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A family that eats together stays together

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“Whoever makes home seem to the young dearer and more happy is a public benefactor.” – Henry Ward Beecher

A study revealed that children who ate at least two meals, five days a week with their families performed better in school and were better adjusted socially.

Mealtime can serve not only as a means of including veggies in the daily intake but as a forum where family can feel free to talk about the day, what lies ahead and possibly even joke a bit.

But more importantly in that short time together, you will be providing a heightened sense of family connectedness and investing in the future well-being of your children. You will be building a rapport of communication that will serve you well during the difficult times that come to every family.

So, make a difference today – eat together!

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5 Best Toys Ever

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Wired magazine ran an article on the five best toys ever. Wired is one of the most innovative, bleeding-edge publications you’ll read about all things technological. Which is why at first the list surprised me, but then I realized their angle and couldn’t help but appreciate their wisdom.

5 Best Toys Ever – Dr James Emery White

Here’s the list:

1. Stick

2. Box

3. String

4. Cardboard Tube

5. Dirt

Anybody want to argue with them? I doubt it.

It’s an important reminder that the best things in life – and often in ministry, leadership, business and family – are the simple things.

The dilemma is how our culture seems to refuse to give simplicity a place.

But think about when it insists on intruding and the wake it leaves behind.

For example, a snowstorm brings your town to a standstill. You went out and stocked up on bread and milk and a few other things you didn’t really need, and settled in. The power goes out, so you light the candles and gather by the fireplace for warmth. Board games that had been gathering dust for years are pulled out. You play them and have more fun than you can remember. You then go outside and actually play, throw a snowball, make a snow-angel, build a snowman.

It’s golden.

You talk, years later, about that magic night. You’d give almost anything to go back and relive it, and wish there was a way to recreate it in the here and now.

In a complex, “always on” world, perhaps what we need to remember is that we need to intentionally unplug every now and then.

Even if just to remember that the best toys in the world – like the best times – are the most simple.

And in truth, the most available.

That is my holiday wish for you. May you enjoy the simplicity and holiness that resides in the stillness between Christmas and the new year.

And maybe some fun with a leftover box or two.

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I believe

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I Believe

by Jane Daugherty

I believe in children’s laughter, the sweet perfume of a newborn baby’s skin and that every child is entitled to happiness, decent housing, health care, proper nutrition and good education.

I believe that our schools should be places of discovery and growth, not of danger, that teachers should be paid more than lawyers and that parenting should be a required course in every high school.

I believe that “quality time” is a phony notion that cannot substitute for substantial time spent with our children.

I believe that baseball and other children’s games can be magical and should be wrestled from screaming, competitive coaches and returned to play.

I believe that childhood should be a time of sand castles and celebration and that the defense of innocence is as important as the defense of our borders.

And I believe that our most urgent mission should be putting the needs of our children first.

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Memo from Your Child

~Author Unknown~

1. Don’t spoil me. I know quite well that I ought not have all that I ask for, I’m only testing you.

2. Don’t be afraid to be firm with me, I prefer it. It makes me feel more secure.

3. Don’t let me form bad habits, I have to rely on you to detect them in the early stages.

4. Don’t make me feel smaller than I am, It only makes me behave stupidly big.

5. Don’t correct me in front of people if you can help it.

6. Don’t make me feel that my mistakes are sins, it upsets my set of values.

7. Don’t be upset when I say “I hate you”, it’s not you I hate, but your power to hinder.

8. Don’t protect me from consequences, I need to learn the painful way sometimes.

9. Don’t nag, if you do I will need to protect myself by appearing deaf.

10. Don’t make rash promises, remember I feel badly let down when promises are broken.

11. Don’t tax my honesty too much, I am easily frightened into telling lies.

12. Don’t be inconsistent, that completely confuses me and makes me lose faith in you.

13. Don’t tell me my fears are silly, they are terribly real to me and you can do much to reassure me if you try to understand.

14. Don’t ever suggest that you are perfect or infallible. It gives me to great a shock when I discover that you are neither.

15. Don’t forget that I can’t thrive without lots of love and understanding, but I don’t need to tell you that, do I?

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Respect for others

I inherited a number of books from my dad after he passed away in 2001. One of the books which I found really helpful is “Etiquette for everyday living” by Dorothy Martin.

The following is an excerpt from Pages 201 & 202 on Learning Respect For Others (Children and Teenagers):-

“Children must learn respect for other people at a very early age. They should learn while very young not to laugh at someone else either for his appearance, his opinions or his mistakes. They must learn respect for another’s privacy, which includes not opening someone else’s mail or listening in on phone conversations or entering a closed room without knocking on the door. They should be taught that respecting another’s property refers not just to things but to another’s rights. This has to begin at home. The child who is allowed to take his brother’s toys without asking will not see why he can’t do the same to a friend. The child who grows up thinking the other family members are there for his convenience will go out into society with that false premise.

The home belongs to the child in the sense that he is a part of it; but he must learn that he is only a part and that there are others to consider. Children need to be trained in hospitality, but it is not always convenient for a mother to have a child’s friend stay for a meal. There should be an understanding about when this can be done, and when an agreement is reached it should be held to consistently. If it is understood that a spontaneous lunch invitation may be given at any time because it simply means getting out another soup bowl and spreading another peanut butter or jelly sandwich, that is fine. But when it is agreed that a dinner or an overnight invitation must be checked out before it is offered, then parents must not make exceptions. All of this is part of training in good manners.

Perhaps this is where the basic rule of children’s respect for elders comes most sharply into focus and the need for it is seen most clearly.”

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Good Parenting

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Children these days sure grow up differently from how we were raised.

“I was RAISED!! I didn’t just grow up.  I was taught to speak when I enter a room, say please & thank you, to have respect for my elders, to get off my lazy butt and let the elder in the room have my chair, say yes sir and no sir, lend a helping hand to those in need, hold the door to the person behind me, say excuse me when it’s needed, and to love people for who they are, not for what I can get from them! I was also taught to treat people the way I want to be treated! If you were raised this way too, repost this.  Sadly, many won’t because they weren’t, and it shows!!” – Author unknown