Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Take My Advice...

Very few young adults seek someone to mentor them or to give them advice. I am so glad that we taught our children at a very young age to seek out, respect, and consider advice from others. While your children are young, be sure you encourge them to call someone that knows about different things they are going into. Encourage and even set up meetings with and for them starting at a young age to talk through different occupations they are considering, job opportunities, and direction for school, sports, etc.

Ways you can encourage this when your children are young are:

*Encourage them to speak to their teacher about questions concerning their homework or test results, and how they can do better.

*Encourage them to speak to their principal regarding opportunities to help out at the school.

*Encourage them to speak to their coaches as to why they aren't playing or strategies, asking how they can improve their game.

*Give them advice as to how to "tweak their style" as I call it. Sometimes it IS just a "tweak," a little change.

It is important to teach your children to speak to others they don't know when you are around, so they are comfortable with speaking to new people.

Now that my children are older, it is a delight to see them seeking advice from people they know are knowledgeable in certain fields before they make big decisions.  It is great to see them get wisdom from a variety of (very wise) sources before just using their own judgment period.  

Proverbs 12:15   The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

Challenge:  Teach your children to seek our advice.  Teach them to value the input of others.  Far too many young people learn to scorn others' input into their lives.  I have seen many parents undermine the advice from others and belittle others for some reason.  It is a wiser parent that teachers their children to take advice from wise people.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Working Through Problems

Children need to be taught how to handle confrontation and problems with their authorities with a good attitude, and with a successful end in mind.   Teach your children to be problem solvers with problems and they will be able to work through issues they will come across all their lives.

Can your children look at you and see a good example of how you work through problems in relationships?  Remember, how you handle problems is what defines who you are; not when you are floating down the lazy river at Disney World!

Challenge:  How do you handle problems in relationships?  How do your children handle problems?  Teach speaking the truth in love, a soft answer that turns away wrath, submitting to one another in love, preferring someone else's feelings above you own... and the multitudes of other Bible verses that teach us how to handle problems successfully.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Feeding Your Children Poison!

So many wonderful parents take special care of what they feed their children.  Often I wish more parents would be concerned about how they POISON their children's THOUGHTS and MINDS by the way they talk about other people.

I know so many people who grow up hearing only negative things from one or both parents.  Poisoning HOPE in your child is horrible!  I know many people who grow up hearing their parents pick people apart, criticize others, and undercut other people.  Poisoning LOVE in your child is VERY HORRIBLE!  I know parents who leave fractured relationships with friends and family -- they don't talk to so and so because of this, and they don't associate with so and so because of that, etc.  Poisoning FORGIVENESS in your child is crippling!  I know parents who sit around and watch television constantly.  Poisoning CREATIVITY in your child encourages laziness!  There are so many examples -- you think of ones that you need to address!  We can all think of some areas to pay attention to in this regard!

Be careful of what you feed your child on the table, for sure!  But be EXTRA CAREFUL of how you can POISON your children's character by how you live!

Challenge:  If you have allowed POISON to creep into your home, DETOX immediately and pay attention to giving out GOOD THINGS to fill your child's life and future with!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Earning Your Children's Trust

One of the most important things I have is my children's trust.  They know they can talk to me about anything.   Here are a few things I worked hard at to earn their trust:

*I did not speak negatively about my children to others.
*I would not ever never no-matter-what share secrets they told me.
*I gave them impartial advice, usually from the standpoint of the other person.
*I give them my full attention, and what concerns them is very important to me and they know it.

Make sure you earn your children's trust.   It is the best bridge you can build to their hearts!

Challenge:  Make sure you take time to earn your children's trust every day!  You could become the best counselor and friend they have!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Who Should Pick Up Your Dog Poop?

As gross as the title is, I often wonder as I watch people walking their dogs and their dogs poop, and the people just walk on...  I wonder "WHO do they think should pick up their dog poop??!!"

I teach my children the same thing:  WHO should hang up clothes you try on in the dressing room?  WHO should put away your glass or dish after you use it?  WHO should put your cart away after you shop?  WHO should hang up your jacket?  In other words:  YOU SHOULD!

Get your children into good habits early by teaching them to pick up after themselves.  Even in a restaurant or when shopping.  Even against the attitude "people work here to do that."  My response is "they work here to stock and other things; NOT to pick up after people.  If they have to pick up after everyone, ALL our prices go up!!"

