Tag Archives: parenting

What can you do with your kids that will help your wife love you?

IMG_3179Raising kids is A LOT of work.  Raising kids WELL is even more work.  It takes a lot of time, endless energy, good ideas, tons of patience, lots of prayer, and the grace of God to do so.

I am very blessed in this subject though.  Julia is an amazing mom!  Seriously…she is.  And it really makes my job easy!  She thinks of cool ways to teach things all the time that I would never think about.

So, one area that I struggle in is being passive as a parent.  I see the awesome things that Julia does and, to be honest, it’s easy to get lazy.  If Eli does that needs correcting, I know Julia is going to have a great way to address it and teach him something from it.  If he is upset about something from school, Julia is going to be there with some great comforting and will draw him out to get to the root of the issue.  So sometimes I get caught in this trap feeling like I don’t NEED to do anything.

I realize this is frustrating for her though.  No one wants to have to parent on their own.  It’s exhausting!  But, when I sit back and leave it to Julia to address all these things that come up, I’m forcing her to do all the work.  So, I have to make a conscious effort to be active at this.

When Eli speaks back to Julia, I try to step in and address it before she has a chance to.  When he interrupts someone when they’re talking, I try to talk to him about it.  When he is wandering around when he’s supposed to be getting ready for bed, I try to get him focused back on task.  Julia does all these things (and MUCH more).  But, I want him to hear from ME that it’s not ok.  I want BOTH of us to be teaching him these things.  I feel when parents are unified in the message they are teaching, it makes the message so much clearer and will be more effective.

So guys, if we want to show our wives that we love them, get on board with parenting.  This is very much a work in progress on my part.  Don’t let her shoulder the burden alone.  Talk with her about strategies of how to address things.  Talk about whatever phase your kids seem to be going through.  And make sure you’re engaging your child when the need arises.  I guarantee you she will appreciate it.

“Daddy, this money is going to change the world”

IMG_1761I know…I’m going off-topic again…my apologies :-)

My son Eli often does things that blow my mind.  Although I’m supposedly the parent and the one who is teaching him about life and how to become an adult, I’m always surprised at the things I learn from him.  God has really put a lot of awesomeness in him.  I can’t wait to see what he’s going to be like when he grows up!

I’m just writing this now, but the event I want to share about occurred about a year ago.  We had started giving him a weekly allowance of $2.  He got to decorate 3 different piggy banks (tithe, save, and spend).  We told him whenever he got allowance, he had to put AT LEAST 10% into tithe ($.20) but he could do more if he wanted.  Then, split the rest between savings and spending.  It seemed like a good plan, but most weeks he just decided to put it all in tithe, which was really cool.

As a parent, I saw the weeks go by and I started to feel badly for him.  As bad as it sounds, I wanted him to be able to spend some money.  I wanted him to be able to buy stuff like toys, or candy, or whatever.  But, if he didn’t start putting money in his spending bank, he never would.  We would be at Target and he’d see something he wanted and I would start to say, “do you want to use your spending money on this?” but then I realized that he didn’t have any because he gave it all away!  Every once in a while he would put some money into spending and would get up to a dollar or two.  But then one day he would say “you know what…I’m just going to put all my spending money to tithe.”

So, the story I wanted to share was this…one time I gave him 2 weeks of allowance at once ($4), and of course he said he was going to put it all towards tithe.  Wanting to teach him the “responsible” side of money management, I asked him, “don’t you want to keep some for spending and saving?”  I will never forget his response.  He looked at me with almost a look of hurt in his eyes.  And he said in the most serious voice a 6 year old can…”Daddy, this money is going to change the world.”

I just about burst into tears in a split second after that.  I managed to hold them back and say I was proud of him.  Then he ran up the steps to put his money away.  I would estimate that since we started, we’ve probably given him around $140 in allowance…and he’s probably given away about $136 of it.

