Archive for November, 2011

I found this article recently on MensHealth.com and I liked it a great deal. Anytime I can find information that has quality advice about growing up quality men, I will pass it on to you all. Yes, there will be a test at the end. It’s called life. Here’s how to make sure your kids ace it. Enjoy…

Words are Valuable

Speak up: Your kid is listening. In families with two working parents, fathers have a greater impact on their children’s language development by age 3 than mothers do, according to a study in the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology. Provide a creative, dramatic play-by-play of the activities you’re engaged in and your surroundings. Use big words, even if they’re unfamiliar to your kid. Children learn a lot by context.

Tantrums Earn You Nothing

“When your anxiety visibly rises, you add fuel to the fire,” says Hal Edward Runkel, a family therapist and the author of ScreamFree Parenting. And if you simply hand over a piece of candy, you encourage more bad behavior. Instead, when your kid starts shouting, be calm and attentive. Don’t ignore it. This signals that you will not be rattled and the child won’t win—ever. It may not work for the first tantrum, warns Runkel, but it’s magic by the fifth.

Competition Leads to Confidence

Children as young as 4 start to compete with their parents—sprinting to the car, wrestling on the sofa, stuff like that. Roll with it. Let them win a lot, and then slowly ramp it up so they have to work harder for their victories. “It’s a way for kids to develop a sense of strength and to let them test their muscles,” says Justin Richardson, M.D., who teaches psychiatry at Columbia University. They’ll start to walk more confidently and be less of a mark for bullies.

Quitting is Hard

When his son wanted to quit baseball at age 8, Runkel said to him, “Sure, but you have to tell your teammates and coach.” The boy couldn’t do it. He’s played for 7 years since. Show kids the pain of quitting, and they won’t make those kind of decisions lightly, Runkel says. “If your kid says a school project is too hard and that he wants to give up, that’s okay,” says Runkel. “But say, ‘Tell your teacher you’re quitting and that you’ll take whatever grade is appropriate.’ Trust me, he’ll stick it out.”

Other People’s Feelings Matter

It’s easier to connect with others if you understand their perspective, so nurture that instinct in your child. Start with the child’s own feelings. “Say, ‘Man, it must be hard being 8 years old. What’s the hardest part?’ ” suggests Runkel. Then mention people your kid knows who are having a hard time—say, a friend whose dad lost his job. Ask what he thinks it’s like for that friend. “They won’t always have an answer, but they’re thinking about it,” Runkel says.

Fights Can Be Resolved

Unless one kid is dangling the other out the window, don’t say a word. “As soon as you become involved, they no longer care about a solution. They’ll only try drafting you to their side,” says child psychologist Anthony Wolf, Ph.D., the author of Mom, Jason’s Breathing on Me! The Solution to Sibling Bickering. If they pester you, say your solution will be bad for both of them. They’ll learn that pleading is fruitless. More important, they’ll learn quickly to compromise.

Independence is Earned

When your kids ask to stay later at a friend’s house, ask what time would work for them. Then ask why. If you don’t hear a good answer, it’s okay to say no. If you do, try it, says Pennsylvania-based psychologist Janet Edgette, Psy.D. When parents give children freedom and responsibility, studies show, the children develop stronger morals more quickly.

Success Requires Focus

Maybe you don’t wish for a prodigy, but our competitive society suggests otherwise. That’s why so many kids have trouble focusing, says C. Andrew Ramsey, M.D., a psychiatry professor at Columbia University. Make sure your kids know your expectations. Celebrate improvement first. And explain the value of slow mastery. “Whether your kids love Tom Brady or Beyoncé, let them know that these people succeeded because they mastered one skill,” says Dr. Ramsey. “Learn to go through one door and many others will open for you; try to go through five doors at once and you’ll go nowhere.”

Until next time guys…

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I am so stressed….

How many times have you said that statement in the last few weeks or months? With your mortgage payment due and all the never-ending costs that children bring and aren’t the holidays just around the corner? And these are just the money stresses. What about all the problems at work or maybe your marriage is on the rocks? The list only grows…

I know it looks like I’m simply pointing out the obvious but the cold, hard facts are that life isn’t going very well for people right now. Everyday, the news reports what the national statistics echo; we all have less money in our collective wallet’s and that is stressful. There have been more bankruptcies in 2010-2011 than ever before in our countries history. The middle class is rapidly becoming a thing of the past and its becoming harder and harder to put food on the table. If you are like me, watching the nightly news is painful because the only thing ever reported is bad. Frankly, seeing bad news, all the time, adds huge stress to our lives. Anyone checked their blood pressure lately? Maybe you should calm down first.

I am sure about one thing, what the world is pushing down our collective throats is that circumstances really are hopeless although I hear the media tell me to just “ride it out” and someone in Washington will make it better for me. However what it feels like is that if we don’t fall in line, or think the way society would have us think, then we are on our own. We are conditioned over and over to think the only solutions available are what we see on television or the internet. You can take a pill now for instant stress relief or, “become a millionaire in a week” but in the end, none of these solve what the problem really is, THE WORLD DOESN’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH STRESS. Aren’t you tired of following the step-by-step “way” the world has to offer? Haven’t we have ALL seen this movie before and we know how it ends…?

Guys, I have an “outside the box” solution for your stress that will change your life forever? I call it outside the box because frankly, you would never see this option on the nightly news. The answer is this; God has already figured out the answer for our stress and He gave it to us, over and over, in His Word, the Bible. The problem isn’t that we can’t read His Word…it’s that we don’t trust His Word…

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV) Philippians 4:6-7

Remember when I said my answer was outside the box? Well when the Bible says “the peace of God will transcend all understanding? That means, we have the ability to tap into something in which we really know nothing about because it’s from God… and I guarantee you, most of us have NOT gone this direction before. What I see is when we are stressed, we react as we are conditioned everyday to react; We try to SOLVE THE PROBLEM OURSELVES and that is NOT the way Christ intended us to deal with our adversity. There are so many verses in His Word about coping with life’s hardships it makes me think He knew a little about what might happen to us? I’m just saying…

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”Matthew 11:28-30

That is Christ speaking in the second verse directly to you and to me. Frankly, I’m not sure I can make this any clearer…Doesn’t “rest for your souls” sound really nice and comfortable? I could use some of that right now..how about you?  If your answer is yes, then stop doing your life, yourself, and give the “doing” over to God. Guys, its that simple…When you commit to Him your life, I am talking down deep in your heart control over your actions, something truly amazing happens…

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Simply put, when you have the peace of God, you DO NOT have stress! It goes away. And the problems you had before, are more manageable because you have a different perspective, one of heavenly proportions which changes your outlook.

So I leave you with a simple choice; either you choose to see the truths of the Bible and how they can eliminate your stress…or not

One more thing…correct me if I’m wrong, but haven’t you tried the “or not” already? How’s that working for you?

Until next time guys. I wanted to leave you guys with a video from Casting Crowns called Slow Fade that illustrates what happens when we slowly, over time, give into the enemy…resist brothers and sisters…