children that God also is sad when people sin and hurt others (Ephesians 4:29-32).


Helping Children Who Have a Problem with Lying

Posted by SK on April 19, 2011 at 11:37 PM Comments comments (0)

 http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-tip3.asp


Helping Children Who Have a Problem with Lying


Honesty is the basis for any relationship because it develops trust and upon that foundation simple things like communication and responsibility rest. When a child lies, that trust is broken and relationships suffer. Parents often don’t know how to handle dishonesty and common discipline techniques don’t quite address the problem. A more comprehensive plan is usually necessary since dishonesty often has several components. Here are some ways to deal with it.


1. Talk about reality and truth and how they are different from fantasy, wishes, possibility, pretend, and make believe. Require that children use cues to identify anything other than reality. Here are some ideas:

“I think it happened this way,” “I think this is the answer,” “I’m not sure...” “Maybe...” (possibility)

“I wish this were true,” “I’d like it if...” (wish)

“I’d like to tell you a story...” “I can imagine what it would be like to...” (fantasy)


2. Use the Bible verse Proverbs 30:32 to teach children to stop talking in the middle of a speaking mistake. When you sense a child is beginning to stray from the truth, stop them. “I want you to stop talking for a minute.” Sometimes children just get started and can’t stop. Parents can help teach them. “Think for a minute and then start again. I’d like to hear the things you know, separated from the things you think.” “Start again and tell me how it really happened-- just the parts you are sure of.”


3. If a child has ADHD or is impulsive, use a plan for self discipline. Sometimes children who are impulsive blurt out things without thinking. Other times they start talking and don’t know how to stop. This impulsivity component can lead to dishonesty because of a lack of self-control. It’s not always malicious lying, but it’s still not good and shouldn’t be excused, because the problem often gets worse. Even though children may have poor impulse control, they must learn to tell the truth. The route, though, may contain more self discipline training than some of the other suggestions.


4. A courtesy generally given in relationships is called, “the benefit of the doubt.” When a child has developed a pattern of lying, we don’t automatically give that courtesy. Believing someone requires trust and it’s a privilege which is earned. Privilege and responsibility go together and when a child is irresponsible then privileges are taken away. For a time, the things your child says are suspect. You may even question something that is found to be true later. A child may be hurt by this, but that hurt is the natural consequence of mistrust which in turn comes from lying. Being believed is a privilege earned when children are responsible in telling the truth on a regular basis. Not believing your child may seem mean but your child must learn that people who don’t tell the truth can’t be trusted. Tell your child that you would like to believe him or her but you cannot until he or she earns that privilege.


5. Some situations won’t be clear and some children will deliberately lie to avoid punishment. You find yourself in a predicament because proof seems impossible yet you have a sense that this child is not telling the truth. When possible, don’t choose that battleground. It’s too sticky and you will usually have other clearer opportunities later. Children who have a problem with lying, demonstrate it often. Choose the clearer battles and use those situations to discipline firmly. Use Taking a Break and the Positive Conclusion (below) and maybe other consequences if necessary.


6. Confrontation should result in repentance. This may seem unrealistic at first but keep it in mind as your goal.  Children who are confronted with the fact that they are telling a lie should immediately agree and apologize. A child who is defensive is relying on arguing and justifying as manipulative techniques in order to avoid taking responsibility. This is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated. Use Taking a Break to motivate the child to repentance.


7. You may, for an introductory period of time, in order to motivate repentance when confronted, withhold further discipline if a child responds properly to correction. “If you can admit it was a lie and that you were wrong when I confront you, I will not further discipline you for that lie.” This is a temporary approach to teach a proper response to correction.


8. Be proactive in teaching about honesty. Tell stories from your life or read stories like:

The Emperor’s New Clothes

The Boy who Cried Wolf

Pinocchio

Ananias and Sapphira from the Bible

There are several good books at your local library on this subject which are written for children and are well illustrated to capture their interest.


9. Give an outlet for creative writing or storytelling to further emphasize the difference between fantasy and reality and a proper use of fantasy.


10. Memorize Bible verses dealing with honesty since the Scripture appeals effectively to a child’s conscience.


These suggestions will go a long way toward helping a child tell the truth. Don’t let this problem go. It only gets worse. Continual, persistent work will pay off in the end. Other helpful ideas can be found in the book, Good and Angry, Exchanging Frustration for Character in You and Your Kids, by Dr. Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller, RN, BSN.

