Tag Archives: parenting

The Gold Standard for Raising Kids

A couple of weeks ago I brought to you a question that was asked by Jones, to parents, in the book “The Noticer Returns” by Andy Andrews.
What is the Gold Standard for Raising Children?”

Today, I would like to share with you what I believe to be the answer to that question.

Jesus actually set the standard over 2000 years ago and is recorded in the following verses of the Bible.

Matthew 22:37-40
“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Yes, it is as simple as that. We must teach our children to love God and love others. If every parent in the world can accomplish those two things, what else is there to do? The world that we live in would be as God originally intended it.

How to teach our kids to love God.

We must be an example to our children by first loving God ourselves and then teach them His Word. Deuteronomy chapter 6 says it well.

Deu 6:5 And thou shalt love The Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.
Deu 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:
Deu 6:7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

God and His Word should be the center of everything that we do. We must first love God with all of our heart, soul and might and then we must teach this to our children in everything that we do; in the home, outside the home, when we go to bed and when we get up.

Pray with you kids.
Read the Bible together.
Go to church more than once per week.
Lead a God centered home form the time they are born until they are grown and they will get it.

How to teach our kids to love others.

Matthew 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.

Luke 6:31 And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

These two scriptures are often referred to as the Golden Rule by which we should live. The best way to teach our kids to live by this rule is to to live it ourselves. We must show them by example.
Look for every opportunity that you can to reinforce this and teach it to them. Life is all about choices that we make each and every day; at home, at school, at work, and with friends. The opportunities to teach them to treat others as they would want to be treated are endless.
Read some more of Luke chapter 6. Jesus gives us some great examples of how we should treat others.

The standard is set. It has been for a long time. We just have to live it and teach it. The future is in our hands; in our kids, and we as parents have the responsibility to show them how to live.

If you found this helpful please take a moment to share it with others.
We can’t do it alone. In order to make the biggest impact we must all work together with one purpose.

Love God and love others.

(Enter your email address in the “Follow Me” link to the right and future posts from me will go straight to your inbox. Thank you and God bless.)


Your Answers: The Results Parents Are Hoping For

“In order for all of us to agree upon a consistent way of parenting—a standard—we must first identify and then agree upon the ultimate results we wish to see in our children when they become adults.” – Jones, The Noticer Returns by Andy Andrews

I asked for your help in coming up with some results that we would like to see in our kids as they grow into adults. Here is what you said…
(Not listed in any particular order)

To have compassion
To be kind
To be loving
To be a christian
To be independant
To be aware
To believe in God
To be honest with themselves
To be Non-addicted
To be responsible
To seek God in everything they do
To be patient
To be the best you can be
To make wise choices
To have a good work ethic
To love their spouse
To be thankful
To be positive
To be healthy
To treat others at you want to be treated

Thank you to everyone that took a moment to respond.
It would be hard to believe that any parent would disagree with anything on this list. Thus, it would seem fair to assume that we can agree on the results that we want to see in our kids. The real challenge is to see if it is possible for parents to agree on a standard or best method for achieving those results.

In my next post I’ll lay out a standard which I believe, if followed, will have a great chance of leading to the results that every parent hopes to see.

What do you think?


What Is The Gold Standard for Raising Children? (Part 2)

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In the book, The Noticer Returns, by Andy Andrews, Jones is leading a parenting class. He asks those in the class three questions.

1) “As parents, do you believe that you are doing the very best you can?”
2) “If society’s best parents—the most loving, the most determined, the most concerned parents—are all raising their children by setting their sights on a target called ‘doing the best we can,’ is anyone aiming at the same thing?”
3) “What do today’s parents agree is the gold standard for raising children?”

In response to the first question, most truly loving and caring parents would say that, of course, they are doing the best that they can and then may even respond with their own question, “What’s wrong with that?”
There is nothing wrong with doing the best that you can, but is that good enough? If everyone is truly doing the best that they can, then what is it that everyone is “doing”? Are we all doing the same thing or is everyone just raising their kids how they see fit.
Is there one standard by which everyone parents?

Here is an excerpt from the book that tells us how Jones answers this question…

Suddenly the old man was animated. He rose from the chair and passionately declared the conclusion to which he had come. “You see, my friends,” he said, “by not addressing the issue of an accepted standard, today’s parents have defaulted into an uncomfortable agreement with each other. They have agreed that there will not be a standard for raising our children.
“One set of parents teaches their daughter to say ‘yes ma’am’ and ‘no sir.’ Another couple contends that standard of behavior to be a matter of opinion.”
“One parent demands her boys dress in trousers that are belted at the waist. Her boys must wear their ball caps with the bill pointed to the front, and those caps are to be removed, with no exceptions, when indoors. That parent’s next-door neighbor, on the other hand, might have entirely different rules about what clothes her children are allowed to wear and how they are allowed to wear them. Meanwhile, society lives with increasingly discouraging results.”
Kelli spoke. “So you are saying there are no standards?”
“Quite the contrary,” Jones replied. “I am saying that there are many different standards. That is essentially why there is a vast array of parenting books published every year, each touting new methods or different ways to measure a child’s success. There are scores of classes—most larger than this one—all being taught by a countless number of people who claim to be experts in the field of parenting.”

