Archive for October, 2008

When raising children – keep a sense or humor

“Laughter is the key to survival during the special stresses of the child-rearing years. If you can see the delightful side of your assignment, you can also deal with the difficult”. Pg 101

Dr Dobson tells the story of the 3 year old who learned that Jesus would come to live in the hearts of those who would invite them. One day the little girl put he ear up to her mommy’s stomach. The mother asked her what she was doing, she replied, “I’m listening to Jesus in your heart”. The mother asked if she could hear anything. And the little girls said it sounded like He was making coffee to me.

I’ve read where laughter necessitates many of the same skills as problem solving. And we have all read where some report that laughter can improve your health in some cases.

read more about laughter here

There is nothing better for 1 people 2 than 3 to eat and drink, and to find enjoyment 4 in their 5 work. I also perceived that this ability to find enjoyment 6 comes from God. Ecclesiastics 2:4

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Compliant children and their behavior

“God did not intend for adults and their parents to have the same relationship as they did when the kids were small”. (Pg. 96) Dr. Dobson

I think that is an interesting statement. It suggests there are parents who continue to treat their child at a certain maturity level though the child should be well past and beyond that stage. He is suggesting this is not the best thing for the compliant child. Maybe because they tend to rely on the adults behavior moreso than a strong-willed child.

“Growth and maturity demand that children wiggle free from their parents clutches and establish independent lives of their own”. (Pg. 96)

He makes a couple of other points about the compliant child, that its challenging for the compliant child to navigate through the daily life style of the strong-willed child. And there is a tendency for the compliant child to internalize their anger.

The best thing we can do for them is provide a firm and certain faith. Teach them their are consequences for their actions.

Let both grow together until the harvest. At 1 harvest time I will tell the reapers, “First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned, but then 2 gather 3 the wheat into my barn.” Matthew 13:30

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Overriding the negative emotions for your child

“When bonding fails to occur between parents and a particular child, both generations stand to suffer. The mother, especially, is likely to experience great feelings of guilt for her lack of affection for this individual”. (Pg. 84) Dr. Dobson

But as the image below illustrates we can override whatever prevents a parent from having the necessary affection for that child.

“First, I believe it is possible in many cases to override one’s emotions by an iron-clad determination of the will. Feelings often follow behavior. If you make up your mind to love and care for each of you children equally, you might be surprised to find that the barriers isolating that “special” boy or girl are crumbling”. (Pg. 86) Dr. Dobson

Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him.

For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) tha it is granted to you, and you will get it. Mark 11:23-24

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Responsibilites for you, Faith for your child

“Parents are accountable before God to meet their responsibilities to their children, He  is vitally concerned about their welfare. Jesus said that anyone who would hurt the faith of a little child would be better off sinking in the sea with a millstone attached to his neck”. (Pg. 81)

Loving your children is an obvious duty for a parent. But disciplining your child is also part of the obligation we have as parents. When we think about hurting a child, we sometimes think in terms of physical or verbal abuse which can and does sadly happen. But what about robbing them of the benefits of a strong faith. Aother facet of parenting is discipline. Failure to teach your child self-control can damage their faith. Now obviously the child must be willing to learn and obey. But if we want our kids to have strong faith, then discipline will be a part of their learning process.

Matthew 18:6

“But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, 1 it would be better for him to have a huge millstone 2 hung around his neck and to be drowned in the open sea.

Sorry about the gap between posts. I have been traveling as of late.

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Choices young adults make

In the book he discusses how some good parents blame themselves and are held responsible by others for choices their children make.

“If you’ve launched only high flying sons and daughters, then you won’t comprehend the sentiment of these words”. he says the following, “Why? Because of the crazy notion that parents are responsible for everything their child becomes”.  (Dr. Dobson pg. 63)

Scripture to illustrate how God views this subject:

The word of the Lord came to me; “What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge”?

As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die (Ezekiel 18:-1)

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Strong-willed children can be a great source of frustration

I have been traveling this week and wouldn’t you know, the internet connection in my hotel room is terrible. That is unusual because most decent hotels have stepped up and realize the importance of the internet connection to a business or even casual traveler. Here’s to making the best of  it.

Following are some interesting quotes from Dr. Dobson’s book.

“Even a cursory examination of these responses makes it clear that strong-willed children are a source of great frustration not only to their mothers, but also to their fathers” Pg. 53

Our children are the most important blessing and responsibility a husband and wife can have.

“From this analysis and several dozen others, it was apparent that mothers of strong-willed children are especially vulnerable to their rebellious kids”. Pg. 55

They usually spend the most time with the child. In many cases the mother is the “go to” person while the father is away at work or working on other things regarding the home. But maybe there is another reason related to the giftings of a mother.

“One-fourth of all tough-minded youngsters do not get along well with either mother or father, and 14 percent are still charting their course in your adulthood. Like their parents, these are the teens who desperately need outside influence of the right type”. Pg 57

This has helped some families with their strong-willed child. Someone who could be a good example for this child, a family member, a friend of the family someone you trust that could speak to the teen from a neutral position.

“This is what we found: for the children with many problems, their parents tended to be either permissive with them or they were rigid/severe”.  and, “The conclusion is that when children are beset by major social problems, their parents react in extreme ways either by throwing up their hands and refusing to discipline them at all, or by becoming so rigid and severe as to oppress them. Pg 59

I know that I tended to react in an extreme manner when first learning to raise children. Why? I guess because I learned it somewhere and never recognized it as being wrong until I had my own children. When you realize this is the real deal and you can have an effect on your childrens future, it makes you pause. I sincerely re-evaluated how I responded to my children and made a change. Its not easy to break a habit but anyone can do it. I’m not suggesting there is always only one perfect way to respond to a situation, but every conflict requires a balanced response, a measured response. In other words thinking hard about the message you are sending to your kids.

James 1:2
My brothers and sisters, 1 consider it nothing but joy 2 when you fall into all sorts of trials,

3
because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance.

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Parents who hurt

Dr. Dobson shares a story about a mother who had 3 daughters and did her best to love them and set a Christian example in their life. She invested hours in each one of them hoping to show them how much value they had. She wisely gave them space when they needed it to grow as young ladies. The result, two daughters that could not have turned out better and one that caused astonishing grief and pain. At 18 she ran off with a 28 year old ex convict who had been married 3 times before.

She describes the pain and heartache she felt during this time as almost unbearable. “I didn’t know that anyone could endure that much pain and still live”. (Pg. 72) She describes the sting she felt when innocent folks would ask how the girls are doing.

Ps. 39:7
“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.

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