 


Dealing with Focus/Impulse Challenges

Posted by SK on April 16, 2011 at 4:55 PM Comments comments (0)

http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-tip2.asp

Suggestions for Dealing with Attention Issues


Children with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) [or similar behavior] are a challenge for any family. These children often don’t respond to common suggestions for parenting and need a more structured and in-depth program of discipline and training. At Effective Parenting we have had success with these children by implementing several programs and skills for both parents and children.


Because ADD and ADHD have a biological component, medication may prove to be helpful as part of the solution [but needn't be the main ingredient]. Some families adjust diet, exercise, sleep* and/or give caffeine to address the biological component. In addition to this, parents must use a long-term character development plan. Medication is only a temporary solution and children need to learn character qualities to cope with or offset their weaknesses. Here are a few suggestions which will be helpful.


1) Use Taking a Break as a primary discipline technique. This approach isn’t simply a punishment for misbehavior (as time out can be), but it forces a child to make internal adjustments. Used in conjunction with other techniques, Taking a Break is foundational for helping a child make significant, heart-level changes.


2) Understand and use the Positive Conclusion after every discipline experience. The Positive Conclusion allows parents to do therapy with their children several times a day. It usually takes only a minute, but can last longer when that's helpful. Its value is unequaled in helping children admit their mistakes, understand how to change, and reshape their thinking process. Although children with ADD/ADHD are often quite intelligent, they sometimes have difficulty applying their intelligence to social skills and behavior management. The Positive Conclusion uses a positive approach and continual repetition to reinforce right choices.


3) Work on self discipline as a primary character quality. Impulsiveness is a common trait seen in children with ADD and ADHD. Inappropriate speech, action or social skills, destructiveness, and dishonesty are often the result of undeveloped impulse control. These children must enter into a rigid and structured program to develop self discipline. Parents enter into a coach relationship with their children, providing the external discipline needed to build the internal self control.


4) Actively promote a healthy sense of pride for children in themselves and their family. Talk about the things your family enjoys, the fun activities you’ve experienced and the sense of teamwork you have. Help the child understand his/her uniqueness. Emphasize the fact that he/she is special. Use a scrapbook, photo album, bulletin board, charts, story telling, and art to reinforce this positive sense of self. This is so important because much of the time these children experience limit setting, correction, rebuke and instruction which points out weaknesses. In reality, these children have many strengths which must also be acknowledged and enjoyed.


5) Pray for your children regularly. God is the only one who can change a person’s heart. Parents are influential tools and their techniques and strategies are important, but the parent of an ADHD child knows that there are limits to parenting. These children often need a miracle in their lives. God delights in doing miracles. These miracles often take place over time because of the love, patience and perseverance of parents.


These are just a few ideas used by Effective Parenting to help children with ADD and ADHD. Each child needs a program tailored just for his/her needs. Effective Parenting offers a four-CD series called Parenting the Child Who is a CHALLENGE to Parent, which contains several more ways to structure family life and create an environment of growth for your child.

 

*Expert Dianne Craft has shown dramatic improvement when artificial ingredients--especially dyes--are removed from the child's diet.  Do your child a favor: try avoiding artificially colored drinks, Jello, soda pop, hot dogs, etc., for at least 3 weeks.  Read the food labels faithfully and stay away from anything with dyes. http://www.diannecraft.com/

Positive Conlusion to Discipline

Posted by SK on April 12, 2011 at 6:06 AM Comments comments (0)


http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-tip6.asp


Ending a Discipline Time with The Positive Conclusion


Sometimes parents feel that once they've given a consequence for their child's misbehavior, their job is finished. They've done their duty and fulfilled their responsibility. Unfortunately, there may be tension left in the relationship between parent and child-- children feel guilty, defensive, or may even plan revenge. True repentance may not have taken place. This leaves room for anger or even bitterness to linger. Discipline is not complete until the relationship between the parent and child is restored. The child needs to understand what was wrong, but also feel the unconditional love and acceptance from the parent.


The secret to constructive discipline is a Positive Conclusion. The Positive Conclusion is a discussion you have with your child after a consequence has been given and after the child has settled down. Use the Positive Conclusion every time you need to correct or redirect your child. Talk about the problem and what went wrong; then talk about what could happen differently next time.


