Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Children: Three Generations of Play

This clip has been created by Nature Valley and is both sweet and disturbing. It starts out sweet as we hear about play activities from two generations. It becomes disturbing we realize that today's children focus on indoor activities involving phones and computer games.

Take some time to try this with your family. Your children would love to hear what their grandparents and parents did for fun. Then ask them the same question. 

Then think about trying to go a week without tech-based entertainment. Not because "tech-tainment" is bad, but because there is so much more out there, and our children need to learn to practice self-discipline. There is so much children's brains learn to do when children play outside, or face-to-face. 

Plus, they would love to play with you!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Parenting: Blessings of Being Mean


There are many of these “mean parent” posts floating around the internet. I especially like this one posted on my cousin’s Facebook page.

What are the advantages for the child of a mean parent?

Self-regulation – the ability to control attention, body movements and emotions. Essential for learning? You better believe it!

Humility – children with humility are not burdened by having to be the first or be the worst. Instead, they are free to think about others and other things.

Resilience – we all need to learn to survive what life drops in our lap. This starts at an early age.

Emotional competence – can’t be learned unless children are allowed to experience all emotions.

Empathy- being able to see things from the perspective of another is a social AND academic skill.

Repentance and forgiveness – blessings from our faith that give us the opportunity to show children God’s plan for learning from our mistakes.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Children: Happiness

It hurts to see our children sad. Just as we comfort an infant in distress, we are inclined to try to solve situations that cause our older children frustration or anger. This action may give temporary relief but is it good in the long run?

An article, in the Jan/Feb 2015 issue of Scientific American Mind, points to two research studies that shed light on this question. The studies indicate that as we evaluate potential situations, negative scenarios are not usually as bad as we expect and sometimes the anticipated positive alternative results in disappointment.

The upshot is that being happy can lead us to expect too much. 

Children certainly do not need to be sad or angry all the time, but creating a world of happiness for them can result in children who are not happy enough. Additionally we can keep them from learning to identify other emotions.

Instead of trying to create a perfect world, we do better for our children when we teach them emotional competence. Children need to recognize different emotions and to learn the proper emotional expression. As they grow older, they will be able to choose the emotional response that makes the best sense. They will be able to find the emotion that works.

When we assure children that their Heavenly Father loves them, even when sad things happen we help them to gain the perspective that sad feelings do not last forever and that they can help us to enjoy happiness more.

Through him, we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:2-5, ESV