Jones goes on in the book with an analogy of planting a fruit tree and raising it. Most trees that you go buy at the store come with instructions on how to plant and care for that tree in order for it to produce good fruit. If you follow those instructions your chances of growing a tree that produces good fruit are much better than if you just stick it in the ground and ignore it.
Those instructions are the standard by which many people came together and agreed would be the best way to raise a fruit tree and get good results.

As parents, we have been given an enormous challenge in raising our kids because when they were born they did not come with an instruction manual. There are many books and lots of different opinions out there, but society has not yet came to an agreement on a single standard by which everyone should raise their children.

About the only standard that I can think of that civilized society has come up with is that parents should send their kids to school for 13 years.

Is that good enough?
Does there need to be a standard for raising children?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this.

This topic has struck a chord in me and I plan to write more about this in the coming weeks. As parents, the future is in our hands and it all starts with how we raise our kids.

Excerpts From: Andrews, Andy. “The Noticer Returns.” Thomas Nelson, 2013-07-01. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewBook?id=619416934


What Is The Gold Standard For Raising Children? (Part 1)

In Andy Andrews’ latest book, “The Noticer Returns”, Jones is leading a class on parenting.
He asks those in attendance what the gold standard is for raising children.
It ends up being a very challenging question to answer and Jones’ response will really make you think.
Before I share his response with you, I would like to give you the opportunity, just as I did while reading the book, to ponder the question and see if you can form an answer.

So, is there a gold standard for raising children? If so, what is it?
In order to answer this question, it helps to understand what a “standard” is.

According to Merriam Webster a “standard” is something that is regularly and widely used; well-established and very familiar; something established by authority, custom, or general consent as a model or example.

We have standards for many things in this world…

In sports we have standards for the size of the playing fields or courts.
In schools we have standards for passing class and moving on to the next grade.
There are standards for how to dress in sports as well as some schools and even work.
Science has all kinds of standards by which to test and proof theories.
Think about all the standards in the financial world.
What about all the standards that have been put in place for driving on the roads? (colors, shapes and lines)

There are endless examples of standards that we have created for ourselves and they are needed.
A world without standards would lead to chaos and confusion. Everybody would just be doing their own thing and making up rules as they go.

So, “What is the standard for raising children?”
Is there a well established and widely used method of raising children that has been set by some authority as a model or example?

Should we all just do the best we can and see how things turn out or is there a standard to follow?

In part 2, I will reveal what Jones said in the book and then provide my own take on it.
If you have read the book already, then you may have some idea where I’m going with this and the challenge that has been presented to us. If you have not read the book yet, I highly recommend it.

The Noticer Returns by Andy Andrews

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Thank you and God bless.

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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.


How to Deal with an Argumentative Teen

The next time you’re teen wants to get argumentative with you, ask them this question before proceeding to have a conversation with them.
“Am I dealing with a 34-year-old or a 4-year-old?”. Then treat them accordingly.
@DaveRamsey


Parenting 2014: Our Story

Our parenting journey began with the birth of Collin in October 1998. Becky and I were still young at the time, in our lower 20s. Both of our careers were still developing, but we decided that it would be best if she quit her job to stay at home with the kids. Those early years don’t last long and they are so critical in a childs’ development.

Connor was born 15 months after Collin and then Colton about 3.5 years after him. That allowed Becky 8 or 9 years to be at home with the kids before they were all in school. She continued her education while she was at home though and became an RN so that she would have something to do when the kids reached school age. We do not regret the decision for her to be at home with the kids one bit. Our kids received a lot of one on one time and that has helped them tremendously in more ways than we probably know of.

During their early years Becky and I read to them a lot and just simply spent time playing with them. I remember being on the floor a lot, letting them roll me around like a log. Blue Clues, Dora and the Wiggles were popular then as well. Collin learned to write by mimicking Steve and his Handy Dandy Notebook with a Magna Doodle that we had bought him and still to this day, I find myself singing songs like “Big Red Car” and “Fruit Salad, Yummy, Yummy”. Dora was a step ahead of Dave Ramsey, by saying, “Swiper, No swiping.” We took lots of pictures and videos and had a blast while they were young.