When I hear him say things like that, it really challenges me to re-evaluate my own perspective.  It’s easy to laugh off a $4 gift as being a world changer.  You can barely buy a latte for $4!  But, you know what…he’s right…$4 CAN change the world….when God is behind it.

I can picture Eli if he were alive 2,000 years ago.  He would be the one, in the middle of the crowd listening to Jesus.  And when everyone was hungry he would say, “here take this bread and fish that I have, I know you can do AMAZING things with this!”  And as others laughed at his exuberance, Jesus would take that small amount of food and feed 5,000 people.

My challenge to you (and me):

Don’t sell God short.  He can do amazing things with even the smallest amount of time, money, and energy we can give.  Maybe it’s 2 hours of volunteering with the youth group.  Maybe it’s greeting people at church.  Maybe it’s taking some canned goods to a food shelter.  Or maybe it’s giving $4 for an offering .  You have no idea how your gift can impact other people…but don’t for a second think that it doesn’t matter or won’t make a difference.  If God is behind it…it definitely will.

Kid’s activity schedules…disrupting marriages since minivans were invented

IMG_5218Raising kids is tough.  I struggle all the time worrying about whether or not I’m missing opportunities to impact Eli’s life.  After work, sometimes I’ll do nothing but veg out, and think, “I should probably take this time to do something amazing with him.”  Or, I worry about missing seasons of sports thinking how he may “get behind” the other kids.  What’s difficult is that there is no instruction book for what’s right, and one parent’s perspective can differ greatly from another.

IMG_0383Part of being a good father, husband, employee, and person is learning to have balance in life.  I think too often we are pushed to center our lives around our kids.  Eli likes activities.  If given the chance to do it, he will want to play soccer…and baseball…and basketball…swimming…cub scouts…gymnastics…lacrosse…dancing…wrestling…tennis…and more.  Yikes…that’s a lot!  Even doing just a handful of these will keep us driving back and forth from one activity to another most nights of the week.  And we just have ONE child.  I can only imagine what it would be like when you have multiple kids with busy schedules.  As parents we try very hard to make sure Eli is not over-scheduled.  We have a loose rule that he can only be involved in one sport at a time.  If he wants to play baseball, that’s great…but he has to stop gymnastics.

IMG_1723I think the difficulty lies in wanting your child to have every opportunity to maximize their potential.  If they are physically gifted…you WANT to give them every chance to do their best.  If they are academically gifted…you WANT to do everything you can to help that grow.  We would be slighting our kids if we DIDN’T give them opportunities to grow if there is an area they are gifted and interested in.  The question is…how can you do that and maintain balance in life? 

I think it’s important to figure out what’s the point of being a kid?  Is it to train to become a professional athlete?  Is it to become a genius?  Let’s be honest…statistically speaking, (according to the interwebs) if 100 people read this article, around 10 will have a kid that goes on to play sports at college.  And out of 100 people, 0 will have kids that play professionally.  But out of 100 kids…ALL of them will become adults…and CLOSE to all of them will be married and have kids.  So I think it makes sense to focus the majority of our energy on developing these areas.

  • how to be a husband/wife
  • how to be a father/mother
  • how to be responsible with money
  • how to love God
  • how to make friends
  • how to love others

IMG_2242One of the dangers in putting TOO much of your time and energy into kid’s activities is that the rest of your life can suffer because of it…things like your marriage relationship, your personal health and well being, and your ability to impact other people with your life.  With no margin left in life, it can be easy for these things to fall by the wayside.

I definitely do not have this mastered.  And I’m not totally sure the ways I’ve tried to balance life IS what’s best.  But I think it’s something that is important to think about and make sure to keep in mind.

My challenge to you:

Don’t let your kids activities dominate your life.  Make sure to keep a balance.  Don’t neglect nurturing an interest or talent they have in something, but make sure the push to become great at an activity doesn’t take precedence over the push to become great at becoming an adult.IMG_1933