Tag Archives: love

10 Keys to Successful Parenting

Looking back over 15 years of parenting so far, the following is a list of decisions that we have made concerning our kids that we believe has had the biggest impact.

Here is the quick list and below are explanations of why I believe that each are important.

1) Believe and trust in God
2) Pray together
3) Go to church (consistently)
4) Eat dinner together
5) Be there for them
6) Take lots of pictures and videos
7) Educate yourself
8) Sports and Music
9) Stay together
10) Have fun and make memories

1) Believe and trust in God
God must be number one in our lives and we must show our kids that we believe such. That is why the first 3 keys to successful parenting deal with your faith and belief in one who is higher than us all.

2) Pray together
A great way to teach your kids the importance of God in our lives is to spend time daily with them in prayer. Pray with them before they head off to school. Pray together at dinner. A simple bedtime prayer together is also a great habit to get into with your kids. Becky and I have prayed with each of our kids at bedtime since they were babies. They look forward to bedtime prayer and if you try to skip, they’ll remind you. There is something about praying before bed that gives you and the kids peace of mind to close your eyes and sleep soundly.

3) Go to church (consistently)
Find a good church and then take them consistently. Don’t skip church for ball games or days out on the lake. Schedule events around church, not church around your events. Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6

4) Eat dinner together
Dinner time is a great time to bond as a family. At our home everyone is involved in the whole dinner process, from setting the table up to cleaning up afterward. Eating together should be a daily tradition that is not skipped. Turn the TV off, set the phones and other electronics to the side and enjoy some quality time together.

5) Be there for them
If at all possible, one of you should stay at home with the kids. When our first child one born, we decided that being at home with the kids was more important than making extra money, especially during the first 5 years of their life. Once they were all in school, Becky went back to work, but has always worked a job that was flexible enough to allow her to be there for the kids when they returned home from school. Your must be there for your kids.

6) Take lot of pictures and videos
Kids grow up fast and along with growing up comes change in how they look. Enjoy the moment, but also take lots of pictures and videos. Both you and the kids will love being able to look back, when they are older, and cherish the moments that you had together.

7) Educate yourself
We all spend about 13 to 17 years of our lives going to school and learning just about everything you will need in life, except how to raise children. Kids don’t come with instruction manuals, so it is necessary to educate yourself in some way about how to raise kids. Read books, talk to and learn from others that have been there already, pray, read the Bible. We have learned a ton from reading books about kids and how to raise them. As they get into the teenage years you will find yourself searching for even more than when they were younger.

8) Get them involved in sports and music
There are many benefits of getting your child involved in a team sport. They learn how to interact with others, how to work together as a team, how to control their emotions, develop motor skills and much more.
Every child should be given the opportunity to learn how to play an instrument. I can’t tell you how many times that I have heard someone say, “I wish that my parents would have made me learn…”. If your child learns how play an instrument, that is something that they can keep the rest of their lives. It’s not easy making them practice every day, but in the end both you and they will be glad for it.

9) Stay together
Your marriage will be tested many times throughout the parenting years. There will be times when you feel like giving up, but don’t.
Diamonds are formed under pressure. If you can stick it out to the end, both you and your kids will be better for it. I am very thankful for my wife. There are many days, when I think about all that she does for us. How I could do it without her, I have no idea. And vise versa. Husband and wife must compliment each other and work together to make the family run. I feel for all the single parents out there and their kids. They have to be under a huge load that I cannot understand.

10) Have fun and make memories
Amongst all the hustle and bustle of life, take some occasional “time-outs”, put life on pause for a moment and enjoy some time together. Play a board game, cards, roll around on the floor with your toddlers, and get away when you can.
One thing that my wife had to teach me concerning vacations was that it is all about making memories. Often times I would get all caught up in how much it is was costing. Gas, hotel, tickets and other things have a price, but memories are priceless. When you spend time together, either at home or on a trip somewhere, focus on having fun and making memories.

Thank you for taking a moment your time to read this. If you feel that it was helpful to you and believe that it could benefit others, please share.
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God bless you.

