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

 

 

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.

 

Bring Back the Golden Rule

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Summer has finally arrived! The children are free of homework and so are you. Yay!!!

But, it won’t be long before your children are whining, “We’re bored.” They’ll tire of swimming, running around all day in swimsuits or pajamas, and watching TV.

So what’s a mom to do? You’ve come to the right place. I want to encourage you to take the next seven or so weeks and teach your children the most important thing you are to teach them–how to be a good person.

The world tells us, no…pressures us, to get our children ready. Ready for school by learning colors, shapes, and letters before they even register. Ready for sports and potential scholarships by signing them up for pee wee ball, swim teams, or basketball. Start early or you’ll miss out we’re told.

Here’s a question for you: while they’re learning those other skills, who teaches them to be a good person? A person who is honest and trustworthy, one who persists through adversity, one who controls their mouth and bodies, one who can be kind and treat others as they want to be treated, one who is brave?

Will the world teach them these virtues? The overworked and underpaid daycare teachers? The overworked and underpaid school teachers? The coaches? The Disney Channel or PBS?

No. Many may try, but let’s get real here…they aren’t paid to do that. They are paid for academic or athletic performance. They are in the business of teaching about fantasies or global warming. They may care but they are not responsible for teaching godly morals.

Teaching godly morals to your children is your job. And, it may be your most important one. Agree?

If you do, let’s start this summer. Don’t get anxious ’cause I’ve developed a chart and some songs to help.

Download the >>7 DAYS AND 7 WAYS CHART

Here’s the link for songs

This week, let’s work on teaching the Golden Rule. Remember it?

It may be old, but it’s still true,

treat other people like you want them to treat you

 (lyric from The Golden Rule song)

No matter what your children achieve in life, whether they become an All American, a plumber, or the head of a major corporation, you and all of us want them to be a good person. Good, so they don’t lose their standing or fine name and good, so they contribute to a better community and our overall society.

This is God’s charge to you. You are to “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6

There is no one to delegate to and no app to do it for you. It takes work and consistent performance on your part to model what you desire for them to copy.

Before you throw up your hands, think about this…what do you truly wish for your children? For them to make lots of money and be successful (whatever that means) or do you want them to be good and decent at whatever they do in life?

When you watch the news, you probably ask yourself this question, “What’s wrong?” We have children killing each other, we have teachers cheating on test scores, we have leaders skimming profits for themselves, and we have the world winking and, in effect, telling our children it’s okay.

Well, we know it isn’t. You can’t do anything about what others do, but you can teach your children the right ways. No one else will.

This week, join me in bringing back the Golden Rule. It’s one of God’s ways. Make sure you practice it and your children do, too.

God’s ways are best today and always.

Love y’all,

Ginny.

P.S. I’d love your comments on how this week goes. Join me on social media, too!

 

 

God Rested. Why aren’t you?

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Welcome to our mini-series on fear, anxiety, and control. Last week’s post was entitled Remember Follow the Leader? Go back and read it, if you’d like.

In last week’s post, I wrote about how I had to learn to follow God’s plans and be willing to put aside my own ideas of how things needed to go. We reviewed how smart the ducklings are who follow their mother so they stay safe. We need to be as smart as they are and follow our leader–God. He is our creator and He knows best.

One thing I had to learn during my time of panic attacks and over scheduling was how to say no. No is such a small word, but I had such a difficult time saying it.

Before God revealed to me why I couldn’t seem to say no, I felt pretty good about how much I could handle. You’ve heard it said, “if you want something done, ask a busy person.” I took pride in how much I could get done. I’m a list maker and a lover of checking things off my list.

Our culture has made us so connected via technology, we can get even more done. We’re never really clocked out at work. We’re never really out of touch because we live with our phone attached to us. We even get anxious if it isn’t. I wrote in Put Up A Fence how we need to fence off our personal lives from the web and to decrease our interest in other people’s lives.

Yes, I know we can’t completely disconnect from our fast-paced culture. But, we can control our schedule and say no to some things.  Let’s review what God has to say about rest. Sometimes to find the truth, one has to go back to the beginning. So, we’ll review Genesis 2:2

“By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

God, the creator of the universe, found it wise to rest. He even commanded us in Exodus 20: 9

“Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not work…”

Why would God rest? Did He need to? Or, did He pattern for us what He knew would be best for our physical, mental, and spiritual health?

Does it matter? Not to me. Here’s what I know:

He rested, He commanded us to rest and I do much better when I rest.

All things in creation have a season and I learned not all activities needed to occur in the same season. For example, when my children were involved in band and tennis, both requiring a lot of driving on my part, that wasn’t the correct season for me to be president of the neighborhood watch. That could occur in another season of life.

This week look at your schedule and take control of it. Pray over every item and ask God what you need to say no to. I encourage you to learn to embrace the power of saying no–it is very freeing.

I’m praying for you this week.

Love y’all,

Ginny

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