After jumping down from a tree at the park my son stood up, did a little victory dance and then ran off to play on an obstacle course. It’s a pretty tricky course that requires balance, agility and coordination. It looked like it would take him a while to have it mastered. Sure enough my son struggled […]
Let’s face it. We live in a scary world with possible danger at every turn. We worry about safety and often have thoughts that are frightful and reinforced by stories on the news or from others. How do we protect our kids from such a scary world without crippling them and sheltering them too much?
We’ve been given a job, but that job isn’t to insulate our children from every risk and every pain that is bound to happen because of it. Our job is to ultimately help our children become the best version of themselves as adults. The truth is that most pain brings growth and we must develop a mentality that helps us to allow our children to grow and become the best adults they can become.
I once expressed my fear of losing my children to a scary world, whether it was physically or spiritually. Another mother quickly shared with me a moment in her life in which her child was playing on a playground. Her daughter climbed to the top of the equipment to go down a big slide and fell. Her daughter was at what seemed to be a point of no return when being tended to by a medical team. However, miraculously her child survived the fall. It was in that moment the mother realized that what happened to her child was out of her control. She was simply having fun on the same playground with so many other children. Her child could have died! She realized how little she really controlled whether or not something bad would happen to her daughter. It could have been anything. Yet, she couldn’t live her life in fear and never allow her child to experience anything ever again.
I realized the stories I had heard in the past of children being hurt in different ways and realized, yes for the most part it is out of my control unless I am to sit and watch my children like a hawk and protect them from every harm I think may happen. (In that case, no sharp objects, no heights, no tools, no stoves, no foods that may have bacteria, no food that isn’t prepared by myself only, and the list goes on and on.) I am reminded of the lady in the story “A Series of Unfortunate Events” telling my children not to hold a sharp pencil or touch a stove or this or that because of the risk of something bad happening. What a horrible life to lead. A life in fear.
Psychologists in Europe have found that if a child never goes outside and is never allowed to experience pain, such as the dreaded skinned knee we have all most likely experienced at some point in our lives, they will be more prone to experiencing phobias as adults. How will a child ever know the levels of pain if they never get bit by an ant or step on a sticker.
One example I can offer is when we lived at a house which was riddled with goat heads. I hated our backyard and it was a big endeavor to try to rid it of goat heads. Our children would often time track them in when they would step outside. We all had our share of hopping around on one foot while pulling one out of our feet. Now, like most people we all hate getting shots. My son was due for one and I spoke to him about the pain of stepping on a goat head and was able to have him think about goat heads while the nurse administered the shot. He didn’t cry, he didn’t even budge. I asked him, “Which hurt worse?” He immediately responded, “The goat heads hurt worse! Definitely!” Wow, what a teaching moment for both of us.
Kids need to fall a few time to learn that it’s normal. They need to experience difficult friendships or relationships as teens to recognize the difference between true friendship and false ones and even how to BE a good friend to someone else. If we as parents completely remove risk from our child’s life, we may in the long run harm our child, causing them to be fearful, have low self-esteem, never learn to be a good friend, and never learn to lead by example and teach from their own experiences.
Count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4
Just as trials bring patience, many other things we experience bring growth in many other aspects of our lives. We may not wish pain on our children and we should never purposely put them in harms way, but we should allow them to take risks and experience life without fear.
Are we losing the ability to listen? I think so.
As I perused the test scores of my children, I was excited at all the areas I was seeing them succeed in with above average scores in so many areas. However, my eyes were drawn to the area in which they both fell below average. As a former teacher, and as a mom, I want to know what areas I can help my children in and… well…. let’s be quite honest, as little as they still are I was looking for the areas in which I was failing.
There it was, they were below average in the area of listening. Okay, I admit I rolled my eyes and thought, “Well, that’s no surprise!” Do you know how many times I have had to repeat instructions, only to hear that age-old excuse, “But I didn’t hear you!” YES! I know you didn’t hear me. You weren’t listening.
Then something hit me, WHY aren’t they listening? Why is this such a problem? How can we solve this?
