Taking a three-year-old for ice skating can be a major workout. We went ice skating because it was our prize for our seven-year-old daughter who did very well during her first quarter in Grade 1. Since she was going, our ten-year-old and three-year-old sons wanted to come along as well.
Our three-year-old slipped and slid the whole time until he figured out how to balance. It wasn’t easy for him (but neither was it for me, a thirty-five-year-old). Each time he would slip, I tried to be consistent in giving both encouragement and instruction. As parents, we need to ask God to help us learn the ability to see failed attempts as praiseworthy efforts. After encouragement, we need to help them do better by giving further instruction.
The Bible says in Proverbs 25:11 (CEV), The right word at the right time is like precious gold set in silver. It is possible for us to say the right words at the wrong time. On the other hand, it is also possible for the timing to be right and yet miss out on that opportunity. As parents, we can either build up or tear down what’s inside our kids. Let’s always choose to build them up.
PHOTO CREDIT: Debby19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/12182046@N05/
I recently read a magazine article and came across the Yacker Tracker.
What is it?
Well, it looks like a stoplight:It’s green when classroom noise levels are appropriate, turns yellow when noise rises, and flashes red when the volume is too loud. The red light also signals a coming consequence (i.e. no more free time, extra work), while the green light tells kids that they’re doing a good job managing their conversations.
I would love to have something like that at home for my three wonderful, gregarious kids. Though we may not have the Yacker Tracker that we can bring with us wherever we go, God has given us an internal Yacker Tracker. It’s called self-control. This is free, but needs early installation, check-ups, and consistent maintenance. However, once installed, it helps ensure a fun and wonderful home experience.
22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,23gentleness and self-control.
Let us remember that we have our own built-in Yacker Trackers, and we can set the example for our children, grandchildren, students, nieces, and nephews to make the best use of it too.
Tolerance is a dangerous word, especially when it comes to parenting.
It has become a parenting pitfall to many and I am no exception.
When my son was about three, he loved spending his energy by running and jumping all around the place. This was carried over even when we were in church. He would run around and jump off the stage. After a few instances, one of our leaders sat me down and said, “Paolo, you are a great dad. And you have a wonderful son. But there might just be some instances when you have tolerated things that you shouldn’t have. If our children act they way they do, it’s either we’ve influenced them to do it or merely tolerated their behavior.”
BOOM! At that moment, I felt like I was hit by a bomb. I realized that certain things my kids do are not because they’re being rebellious but because of lack of instruction from their parents.
Gilbert K. Chesterton said,
“Tolerance is the virtue of the man without convictions.”
We have to be deliberate in our parenting. We have to sow seeds of God’s Word in the lives of our kids. God’s Word has everything to say about how we can train, discipline, and raise our children.
Nobody said parenting was going to be a breeze. But we are not without hope. God will help. He will guide. He will bless. His promise stands true that if we train our children in the way they should go, when they grow up, they will not depart from what they’ve been taught (Proverbs 22:6).
Giving up your own dream to support another person’s is not an easy task. But the decision wasn’t that tough for Jeff Reyes, a national carting champ (KT100).
I spoke to him one time in the cafeteria of our Every Nation Building, and he told me that his decision to give up carting was not hard because he wanted to spend more time with his son, Jaco. And since Jaco was also into carting, he became his son’s coach. This way, he not only gets to be on a race track, which is in an environment he truly enjoys, he also mentors his own son. Jaco was the reigning champion for his division in 2006.
In a day and age where you see a lot of egocentric and self-absorbed adults, it is refreshing to hear about a dad who is willing to give up a hobby that he does not only love, but is great at—because he has a greater dream for his son.
The Bible says in Ephesians 5:15,16, Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity . . .
We really only have a short window of time with our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and students. Let us not just spend time with them. Let us invest time.