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Posts tagged ‘children’

Lately I feel as though discipline has gotten away from me. I have been tired a lot, and exhaustion doesn’t lend itself to consistency. That, and my daughter is at the age where the simple methods I used when she was young aren’t effective anymore.

Enter the ticket system. I just read about this, and I can’t wait to try it.

I’m going to briefly outline the method, but I highly recommend that you go click on that link and read the comments, as well as the link to the source of the idea in one of the comments.

Basically, you make 3 (or more) tickets and stick them to the fridge. Then you highlight certain infractions that will result in losing a ticket. Then at each infraction, tue child must surrender a ticket. When all are gone, he gets to sit on his bed the rest of the day and go to bed early. There could he a practice day before you start, where you warn them each time they disobey, saying, “That would be a ticket.”

So I have written down the 3 most important areas for each child that I want to focus on. Here they are:


  • Tattling
  • Dissolving into tears when disappointed
  • Not obeying promptly


  • Hurting the baby
  • Not obeying promptly
  • Throwing a tantrum when things go wrong

I suppose there could be more, but those are the top 3 for me right now. Obviously, not obeying promptly covers a multitude of transgressions.

I’m not sure if I will implement this the same for Manny as I will for his sister. He is pretty young, and I may have him sit in a chair an arm’s length from wherever I am. I will also confiscate all toys if they are in their rooms. I may also try setting the timer for 2 hours initially and starting the tickets over when it goes off, but I’ll wait and see how it goes.

I’ll do my best to keep you all posted!

This post is linked to the Works for Me Wednesday and the Modest Monday blog carnival.

By SearchNetMedia on Flickr

This guest post is from Kumon.

These days, a lot is being said about the importance of children living a healthy lifestyle. Parents want their children to grow up healthy and strong. Here are three no-nonsense tips mothers everywhere can use to help direct their children toward more healthy choices, now and in the future.

Lead by Example

Whenever you can show your children the importance you place on taking care of yourself and your body, seize the opportunity to do so. The more they see you striving to live a more balanced and healthy life, the more likely they will be to follow suit.

Know What Your Child Is Eating

Have you ever read the ingredients of some of the foods your children are eating? Not only are some of the ingredients difficult to pronounce, but it is also not always obvious what they are or why they are in the food. Now you can obtain a greater understanding with The Dictionary of Food Ingredients. This book is full of information about ingredients such as algin, a substance used in ice cream, puddings, icings and “fabricated fruit.” That’s right, fake fruit. Use a resource such as this book to help you make healthy choices.

Be Honest

Children seek out honesty, even if it changes their perspective on the world they live in. If your children look at you with those inquisitive eyes and ask why they can no longer have a certain snack, be honest. Tell them it’s because they contain unhealthy ingredients. Share with them the science behind food processing in words they can understand. And reassure them that you will always be there to make sure the foods they eat will be good for them.

First off, I’m sorry I forgot to insert the linky tool in last week’s post. However, no one even commented, so I guess it wasn’t missed. I have decided to continue this topic, even if no one participates, because I need to do it for me. That said, though, I would love if some of my readers would participate!

Last week my decision was:

I resolve to make a plan for checking email and being online and to claim victory over wasting time online.

Did I make a plan? Yes. Have I gained consistent victory in this area? No. What can I say? It is not easy to change strong habits. However… as I have continued on with the All Power seminar, I got down to days 25-27, where I have been forced (yes, I chose that word on purpose) to look very closely at myself and my priorities and values, and to make some changes. I have spent a lot of spare thinking time (I say thinking time, because my hands have usually been very busy) trying to figure out where certain areas of my life, especially my blogs, fit into what I want out of life. I think I have figured it out–more abstractly than concretely at the moment–and I’ll probably share about it in a future post once it crystallizes better in my mind. All I know is that if I choose to live by my list of Ultimate End Values that I made yesterday, I will be spending less time in general on the Internet and in particular less time on this blog.

Here is my plan, however, for what it’s worth: I have decided to set certain time frames for being online. These are scheduled into my day, just like other activities like time with God and eating. However, because Internet has lower priority than other things like home and husband and children, the demands of home and husband and children may at times supersede my need to get online, and I may have to forgo time online.

What I do online is going to change somewhat. My list of end values is going to change my focus of activities. For instance, at this point in time financial security is going to have to take precedence over community, especially because my husband is going back to school and my son has expensive health issues. So if I have to choose between writing a post on some helpful cleaning tip for this blog and posting a couple of items on eBay, I’ll choose eBay. I know this could affect my blog in many ways, but I have decided that having lots of readers is not important anymore. I want to share more about who I am and less about what I know here.