I went online and did some research and came to a very neat article on Livestrong.com. I just love the following steps provided by them and have decided to implement them more in my family routine. I have re-listed them here and have added some of my own tools from our family toolbox.
Model active listening skills by looking at your child when she talks to you. Repeat back what your child is saying to ensure that you understand. Modeling proper listening gives your child a reference for her own listening.
Ask your child to repeat what you said after you tell her something. For example, if you asked her to pick up her dirty laundry, put it in the hamper and wash her hands for dinner, have her repeat back the three things she needs to do. This gives her a chance to process what she was told and allows you to make sure she is listening to you.
This one cracks me up at times because every once in a while your child will be caught off guard, don’t get mad but put yourself in your child’s shoes and help them to be more attentive. Remember that “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1
Have conversations with your child about topics that interest him. This gives him a chance to engage in a real conversation, practicing both speaking and listening. The conversation has a purpose for the child since it relates to a topic he enjoys.
Practice following directions in the form of a game. Give your child a direction, and have him follow it. Make the directions entertaining so the activity is enjoyable. You might have him make a funny face, spin in a circle or walk like a duck. Move to more advanced verbal directions, such as building a tower with blocks using a specific pattern.
Read stories to your child, asking her to predict what will happen next. The prediction requires her to listen to the details to make a logical guess. After reading the story, ask the child to retell the story in her own words. Another option is to have her act out the story with toys as you read it. This makes your child listen to the words and understand what the words mean.
I highly recommend a website/app called Keys for Kids. These also come in print form. I like to do these devotions with our kids and we also like to see who can guess the “key” at the end. They all get vitamins before bed so we simply play for who gets their vitamin first, nothing too big to fight over.
Borrow audio tapes of kids’ books from the library. Let your child listen to the tapes as he follows along in the story. You can also use Audible.com. I love that it gives me free books every month. You can actually Join Audible right now and get 2 free Audio Books.
Tell a story together as a group. One person starts the story, adding a few sentences. Each person adds a few more sentences to the story. Participants have to listen to what everyone else says in order to add something to the story that makes sense.
Cook with your child. Read the recipe to her, having her listen to and follow each step in order to complete the recipe correctly.
I found that many parents expect their children to do silent reading once they are able to read by themselves. My daughter is still learning to read so she has to listen to all the stories and guess what, her listening skills are great!
Many times we expect our children’s interaction with books to be a quiet, sit-down-time, which I am not against, I think it’s important to have those times as well. However, when they start reading on their own, that is usually all they do with books. There tends to be a drastic decline in read-aloud time.
We should actively help our children succeed in being good listeners, by spending the time with them and helping them become good listeners. We should also model good listening.
What are some ways you can improve your own listening skills?
Head on over to this 3 min read on 5 ways to improve your listening skills
I am setting a goal for myself here.
More read-aloud time and more Q&A with my kids. As I stated before, we are incorporating this with our Keys for Kids devotions. I HIGHLY recommend this app!
I am also challenging myself and I challenge you as well! Let’s put down our phones, computers, remote controls, or even any work we take home for 15-30 minutes each night and spend time reading to our kids. It’s important, and yes it affects them in school.
What was one of your favorite stories when you were a kid? Hunt it down, read it to your kids. Any old book can be brought back to life and your child may remember it and carry it for the rest of his/ her life.
Saying things without thinking or out of impulse is something we all learn NOT TO DO. Some learn earlier than others and some, well, never learn. This is a current feat we are aiming for with my kids, as they have fallen into the habit of jumping at the chance of calling each other out on a wrongdoing when asked, “whodunnit?”
The immediate response? To yell out the name of the other sibling.
We had a little discussion tonight as I caught one of them doing this very thing. I asked, “Who broke my necklace?” and my youngest son was quick to cry out his brother’s name.
What was my initial reaction? To call in my other son and ask if he had broken it. He was very adamant that he DID NOT. Okay, either he is lying or my other son is (or maybe they both are) Either way… I turn to my son and ask if he physically SAW his brother do this act. What was his response? A sheepish. NO. I sat him on his bed on the time-out of DOOM.