During the early stages of development (ages two to eight), the Positive Conclusion can consist of three questions and a statement, giving children a helpful pattern each time they're disciplined. Although two- and three-year-olds may not initially be able to respond appropriately, it's helpful to begin this pattern when they're young. You may need to walk preschoolers through the process in order for them to benefit from it. Four- to eight-year-olds will quickly learn to expect these questions and a statement and be able to learn from the experience. As children grow older, you may want to put aside the structure and look more to the principles behind it.


At any age it is helpful to spend some time discussing the problem in order to end the discipline time on a positive note. The Positive Conclusion is NOT a time of interrogation. It's important to express love, forgiveness and acceptance during this discussion. A closer look at these three questions and a statement will show the benefit each one offers in making discipline times constructive learning experiences.


The first question is, "What did you do wrong?'' Ask it in a gentle way, not accusing. This allows the child to admit personal sin. It's important for the child to take responsibility for his or her part of the problem and demonstrate sorrow for it. If others were involved, as they often are, a child should not excuse an offense by blaming someone else. The sins of others don't justify wrong actions. It's probably not uncommon for two children to come to you arguing and fighting, blaming the other child for the problem. "He hit me" "He grabbed my book." Almost always, both children are wrong and could have responded differently. It takes two selfish children to have a fight.


A common mistake parents often make is to engage in dialog about the whole situation: who else was wrong, and whether it was fair or not, or why such things happen. Those discussions may be helpful, but you'll get much further if you start by asking 'What did you do wrong?'' and allow the child to take responsibility for his or her own part of the problem.

Sometimes children say they don't know what they did wrong. If they truly don't know, it's okay to prompt them. If, on the other hand, they are trying to avoid responsibility, it's often helpful to give them time alone until they are ready to own their part of the problem.


A second question, "Why was that wrong?'' should be used to address heart issues directly. Point out the character qualities like pride, selfishness, anger, or disrespect. Help the child learn that behavior is only a symptom of something deeper. Parents and children see the behavior but God looks on the heart. If Sally grabbed the book, Karen still needs to learn to respond with kindness and self-control.


Most children, at first, have a hard time understanding why their actions are wrong. The Positive Conclusion gives you an opportunity to gently teach, without preaching. Help your child see that a particular response was unkind or disrespectful. Discipline involves teaching.


With young children you might give three rules: obey, be kind, and show respect. When you ask "Why was that wrong?" the child has three choices, "I wasn't obeying," or "It wasn't kind," or "It wasn't respectful." The "Why'' question and its answers provide opportunities for parents to teach children about the ramifications of wrong choices. The book of Proverbs teaches that parents are a source of insight and discernment. Naiveté and immaturity lead one to do foolish things. Actions are foolish when the negative results are not considered. Parents can use discipline times to teach children to anticipate the consequences of their actions.


Once a child realizes why the behavior is wrong, the third question helps clarify what should be done instead. "What are you going to do differently next time?'' focuses on a better way to respond. The wise parent uses this question to continue teaching. By communicating the right response verbally, your child will begin to see the difference and learn to change. This often takes time and repeated discipline sessions, but that's OK. Children learn through repetition.


Finally, always end with an affirmation. A helpful statement is, "OK, go ahead and try again." This says "I believe in you. Yes, you're going to make mistakes and there are consequences, but we can debrief and learn together." Give children the encouragement to try again. Everyone makes mistakes, and the best response is to stop, think about it, and then try again.


The Positive Conclusion is important every time you discipline. It is the secret to making your discipline times constructive experiences. The Positive Conclusion is an essential part of the discipline process. Going through the three questions and a statement provides a framework which allows children to admit that they were wrong and determine what to do right next time. The Positive Conclusion gives an opportunity for you to communicate your trust and faith in your children as you tell them to go out and try again.


After the Positive Conclusion, the child may need to complete restitution or reconciliation in order to obtain a clear conscience. Unresolved conflict hinders a clear conscience. A child needs to have the opportunity to say, "I was wrong, please forgive me," and then feel forgiven. The child may need to pick up the books that were thrown in anger or comfort a sibling that was offended and then feel the relationship restored. Ending discipline times on a positive note will do a tremendous amount for your relationship with your child and for your child's self esteem. As you begin to teach your children how to respond to their own weaknesses and failings in a constructive way, you will be giving them a gift that will last a lifetime.


This material is taken from the book, Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids. The book contains many practical ideas for helping children change their hearts, not just their behavior.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Need some help finding the right solution for your family?

