Here’s What’s Missing

weeklywalk41

“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.

Houston? We have a problem.

weeklywalk39

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

 

 

 

God Rested. Why aren’t you?

weeklywalk35

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

P.S. Sign up for my newsletter (in the popup window) and receive a FREE gift!

Plus follow me on Twitter, Instagram, PLUS  Pinterest (where you can see all the boots I love).

 

Put Up A Fence

Weekly Walk with Ginny

Don’t miss the wisdom this blog will contain over the next six weeks. From now until the end of May is one of the busiest seasons for many of you, especially if you are a parent of school-aged children or a teacher.

So, here at The Boot, we want to make it a bit easier for you.

This week let’s focus on the purpose of fences. Stay with me on this.

One of the ways we stress ourselves out is we get too involved and focused on other people’s business. In today’s digital world, everybody puts their business in the public square, so it’s easy to be a busybody.

Our Scripture this week is from 1 Thessalonians 4: 11, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and work with your hands…” It sounds so calming doesn’t it?

Does anyone today lead a quiet life? Do you? Between text alerts and social media beeps, everyone else’s business tweets it’s way into your quiet time, into your time with your children, and into your bedroom.

In the old days, people kept their business private. Conversations were contained in the home across the kitchen table or in letter form. People had fences to mark their yard. It was clear, what happened on their side of the fence was their business, not anyone else’s.

As a child, I walked the streets of my small town without fear. And, I learned early in life, a fence means you stay out.

The Godly wisdom for this week is to put up a fence. Stop keeping up with everybody’s kids and their vacations. Stop drooling over their new kitchen remodel or their latest photo of what they ate last night. Truly, it isn’t any of your business. Yes, your “friends” have posted their personal business on a public forum, but you can choose not to view it or care. Do not make their business your business.

Raise your hand if you need less stress. Okay, I see you.

Here’s what to do this week:

  • Focus more time on your own children and family
  • Visualize ways to erect fences in your life. Maybe you need to stop following certain people on social media or mute your alerts during the evenings
  • Do not concern yourself with what is on the other side of your fences
  • Always take daily walks and spend quiet time with God

The Father himself tells us to lead a quiet life, so go ahead and take Him up on it.

Love y’all,

Ginny

ginnycruz.com