I asked him where his Ipad was and the tears began to well, as he knew that the usual punishment was a grounding from his Ipad. As I walked to the other room, and as he thought of his “eternal” punishment (or what seems like eternity to an 8 year old), I opened his bible app in the other room and got a pen and notebook out. At the top of the sheet I wrote, “What does the bible say about bearing false witness?” I told him to search the underlined words and he immediately found:
“You must not tell lies about other people.” Exodus 20:16
He wrote this verse down a few times for himself. I told him to come see me when he was done. When he did he said, “I really thought about it, Mom. I’m sorry for lying.” We chatted a little bit and he told me he should really think about what he is going to say before he says it. So I looked up this image that I remembered seeing from my years of teaching. It really struck home tonight with him, and although this isn’t an overnight fix, we are on the road toward impulse control and honesty. I hope it is helpful to you.
Let’s teach our children how to choose their words. Let’s teach them to be honest, help others, inspire, speak up when necessary, and to be kind.
This information is on a need to know basis, and if you or your child are going to college, then you are on a need to know basis.
I found this wonderful infographic that shows the cost of college. Gosh, I really wish I knew all this beforehand!
Warning: This post contains mature material and was really scary to write. (Don’t read this Mom and Dad lol.)
I want to share this experience in hopes of bringing hope to someone no matter how scary or how long it takes me to write.
I was 18 years old and with my ex boyfriend of 2 years. I was in love with love itself. My whole life I have always had so much love to give and I loved to be loved.
He had a wonderful family and I was drawn in by their open arms. As we began to get more serious, we began a physical relationship. Although the world’s view on sex has changed, I was raised with the value of waiting until marriage to have sex.
I went against my parent’s wishes and it wasn’t for the first time either.
The end of our physical relationship:
I remember the fear rushing through my blood and reaching my heart making it beat faster than my breath could catch up with.
The condom had broken.
We were in this moment of not knowing what was going to happen or how we were going to fix it. We came up with a plan… and its name was B.
A pill that I knew little about and I took anyway.
After that I thought nothing of it until I got the pain.
You’re going to remember this forever.
I’m being evaluated in the emergency room for severe pain on my left side. They go through all the routine questions and routine tests and as I’m lying there waiting for results, I’m almost positive it has to be my appendix and the doctors are thinking the same thing as well. My mom is standing there by the bed and the nurse walks in, keep in mind my parents are unaware of the physical relationship I have with my boyfriend, and then it happens. “You’re pregnant.“
I try to avoid eye contact with my mom by staring at the nurse with this dumbfounded look in my eyes. What am I supposed to feel right now? I’m not married, whoa there’s a baby in there, I want kids, my mom is going to kill me. and then it hits me, wait, I’m on my period. So, if the pregnancy bomb wasn’t enough they hit me with the news that I have most likely miscarried.
They asked me if I’m on medications or if I’ve taken anything, and that’s when I remember that pill. That little pill I had no information about. In the midst of all the emotion I immediately think I took a pill for abortion. Since I had so little information on it I began to believe that I had unknowingly aborted a baby.
(But here’s what the pill really does.)
They moved me into another room. I could tell my nurse was confused by all the emotions flying around. She probably thought I’d be glad to be rid of an unplanned pregnancy. Little did she know how much I value life. So I lie there, sobbing deeply, hoping there would be a chance for this baby to survive, my face in the bed, as the nurse tries to comfort me.What she told me that day stays vivid in my mind, she said “You’re going to remember this forever, I know it’s hard, and even when you are pregnant again, all you’ll be able to think about is this.”
Not long after all this, my boyfriend and I broke up. ________________________________________________________
Now I’m going to fast forward a few years of my life so I can talk more about my main topics. I can write about my actual Love life later. So, fast forward ahead 4 years, to when I’m 2 years into my marriage with my wonderful husband, David.
