We are home from the hospital!! It always takes a few days to adjust back to life and not be on pins and needles. We rejoice that things went as smoothly as could have and look forward to Todd having less medicine induced side effects. That's all for now, Kim
I had the privilege this past Saturday to chat with Jenni and Jody on the radio station WSRQ out of Sarasota, Florida. We discussed Explain, Show and Practice on their program "Parenting on Purpose". Below is the link if you would like to take a listen.
Parenting on Purpose | WSRQ Sarasota 98.9 FM 106.9 FM 1220 AM | Sarasota Talk Radio
Parenting on Purpose | WSRQ Sarasota 98.9 FM 106.9 FM...View on sarasotatalkradio.comPreview by Yahoo
While my children were still preschool age, I started to attend a local homeschool support group. One evening they covered learning styles. A mom shared that boys often need some activity to help them learn. It was suggested to let boys run, bike, or do anything physical for ten minutes in between subjects. That seemed like a good tip to stow away for the future.
Later in the meeting another mom shared that her son did better at focusing if he was moving. To have him sit completely still took all his focus. As she would read aloud to her children this boy would often roll back and forth across the floor. When the session was over, she would ask questions’ regarding what was read and
as long as he could answer correctly, the rolling privilege was
This was hard for me to swallow at the time; it didn’t fit into my sit in straight rows schooling experience. Still I pondered it. Years later I was thankful for this wisdom; it allowed me to help my children listen verses demanding they sit perfectly still all day long.
When they were young and it was read aloud time I would set them at the table with play dough to squeeze and shape. Other times I would hand them a pile of clothes pins to quietly clip together as I read. A young mom I know has her children string wooden beads while she reads to them. Even allowing them to stand at the table and color was a nice change for them from sitting all day.
I am all about self-control and believe that sitting still is a skill all children need to learn. Yet, sitting still all day is too much. Allowing an outlet for extra energy helps when it comes to the times when sitting still is a must.
A quick update on my husband's health. Although he has been stable as far as the doctor's are concerned, Todd has been experiencing more symptoms over the past few months. We recently went to see a new doctor that specializes in ARVD and he has decided to change Todd's main medication.
The complication with this is, the current medication has built up in Todd's system, so he needs to get it all out of his system before he can try another one. Yesterday we began two weeks off of his medication. Assuming all goes smoothly, Todd will then be in the hospital two to three days as he starts the new medication.
Although we have peace about this decision and process, we are still nervous. I am battling waves of fear, which have been gone for a good while. We KNOW the Lord is in control and He is with us. Our battle is to fight our imaginations and to lean on the strength we have for today and not worry about tomorrow.
Thank you to all of you that love us and we covet any prayers when you think of us in the next few weeks.
Sitting at the supper table as a middle schooler, I wanted the butter which was on the other side of the table. I started to reach for it when a booming voice said, “Sit down. Keep your buns on your chair.” Okay, but what then? I was seriously frozen; I was clueless how to get the butter without lifting myself off my chair.
As the parent of small children, I would often tell my children not to do this or that. At times I could see a confused look on their face that brought back this memory from my childhood. I realized I was not helping them by just telling them what not to do; I needed to help them by telling them what to do.
That realization only complicated matters for me, because at times I didn’t know what I wanted my child to do or what was the “right” thing to do, I just knew I didn’t want them to do what they were doing.
While taking the time to think through situations we didn’t like and actually pondering what would be a better way for our child to act, my husband and I began to see a pattern developing.
First, we noticed the need to identify the character trait lacking in any situation. Again, this required not just labeling but understanding what we meant and expected when we declared a character trait.
For example, what does it mean to obey? We may all think we know what that means, but do we? As we named a character trait we defined it in a way that made sense to us. So we define obedience as: doing what you are told, when you are told and with a good attitude.
This made it possible for us to distinguish if a child had obeyed. If a child had not fulfilled all three parts of obedience then they had not obeyed. O boy, that made discerning so much easier.
Secondly, we wanted to help instill that trait into day to day situations.
But what did that instilling look like?
This was not an overnight thing, but we fashioned a model we call: ESP (explain, show and practice) Character Training.
We explain to our children what we saw that we didn’t care for, what character we believe is lacking and how that situation could be handled better. A quick disclaimer: explaining is not lecturing. Lecturing is a surefire way to turn a child’s eyes glossy. Explaining is relating, discussing a real and relevant situation. In general, to keep from lecturing, use as few words as possible.
