Raising A Courageous Child

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Do you want your child to be courageous or a snowflake?

I assume you want your child to take on the world, despite hurtful words or actions aimed at them. During this final installment on building godly character in our children, we’ll focus on courage, the most necessary virtue.

Our verse this week is taken from Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth. Those early Christians were struggling to stay on the path of righteousness God had laid out for them so Paul gave them some words of instruction and encouragement.

As the church in Corinth, we, too, struggle with living amongst a hostile culture. Messages are constantly coming at you and your children which undermine everything Jesus taught. So, Paul’s instruction to the early church seems appropriate to us today.

Paul told the church to “be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” We can assume if Paul were speaking to us today, he’d say the same thing.

How can your children be on their guard? First, they must know the biblical truths of how God loves them and wants them to conduct themselves. They must know the Bible and I strongly encourage you to have them memorize Scripture, such as the one we’re covering today. (This chart will help>>> 7 DAYS AND 7 WAYS CHART ) When they know what behaviors God desires, it’ll be easier for them to be on guard for what behaviors God does not prefer.

If your child were confronted with hurtful words by a peer, is your child prepared to stand firm in their faith? Do they have the necessary courage to not go with the flow of the culture? Without faith in God’s love and righteousness, they will not be able to sustain the strength on their own.

I find it helpful when I teach children, to always point back to Jesus. Did Jesus have courage? Did Jesus go along with the culture?

Some of you may recall the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) slogan. Help your child learn WWJD. So when someone encourages them to do a certain thing, they’ll ask themselves, “Would Jesus say these words or do this action?” “Would Jesus cheat on this test?” “Would Jesus (you fill in the blank)?”

Courage is required to live life with godly character. It takes courage to respect those who disrespect you, to show love to those hard to love, to always tell the truth, to do your work when you prefer to play, to not throw in the towel when the going gets tough, or to control your actions and words. All of it requires COURAGE.

Jesus had the courage to die on a cross for actions He did not commit. Anything we or our children face pales in comparison to the cross. Keep this truth close to your heart.

Love y’all,

Ginny

Pray along with me: “Dear Lord, help me teach my children your word so they’ll have the ability to show courage and do what you desire for them. Amen.”

 

 

Don’t Quit

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Every parent wants their child to be successful and smart. Right?

A person’s natural level of intelligence is not really something one can control, kind of like who your parents are or your race. You get what you get, at least until we figure out how to create perfection via genetics. In the meantime, we’re left to make the best of what we have.

In America, new parents begin early setting their children up for success by getting their children ready for school. We encourage them to teach colors, numbers, etc. There are bookoodles of learning apps and television shows aimed here.

While those academic things are important, they are not the single greatest factor in determining whether or not your child will be successful. The experts always tell us the single greatest predictor of success is whether a child is persistent or not. And…how well he/she can delay gratification.

Please take a moment and ask yourself, “Is my child learning persistence and delayed gratification while ‘learning’ in a virtual play world?”

I placed the word learning in quotes because I’m doubtful they’re learning much real-world information. More helpful to their success and well-rounded development would be things such as eye contact with adults, sharing, dealing with other children, not interrupting others, and handling frustration and anger appropriately. They are not learning those things on a tablet or glued to PBS. Watching a TV show about handling anger isn’t the same thing as having your sister break your favorite toy and not hitting her or breaking her toy. That’s real world vs. the virtual world.

You may believe your child is learning persistence because they spend sooo much time on that tablet ‘learning’. Watch them closely for about thirty minutes. See how long they actually work on one skill, such as learning the letter ‘A’. What they’re likely doing is flitting from one task to another like a butterfly, so they’re never bored or unsuccessful for long.  While there are age differences to factor in, it is never normal for young children (younger than 10) to be sedentary for very long. This is not normal and is not healthy. See my earlier post on self-control and blowing off steam.

Here is a helpful idea to teach persistence and delayed gratification. Find a real-life role model. When Tim Tebow was young, he already wanted to play football. So his mother found him a role model–Danny Wuerffel. Both were examples of young Christian men who displayed talent paired with exemplary persistence. You can do something like that, as well.

When it comes to your child’s success as a Christian, they must learn persistence and delayed gratification. The Christian life is certainly not a bed of roses. It is filled with hills and valleys. I look to God as the best example for younger children. Is there a better example of never relenting, never ceasing, never failing persistence than God’s love for us? He never quits on us. Never.

