Posts

Children | Mistakes | Kim Skinner | Motivational Speaker

Letting Our Children Flub Up

Are you okay about not being okay? Most of us would agree that we can learn from our mistakes. But when it comes to our children….

I’ll never forget one of the earliest teacher conferences I had concerning my firstborn child. The seemingly negative assessment and numerated critiques of my precious one cut to my heart and made my blood boil. No way! This is someone else’s fault!

It’s only natural for us to become roaring lionesses when our cubs are attacked. But at some point this behavior becomes destructive.

In a wonderful parenting bestseller, “The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Techniques to Raise Self-Reliant Children” by Dr. Wendy Mogel, overprotective mommies are called out.

Why do I refuse to hear criticism about my child?

How are my dreams and expectations coloring the way my child sees himself?

When is it okay to let a child fall down and suffer the consequences?

Mogel stresses the importance of faith in the household. Why? Because faith determines what is ultimately most important. If godly character, respect and kindness are most important, then discipline and hard lessons are not only acceptable, but essential.

On reflection, no matter what our professed faith may be, our actions truly reveal where our functional priorities reside.

  • If reputation and appearance are everything, then our children are encouraged to look and act perfectly.
  • If we stress over financial security, then educational success, admission to top universities, and well-paying careers become our children’s priority.
  • If we live for our children’s love, then we sacrifice everything to make them happy. (Trust me, this is a lose-lose.)

Honestly, my faith journey has been one of many skinned knees. Personal pain and flub-ups are essential to get my attention. I truly remind myself of a mule I once knew.

Bottom line: “Skinned knees” are great teaching moments. Let’s embrace them and learn. Let us, with humility, celebrate such moments with our children and point them to the wisdom of our faith!

Asking Our Husbands For Help

Asking Our Husbands For Help

I recently read this humorous definition of outdoor barbecuing:

When a man volunteers to do such cooking, the following chain of events is put into motion:

One. The woman goes to the store to buy all the ingredients for the meal.

Two. The woman fixes the salad, vegetables and dessert.

Three. The woman prepares the meat for cooking, places it on a tray along with the necessary cooking utensils, and takes it to the man, who is lounging beside the grill, drinking a cola.

Four. The man places the meat on the grill.

Five. The woman goes inside to set the table, put out the condiments, and check the vegetables.

Six. The woman comes out to tell the man the meat is burning.

Seven. The man gets off his lounge chair, puts his cola down, takes the meat off the grill, and hands it to the woman.

Eight. The woman prepares the plates and brings them to the table.

Nine. After eating, the woman clears the table and does the dishes.

Ten. The man asks the woman how she enjoyed “her night off.” And, upon seeing her annoyed reaction, concludes that there’s just no pleasing some women.

Funny, but true I think. Nevertheless, we women have the potential to help our husbands to help us or to further develop helplessness in these poor men.

Last week my husband and I spent a week alone with the purpose of resting and re-committing ourselves to a vibrant healthy marriage relationship. Here are some of the neglected principles I, again, recognized.

When we need help from our husbands, we should kindly and specifically request such help. Example: “Honey it would mean so much to me and make my day less stressful if you would please ______.” Remember to follow this with affection and positive encouragement.

Wait patiently, refusing to do the task yourself, and praise his efforts upon completion. Don’t correct or criticize.  Help him to understand why you appreciate what he has accomplished.

 Ask him for affirmation and encouragement.  When it comes to caring for the home and children, I am generally more comfortable and efficient. I have found that possibly the most helpful way my husband contributes to the family is with a supportive attitude and repeated words of affirmation and appreciation. Don’t hesitate to say, “Honey, today I really need for you to brag on me.”

Refuse to poke fun at your husband’s attempts at domestic helping. My patient husband helped me to understand that my humorous comments about his peculiarities or ineptness around the house hurt him deeply. I needed to be called out. Instead, I have committed to expressing gratitude for the many things he does for me and our family.

In conclusion, I have discovered that left unchecked I am naturally prone to be selfish and demanding. “I need” is the voice of my heart. When I am reminded to be considerate of the needs of my husband, I discover that he responds with a cheerful willingness to help. Amazing but true. The more we demand the less we receive. The more we give the better. Give it a try.

© Copyright 2010 CorbisCorporation

Fish Out of Water – “I Need to be Free!”

Are you in a rut? Do you wish that you could find freedom by breaking out? Is your job a drag? Are social norms and rigid “truth claims” making you feel suffocated? Perhaps you are like the goldfish who wants to get out of her fishbowl.

In actuality, many imposed or self-imposed constraints are not healthy. Too much can produce irritability, defensiveness, or even a sense of superiority.

As long as we are in the “fishbowl” we can blame the glass surrounding for our negative experiences. But when we leap from the water, rejecting all confinement, we find ourselves gasping on the dry grass. Ugh! But take heart! The pressure and suffocation of this experience CAN be a positive thing. But how?

If you are flattened right now, gasping for life, it’s a great time to admit “I can’t survive here.”

A fish grounded cannot get herself back into the water. She must ask one higher to pick her up and put her back. Faith is required for such a declaration.

As a wife and mother of five, I feel confined quite often. The pressures seem unending and I want to bolt. Loving family relationships require personal sacrifice and that is restrictive. Nevertheless,  rejecting those relationships produce isolation.

We cannot survive in such a place.

Think for a minute with me. What are we made for? A fish is made to enjoy the freedom of being who he is, swimming in the water, eating fish food, and playing fish games.

We humans are made to give and receive love. We are to create and make the world a better place. When selfishness, resentment and defensiveness prevent us from giving, we are losing the freedom to be who we are!

We will thrive in “living water” spiritually charged with encouraging words:

“You are loved and eternally important to the one who made you.”

“You have gifts that are to be used to help heal the broken world in which you live.”

“Selflessness, forgiveness, and hope are the attributes of your flourishing.”

Just being religious is not freeing. The fear of failure is always lurking. It can become dehumanizing to continually give up our freedom to a god that seems to only demand obedience.

Only one system of belief offers a love relationship with God in which he restricts his freedom for our sake.

The son of God jumped out of his glorious fishbowl and entered the dry deteriorating environment of our world for one purpose: to give us freedom. On the cross he gasped and gave his life away… So that we could have a loving relationship with him.

When anxiety, fear, and resentment build up we need to get back in the water. Restrictions always exist, but the proper restrictions produce amazing freedom and joy.