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Check it Out! Pictures and Resources pages added

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I am still learning all that can be done with my WordPress website.
Like how to add pages or tabs to the site that are available to you at anytime.
Today I’ve added new pages for pictures and resources.

I enjoy taking pictures and would like to share with them with you through this website.
The first pictures added are from a recent trip to Charleston.
All of these pictures were taken with an iPhone 5S and are unedited. I was impressed with how they came out.
The picture above was taken while walking down the streets of Charleston.
You are welcome to use any that you like for whatever reason you may have.
I’ll be adding more so come back often to check for updates.

The resources pages is something that I plan to continually add to as well.
I want to be able to share with you things that have been helpful to me.
These will be available at any time at the top of the page.

Another page that I hope to add soon is a list of recommended books to read.

Check things out and let me know what you think.
If you find anything that you feel may be helpful to someone else please share.


The Importance of Raising Great Adults

Andy Andrews says, “We’re not trying to raise great kids. We’re trying to raise kids who become great adults.”

Our role as parents is larger than most might think.
The future of our country and this world will be shaped by how we are raising our kids today.
Kids are going to be kids for only 25% of their lives. The other 75% they will be adults functioning with whatever core values and fundamentals they have learned from their parents.

We have our kids under our control, like a boat tied to a dock. As they grow older we give them a little bit more slack in the rope at a time until eventually we have to untie the rope and set them free? All of our hard work and time spent with them then gets put to test out in the real world. Will they float or sink? Will they drift aimlessly in the open waters or will they be like a speed boat aimed in a certain direction and gunning it as fast as they can? (Hopefully in the right direction)

In order to raise great adults that are going to be able to sail in the open waters and impact this world positively we must teach our kids to have faith and trust in God, to love your family, to have a great attitude, how to face and conquer problems, how to react when things to go their way, how to deal with conflict, respect for others, work ethic, serving others and the community, to never stop learning, good morals, integrity, how to be a problem solver instead of a problem creator, how to think positively and so much more.

God has blessed my wife and I with 3 boys. I love them and cherish every moment that I can get with them.
But I realize that they will not be kids forever and that their most important and influential days are ahead of them.
They really are great kids, but my goal is that they will become great adults.

How about you? Have you ever thought about it that way?
Please share what you think by commenting below.
If you would like to be sure to receive future posts from me, enter your email address in the “Follow” link to the right.
Thank you and God bless.


Cold Fries: Another Lesson from the Drive-Thru

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We’ve all experienced it at some point.
You order a hamburger and fries through the drive-thru.
As you are taking off you reach into the bag to steal just a taste of the fries.
And why not? They always place the fries on top of everything else and they are not in a wrapper like the burgers. It’s just too easy.
What’s worse is the kids are watching your every move from the back seat, salivating and wondering if you are taking one of their fries or not.
There is nothing like good, hot, fresh french fries from the drive-thru.

You happen to pull the longest fry from the bunch and as you place it into your mouth and take the first bite your excitement turns sour when you find that they are stale and cold or luke warm at best.
Not good!

So, now what? No one likes cold fries.
Do you just drive on and deal with it?
Do you have a pity party, fuss and complain?
Do you go ahead and eat the cold fries and hope that this was just a one time event?
Is it worth the hassle to turn around and go ask for more fries?

Let’s think about it from another perspective and then decide.
What if you are the manager of the restaurant and you had no idea that your customers were getting cold fries and not happy?
Maybe there was an equipment malfunction or a new employee who just needed to be trained properly?
What about the people in the car behind you, who are going to get cold fries as well?

You have the power to change it all if you will just park the car, grab your fries, go inside and make the manager aware.
You don’t do it in a mean way, but with an attitude like you would take when helping an elderly person across the street.
You are there to help.

Now everyone is happy. Not only do you end up with freshest, hottest fries possible, but so do your kids and the people next in line that you don’t even know. Even the manager should be happy that you made him/her aware of the problem.

What if you decided not to go back and make the matter known?
Could you be mad or upset if you get cold fries the next time? No, because you didn’t do anything about it.