Call us at (800) 771-8334

http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-tip6.asp

 


 


WA-A-AY Better than "Time Out"

Posted by SK on April 11, 2011 at 7:12 AM Comments comments (0)

http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-tip5.asp


Taking a Break:

A Technique for Addressing the Heart

The Scriptures emphasize that God’s primary interest is the heart. The wise parent looks beyond behavior to what’s going on at a deeper level. This involves the child’s attitudes and motivations.


As you begin to use the secret of teaching children to focus on their hearts, you will see them make attitude adjustments, not just behavior changes. You will find yourself getting to the root of disobedience or immaturity and helping children make lifelong changes.


Taking a Break removes a child from a situation or activity immediately following misbehavior. A reminder of the rule may be helpful and the child is instructed to Take a Break to change the heart. The location for Taking a Break is a place away from any activity or stimulation. The child shouldn’t talk to anyone until ready to return to the parent. The parent also shouldn’t dialog with the child until the child is ready to come back. Other benefits of family life are suspended while the child is working on the heart. Taking a Break allows the child, under the guidance of the parent, to determine when to come back and talk about the problem. When used correctly, Taking a Break can help children look deeper than behavior and see the need to allow God to work on their hearts.


Taking a Break is not the same as time out. Many Christians have a hard time with time out, and for good reasons. Typically, time out is a term used for isolating a child as a punishment for doing wrong by simply sending that child away for a set period of time. This is “punishment by isolation” and can be counterproductive to the discipline process. Expecting children to solve problems alone is unrealistic. Furthermore, the isolation can appear to force children away from the love of the parent. Taking a Break is a much more valuable technique because, if done correctly, it focuses on the heart.


The goal of Taking a Break is repentance. Taking a Break teaches children a more accurate picture of reality. There is a loving God who hates sin. When His children disobey Him, they experience separation as a natural consequence of disobedience. God lovingly waits for them to return to Him with confession and repentance.


Taking a Break provides the motivation to repent by allowing the child to experience the feeling of missing out on involvement in family life. Parents can force a child to change actions but they can’t force a change of heart. Parents can, however, motivate children to change. Because separation can motivate repentance, Taking a Break can be helpful as part of the discipline process rather than being viewed simply as a consequence.


Through the principle of separation, children learn that a person cannot enjoy the benefits of the family without also abiding by the principles which make it work. Parents, while communicating unconditional love, teach their children that separation is the natural consequence of disobedience.


One important aspect of Taking a Break is that the child helps determine the length of time spent in the break location. Since repentance is the goal, it’s hard for a parent to tell when a child is ready to return. To come back from Taking a Break too soon may short-circuit what God wants to do. To remain too long may cause unnecessary discouragement. The wise parent will be able to discern from the child’s face, posture, and tone of voice whether repentance has taken place, or at least that the emotions have settled down so the child can move on in the discipline process.


When Taking a Break the child stays in the break place until he or she has calmed down and is ready to talk about the problem. The child then initiates returning to the parent for the Positive Conclusion, a discussion about what went wrong and what should be done differently next time. This is a primary difference between the Godly model of Taking a Break and that which is often practiced as "time out." 


The length of time a child chooses for Taking a Break isn’t important except as it relates to the child’s needs. Frequently all that’s needed is a reminder and the child is ready to change the heart and try again. In this case, Taking a Break would be short, lasting only a few seconds. Other times, because of stubbornness, a change of heart may take longer, twenty minutes or several hours. Either way, the child is encouraged to initiate when Taking a Break is over.


Taking a Break Can Be Used In Your Family

From a very practical standpoint, Taking a Break can be an excellent way to deal with much of the day-to-day correction children need. It can become the primary discipline technique used in a family to help children change. The three-year-old who screams out of frustration, the seven-year-old who continually interrupts, and the thirteen-year-old who teases relentlessly all need to understand why their actions are wrong and see the need to change the heart as well as their habits of behavior.


At first, children may resist Taking a Break. Some may not want to lengthen the discipline process; they’ll try to get it over with too quickly. These children are especially in danger of modifying behavior without repentance. It’s important for children to learn how to Take a Break and make sure their heart is responding properly before they move to the solution.


Children may try to come out before they are ready or they may defiantly move out of the place where they were told to sit. The parent’s responsibility is to teach children that they must obey. A parent may restrain a child by holding them or by firmly returning the child to the correct spot. These actions are best accomplished with as few words as possible so as not to encourage the rebellion by giving attention to it. The parent must win in these situations in order to make Taking a Break an effective discipline in the future.