Next, we would show and practice what we wanted the scenario to look like next time. When the children were younger, say under ten, we would literally role play situations. Sometimes we would role play how NOT to do situations too. Why? Because it can be fun to be silly and “act” in ways mom doesn’t normally allow. Also, now mom and dad know the child knows what not to do and the child can be held to that line.
As our children got older we would just talk through what a situation should look like to “show” them what we wanted.
Pointing out character throughout the day, week, and month became standard. We would praise success and explain, show and practice when we came up short. Again, when our children were small we had a time set aside each day that we would practice character. One benefit of this “regular” time was it made it “normal” to discuss character and how to act when they got older.
“What is that to you?”
Hear the attitude? Most of us interpret that comment as a shutdown, a slam.
But Jesus says these exact words and it is not meant to insult but to redirect thinking.
John 21: 22 “Jesus said unto him (Peter),”If I want him to tarry until I come, what is that to you? Follow Me.”
The Lord doesn’t want us to compare…He wants each of us to follow Him. When our eyes start to look around and weigh us down with comparisons remember this, “What is that to you? Follow Me.”
As parents, we can let go of trying to make life fair, instead we can point each child to obedience. Children are told to obey their parents; they are not promised to be treated like another child. Don’t get sucked into this vortex of comparison, stay focused and clear. Point each child to obeying the Lord by obeying you. There is no comparison in “Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.” Ephesians 6:1
When comparison comes, redirect your thinking by reminding either yourself or your children what Jesus says, “What is that to you? Follow Me.”
Sometimes we can get confused and think we cannot train character because we think the way we are is our God given personality and that cannot be changed. There is a difference between personality and character. Let me try and explain this by using my sister and myself as an example.
People have referred to her as the loud, fun one and they call me the quiet, sweet one. (believe me quiet doesn’t always equal sweet, it may only appear that way) So our personalities are very different. BUT we both struggle with the same character flaw, selfishness. We need to learn to use our personalities to honor others.
For me, I need to work on not thinking about my own feelings so much and look to meet the needs of those around me. When I see someone standing alone, I need to get over my own uncomfortable feelings and try to make them feel more comfortable.
On the other hand, my sister may need to work on being quiet with a friend and allowing them the time and space to express themselves. She may have to focus on being slow to speak and quick to listen, while I need to take the risk to speak and not just listen.
So although our personalities have strengths and weaknesses, our personality does not equal our character. You may want to go to a party with my sister and you may want to go out to coffee with me, but her and I both need to continue to grow in the character of honoring others with our personality.
Yesterday I raised my voice at my daughter. It was about math. She was not coming to me with her questions. After several days, I wanted to correct her math. When I looked at her lessons she had just as many question marks on her page as she did answers. What?! Each day I had asked her if she had done her math. Each day she had told me “yes”.
I was frustrated because I felt she had misled me. She was hurt because she thought we had a system of correcting every few days. My husband showed me we had a break down in our communication.
Practically, my husband helped me to see I needed to set up a system that was clear to both of us, including when and where to do math. Secondly, he explained my question of “Did you do your math?” was not clear enough. I need to ask, “Do you have any questions on your math?” or “Did you do all the problems in your math?” Can you believe that a different question never crossed my mind?
Bigger than these practical steps is a lesson the Lord showed me through this scenario. This morning as I was reading my Bible I read Philippians 4:5 “Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
Right away I was reminded of my lack of gentleness with my daughter. I knew I needed to apologize. But, that wasn’t all; the verse goes on to say “The Lord is near.”
I can imagine people interpreting this as, “Oh no, the Lord is near, I better be good. He is watching, He is going to be upset if I mess up.” But, that is not what I heard when I read this.
As I replayed the scene from the day before, I saw Jesus by me declaring His love for me. His declaration of love filled my tank, so I was able to lean on Him for wisdom and guidance.
What normally happens and happened yesterday is when I feel defensive, I raise my voice. I speak the first thing that comes to mind and want to win, not caring about gentleness. If I could see the Lord as loving me when I feel attacked or wronged, I could lean on that love and extend it to the other person.
In the end, when I apologized to my daughter and shared the verse the Lord had used to speak to me, she quickly forgave me, but at the same time I could see she was glad to see the Lord corrects me too.