I have also decided that I cannot make 5 decisions a week. I just don’t have it in me to focus on that many things right now. So I have made two. Here is one of them:

I determine to make my relationship with God the #1 priority in my life.

I have said that it is, but I have not practiced it. Now I am going to do it. Even if I have to get up early, miss out on sleep, etc. My physical health is not as important as my relationship with God. That said, I believe that getting this in place will make the rest of life fall into place. After all, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).

So what decision are you making this week? Please use the linky widget below, or post about it in the comments. Read this for more information on how this link-up is supposed to work.


In the last few days, I have been doing a lot of introspection. I won’t go into all the details (I don’t have time to do that, and you probably don’t have time to read it!), but let me see if I can summarize a little.

I’ve been taking the All Power Seminar. If you haven’t heard of it, you should go check it out. If you let it, it will change your life. It is probably the major reason for all my introspection lately.

On day 25, my assignment was to list my ultimate end values, then put them in order of importance the way they are in my life right now (not how they should be). That is hard! Think about it. When you think of values, you might think about things like God, husband, children, a nice home, money, etc. But most of those are not ultimate values. For instance, I married my husband for love, security, and pleasure, among other things. I don’t find pleasure in cleaning the home, but I do it because it makes my husband happy, and his happiness translates into pleasure and love for me. Listing ultimate end values is a lot harder than listing the things we do every day and then putting them on a priority. This has to do with who we are as a person.

I just did it this morning. And I’m not liking who I am.

Thankfully, I don’t have to stay the way I am! Praise God!

But it has made me stop and take a look at why I do what I do. Why do I blog? Why do I spend as little time in the kitchen as I can? Why do I find myself telling my daughter, “Just a minute” 5 times when all she wants is for me to read a story? Not just looking at the behavior but at the underlying motive is, well, it’s painful, but it helps me understand who I really am, and what I need to change.

So speaking of blogging… I haven’t figured it out totally. What I do know is that until I figure out exactly what my goal is, I may not do a lot of blogging for a while. At least, not as much as I have been doing the last couple of weeks. I want this blog to glorify God, and it can’t if I put it ahead of the more important things in life, such as my relationship with God, my children, and my health.

Recently I posted a survey about my blog, then made it “sticky” so that it would be at the top of the page. I only had one entry, and the answers really made me think, because I wasn’t posting much of what that reader wanted to see most here. I wish I had had more (it’s still open, by the way), but it did give me food for thought.

So what about you? What are your ultimate goals and values in life? What drives you? Think about it, and feel free to share if you wish.

Have you ever made a decision that affected your entire life? Of course you have. Probably lots of them.

For me, the decision not to go to college has shaped who I am as a person in a very powerful way now. I don’t have a school debt to pay off. I don’t feel like I wasted my time in college learning stuff I’m not using. That was a big decision for mew and one I’m happy I made.

But there have been other smaller decisions that I have made that also affected the course of my life. Little decisions about actions or thoughts that I made, almost without thinking, have molded who I am as a person in much more subtle ways. Like whether I picked up something I saw laying around; whether I made my bed every morning or not; whether I got upset when things didn’t go my way, or sent up a prayer for grace and smiled instead.

I’ve been watching a seminar lately that has been teaching me a lot about the power of the decisions that I make in my life. And it is having an impact on my daily life. I wish I could summarize it for you, but there is so much that I think you really should just go and experience it for yourself.

The best part is, it’s free! That’s right. You can watch the seminar online for free. And the second-best part is that it is short. That is, each day’s session is short, 15 minutes or so, plus 5 minutes in a workbook afterward. Even the busiest person can find 15-20 minutes a day for self-improvement–and if they can’t, something’s wrong!

He’s not exaggerating. So here is my suggestion. Click on this banner and go sign up for the seminar:

When I got to day 12, I was inspired to try something new on my blog. I have been learning about making decisions, and I wrote down 5 decisions that I want to make in my life. Then I thought, What if I could have a link-up here, so that others could share their decisions, and we could support each other and learn from each other? So that’s what I’m going to do.

Every Monday I am going to share with you how the decision I made the week before affected my life, and then share my new decision for the following week. Then I’m going to have a link-up here so that you can post a link to your blog if you blogged about your decision. If you don’t have a blog, you can just post it in a comment. But please don’t start until you get to day 12–even if you take 4 or 5 hours and do each session one after the other–or you won’t understand what is going on.

My decision for this week that I am sharing is a decision regarding my emotional state. You know, we choose our emotional state; no one can force us to be angry or frustrated or anything. So here is my decision for this week:

I am choosing not to be frustrated by my children. Instead, I will model love, understanding, and patience.

Next Monday I will share how this decision affected my week.

Now it’s your turn. What decision are you making this week?

