Brett.Ullman

Category - parenting

Are We Raising a Generation of Helpless Kids?

Some really good thoughts here for parents.

We’ve told our kids to dream big – and now any small act seems insignificant. In the great scheme of things, kids can’t instantly change the world. They have to take small, first steps – which seem like no progress at all to them. Nothing short of instant fame is good enough. “It’s time we tell them that doing great things starts with accomplishing small goals,” he says.

Kids need to align their dreams with their gifts. Every girl with a lovely voice won’t sing at the Met; every Little League baseball star won’t play for the major leagues.

Click here for the entire blog

How to Raise Religious Teens

Interesting read for those of us raising kids in the church world.

What happens is belief becomes a buffet and it is clear that only some of the items make their way to our plate. Inconvenient ideas like talking to people about our faith, or giving a percentage of our income to God are ignored. Quickly teens pick up that we nod agreement in church but have no intention of doing anything differently than last week.

Click here for the article.

When Marriage Is No Longer Exciting

Some great thoughts here:

Those who enter into marriage promise to continuously choose love, especially when they don’t feel like it.

Each year of change, each trial worked over, each day we fight to keep the promises we made, we are drawn into a depth of relationship we couldn’t imagine on the wedding day.

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Cheaters, Thieves, Scammers and Liars

Last month my family went to a farm for the afternoon during the Thanksgiving Season (Canadian Thanksgiving). This farm was awesome and had everything from a large corn maze, apple picking, tons of activities for kids and even an event where pumpkins were shot out of canons (my favorite). I had a great time with my family but I found it really interested some of the people the we encountered that day. There were 4 stories that really frustrated me that day:

1. Cheaters: we were in a barn and there was a small .25 cent machine to get food for the animals.  I was in line with my kids  and watched the lady in front of me watching the guy from the farm very closely. The moment the farmer left the bard she said to her young 4-5 year old  “You don’t have to pay, you just jiggle the machine and the food comes out” All I could think of was how this young girl is being taught at a very young age how cheating the system is ok as long as you don’t get caught.

2. Theives: When apple picking you choose the size of bag you want and then go pick your apples. While my family is picking apples there are a few parents and about 6 kids on the other side of the apple trees from us. The mother got all the kids together and told them to “Shove apples into your pocket”s as they were leaving and wanted to get more. Again another young kid said truth “But mom, is that not stealing.” The mother said that they paid for a bag and the little girl replied “But our pockets are not part of the bag”. Again truth from young kids.

3. Scammers: While picking Apples you could use a Wheel barrow to hold your apple bag. Once finished there were lots of signs that said please don’t take the wheelbarrows from the field. There was a place to leave them clearly marked off. As I was walking back with my own apples in hand I heard a father tell his family he would distract the farm guy while his family escapes with the wheel barrow to the car. To which the kid said “But dad we are not supposed to take the wheel barrow’s out of the field” The fathers response was to just ignore the little guys valid point.

4. Liars: at a certain time of the day the activity area for children closed down. I was coming back with my bag of apples to put them in the car and had to put the bag down. Just as a put the bag down a man came to his family which was directly beside me and told them “The area is closed down. Lets go over and tell them our cousins are in the area and they will let us in.” To which the 10 year old replied. “But our cousins are not in there. Its just us” To which the father told him to (and I quote) “Get with the program” I wondered how the father will like it when his son is doing the same things to him in upcoming years.

I am shocked at how many parents I saw in one day that seemed to have just quit parenting. What morals and values are these parents teaching these young kids? What was fascinating was that all of these kids knew better. All of them challenged their parents on what they were doing.

Parenting is a strategic, intentionally pursuit.

You need to teach your kids how they should be in life and one of the best ways to do this is to model it by your life. These parents are modelling the way to be Cheaters, Thieves, Scammers and Liars. I find it so interesting that in all these 4 stories the kids ALL knew the difference between what is wrong and right. How do we lose this as adults?

What do your actions as a parent say to your kids?

The important thing about yelling

Great article for all of us to read.

Excessive phone use, commitment overload, multiple page to-do lists, and the pursuit of perfection consumed me. And yelling at the people I loved was a direct result of the loss of control I was feeling in my life.

Inevitably, I had to fall apart somewhere. So I fell apart behind closed doors in the company of the people who meant the most to me.

Some great practical advice

I said things like, “It’s just chocolate syrup. You can wipe it up, and the counter will be as good as new.”

(Instead of expelling an exasperated sigh and an eye roll for good measure.)

I offered to hold the broom while she swept up a sea of Cheerios that covered the floor.

(Instead of standing over her with a look of disapproval and utter annoyance.)

I helped her think through where she might have set down her glasses.

(Instead of shaming her for being so irresponsible.)

[browser-shot width=”600″ url=”http://familyshare.com/Parenting/the-important-thing-about-yelling”]

Christians are not against sex education!

Over the past month I have seen a steady stream of Facebook posts talking about the new Sex Education Curriculum that is being talked about for Ontario students. I scanned through my Facebook newsfeed over this past week and here are some of the themes and comments I saw:

  1. Overreaction. Tons of threats to pull their kids out of Ontario schools and either homeschool or send their kids to private schools. Also numerous threats to have their kids be “sick” on those days when sex is going to be talked about.
  2. I saw sensationalism and panic over miss-information. One mom talked about being sick that she thought her “Grade 3 daughter was going to be taught how to use a condom”. Another person was angry that she thought her Grade 2 was “going to be shown how to give oral sex”.
  3. I read a ton of condescending comments about teachers and other parents in Public School who do not come from the same Christian Worldview as the person who was telling their opinion.
  4. Shame (on parents who send their kids to sex education at public school) seemed to be a themes as well. Also a miss-guided view on all the other parents (not Christians) in public school that they all are want this “anything goes” sort of sex education. There are lots of GREAT parents that I know at my kids school who do not subscribe to the same Christian worldview that I do but are great parents and are walking through these tough topics just like parents who are Christians.

From what I read I would say that Christians are against ALL aspects of sex education. Out of the hundreds of comments I read there were only 5 that talked about not just being against all sex education but giving ideas or further discussion on how to talk about the topic of sex with our kids.

Lets look at this deeper … Read More