29 Ways to Affirm Your Children – #30

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children, Thoughts
Surprise!  We came up with number thirty so that all you even number types could finish the series with a sense of closure.  Enjoy and thanks for joining us. 30.  Build family unity.  I am not so sure if this is another affirmation suggestion or actually more the result of practicing the previous twenty-nine.  Here are some practical steps to build family unity.  Pray together.  Practice good communication.  Teach your kids to share.  Stay involved.  Say "yes" as often as you can.  Have a plan.  (We are more likely to say "no" out of convenience when we don't have a plan.)  Have everyone contribute to mundane jobs.   Affirm, affirm, affirm.   Agree on a schedule that reduces fatigue and time pressure.  Nip sibling rivalry.  Ask the older kids to sacrifice for…
Read More

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children – #29

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children, Thoughts
29.  Develop a healthy pride in being part of something bigger than themselves.                      A group of tourists went to visit a marble quarry in western Vermont.  As their tour progressed around the quarry, one of the visitors called out to a jack hammer-wielding worker below, "What are you doing down there?"  The worker snarled back, "I'm cutting this stupid rock into a square!"  Seeing another worker who appeared to be doing the same thing, the visitor called out to him, "What are you doing?"  The second worker, obviously happy in his work, called back, "I'm on a team building a cathedral!" When we view family life through the eyes of the first worker, we are just a group of people living under the same roof.  Your contribution to the effort may…
Read More

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children – #28

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children, Thoughts
28.  Celebrate life.  When we celebrate life, our Christian experience becomes characterized by joy, not by the disappointments this earthly life has to offer.  Financial stress, physical setbacks, fickle friends, difficult schoolwork, etc. bring plenty of challenges to adults and children alike.  In short, left to itself, this world is not an affirming place.  We need to be the affirmers.  Our children may reject that affirmation.  But, in general, people run to where they are affirmed. One of the keys to raising the joy factor in our homes is to celebrate the small victories.  This is particularly true in the area of training our children.  Our joy as a family is centered on the relationships God has given us with our children, not only on the outcomes and results.  If…
Read More

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children – #27

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children, Thoughts
27.  Teach your children to serve others.  One of the inherent dangers of all these affirming efforts is an unhealthy pride that can infiltrate your family.  How do we tell our children they are special without puffing them up?  How do we affirm our kids, but not spoil or coddle them?  How do we teach "everyone makes mistakes" while at the same time expecting them to improve and do their best in every endeavor?  Welcome to the balancing act called parenting. So much of our parenting wisdom goes into finding the balance between love and control, between fairness and generosity, between reward and punishment, between activity and margin, between giving an allowance and making our children to earn their money.  And finally, today's topic:  the balance between affirmation and an attitude…
Read More

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children – #26

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children, Thoughts
26.  Reward effort, not results.  Early in his navy career, former President Jimmy Carter applied for service in the U. S. Navy's nuclear submarine program.  Here is his account of his interview with Admiral Hyman Rickover, head of the program at the time: It was the first time I met Admiral Rickover, and we sat in a large room by ourselves for more than two hours, and he let me choose any subjects I wished to discuss.  Very carefully, I chose those about which I knew most at the time - current events, seamanship, music, literature, naval tactics, electronics, gunnery - and he began to ask me a series of questions of increasing difficulty.  In each instance, he soon proved that I knew relatively little about the subject I had…
Read More

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children – #25

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children, Thoughts
25.  The importance of physical touch.  We know, both instinctively and through child development research, that babies who are held, hugged, and kissed are generally more emotionally healthy than those left for long periods of time without physical contact.  And long before a child understands anything about the meaning of love, they experience and feel love through our physical touch.  A hug, a kiss, a touch all communicate an affirming love to your child, a feeling that is only accentuated if physical touch is also their primary love language. But with or without the love language impact, the value of touch cannot be overstated.  As children get older the forms of touch change, but the basic message of love continues to be communicated through our touch.  That teenage boy who…
Read More

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children – #24

29 Ways to Affirm Your Children, Thoughts
24.  Laugh with your children.  "A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones" (Prov 17:22).  One of the ways to keep a joyful heart in your home is to look for joy in the journey, not just in reaching the destination.  Yes, there is satisfaction in reaching the destination, in achieving our goals.  But we also need to learn to be of good cheer along the way. Laughter really is good medicine.  Being able to laugh together is a great way to lift the mood at your house.  One of the important distinctions to making laughter an affirming action in your home is to recognize the balance between laughing at ourselves and our situations while not laughing at other's shortcomings or embarrassments. Our children…
Read More