FREE Parenting Resource

3 05 2011

Gospel-Centered Parenting

The free 30 page resource (linked above) is a helpful expansion to my previous post. It includes thoughts on pragmatic parenting, rules vs. attitudes, keeping it simple, key character traits and what to do when you think you’ve messed up or it’s too late.


How to help your children develop 8 character qualities that will make them healthy adults.

28 04 2011

How to help your children develop 8 character qualities that will make them healthy adults. (6:23).

Henry Cloud and John Townsend have been helping me with my parenting. This six minute video will give you a great framework and overall picture of how you want your kids to be when they are adults. As parents, we are responsible for how we train up our kids either intentionally or by accident. Don’t let it happen by accident, but develop your game-plan and then get in the game!

Boundaries with Kids is an excellent book they’ve written along with Raising Great Kids.

Help! My Child is Making Bad Choices!

6 04 2011

As parents, we want to pass on good values to our children. We want them to grow up making right choices. We’d love to see them develop great character, excel in school, have long-lasting friendships and live with wisdom. As complex and pressure-packed as these goals may feel, accomplishing them doesn’t have to be overwhelming.

The Bible talks about having conversations with your children regularly about faith and God’s Word. Talk about faith when you’re hanging out in your backyard, when you’re driving to your camping destination, when you sit down together at dinner, as you help your children doze off at night and during the rush of getting ready for the day (Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Just talk. Tell lots of stories (personal, Bible, missionary, friends), ask open-ended questions (ie. questions that require more than yes or no answers) or give a word of encouragement.

Read on for a great video clip and resource ideas. Read the rest of this entry »

Shot after shot, Celtics’ Allen Driven Toward Greatness

8 02 2011


Want to get good at, well, anything? Consider Ray Allen’s approach to excellence in his profession. Who you are when no one sees is more important than who you are when everyone is watching. Character is developed in the shadows and reveals itself in the spotlight. (Click the photo for link).

Rewards and Consequences

13 01 2011

I’ve been reading Boundaries with Kids by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. This book is packed with great ideas related to how making good choices leads to children who grow up healthy and with great character. I came across a good section on rewards. This affects me not only as a parent, but also as someone who serves kids weekly at our church.

I’ll quote:

A mom told me recently that she had told her son to do something minimal like take out the trash, and his reply was “What will you give me?” She asked me what a good reward would be. I told her to tell him that she would give him a very hard time if he didn’t do what she asked. She looked at me funny, but we had an interesting discussion about rewards and punishment.

We believe in rewards for these two things:

  1. Acquiring new skills
  2. Performing exceptionally

We do not believe in rewards for these:

  1. Doing the age-appropriate requirements of civilized people (such as living skills)
  2. Doing what is expected (such as work)

You’ll have to read the chapter for the fleshing out of these ideas, but I think they provide a grid I’ve been looking for regarding rewards.

There are usually two camps on rewards. One is that rewards are bad and the other is that rewards are good. That always seemed too simplistic to me. This framework of when rewards are good and when they are not is more useful than picking a side.

Consider this example they give:

We reward a two-year-old for learning potty training, not an adult for being able to continue it.

Sometimes in church, kids will show disrespect by not listening to their leader. Should a reward be given when respect is shown or should it be expected? I think generally, it should be expected, but if the expectation has never been clearly stated or there has never been any consequence for disrespect perhaps a spontaneous reward will move things in the right direction. In other words, these children are acquiring a new skill that hasn’t been evident in this particular situation in the past. Over time however, rewards for common respect should lessen and then consequences for disrespect will take the place of rewards.

Cloud and Townsend write:

Once children have learned the skills required for responsible living, these should be expected without reward. To the contrary, it should cost them if they do not do them.

The danger of rewards is when children begin demanding them by asking, “What will you give me for doing this?” When it comes to that, perhaps consequences are in store. We are raising kids not to live rightly in order to get something. We are raising kids to make right choices leading to responsible lives that please God.

Hebrews 11:6 says,

And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.


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