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.

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!

 

 

Still Mad?

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I have a short fuse. And, I’ve always been that way.
What about you?

Are you quick to pop off and say something you shouldn’t?

Are you prone to cursing?

Or, are do you get your feelings hurt very easily?

I answered ‘yes’ to each of the above questions. What were your answers?

Even if you answered ‘no’ to some or most of the above questions, you still get angry. It may take you longer to get hot under the collar, but you eventually get to your tipping point. Everyone does.

This week please remember to take your walks. When I am angry, I need a minimum of thirty minutes, and usually, upwards of an hour to ‘walk it off.’

Here on The Boot, we promote building your life on old truths. Well, here’s one you need to learn– the old adage of ‘walking it off.’ It works. But, do not take your cell phone when you go.

God will provide everything you need and what you need is the sound of the waves, the smell of the salt air, the cawing of the seagulls, or the sand between your toes. Nature is what you need.

I also encourage you to memorize this week’s Scripture and pray over it as you take your steps. God will give you insights as you do.

Finally, take note we are instructed to take charge of our anger and let it go.

No one can do that for you–not even God. He can give you the strength and the grace, but you have to make the decision to move on.

Abundance and peace are on the other side of anger. I pray you find it this week.

Love y’all,

Ginny
ginnycruz.com

 

Feeling Down?

Weekly Walk with Ginny

How are you?

We ask that of each other often, don’t we? And the common response we give when asked is, “I’m fine.”

But, are we…fine.

Oftentimes, we are far from fine. But, we know when the person asked us, they didn’t really want to know how we were. It was just the polite thing to ask.

But, I am asking you, “How are you?”

Our Scripture this week is Psalm 42: 5 where David asks, first to himself, “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?”

I don’t know about you, but I feel much better about myself knowing David talked to himself, as I do.

I question my thoughts all the time…sometimes out loud.

“Why are you so sad?”

“Why are you thinking that?”

“Why are you focused on that?”

David was asking his soul similar questions. But, here’s what’s different. He immediately tells his soul, “Put your hope in God, for I will praise him my Savior and my God.”

It’s like he was giving himself a good talking to. Kind of like when my Grandma used to say, “time to get over yourself.”

This week as you do your daily walks, I encourage you to memorize this Scripture and ponder how you can use the same method David used. Pull yourself out of the doldrums by praising God.

It’s the biblical way to handle doldrums or downcast spirits and here on The Boot, we believe God’s ways are best. ‘Cause they are.

Love y’all,

Ginny

 

 

 

What’s Your Job?

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We spend most of our lives working or preparing for work. From middle school to adulthood, we’re figuring out what we want to be when we grow up. What are our interests? What are our talents? What do we love?

 2 Thessalonians 3: 10 says, “…’If a man will not work, he shall not eat.'” We are clearly instructed as followers of Jesus to work and feed our families. To put it more conversationally, we are to pull our own weight. We are not to rely on the charity of others when we are capable of taking care of our own needs.

But, children of God are also called for other jobs. We are workers in the kingdom and we have God-given gifts.

Romans 12:6-8 tells us “We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man’s gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”

Which of those descriptions are you? Don’t know? Maybe you’ve never thought about it.

I hope you’ll be prompted by the Spirit to take the time to discover your talents or God-given gifts. Once you’ve got a prompting, Pray for God to show you how to use that gift to build up His kingdom.

There are no jobs more important than God’s jobs. Sunday school teachers, deacons, preachers, volunteers at the food kitchen, visitors of the sick and infirmed are always needed. The work is vital and never-ending. You are needed!

What is your job going to be? Let today be the day you say, “Yes, God. I’ll help.”

______________________________

Love y’all,

Ginny