Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Parenting Tip - Stop It!

I recently saw an old clip of Bob Newhart.  His patient was telling him that she was terrified of being buried alive in a box.  She went on and on about her fears and how they were restricting her activities and causing her problems.

Bob then replied that he could cure her with two words:  STOP IT!  He told her to stop thinking about being buried alive.  Stop thinking about her fears.  That was it.  Case closed.  She would be cured if she would just STOP IT. Well, naturally, she wasn't sold on his advice.

This made me think about how many times I would tell my children to stop it.  Stop being so noisy, stop leaving your clothes on the floor, stop fighting with your brother, stop complaining.  You get the idea.....But did it work?  Did they STOP?  No, of course not.

I think that in order to stop something, you have to start something else.  You have to replace the wrong behavior with a better behavior.  Instead of telling your child to stop being noisy, ask him if he can whisper quieter than you can or ask him funny questions in a whisper so he has to listen carefully to hear you.  Instead of telling your children to stop leaving their clothes on the floor, tell them to start hanging them on the spiderman hook you just bought and hung up or start putting their dirty clothes in the flower laundry basket in their room.

If you're in the car, instead of telling your children to stop fighting, ask them to start counting how many white cars they see driving down the street.If you're home and they're fighting, ask them to count how many windows are in your whole house.

Get it?  Distract them from the wrong thoughts, behaviors and actions and give them new actions, thoughts and things to do.  You can't take away something --without replacing it with something else;  that would be negative space, a black hole, a void.

It works for adults too.  I'm going to STOP wasting time on the computer.  Instead, I will make a list of things I need/want to do and look at the list when I have a few moments to kill.

So my advice, Bob Newhart, would be to START IT! 

Thanks for reading,



Sunday, February 10, 2013

Parenting Tip - Enjoy them before they're gone

When I see videos like this one, I usually think, "Yeah, right.  That never happens." 

But why shouldn't it happen?  Our children are the dearest and most important people in our life.  They stay young for only a very short time.  You never get that time in their life back again.  You never can see them and hold them as a baby again, or watch them pretend and use their imagination. Oh, how I wish I could hold each of my babies again and cuddle them for one more day.  [Hey, that sounds like an interesting movie plot...... ]

When your children are teenagers you need to enjoy them too.  Appreciate the growth they're going through, the independence they're learning to use; be there to encourage them, cheer them on and love them unconditionally.  And remember, you won't have them at this age for very long either.

We know that change is inevitable.  So embrace it, expect it, and live today for the pure joy you find in it. Go hold your baby, play with your toddler, talk and listen to your teenager.  Who knows, maybe some day someone will make a video about YOU!

Thanks for reading,



Sunday, February 3, 2013

Good, Better, Best

  I especially think these ideas are relevant to lots of families:
**Super family activities may be good for children, but they are not always better than one-on-one time with a loving parent.

 **The amount of children-and-parent time absorbed in the good activities of private lessons, team sports, and other school and club activities also needs to be carefully regulated. Otherwise, children will be over scheduled, and parents will be frazzled and frustrated.

 **Parents should act to preserve time for family prayer, family scripture study, family home evening, and the other precious togetherness and individual one-on-one time that binds a family together and fixes children’s values on things of eternal worth.

 **Family experts have warned against what they call “the overscheduling of children.” In the last generation children are far busier and families spend far less time together. Among many measures of this disturbing trend are the reports that structured sports time has doubled, but children’s free time has declined by 12 hours per week, and unstructured outdoor activities have fallen by 50 percent.

 **The time a family spends together “eating meals at home [is] the strongest predictor of children’s academic achievement and psychological adjustment.

 **Team sports and technology toys like video games and the Internet are already winning away the time of our children and youth. Surfing the Internet is not better than serving the Lord or strengthening the family.

I, for one, am going to look at my activities and see which ones are good, better and best.  Then I need to be BRAVE enough to change some of them.  

Today is a good day to look at your family's activities.  Some things you may need to change, and it may mean going against the popular things your friends are doing with their children.  But be BRAVE.  Choose the BEST!

Thanks for reading,




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