As the kids grew older we started them off in T-ball for a couple of years and dabbled in gymnastics, but one day Collin came home from school with a martial arts book and expressed interest in trying that out. We researched a couple options and decided to go with TKD (Tae Down Do). After Collin started, Connor got in it, then Colton and I joined. Martial arts became a family thing that we did together for about 6 or 7 years. It was a large commitment, because we were at the school for several days a week, but we all eventually met our goal and became black belts. Collin and Connor even earned their second degree.

During this time we also were introduced to a ministry called Bible Quizzing at our church and have since committed our lives to that. Bible Quizzing is a program that is meant to give kids motivation, through competition, for learning scriptures from the Bible, but we are not just talking a few scriptures. Our kids learned 300 to 500 verses each year depending on the age division they are in. We spend an hour or so each evening memorizing and reviewing scriptures together. They must know them to the point that given a unique word they can tell you what verse that word is found in and then quote the scripture word for word. I take them and other quizzers to local and national tournaments to quiz against other teams on what they have learned. Bible quizzing has changed our lives forever. If you are interested in learning more about it check out http://www.seniorbiblequizzing.com or http://www.upcquiz.com.

Even with Bible Quizzing as our main focus, the kids still love to do things many other kids do. Connor made the middle school basketball team this year and Colton plays Upward basketball, a christian based basketball league sponsored by a local church.
Collin started piano when he was 10 and has excelled at that. He performs multiple recitals each year and has joined the music ministry at the church, playing for the youth services as well as subbing in when needed for the main services. Collin has also become infatuated with the Rubix cube. He has spent countless hours mastering it to the point that he can now solve it in under 20 seconds average, with his best time so far being 12 seconds. Connor and Colton have recently began music lessons as well. One is learning guitar and the other drums. I play the bass, so my dream is that one day we can all play together as a family band.

I share all of this with you so that as I write on parenting in 2014 you will know that we are just a typical American family, but we are also rooted and grounded in our christian faith. We love God and we love family and our main goal as parents is to make those things the foundation upon which our kids are raised.

I look forward to writing on parenting this year. As we get deeper into the teenage years, I am realizing that we have a lot of learning to do if we are to stay on top of things and help our kids become what God has intended for them to be.

May God bless you in 2014


Parenting in 2014

This year I plan to focus my writing for this blog on parenting.

God has blessed Becky and I with 3 boys. At this moment 2 of them are teenagers and one of them will be there soon.
Collin is 15, Connor is 13, (soon to be 14) and Colton is 10.
Our kids are not prefect and Becky and I are no where near perfect parents, but to this point we believe that we have done as good of a job as we knew how at raising great kids.
Now, as they are getting older, our focus is not going to be so much on raising great kids, but raising kids to be great adults.

In the next post I hope to provide some credibility by sharing with you our story in raising our kids to this point.
Going forward I’ll be sharing both our successes and failures in parenting, with the goal of providing some value that you can take and use or learn from.

Parenting can be very rewarding, but it can also be very challenging as well, especially with teenagers.
We have been given an enormous responsibility. Our kids are the future and they will make an impact on society as adults, positively or negatively. We have the power to make this world a better place to live and it all starts with how good of a job that we do as parents.

My kids are waking up right now or need to be woke up and I need to turn my attention to them for a while, but I can’t wait to start by writing our story to share it with you.
If you have kids or even grandkids please enter your email address in the “Follow Me” link to the right.
Doing so will ensure that any future articles that I write will be delivered directly to you.
I want to learn from you as well and the best way to do that is to make this interactive in the comments section of each post.
Together we can help each other in the challenging role of parenting.

Have a very Happy New Year!


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.
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Thank you and God bless.


Why I Love My Boys

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This Father’s Day I am very thankful for the three boys that God has bless me with.

I do not have any daughters. I have heard how wonderful and special they are to a father, but as for me, I am perfectly content with my boys for several reasons.

  • Our last name can be carried on for another generation and with three boys there is a great chance that at least one of them will have sons, so the name will likely continue for even longer.
  • We are able to pass down clothes. (It’s hard to pass on girls clothes to a boy and vice versa)
  • Us guys can walk around the house in our underwear, if we so choose, and not have to worry about girls. (My wife is a woman, not a girl, and their mother, so she doesn’t matter)
  • Boys can share a room or bed if needed.
  • Boys don’t need 50 pair of shoes, purses and make up.
  • Boys are simple; easy to shop for and easy to get dressed.
  • Boys are less dramatic than girls.
  • Boys can get ready to go somewhere in 10 minutes.

Please don’t take me wrong. If God would have blessed me with girls I would be writing about why I love my girls, but he didn’t and I do love my boys!

Please feel free to comment and share your reasons for why you like your boys or girls.

 

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