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Practiced Spontaneous Unity

Normally, we don't think of practice and spontaneity as going together, but in the world of parenting, they do. We need to learn how to handle spontaneous decisions. Let me share two examples. (1) Imagine that a couple is in a room with their young children and some other adults. One of their...

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Helping Children Keep Commitments

When my husband and I were raising our children, we had to learn how to balance a respect for their feelings with the need to teach them the importance of keeping commitments. This was a learning process for us. Our children loved to sign up for extracurricular activities, but once they lost...

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Parent Vs. Child Responsibility

God calls us to raise our children knowing Him and His standards of right and wrong. He also calls us to model good behavior (including confessing our mistakes, asking for forgiveness when we offend people, etc.) and He expects us to discipline our children, teaching them that there are...

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Keep Letting Go

I once ran across a cartoon by Randy Glasbergen that spoke volumes to me. Two little boys were standing together, face to face. One was listening and the other was speaking. The caption read: "My Sunday School teacher said I should follow Jesus, but I'm not allowed to leave the yard." How are we...

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Nurturing Helpful Attitudes

For many years, I assumed that I was supposed to sacrificially serve my family and say nothing about my own needs. This only resulted in resentment on my part and insensitivity on their part.   I will share some lessons I learned along the way that helped our whole family to be more...

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Humble Sensitisvity

It's important not to let parental pride make us insensitive to our children's feelings. Sometimes there's a fine line between encouraging our children and showing them off.   One year, our children were deciding whether or not to try out for the school talent show. Shon and Heather had been...

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Lessons from a Duck

We once had a female Mallard duck and her six ducklings hanging out in our pool and fish pond for about 24 hours. We don't know where they came from or where they went, but during their brief stay, I had a review lesson in parenting.   We first saw them in our pool. It appeared that the...

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Follow Through On What You Say

Moses, a man God praised for his humility, and to whom God gave incredible responsibility and privileges, once disobeyed God in a moment of frustration with His people. The consequence of his sin was that he was not allowed to enter the promised land that he had been leading the Israelite nation...

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Realistic Expectations and Healthy Compromise

It's important to get to know our children well, so our expectations of them are realistic. It's also good to know when to adapt to their needs, and when they are capable of adapting to ours.   When our daughters were 8 and 6 years old, I took them on a mother-daughter retreat. I was...

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Parents: Be United

When parents have differing opinions about child rearing, it is best to privately discuss our views and come up with a plan of how to handle that with the children. We should help our children learn to respect other's opinions and how to look for compromises but be united in our decisions about...

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