Linky Love

In my wanderings around the Internet over the past couple of weeks, I have found a few links that I would like to share with my readers. If you find something interesting, be sure to tell me about it (so I can get an idea of what my readers enjoy).

The Home Ec 101 blog has a really great post to help get your New Year going right in several different ways.

Over at Trivium Pursuit they put a really great list of ways to provoke your child. I highly recommend this post to every parent! They also had an interview with Martin Luther that I found very interesting.

Here is a good list of ideas from one blogger’s New Years Resolutions on Raising Children. Seriously, if you aren’t following the Modest Mom’s Blog, you should be. I seem to find something I really like there every few days!

Speaking of New Year’s Resolutions, better health is on almost everybody’s mind. Danny at Modern Manny posted a very good article with some simple tips for having a healthier new year.

And speaking of good health, I read a very interesting story from a lady who went vegan for her health. She experienced a miracle–or it seemed like one to her–in just 3 days! You really should read her story. It’s amazing how simple things like diet changes can have such a profound effect on us in such a short time!

And before I leave the topic of health, here’s a recipe for a delicious-looking vegan carrot cake. Fat free too! I really need to try this soon!

I also found a wonderful blog with lots of delicious allergy-free recipes on it. I’m trying these Sweet Potato Pancakes this morning.

Those of you following me on Twitter may have seen some of these before. If you aren’t, you should be! Most of my Twitter followers are guys, for some reason. I would like to have more Moms following me! (Of course, if you are avoiding Twitter, don’t think you have to join just to follow me! But if you are already there, look up “lifeofahappymom”.)

So what have you been looking at this week? Please share with me! at

Last week I posted an article by L. Elizabeth Krueger of Raising Godly Tomatoes called Teaching Children to Be Helpful.This week I want to share the second part of that section of her website. The topics were posted on the same page, but since they are two very different topics, I wanted to share them separately. I am by no means suggesting that the following method is the only right method of teaching financial responsibility, and I do not think the author would either. This is what they do. My kids are still too young to understand money yet, and I don’t know how we will handle it when the time comes. I share this for your consideration, and would appreciate your feedback.

By nikkinoguer on Flickr

None of our children have ever been told they had to work to earn their “own” money. We never gave allowances either. Actually, they really don’t have their “own” money period. I don’t have my “own” money either. All our money belongs to all of us. Yes, my husband and I are in authority ultimately, so we control the money to an extent with the younger children, but as our children get older, that authority (to handle money) is turned over to them more and more. For example, the younger ones may get a few dollars for their birthdays that they are allowed to keep in their drawers, but if I need it to buy a birthday card or whatever, then they gladly donate it to the cause. Later, if they need new pencils or a notebook, I give them money to buy it and don’t make them take it from money they’ve saved. With the older kids, we give them money as needed and sometimes a little extra in case of emergencies. As they get older, we are less and less controlling about this, and don’t really keep track of what they have or don’t have. They are never allowed to just spend money for anything they please. They are always taught to spend wisely. That’s a prerequisite. This method will not work unless you teach your child to be good steward and spend wisely.

I often borrow from the kids to pay the music teachers and may or may not pay it back. If the kids do jobs for the neighbors, they do not accept money. Same if they baby-sit for a relative or something similar. Occasionally if they do a bigger job (like watch the neighbor’s dog for 2 weeks while they are on vacation), then they are allowed to accept payment, and they don’t have to share it with the family, but yet they can’t spend it on just any old thing either. We teach all our children to spend wisely from the time they are small.

So far this method (which I haven’t explained very well) has produced very fiscally responsible teens and young adults. Our 21yo is doing very well at managing his own internet business, our 19yo does all my shopping and does a better job than I do. Our 17yo does all my personal bookkeeping, including paying my bills and balancing my checkbook and even keeping me supplied with cash as needed. All three of our oldest kids have their own credit cards which are on our account, and we can trust them not to abuse them. I never have to even check on their spending because I can see that they are handling money very well. They keep the family cars full of gas and they take on many of the family responsibilities (like car repairs) that most parents do instead.

I should add that our oldest 2 boys now work at my husband’s office and are paid a salary (for bookkeeping reasons) which they just put right in the bank and we continue on as before. We’re not sure what this money will go for, but at this point it doesn’t matter. If they needed it individually it would be there, and if the family needed it for something, it would be there. This is part of the family farm concept.

Proverbs 17:17 – ” A true friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.” (TLB)

The other day I was spending a few quiet moments (a rarity lately!) reading one of my favorite devotional books, and this paragraph jumped out at me:

The loveliness of the character of Christ will be seen in His followers. It was His delight to do the will of God. Love to God, zeal for His glory, was the controlling power in our Saviour’s life. Love beautified and ennobled all His actions. Love is of God. The unconsecrated heart cannot originate or produce it. It is found only in the heart where Jesus reigns. “We love, because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19, R.V. In the heart renewed by divine grace, love is the principle of action. It modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections. This love, cherished in the soul, sweetens the life and sheds a refining influence on all around.