Challenge:  Teach your children an EXTRA MEASURE of consideration in our inconsiderate world!  Teach them to push their chairs in, clean up after themselves, and be considerate of everyone, even workers.  Let's teach our children to shine their lights brightly!!!

Friday, December 5, 2008


Every time the offering plate went around, I encouraged my children to "put SOMETHING in," a penny, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, five dollars... something needed to be put in if it was a worthwhile cause.  If everyone put just a little bit in, the needs would be met!

I believe that training my children to put SOMETHING in has been a strengthening process:

*They don't have to feel that they have to cover the entire cost of funding something worthwhile; rather they can be even a small part of many worthwhile projects.

*They know they have given something to many amazing ventures.

*They have a passion and a background to put something in, even if a little bit of time to help others.

Challenge:  Try to find some worthwhile things to put something of yourself into with your children!  Make it a fun habit!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

While We're On the WORK Subject...

I have been hearing a lot about work lately, so thought I'd share a few things I've taught my children about WORK:

*It is a GIFT from God to be able to WORK!

*We should WORK with joy and unto the Lord!

*Whatever we do, do it 100%!

*Find the FUN in it -- play little "games" while you work! Put the music on, sing and be happy! ("Whistle while you work?!")

*If it's scrubbing toilets, scrubbing floors, folding clothes, be THANKFUL you have the things to take care of and pray for those who don't!

*Let your work glorify God!

*When my kids work, I constantly tell them I LOVE to see them working hard! It REALLY does make me so HAPPY to see my children WORK HARD...

*The Bible tells us we will "enjoy the fruits of our labors" - so that means to get to the "enjoy" we have to do the "labor"!

Challenge: Teach your children a much-forgotten hard work ethic.  Find ways to encourage them to work hard.  DON'T lay around -- let your children see you enjoy working around the house getting things done, and then they will learn to enjoy work as well!  Don't encourage them to lay back on anything, but to work hard to achieve results!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


When my children were younger and started earning allowances, we started them off with the 80-10-10 savings plan:  10% tithe, 10% savings, and then you can spend the other 80%.  Although my children were good savers, and usually saved way more than that, it was a good exercise to get into early.  I as happy to hear the financial analyst share the same formula at our Financial Seminar last week.

Challenge:  Even with just a little money, get your children used to good savings habits.  If you begin early, they will keep the good habits you instill in them!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Everybody has a Story!

My family is big on telling stories from their past.   When my children were younger, I encouraged them to find out things about their grandparents' and others' pasts.  A few times they would actually take notes to discover things about their grandparents!

I invited missionaries and others over our house so my children could get to know people from different areas of life better.  I would have my children ask them questions and find out more about them.

When I did Creative Memories, I always relayed to my children some of the heroic stories, sentimental stories, or challenges people were facing that were shared at our get-togethers.  I made sure we had a steady stream of "biographies" going forth in our home.  In these "biographies," I relayed the information the way the Lord would see it -- from HIS perspective, to emphasize His heart of mercy, compassion, redemption, and reconciliation.  

We read a lot of biographies -- some together, some I read and relayed information, and I purchased a LOT of biographies written for children so they could read the books themselves.

I believe that my children learned to love others and to hear their "life stories" from some of the ways I encouraged them as they grew up.  I would always tell them "every person's life is an amazing story that you can learn something from!"  

Challenge:  Instill in your children that every person they meet has a life story that they can benefit from.  Read biographies and instill the preciousness of people into your children.  Teach your children that every life has value and every person has a unique story to tell.

Monday, December 1, 2008


We had our financial seminar yesterday, and I was extremely happy to see Jesse, Amber, Hannah, Gabe, Michael (Bethany HAD to work), Christa, Daniel and Emily there, as well as several of my nieces and nephews, brother and sister, and parents, and other friends.

As a family, we have often attended seminars to grow spiritually, as leaders, and other financial seminars.  I encourage you to take time to attend seminars together.  Let your children be used to taking time out of busy schedules to grow...

Challenge:  Look for a leaders' seminar, motivational seminar, or other seminar in your church or in your area, and encourage your children to attend with you.  Once a year try to make time to attend something like this, so your children are used to making the time and keep up with it as they grow older!