Sunday, October 31, 2010

What to do with all that candy

Hallowe’en has officially come and gone.  You have taken the effort to get your children all dressed up to go and get candy (whether on Saturday or Sunday night).  Now you have a collection of candies, too much to consume at any sitting, or during any one week.  So what should you do?

Here are a couple of ideas of what to do with all that candy!

First, you should start filtering through the candy for anything that may not be suitable for your child.  Allergies are super sensitive in your child, so if they have a nut, milk, or some other kind of allergy, take them out before your child tries to eat one.  I realize you probably have done this already, but just take extra precautions since a lot of candies are small and could be over looked.

Second, you should start rationing the candy.  Set a reasonable, age appropriate, ration on the candy.  For example, two treats for lunch, two after school, and two after supper.

Third, award treats for good behaviour.  If your child wants more treats, ask them to do chores around the house.  For each chore they do, give them an extra candy.  If they finish their homework extra early, reward them.

Fourth, use the candies for bargaining.  If your child wants to watch extra TV, video games, or play time, have one candy after supper instead of two.

Fifth, maybe have a couple candies to yourself to help ease the sugar-rush-burden on your child.

Happy candy eating’s!

What are some things you are doing to ration your child’s candy intake?

Monday, October 18, 2010

What are you surrounding yourself with?

There was a study that was released during the summer that showed that if someone in your social network divorced, your chances of divorcing increased.  You probably noticed that when you got married, it seemed like everyone else was as well.  We tend to cluster together with those who are similar or are doing similar things as us.

It’s almost human nature.  We see this happen in grade schools.  The loud kids group together, the active kids group together, the quiet, the shy, the divorced, the boys, the girls, the parentless, and so on.  We group together.  Our social network plays a key role in a lot of our choices.

We need to surround ourselves with other supportive parents.  We need to surround ourselves with other parents who are respectful to their spouses.  We need to be around those who do not belittle, or attempt to tear down our marriage or families.  Why?  We are at a sensitive point in our lives raising children.  It is not an easy job to raise kids.  Kids can be very draining (but also very rewarding); you don’t need anything else consuming your energy.

However, how are we doing internally?  When you are alone, are you implanting thoughts, ideas, or feelings that will interfere with you being a parent?  What are you clicking at on your computer?  What shows and movies are you watching?  What are you listening to?  Do these things help encourage you to be a better husband or father, or are they placing a wedge between you and your family.

You would probably never let your coworkers tell you that you shouldn’t have had kids, or that you are failing as a parent, or take you away from your family for long periods of time.  But we may not have the same guidelines for the TV, movies, video games, music, and computer.  We need to though!  Start establishing them.

Take a dash through your music collection, movie collection, and TV subscription.  Are there some things that need to be removed from your house?  If there is, get it out. Now! Not tomorrow, not in a couple days, do it now.

If you need to make changes to your social network, do that as well.

As you start removing items, and people from your life who drain your energy, you will become a more effective parent and spouse.  You will not feel as pulled down or worn out.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Courageous Parenting

The following are highlights from a talk given by Larry R. Lawrence an ophthalmologist from Fresno, California.  He spoke about being a courageous parent in the world today.

  • In these days, what the world really needs is courageous parenting from mothers and fathers who are not afraid to speak up and take a stand (Emphasis added).
  • Challenges and temptations are coming at teenagers with the speed and power of a freight train.  Strong parents are necessary to fill the responsibility of protecting their children, both physically and spiritually (I would also add, emotional and mental, Emphasis added).
  • If either parent doesn’t feel good about something, then permission should not be granted. If either feels uncomfortable about a movie, TV show, video game, dress, swimsuit or an internet activity, have the courage to support each other and say ‘No’ (Emphasis added).
  • Beware of allowing your children to pair off in romantic relationships prematurely (Please read a previous post series on whether your child is ready to date).
  • As well, beware of allowing your children to spend nights away from home. Too often drug experimenting, trying alcohol, violations of chastity, exposure to pornography, and encounters with police occur while spending a night away from home (Please read a previous post about sleepovers).
  • There is a great deal of wisdom displayed when parents stay up and wait for their children to return home.  Young men and women make far better choices when they know their parents are waiting up to hear about their evenings and to kiss them goodnight.
  • Peer pressure becomes more powerful when our children are away from our influence
  • There are five ways families can fortify themselves: family prayer, family scripture study, a weekly family activity (family home evening), family dinner, and one-to-one interviews with children.

You can watch, read, or listen to the talk.

What are you doing to become a Courageous Parent?