Steps to Christ, 59

The thought is beautiful all by itself, but as I contemplated it, something struck me. Love is the ultimate motivator. I mean, who would willingly wipe someone else’s bottom for free if they didn’t love them? Sure, some would do it for pay, but all mothers do it for free. Why? Because we love our little helpless babies!

But then something else struck me. When our children love us, they are motivated to obey us. When we have their heart, we don’t have to twist their arm to get them to do something. Have we shown them love like Christ has shown for us?

When our children are motivated by love, look what can happen: “It [love] modifies the character, governs the impulses, controls the passions, subdues enmity, and ennobles the affections.”

In the goal of the development of character in our children, let’s make sure that we put in a lot of love!

This article is taken from the Raising Godly Tomatoes website, written by L. Elizabeth Krueger. It is not part of the book. You can find the full article here. Here is what she says about involving the children in your day. That way they won’t have time to think about being bored (see yesterday’s post).

By laurelbethyw on Flickr

Rather than trying to keep my children entertained all day, I believe that I should be training them on a minute-by-minute basis toward the goal of becoming godly adults. What better way than to include them as much as is possible in whatever I am doing, so they will learn to live as I do? I try to find ways so that even the little ones can help me, but it is also good for them to learn to just watch and listen, as well.

Sewing is a good example. I often sew or type with a baby on my lap and a toddler playing with my button box on the floor next to me. Slightly older children can help by cutting out patterns or they can play with my scraps. At eleven years old, my daughter could do much of the actual sewing and ironing, and we would be able to finish a dress in half the time by working as a team. It was also a lot more fun than trying to give her a “sewing lesson”. We just treat sewing like any other chore we need to get done, and we try to enjoy all our chores.

I try to treat everything else similarly. As I go about my day, I try to especially include the younger children in the things I am doing. If I’m in the kitchen, I will call the six year old to unload the dishwasher and the eight year old to help with the actual cooking and clean up. The two and three year olds climb up on the stools at the counter and watch (I never have to call them). They love to lick bowls and munch on scraps of things I am making.

Same thing when I’m working in the yard. I might give the younger ones a garden tool to dig with, or I’ll set them to work collecting the weeds I’m pulling, and throwing them out for me. Of course there’s always lots the older ones can do.

Dad does the same thing. He includes the children in his office work by giving them any job they can handle, often with the older ones teaching the younger. All except the babies are taught to run the fax machine, make copies on the copier, work the computers and calculators, type, file, etc. ( Our oldest, Shane, at thirteen, handled all the computer support work for our in-home office as well as our out-of-home, five-person business office.) This is all done informally by simply including them in Dad’s work. The children take turns accompanying Dad to business meetings whenever possible. If Dad is not home all day, as is the case in most families, he can include them in what he does when he is home; mowing the lawn, taking care of the car, fixing things, handling the family finances, etc. In everything we do, it is an opportunity to teach godliness to our children.

BEWARE of doing all the work yourselves and letting your kids play all day so they can “enjoy their childhood.” This will only result in a adult who is self-centered and lazy, and has a “the world owes me a living” attitude. When people hear the term “spoiled” in regard to a child, they often laugh and think of it as a temporary thing that can be sort of cute at times. Nothing could be more backward. When I used to own and ride horses, I often heard the term “spoiled” in regard to a particular type of animal. In the horse world, this was never cute. A spoiled horse was one whom BAD TRAINING HAD RUINED PERMANENTLY!

Deuteronomy 6:7   –  “And you shall teach them (God’s laws) diligently to your sons, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

By 55Laney69 on Flickr

One thing I have realized as a parent is that having your child’s heart is essential. You can train them until you are blue in the face, but if you don’t have their heart, you just breed rebellion in them. I recently read a post on this topic on another blog that I keep up with, and I want to share with you a short excerpt from the post Do You Have Your Child’s Heart:

The answer to nearly all child training questions is, you must have your child’s heart.  What exactly does this mean and how do we gain our child’s heart?

Proverbs 23:26 says it most like I’ve worded it,

My son, give me thy heart; And let thine eyes delight in my ways.

. . . This concept of having your children’s heart is vast and complex and I don’t pretend to have or know all the answers. . . . I believe the rewards of faithfulness in this area are most evident as your children get older and become more independent, but there are signs of success or failure early on.  A parent who is paying attention will know if they have their child’s heart.

Please go read the whole article. You will be blessed!