A new Journey
We had just gotten back from vacation and I’m about a week late. Now, we never used any birth control our entire marriage so I ALWAYS thought I was pregnant. Although we were not trying, pregnancy tests were a common household item. So, I thought, “No, it’s just me being paranoid…” and after going back and forth with myself and my husband, I thought, “What the heck.”
So, there I was waiting by myself in the restroom before work. My husband was still in bed. I peed on the stick, set it down, checked the time on my phone, and I was about to walk away, when- there they were. those two little lines! From the restroom, I call my husband with a tone of voice that says “Oh boy, wait until you hear what I have to say!”.. I hand it to him and he’s like “No way!”.
I spent the entire morning giggling, but we wanted to be sure so we agreed to talk about it that night, after work. On the way home, I went to the store and picked up one of those more expensive tests that tell you how far along you are and well you can watch for yourself:
Risks and decisions:
I was so excited and we hadn’t told anyone yet. I was about 5 weeks along, when the worst happened. I started getting a pain on my right side. I began to panic. I thought, “It’s happening, again.”
I wasn’t bleeding so I just ignored it until it really got bad. I didn’t want to go to the emergency for fear of what I would be told, but I knew I had to take care of that baby. So, we went into the ER and they tested everything. They told me they couldn’t see a baby and that it was possible I had an ectopic pregnancy. They wanted to do surgery right away.
As I sat in that hospital bed in an emotional de ja vu, I couldn’t bring myself to make the decision of going through with the surgery because they weren’t 100% sure and the surgery itself could harm the baby. I remember sitting there crying hysterically. The doctor told my husband he needed to make the decision for me. My husband decided to not risk my life with the risks of it being an ectopic pregnancy. Hysterical and emotionally not-all-there, they began wheeling me in. I didn’t even get the chance to realize what was going on fast enough to change anything. The last I remember was counting down from ten, with tears still on my face.
I wake up in a totally different area and see my nurse.
I’m going to remember this forever:
Remember how I told you about that last nurse who told me, “You’re going to remember this forever.” Well, this moment, I will also be remembering forever. The moment my nurse said, “Hi honey, it was just your appendix…
…The baby is fine“
Just typing this is making me tear up because the rest of my pregnancy was perfect.
We found out we were having a baby girl
I gave birth 04/04
She is now 5 months old and brings me so much joy
This experience has taught me to value life even more and that sometimes things happen for a reason. In no way am I saying that a miscarriage is ever a good thing because it was devastating and heartbreaking, but I look back now and think of where I would be if things would’ve turned out differently. I am absolutely surrounded by joy and love right now and I can’t imagine my life without my Lily.
If there’s someone you know of that might benefit from my story, please share. Be sure to follow us. click here for more about me. I will be posting more content about my struggles with motherhood including breastfeeding and post-partum and remember…
Becoming a mother has made me appreciate the things my mom has done for me my whole life, But I know she didn’t do it alone. I remember my dad taking me for breakfast before school and buying me happy face pancakes at a beautiful restaurant by the lake called Campbell’s. My dad was pretty cool and the best dad I could ask for. I’m pretty sure the children of these Celeb dads feel the same way. let me tell you why in my top ten celebrity father’s list.
10. Will Ferrell
Can you imagine how much fun Will would be! He is hilarious. He isn’t afraid to be silly and as a parent the best feeling in the world is making your kids laugh. Imagine all the great stories Will’s kids are going to grow up with.
9. Dax Shepard
First of all, those christmas commercials when Kristen Bell was preggo were so adorable! a father who loves their child’s mother is so beautiful! oh and major points for dads that carry car seats. You never imagined such a tiny person would be so heavy to carry around.
8. Hugh jackman
Hugh has 2 adopted children and has been spotted sliding down slides, eating popsicles after a swim and always seems to be having so much fun with his kids. It’s awesome when a father can adopt a child and still give the same kind of love as a biological father. (in some cases better!)
7. Matthew McConaughey
Because He’s always wanted to be a dad! E interview : “It’s the one thing I’ve always wanted to be,” McConaughey says of becoming a father to his three children. “Never is a man more of a man than when he is the father of a newborn…You know what’s important.