Even children as young as three- or four-years-old, although not able to understand the word “repentance,” can understand having a soft heart or removing rebellion from the heart. The first step of repentance is simply that the child settles down, stops fighting, and is ready to work on the problem. Older children are able to process some of what went wrong and come back to the parent with a specific plan for what to do right next time. In essence children can use Taking a Break to settle down, realize they’ve done something wrong and be willing to change.


Sometimes children, especially those who are just learning to Take a Break, want to come back before they are ready, or they choose to stay there longer than necessary. The parent then must help these children to process their emotions and learn to initiate the conclusion of the discipline appropriately. In these cases it might be appropriate to have a child sit in the break place for at least five minutes. The emphasis on “at least” is important because it may take longer than that. The child needs to evaluate his or her readiness to return.


It is most beneficial to follow Taking a Break with a Positive Conclusion, which not only helps to determine genuine readiness to return but also helps the child process the offense in a wise way. As you teach your children to Take a Break and to understand repentance, you are giving them a valuable gift that will last a lifetime.


This material is taken from the book, Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids. The book contains many practical ideas for helping children change their hearts, not just their behavior.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Need some help finding the right solution for your family?

Call us at (800) 771-8334

http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-tip5.asp


Help with Anger--Yours & Your Kid's

Posted by SK on April 9, 2011 at 4:46 PM Comments comments (0)

http://www.biblicalparenting.org/pr-helpfularticles.asp


Helping Children Deal with Their Anger

Anger is like the mercury in a thermometer. When left unchecked the intensity of the emotion increases from frustration to anger and then to other things like rage and bitterness. As the intensity builds, people shut themselves off from others and relationships close down. Having a plan to deal with anger can limit the intensity and prevent much of the destruction anger tends to cause.

Most families don’t have a plan for anger. They somehow just continue on, hoping things will get better. Many families don’t resolve their anger, but just keep trying to start over. Starting over may be helpful at times, but it tends to ignore the problem rather than address it. Here are some ideas for dealing with anger in your family.

1. Anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them.

One of the problems people face is the guilt they feel after they’ve gotten angry. This further complicates the situation. God created us as emotional beings and emotions are helpful for giving us cues about our environment. Anger, in particular, points out problems. It reveals things that are wrong. Some of those things are inside of us and require adjustments to expectations or demands. Other problems are outside of us and need to be addressed in a constructive way. Helping children understand that anger is good for identifying problems but not good for solving them is the first step toward a healthy anger management plan.

2. Identify the early warning signs of anger.

Children often don’t recognize anger. In fact, many times they act out before they realize what happened. Identifying early warning signs helps children become more aware of their feelings, which in turn gives them more opportunity to control their responses to these feelings. How can you tell when you’re getting frustrated? How can your children identify frustration before it gets out of control?

Here are some common cues in children which indicate that they are becoming angry and may be about to lose control:

• tensed body

• clenched teeth

• increased intensity of speech or behavior

• unkind words or the tone of voice changes to whining or yelling

• restlessness, withdrawal, unresponsiveness, or being easily provoked

• noises with the mouth like growls or deep breathing

• pouting

• squinting, rolling the eyes, or other facial expressions

Learn to recognize the cues that your child is beginning to get frustrated. Look for signs that come before the eruption. Once you know the cues, begin to point them out to your child. Make observations and teach your child to recognize those signs. Eventually children will be able to see their own frustration and anger and choose appropriate responses before it’s too late. They’ll be able to move from the emotion to the right actions, but first they must be able to recognize the cues that anger is intensifying.

3. Step Back.

Teach your child to take a break from the difficult situation and to get alone for a few minutes. One of the healthiest responses to anger at any of its stages is to step back. During that time the child can rethink the situation, calm down and determine what to do next. Frustrations can easily build, rage can be destructive, and bitterness is always damaging to the one who is angry. Stepping back can help the child stop the progression and determine to respond differently.

The size of the break is determined by the intensity of the emotion. A child who is simply frustrated may just take a deep breath. The child who is enraged probably needs to leave the room and settle down.

4. Choose a better response.

After the child has stepped back and settled down, then it’s time to decide on a more appropriate response to the situation. But what should they do? Parents who address anger in their children often respond negatively, pointing out the wrong without suggesting alternatives.