It’s not all about the cold fries…
It’s about thinking of others, rather than yourself.
It’s about making a difference and effecting the world around you.
It’s about helping others.
It’s about doing something about the situation you’ve been given, instead of just dealing with it and waiting for someone else to take charge.

So the next time you get cold fries, literally or figuratively, do something about it. You can make a difference; You can make your life and those around you better.
Even if it’s one fry at a time. 🙂

What do you think?
Have you ever received cold fries and gone back to get them replaced?
If so, did you have the right attitude and intent?
Please share by commenting below.

If you liked this article, the greatest compliment that you can give me is by sharing it with others.
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Do You Know Your Love Language?

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More importantly, Do you know your spouses love language?

Each and every one of us has a primary and often secondary love language.
I just recently discovered mine and now I’m excited to help others do the same.

What is a love language and why do we need to know it?
Gary Chapman, a relationship counselor, wrote a book called, “The 5 Love Languages”.
In it he explains the 5 different languages and how each one of us are uniquely gifted with one as our primary way of being loved.

If you have been married for any time at all, then you know that it’s a life long process of continually learning the differences between you and your spouse. The two of you are not the same and if you were, then one of you is not needed.
Discovering both yours and your spouses love language is a huge piece of the puzzle that will help your marriage tremendously.

The 5 Love Languages are…
1. Words of Affirmation
2. Acts of Service
3. Receiving Gifts
4. Quality Time
5. Physical Touch

Which one is yours?

Do you like to be complimented?
Do you like it when someone does something for you or helps you?
Do you like it when someone gives you something?
Do like to just hang out?
Do you like to be close to your spouse, give hugs or hold hands?

Gary Chapman offers a free test that you can take online at www.5lovelanguages.com.
There is also a free app for your phone or tablet available. Search “Love Languages” in the App Store.
It is well worth your time to go online and take the test. It only takes a few minutes.
Make sure your spouse takes the test also and then share the results with each other.

Don’t be surprised if you find out that how you prefer to be loved is completely opposite of your spouse!

That is exactly what I discovered.
Her main love language, what she values the most, was actually my least favorite way to be loved.
The score for her main love language was a 10 and my score, for that same language, was a 1.

Does that mean that we are incompatible? No way. We have been married 17 years, and counting, and love each other very much.
Figuring out what we each value the most can only make our marriage even stronger now. It can only help us to love each other more than we ever have before.

What it does mean, though, is that for me to truly love my wife, in the way that she likes to be loved, I must do the thing that I desire the least. I must sacrifice for her. That’s not easy.
But isn’t that what true love is all about anyhow. It’s about sacrifice. Putting others needs before your own.
It’s not all about me or you, when it comes to relationships and marriage.

A fun thing that you may find, after you both take the test, is that you may also have some languages in common.
For example, receiving gifts is not something that either my wife nor I like very much.
So the cool thing is that when it comes to birthdays and anniversaries, buying the perfect gift is something that we may not need to stress out about.
The focus should actually be put on giving each other what we value the most, which is likely going to be different, our primary love language.

Go online and take the test today. Then share what you learned.
If this has been helpful to you , please share it with others.
Together, we can make a difference.


Are You Others-Centered or Self-Centered?

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Most of us are likely familiar with the term “self-centered”, but how many of you have heard of the term “others-centered”.

I learned of this term by reading the late Zig Ziglar’s, “Born to Win” book.
Before then I can honestly say that I have never heard the term before and it really struck a chord in my life.

What are we here on this earth for?
Is it all about us or is it all about others?

Take a look at the bullseye picture above and let’s assume that is your world.
If you placed a picture of someone in the center, who would you see?

Would you see a picture of yourself or would you see a picture of your family, your wife, your kids, your friends.

Everything that we do should be centered around others.

Pray for others
Love others
Serve others
Cook for others
Give to others

One of Zig Ziglar’s most popular sayings was this…
“If you help enough others get what they want, then you will eventually get what you want”

When you become Others-Centered instead of Self-Centered your life changes for ever.

Try it today and every day and see how you can be a blessing to others.


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