Monday, July 26, 2010

be strong instead of being cool...

be strong instead of cool. Do the right thing or be cool? A question we all face. Whether it's with your peers or your kids, we all want to be "cool." Unfortunately, being cool is not the measurement that matters, especially for parents.

Our society has gotten very touchy-feely with being a "friend" to your child instead of being their parent. Compassion and open communication are amazing and needed. But you were given a job by God to raise these precious little souls into healthy, productive, and moral adults. So for today, stand up and do your job. Teach them, don't cater to them. Guide them, give them limits and tear up the free pass. This isn't about your need to feel cool. It's actually not about your feelings at all. This is about the responsibility to help your child mature and grow in the right ways. You taught them to walk and talk, so should you be teaching them to get drunk and swear. You want them to fall in love, get married and have kids. So don't condone violence, promiscuity, disrespectful and dangerous behavior. You want them to be responsible and intelligent, so don't buy everything they ask for when they can't pass their classes. Structure, discipline and consequences are important tools to show caring and love and thoughtfulness. Parents who care set boundaries. Every child is going to make mistakes no matter what - some big, some small. But if you're lucky enough to have taught them that there is a difference between right and wrong, maybe some of the choices they make won't be as devastating, as deep or as permanent and isn't that better than being "cool."

So, for today I will be strong instead of being cool. I will not allow or cater to what I know is wrong. I will "parent." I don't have to turn my home into a military school, but for today I will set boundaries that I know are appropriate and I will stick to them. And I will pray for continued strength again tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

read a story...

read a story. Do you remember how nice it was to snuggle in bed and read a bedtime story (or better yet when Mom or Dad would do it)? There's a familiar comfort that comes from the stories of childhood. So the challenge today is to go back to that time.

Whether you read a story to your own kids, relatives' kids, the kids of your friends, or just to yourself in the privacy of your own room - for today read a story. Find a book that you loved as a child. A fairytale, an adventure, whatever it is...find it and read it. But don't just look through it and read it silently - read it as though you were six years old again. Read it with the voices for each character. Act out the drama of the story. Relive the fun and make it come alive again. You'll have some fun and reconnect with your inner child. There's a wonderful comfort level that comes with the peaceful mindset and innocence of a child, so find that again today.

So, for today I will read a story. I will let go of "adult" things and take comfort in the familiar sights and sounds of my childhood. In today's hectic and pressured filled world, I will allow myself a moment to be a kid. I will delight in my bedtime story and fall asleep with a smile on my face.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

play a game...

play a game. The challenge today is to let go and be a kid again. To relive a few moments of the joy, freedom, and fun of being a kid.

This challenge, however, does not include x-box, nintendo, wii or any other of the computer or electronic gadet games. Today is about good old-fashioned play time. Etch-o-sketch, legos, lite brite, play-dough, lincoln logs, go fish, building a sand castle, hopscotch, coloring, a tea party, monopoly, chutes and ladders, candyland, rock em sock em robot, connect four - something (anything) from your childhood that brought you joy and made you laugh. If you don't have the game/toy, borrow it (or something else) from a friend with kids, check the closets in your parents home, or go to the toy store and pick it up - whatever you have to do, just play today! We need moments that are not structured, not planned out and don't figure into any time schedule. Those moments we had as kids playing with friends are always some of the best memories. Recapture those moments today! Play with your family and release the tension and realities of the world for a few minutes. If you live alone, call some friends and invite them over for game night. Take the game to work tomorrow and play on your lunch break if you have to, just make sure you play!

So, for today I will play a game. I will be a kid again in my heart and in my actions. I will laugh and think about all the fun I used to have doing the simplest of things. I will realize how easy it was to be happy back then and wonder why I make it so hard for myself now. I will find joy today while I play and I will promise myself to make this attitude a bigger part of my life. I will find joy and pleasure in the simple things in life and be blessed.