You want your children to be successful in life, so do I. While I can’t do anything about your or your child’s level of intelligence, I can share with you the key ingredient to success–it is persistence.

I’ll end with this quote:

“Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate about what you do. That’s having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That’s having a life of success. That’s what having a life of meaning is.” – Tim Tebow

Would love to hear your thoughts on this post. Please comment below.

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. Final thoughts:

  1. Here’s the link to my children’s song “Giddy Up”. It’s about persistence/perseverance.
  2. July newsletter coming soon. Have you signed up yet? This month I’m sharing thoughts on a mom’s most important job PLUS many great book recommendations for you and your children. And, you really don’t want to miss the boots I found on Pinterest.

Here’s What’s Missing

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“Children today can’t seem to control themselves.” If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times.

Maybe you’ve said it yourself…or, at least thought it.

Since I work with young children and families, I’m on the front lines of the behavior and parenting styles of today. And yes, it is mostly true that children today can’t seem to control their impulses to speak or move, as much as in years past.

There are many possible reasons for this and little hard evidence backs up any of it. But, here’s what I think and it is only what I think.

  1. Children today are encouraged to go from one thing to another because they play on video games from toddler ages. Yes, those “learning apps” are not teaching persistence, they are promoting short attention spans.
  2. Children today are too cooped up. From infancy, they are almost constantly restrained in a carrier, a bumbo seat, or an exersaucer. Later, they move up to car seats and strollers. They rarely have the freedom to move around and explore without a hovering parent.
  3. Play is too structured and academically oriented. A toddler does not need to know letters and colors as much as they need to know how to deal with anger, not getting their way, and other social skills.
  4. Children need a variety of physical play: swings, slides, climbing, running, spinning, jumping, riding bicycles, etc. They need a lot of this each and every day. I am not talking about organized PE, I’m referring to free play with other children.
  5. Children need one on one time with children to learn how to apologize, forgive, what it feels like to get hit, bumped, shoved, etc. They need to learn how to handle themselves with confidence on a playground without depending on an adult to save them from every little incident.
  6. They need fewer toys to play with. Yes, you read that right. Too many toys! Too many electronic toys! They need things that don’t entertain them constantly because then they’ll expect everything to entertain them–even adults.

As a pediatric physical therapist, I’m totally focused on getting children active and participating in physical activity. But, I also want them to follow the Scripture, “A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”

What I think is missing today are adequate opportunities for children to “blow off steam.” When we see children fidgeting or getting anxious, their bodies may be telling us they need some time to move. If we don’t give children these times and if we don’t stop keeping them too cooped up, they will get frustrated and angry. (Pssst. Adults have the same needs.)

Let’s do the hard work of parenting, friends. Our children deserve better. Life can be hard and frustrating, but God did not give us a safe-space, He gave us a way to live in an unsafe space and learning self-control is essential to surviving in an unsafe world.

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. My funny song, Freeze, will help you teach them to get their bodies quietened down. Click here.

Join the conversation and share your thoughts in the comments below.

Children Need Chores

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“Does your child pick up her toys when asked?” I waited.

The young mom looked bewildered as she pondered her answer. Continue reading “Children Need Chores”

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!

[Special Edition]

Before our last presidential election, many of us prayed (and continue to pray) for the unseen to become seen. Well God has answered and continues to answer, those prayers.

Now I pray, and I ask you to join me, for the fortitude to keep my eyes on the poisonous revelations and to not shy away from holding the light steady as we march the guilty to their just punishments.

I pray for us to not lose hope in America and for us to turn our attention back to our founding principles which were all built on God and His truths.

I pray for wisdom and peace in dealing with those I disagree with, sometimes vehemently so.

I ask for eyes to see what God wants me to do and to accept what action He gives me.

I ask for perseverance to stay the course when the rewards or blue ribbons don’t come.

I pray for discernment with whom I can work and with whom I can’t.

I pray God, let the cleansing begin with me.

Please join me for the next #40daysofprayerforAmerica

If you feel led, comment below if you are participating.

Also, please share on all of your social media platforms and use the #40daysofprayerforAmerica  and #riseup hashtags.

Let’s get this prayer chain trending!

Love y’all,

Ginny

 

 

Houston? We have a problem.

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The cultural handwringing continues.