6. Will Smith
There’s nothing like the encouragement of a father. you can see in the lives of Will’s kids how much he supports and encourages everything they do. he lets them be them and they obviously picked up on his style and talent!
5. Mark Ruffalo
and in spirit of Avengers that brings me to
4. Chris Hemsworth
Okay so he’s pretty awesome as Thor but I think his role as a father surpasses his role as a super hero.
3. Justin Timberlake
They kept this pregnancy under wraps for a while but that photo of him kissing Jessica’s belly was beautiful! He is so proud to be a first time father!
2. Jimmy Fallon
Okay so Jimmy went as far as writing an awesome book called your baby’s first word will be DADA. okay so maybe its a little silly but he is constantly mentioning his daughters on his show and is so in love!
so my last father on my list may not be a celebrity but he is certainly important to his daughter and to me.
When I saw my husband with my daughter it was a whole new side of him I never knew was there. He is constantly surprising me with the love he continues to show her. in the picture above he is holding her in her favorite spot on his arm while doing schoolwork to make sure he can give her the best. He is constantly thinking of her and her future. He has amazed me and has made me fall that much more in love.
Thanks for reading! If there’s someone you think I left out feel free to comment!
Stay tuned for more fun top tens and let me know what you want to see next! and remember
What do I mean by “Emy beautiful mess”? Well, my name is Emily and My life is full of wonderful, crazy, painful, ugly and very beautiful moments of love. I am 24 years old but for some reason I keep thinking and saying I’m 22. I am a wife, a mother and a child, by child I don’t literally mean a child, I actually mean I spend a lot of my time watching cartoons and asking for ice cream and candy. As a new mom I feel like I’m learning a lot about life alongside my 5 month old daughter. I want to share my life experiences here, as ugly or as beautiful as they may be. Which is a very scary thing for me since I have always loved to keep up appearances. But I have decided to share how perfect an imperfect life can be. in my future posts you can expect to read about my life as a new mom, how i want to debunk a lot of these old wives tales and myths about motherhood and parenting. But I also want to talk about a few of my favorite things like art, fashion and beauty. If there’s something you want me to open up about or share leave me a comment! I want your feedback!
Becoming a mom was definitely one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I never had huge problems conceiving or with pregnancy or even with labor. the hardest part for me was once my daughter Lily was with me at home. I was at the birth of all three of my sister, Jennifer’s kids and I thought wow this is so beautiful! and BOY did she make it look easy! not only the pregnancy and labor and delivery but the parenting and being a mother! but as a naive un-married young girl who was in love with love itself, now I can see how I was so blind. I did say along with the beautiful I’d bring you the ugly so in my future posts I will talk about my experiences with breastfeeding and post-partum depression and anxiety.
these pictures say it all lol. Like I said I’d love to hear your feedback so comment below and follow our blog!
What kind of parent are you? Are you the Authoritarian or the Push-over?
I was reading an excerpt of this speech the other day in a book, very interesting read!! Now this isn’t from a parent but from the educators. I work at a school so sometimes I can see how educators might have to deal with parents who just want to make their children happy and have good self-esteem and what not. But as you read this speech, think of yourself, the PARENT, and ask yourself how much you care? Are you lying to your own children through your parenting style?
The Speech the Graduates Didn’t Hear
JACOB NEUSNER—Brown University
We the faculty take no pride in our educational achievements with you. We have prepared you for a world that does not exist, indeed, that cannot exist. You have spent four years supposing that failure leaves no record. You have learned at Brown that when your work goes poorly, the painless solution is to drop out. But starting now, in the world to which you go, failure marks you. Confronting difficulty by quitting leaves you changed. Outside Brown, quitters are no heroes.
With us you could argue about why your errors were not errors, why mediocre work really was excellent, why you could take pride in routine and slipshod presentation. Most of you, after all, can look back on honor grades for most of what you have done. So, here grades can have meant little in distinguishing the excellent from the ordinary. But tomorrow, in the world to which you go, you had best not defend errors but learn from them. You will be ill-advised to demand praise for what does not deserve it, and abuse those who do not give it.
