Sat, 20 June 2015
This is a very well known Scripture verse, especially when we are talking about how to train your children. I have heard a few different ideas of what this verse is teaching, and I think there is validity to each of them. Let's start with the definition of "train up" from the Strong's Exhaustive Concordance:
With that definition in mind, here are two interpretations of this verse that I've heard:
Going back to our definition of "train up," there are several key parts that work together. If one part is left out, I believe that part of the training process is lost.
Our responsibility to "train up" our children means that we to begin their life-long training in living the life that God desires for them.
This process of training involves several key elements, some of which are missed or overlooked:
1. Know the destination
Steven Covey popularized the idea of starting with the end in mind. This is a principle that is found throughout Scripture. We cannot effectively get to our destination if we don't know what or where it is.
2. Start where they are
MapQuest, Google, and many other apps help people to get from point A to point B. You have to know both the destination (see point 1 above) and the starting point. It is only after you know both of these that you can plot out a course to follow. Yes, there may be detours along the way; but you have a plan to follow.
When working with children, it can be easy to understand where they really are.
My wife and I can be talking with our kids. They will stop us and ask us what a certain word means. My wife and I look at each other, and we are struggling to find a way to define it for them. It's a word that is so easy and common for us, but we fail to remember how we got to the place of understanding it.
Take time to work with your children. That's the only way to really know where they are. No two kids are at the same level, even at the same age. My son barely spoke until we was three, while my daughter was talking in simple sentences at two. Each one is different, so you have to figure out where they are so you can know how to move forward.
3. Demonstrate what is expected
"More is caught than taught."
Kids pick up on what you do much more than they do from what you say.
You can tell them everyday that they shouldn't smoke; but if you smoke, you're sending a mixed message to them, and they'll tend to think that smoking is okay.
You can tell them to clean their room, but if you never worked with them on it, how will they really know what is expected? Take time to show them step-by-step what they need to do, explaining everything as you go.
Not only do you need to show them how to do it, but you need to be a continual example. If you tell your kids to clean their room, but your room is a mess, what kind of message are you sending them?
4. Give them an opportunity to practice
After you demonstrate and explain how to do what they need to do, they need to try it themselves.
And the best time for them to do it is right away!
The closer the application of the lesson is to the teaching, the better they will be able to catch on. This applies to everyone, not just children.
You also need to remember that this is "practice." They will not get it right every time. In fact, they will probably mess it up more than they get it right.
They need the opportunity to fail.
And this can be discouraging for everyone involved:
Some children are affected more by this than others. My son gets so discouraged when he misses something or doesn't do something right, that he lets his anger come out. My daughter tends to cry with disappointment.
Help your child to deal with the disappointment, learn from the mistakes, and try again.
5. Praise them
We all need encouragement and praise. Even if your child doesn't do everything right, find something to complement him on. If you're paying attention close enough, see how he improved over the last time.
This time of praise should come quickly and often, especially for younger children. They need the affirmation, approval, and encouragement to keep trying.
6. Give appropriate correction
Spending time praising your child for his successes, however small, is only part of the practicing time. There also needs to be instruction and correction for the things that were done incorrectly or incompletely.
Kindly and gently show them what they missed and how to correct it. If possibly, give them the opportunity to try it again right away, so they can apply the lesson practically.
Sometimes, however, it may be better to allow some time to pass before trying it again. When you do allow time in between, you'll need to start at the demonstration step again. You'll probably be able to go through it more quickly, but it's important that they can see it and refresh their memory (especially for younger children).
Remember, this is a life-long process. You'll be repeating these steps over and over. Hopefully, your child will learn as they get older, and then you'll be training them on something new.
Sat, 13 June 2015
Jim Woods joins us today on the podcast to share his entrepreneurial journey. He has been on the podcast a few times (under Quality Living Made Simple) to talk about the e-books he helped co-author. You can find those episodes here:
Besides writing all the time, he has created a great course for writers: Write Publish Share. Jim talks about the course and offers a discount for the listeners of the podcast!
Tue, 2 June 2015
Any male can be a father...it takes a real man to be a dad.
During the month of June, I am focusing on being a better father (and husband). Fathers Day is June 21st this year, and let's make this one the best one yet.
In the movie, Courageous, the five main fathers joined together to make a commitment to become better fathers and husbands. The result was "The Resolution" that they pledged to keep.
Fathers, the Providers
One of the big responsibilities as a father is that of being a provider for your family.
Many have the perception that this refers to financial obligations. But this involves so much more!
Your family needs the financial provisions, but they also have spiritual, emotional, and psychological needs. Yes, Mom is important and helps to fulfill these needs as well, but too many fathers have been absent from these areas for too long.
Growing up without a father in the home, I understand what I missed. I had some father-figures that entered my life later in life, and I'm a father now. As much and as hard as my mom tried, there was something missing from not having a father.
Some fathers are completely absent, not involved in the children's lives at all. Some fathers are part-time because of custody arrangements.
But some fathers are "home" but still absent. They are too busy with their careers or hobbies to spend time with their kids. They feel that the food and shelter they are providing are enough. Extra expensive gifts eases their consciences.
Kids don't need more and better stuff. They need time with Dad. They need your leadership to show them the way.
We, as husbands and fathers, will stand and give account one day.
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Below, you'll see a video challenging you to become courageous by becoming the father and husband you ought to be. If you want to join me this month to accept this challenge, please go to http://joshuarivers.net/010