Our president doesn’t tell the truth. Our justice department isn’t telling the truth. Our church leadership isn’t telling the truth. Our news media isn’t telling the truth.

What’s a parent to do?

Let’s ask ourselves these questions:

  • Do I tell the truth ALL the time?
  • Or, do I shade the truth to my best advantage?

Our children are inundated with lies and this will continue throughout their entire lives. Social media and our advanced technologies have only magnified this fact. It is impossible to tell truth from fiction in the virtual world.

That is one essential danger of allowing your children to inhabit the virtual world. They need to stay grounded in reality where it is necessary to face, and learn to deal with, the imperfections of the world.

God knows the world is broken and He knows we’re broken. However, does He say, “Go ahead and act like the world?”  No.

Does He prefer we live in our make-believe creations?

No. I don’t think so.

He calls us to stay engaged in the real world where people lie, cheat, steal, and kill each other. A place no one really prefers to be, but it is the place we humans, without God, have created.

Now, we humans, thinking ourselves so intelligent, have discovered a way to escape this awful place we have created. It’s called the internet.

Houston? We have a problem.

Before you despair and leave me to check Facebook, here’s some hope:

  • Pray over your own conduct with regard to honesty
  • Begin to improve in this area (little by little)
  • Refrain from pointing fingers at the lies of others, without first acknowledging your own failures in this area
  • Hold your children to a high standard of honesty (you know they’ll falter, we all do, but God still keeps the standard high)
  • Be the moral gatekeeper in your house

Yes, our culture is rotten. Everyone is dishonest and self-seeking. It’s called sin. It is what Man truly is, rotten and self-seeking.

Help your children learn the truth about God and His standards of behavior. Teach them about sin and how we are all guilty of it. Help them discover grace and let them see you offer it to others. Dealing with the reality of our world, with godly character, will help them deal with all the disappointments that will come their way.

Do you have a successful parent tip to share or a story we may enjoy? Please comment below. Others need encouragement.

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. Write this verse on an index card and post it on your refrigerator. You and your children can memorize it together.

“Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies.” Psalm 34:13

 

 

 

They Need A Gatekeeper

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Last week I focused on the Golden Rule. This week we’ll do a review of the biblical instruction to be kind. Our memory verse is “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32.

While our godless culture does not promote the authority of God as our creator, it does try to teach us to be kind.  They tell us to stop bullying or say nice things to each other. But…how’s that working?

If you take a cursory view of TV, movies, or video games you will not get the impression you’re being sold kindness in words and deeds.

If you take a brief listen (and, that’s about all I can take) of many of today’s pop or hip hop songs, yeah…no kindness there.

Social media apps? Don’t get me started on the absolute destructiveness of these.

The cultural gods preach from behind their glass-walled houses or from their stages of power about how awful our culture is. While at the same time, doing everything within their power to take God out of it.

Do I expect this to change? No.

What I expect to change is you. You are the change agent, the gatekeeper,  and you have power. Decide now, you’re going to take a different course.

Begin at the beginning and teach your children they are loved by their Creator God. He placed them here and wants the best for them. When they understand each of us is equal and special in God’s eyes, it will be easier for them to resist seeing themselves as better or higher or greater. It becomes more natural to apply the Golden Rule.

Need a helpful chart? Here you go>>>7 DAYS AND 7 WAYS CHART

Need some children’s songs to help teach compassion? Here’s a link>>>

The culture is against you. Do not wait for that to change before you change how you raise your children. Teach them to be kind with their actions and words. Model it right in your own home. Hold them to a higher standard of behavior.

Final homework for you, dear mom or dad:

Write down your overarching goal for your child. I’ll help you get started by sharing mine. My overall goal for my sons was “to raise godly men who were capable of supporting a family and building a stable home for their children.”

When you form the goal, it helps distill your course of action.  For example, if your goal is similar to mine, then how would playing baseball on Sundays help you achieve that goal? Or, would it be better to attend church and do some other type of sport?

If you’ve read this far, I’m assuming you aren’t happy with the culture either. Welcome. You’ve found others who are with you on the journey and will support you and encourage you to stay strong.

God has appointed you the gatekeeper. It’s up to you what gets inside the fence where your children are.

The wolves of the culture are prowling. God’s ways are best to defeat them.

Love y’all,

Ginny

P.S. What’s your greatest fear for your children? What’s your greatest desire for them? Drop a comment below and let’s get this conversation started.