For four years we created an altogether forgiving world, in which whatever slight effort you gave was all that was demanded. When you did not keep appointments, we made new ones. When your work came in beyond the deadline, we pretended not to care. Worse still, when you were boring, we acted as if you were saying something important. When you were garrulous and talked to hear yourself talk, we listened as if it mattered. When you tossed on our desks writing upon which you had not labored, we read it and even responded, as though you earned a response. When you were dull, we pretended you were smart. When you were predictable, unimaginative, and routine, we listened as if to new and wonderful things. When you demanded free lunch, we served it. And all this why?
Despite your fantasies, it was not even that we wanted to be liked by you. It was that we did not want to be bothered, and the easy way out was pretense: smiles and easy Bs.
It is conventional to quote in addresses such as these. Let me quote someone you’ve never heard of: Professor Carter A. Daniel, Rutgers University (Chronicle of Higher Education,
May 7, 1979):
“College has spoiled you by reading papers that don’t deserve to be read,
listening to comments that don’t deserve a hearing, paying attention even to
the lazy, ill-informed, and rude. We had to do it, for the sake of education. But
nobody will ever do it again. College has deprived you of adequate
preparation for the last fifty years. It has failed you by being easy, free, forgiving, attentive, comfortable, interesting, unchallenging fun. Good luck
That is why, on this commencement day, we have nothing in which to take much pride. Oh, yes, there is one more thing. Try not to act toward your co-workers and bosses as you have acted toward us. I mean, when they give you what you want but have not earned, don’t abuse them, insult them, act out with them your parlous relationships with your parents. This too we have tolerated. It was, as I said, not to be liked. Few professors actually care whether or not they are liked by peer-paralyzed adolescents, fools so shallow as to imagine professors care not about education but about popularity. It was, again, to be rid of you. So go, unlearn the lies we taught you. To Life!
Neusner, Jacob. “The Speech the Graduates Didn’t Hear.” Daily Harold 12 June 1983.
As educators we are told we can’t be the student’s best friends, they have plenty of those. Why? Because when we give them the grade they actually deserve, they aren’t willing to remain friends. If your child is unhappy, let this be a signal of growth (if the unhappiness is coming from punishment for a wrongdoing or you not heeding his/her wishes). Happiness is based on Happenstance. When you allow your children to learn and grow, they establish true self-worth! I’d rather my child have a lifetime of self-worth than a week’s worth of self-esteem.
If I fail your child in class, it’s not because I’m a mean teacher and dislike your child. It is because I care enough to tell your child he or she isn’t trying hard enough. I WANT your child to succeed and I hope that you can use this moment to teach your child as well. I would do it for any of my 3 children. If they got an F, or an A, I am pretty sure they would know WHY they got that grade… as parents we simply need to resist the urge to think they can’t think for themselves.
When I ask my Oldest son Micah to go to his room for something he did wrong, and then enter his room to talk about what happened, he has no problem telling me what he has done wrong when we have a conversation about it. I mean a CONVERSATION, not me yelling at him or punishing him, I mean an eye to eye, heart to heart conversation. He has no problem telling me that he knew it was wrong for him to do. He has no problem telling me what kind of punishment he should receive for such behavior, and he pretty much nails it every time. I’m not going to lie, we’ve negotiated his punishment once or twice, with reason, but i can see in my child’s eyes that he truly understands me and is sincere in what he is telling me. I am sure he is truly sorry for his actions. I have seen a HUGE difference between this method and the SWIFT and Harsh punishment and then forgetting about it in 10 minutes.
As parent’s we need to take the time and invest it into our children, we might think…oh well when they are older they will understand a little more and I will explain it a little more. Please don’t do this. Start when your children can talk. Use words they understand and throw in words they don’t. In no time they will understand those big words too. You have no idea the capacity of a child’s mind.
Well I have ranted and raved, and all I can hope is that as God’s word says, you will ~~ “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”