There are three positive choices: talk about it, get help, or slow down and persevere. Simplifying the choices makes the decision process easier. Even young children can learn to respond constructively to frustration when they know there are three choices. These choices are actually skills to be learned. Children often misuse them or overly rely on just one. Take time to teach your children these skills and practice them as responses to angry feelings.

5. Never try to reason with a child who is enraged.

Sometimes children become enraged. The primary way to tell when children are enraged is that they can no longer think rationally and their anger is now controlling them. Unfortunately, many parents try to talk their children out of anger, often leading to more intensity. The child who is enraged has lost control. You may see clenched fists, squinting eyes or a host of venting behaviors. Anger is one of those emotions that can grab you before you know what’s happening. The intensity can build from frustration to anger to rage before anyone realizes it.

Whether it’s the two-year-old temper tantrum or the 14 year-old ranting and raving, don’t get sucked into dialog. It only escalates the problem. Talking about it is important but wait until after the child has settled down.

6. When emotions get out of control, take a break from the dialog.

Sometimes parents and children are having a discussion about something and tempers flare. Mean words often push buttons which motivate more mean words and anger escalates. Stop the process, take a break and resume the dialog after people have settled down.

7. Be proactive in teaching children about frustration management, anger control, rage reduction and releasing bitterness.

Model, discuss, read and teach your children about anger. There are several good books on this subject available, which are written for children at various age levels. Talk about examples of frustration and anger seen in children’s videos. Talk about appropriate responses. Work together as a family to identify anger and choose constructive solutions.

8. When anger problems seem out of control or you just don’t know what to do, get help.

Sometimes a third party can provide the helpful suggestions and guidelines to motivate your family to deal with anger in a more helpful way. Children can begin to develop bitterness and resentment in their lives and may need help to deal with it. Unresolved anger can create problems in relationships later on. Children do not grow out of bitterness, they grow into it. Professional help may be needed.

This material is taken from chapter 5 of the book, Home Improvement, The Parenting Book You Can Read to Your Kids. The book also contains other ideas which will help your children learn to control their anger and practical ways that you as a parent can teach them. A CD entitled, Helping Children Deal with Anger is also available. You can play this CD with children to develop an anger management plan together as a family.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •   •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •   •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  • 

Need some help finding the right solution for your family? Call us at (800) 771-8334

 


FREE Baby Shoes

Posted by SK on March 28, 2011 at 3:03 PM Comments comments (0)

While supplies last, you're invited to

take a pair of baby shoes/slippers/boots

-- any kind of footwear--

each week that you come in for an appointment. 

We've been given an overabundance

and want to share it ASAP. 

Why store them at Open Arms when they

would look SO much cuter on your little one?!:D

R U a Reading Parent?

Posted by SK on January 8, 2011 at 8:09 PM Comments comments (1)

The Reading Mother

I had a mother who read to me

Sagas of pirates who scoured the sea.

Cutlasses clenched in their yellow teeth;

"Blackbirds" stowed in the hold beneath.

I had a Mother who read me lays

Of ancient and gallant and golden days;

Stories of Marmion and Ivanhoe,

Which every boy has a right to know.

I had a Mother who read me tales

Of Gelert the hound of the hills of Wales,

True to his trust till his tragic death,

Faithfulness lent with his final breath.

I had a Mother who read me the things

That wholesome life to the boy heart brings--

Stories that stir with an upward touch.

Oh, that each mother of boys were such!

You may have tangible wealth untold;

Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.

Richer than I you can never be --

I had a Mother who read to me.


~Strickland Gillilan

 


Cooking Class for Moms, Moms-2-B & Friends

Posted by SK on November 9, 2010 at 12:01 PM Comments comments (0)

Saturday, Nov. 13, 10a.m. - 2p.m.

603 W. 7th Street

Learn to make a starter recipe from which you can create tortillas, sopaipillas, empanadas...  Delicious AND economical!  We'll be sampling our cooking success, so bring your appetite.  This instruction is being offered by a mother of eight kids--lots of opportunity for discussion of breastfeeding, cooking, natural childbirth, etc.

Open House for Everybody!

Posted by SK on October 30, 2010 at 2:53 AM Comments comments (0)

Wednesday, November 10th, 12:30 - 5:30

Refreshments and get acqainted time, plus free materials on pregnancy, relationships, recovering from abortion...  Hold in your hand a realistic model of a baby at 12-weeks' development...


We look forward to seeing you. 


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