Archive for September 29, 2012
Maybe,” [Old Wrinkly] said, “you can train a dragon better by talking to it than by yelling at it.”
· Stop yelling about taking the garbage out. Simply ask them to take it out. If they do not take it out, watch it grow until they ask you for something. Then, remind them that they did not do what you asked of them. Calmly ask them how they think you should respond to their request after they disrespected your request. Ask them, again, to take out the garbage and let them endure the consequence of taking out an overflowing garbage can.
· No need to yell because your children did not do their one or two basic chores around the house. Instead, let them know that they cannot go out with friends…or watch TV…or play their video games, until they have finished their chores. Then stand firm on that statement until the job is done.
· Tell your children the positive alternatives to any negative behavior you correct. Let them know what you want them to do as well as you do not want them to do. Do not lecture. Simple tell them the expected behavior.
· Compliment good behavior when you see it. Affirm their positive character. In other words, “catch them being good.” Never underestimate the power of simply noticing and acknowledging what your child does right and well. Doing so teaches a powerful message–positive character and good behavior gets noticed and results in reward.
· Encourage your children’s effort. A fulfilling life does not come through achievement and performance. A fulfilling life results from the investment of effort. Make sure your children know that you notice and appreciate their effort to do the right thing, to work toward goals, and to participate in managing the family home. Teach them that effort is much more significant than the perfect final product.
· Tell your children about their family heritage. Giving children information about their ancestors can offer patterns to follow and patterns to avoid. A family heritage builds their family identity. It offers stories of inspiration and motivation. My children love to hear stories about my own mistakes as a child…and it helps them learn how to avoid those same mistakes. Sharing your family heritage is a great way to teach your children your family values.
· Teach your children daily life skills like how to build friendships, how to treat a date, and how to problem-solve. These teaching moments will come up naturally when various “issues arise.” You and your child will encounters many opportunities to talk about topics like dealing with a difficult teacher, how to say “no,” how to manage time, or how to make up with a friend after a disagreement.
· Teach your children “on the go.” Most parents drive their children all over town. You will find that driving in the car offers an excellent time to talk. Your children are “captive” as you drive. They do not have to make eye contact, adding a level of comfort. There is usually some background music from the radio, helping everyone relax. Sit back, drive, and wait…or ask a simple, benign question. Your child will soon begin to talk. Enjoy that time…listen, problem-solve, share, and teach.
· Teach your children while relaxing in your home. One of the best times for teaching occurs at bedtime. Something about the night-time seems to open children up. They begin to talk about their day, their worries, and their joys. Let them stay up a few extra minutes when they start talking. Let them share their day with you. Listen for what excites them and brings them joy. Rejoice with them. Hear what concerns them and reassure them of your presence and help. Problem-solve, share, and teach.
· Teach your children when you get up. Teach them how to start the day off on a positive note—to eat a good breakfast, to practice gratitude, and to anticipate the good that might come during the day. Encourage them to recall family values and traditions of kindness. Share ideas, schedules, and thoughts. Problem-solve any potential difficulties of the day. Listen. Teach.
· Acknowledge the Impact of Your Behavior. If your words and actions lead to intimacy, acknowledge the joy you experience in relation to your family. If your words and actions have driven a wedge between family members, confess your wrongs. Humbly admit your fault without making excuses. Express a genuine desire to change your behavior. You might even present a plan to change your behavior and bring intimacy back to your family relationships.
· Seek Forgiveness. Along with confessing any words or actions that have interfered with intimacy, ask for forgiveness. Ask, don’t demand, plead, or give ultimatums…simply ask. This is different than acknowledging the impact of your behavior. Genuinely seeking forgiveness opens us up, reveals our desire for deeper intimacy, and voluntarily places the future of our relationship in the hands of the person who feels offended. Think about that for a second. In sincerely asking for forgiveness, we become very vulnerable. This step of vulnerability reveals our true desire to see the relationship restored.
· Live Out the Fruit of Repentance. Our family may doubt the sincerity of our verbal pleas for forgiveness. So, let your actions do the talking; after all, actions speak louder than words. Diligently engage in loving actions that promote intimacy. Reveal your desire for intimacy through acts of service. Speak words that heal wounds and draw family together.
· Forgive Graciously. When family members offend you or hurt you in some way (and they will), forgive them! Graciously let go of your desire and your right for justice. Open your heart and mind to remember and recognize the positive character they exhibit in their lives. Allow yourself to observe their effort to say and do things to enhance your relationship. Let go of the offense and let it remain in your history, not in your present.
· Accept Each Family Member Unconditionally. Receive each family member into your life and heart with the express purpose of showing them kindness. Accept them regardless of mistakes, shortcomings, and irritation. Make sure each family member knows that you love them for who they are, for their uniqueness and their distinct contribution to the family…even in the midst of necessary discipline or momentary anger.
Generation to Generation offers a look at potential long-term family goals as well practical ways to connect with your children on a daily basis. This book also includes an excellent chapter on communicating family values to your children. Throughout Generation to Generation, Mr. Rice offers dozens of practical ways to connect with your children and instill family values into their lives. Overall, any parent who desires to raise children who “know and love God” will find this book an excellent and practical addition to their parenting toolbox, one they will constantly pull out to reference and use.
Book Available at Our Favorite Picks