To honor God in my writings

Posts tagged ‘parenting’

​How to reduce stress in the family

1. Lower expectation, higher appreciation

    I am easily disappointed when my children makes mistakes or makes a mess, when they are irresponsible with tasks given to them. It makes me wonder if my expectations are just too high for a 6 and a 10 year old. My normal tendencies is to give a sermon that goes on and on, repeating again and again. They end up getting frustrated and exasperated. 

The same principle applies with our spouses, we often nag them for the things that they fail to do or their short comings, focusing on the negative. But what is helpful is to count our blessings. Do not focus on what we don’t have but on what we do have. Appreciate our kids and spouse more rather than criticize them for their short comings and misgivings. 
2. Resist the urge to lecture NOW.

    From my earlier example, as we all know, lecturing during or after the crisis doesn’t work. So it is wiser to take note of the issue at hand and address it at a later time. I so need to work on this.

3. Teach principles in a creative way.  

    When things cool down, aside from just talking to them directly, we can do artwork to get the point across, have an object lesson or a story telling session. We must adapt our teaching to the learning style of our children. My son is a visual learner, so what can you expect him to learn from hearing my 5-point sermon. 

As we are called to be intentional, we have to plan how to communicate the principles to our kids, patiently and gently. I often get frustrated when they don’t learn it the first time around. Having a project about the character we want them to learn will be more effective like singing bible verses, watching cartoons with such lessons. However, it will really take time to mold a character. So we need to take it 1 at a time. As they say, more than 3 criticisms breaks the spirit, it is too much to bear.  So APPRECIATE, APPRECIATE, APPRECIATE; PATIENCE, PATIENCE, PATIENCE. 

God bless y’all.

Perspective on Anger

From the previous article, i shared about my anger with my son for his disobedience with a simple and easy command that i asked him to do.

2 Truth about Anger
1) Anger doesn’t make them Realize their mistakes
2) Anger doesn’t make them Resolve to do what’s right

Jam 1:20 (Esv)
20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

Anger only aggravates the situation, and shifts the focus to a different thing. What are some constructive way to deal with the situation? Here are some suggestions: 3Rs
1) Reflect on their attitude and actions – we should stop what we’re asking them to do, whether studying, assignments, or a chore, and give them a time out. Let them go to a place so they can think and deal with their issues in the heart and then come back when their ready. With a  calm voice, we issue a command once, if they don’t follow – time out. So do not need to get angry before you give them a time out.

2) Reassure them of God’s and your unconditional love – when they come back from their time out and have regained a better perspective, we can now communicate with them how much we love them and how we want to develop their character – responsibility, diligence, and so on. Reassuring them that we love them no matter what. We love them not only when they get high grades or when they are well behaved. If God loved us like that then all of us will cease to exist since we’re so hard headed ourselves, stiff-necked as the Bible puts it.

3) Restore them to their true identity – criticisms whether constructive or destructive are hurtful and painful. Truth hurts. That is why we need to elevate them and encourage them to be all that God want them to be. We as parents want our kids to excel and achieve what God has purposed for their lives. First, we need to share God’s love to them through Jesus’ finished work on the cross so that they may receive forgiveness and adoption as sons of God. Secondly, as heirs of the promise, we need to teach them to act in a worthy manner of their calling. We can never be there with them 24/7, that is why we need to lift them up to God in prayer. Pray for their heart, their character, and their future. God is our partner in raising our kids up. We need to do our part in instilling His words in their hearts so that when they grow old , they will not depart from it.

Internal vs External Motivation

Some background and situations are provided in my previous blog – parenting style, in relation to my child’s swimming (attached below for intro) and character development.

Background (In the area of swimming: i teach him sports discipline, the value of training, following coach’s instructions, executing it the right way. I act as an “assistant” coach, by shouting key words to him like kick faster, harder, faster hand strokes. I force him to train everyday whether he lies it or not. I told him, you will know the reward when the time comes (competition). I love him whether he wins or loses but it is just a waste if he failed because he wasn’t disciplined enough or just didn’t train enough. We can offer rewards for each time they obey, collect points or stars, have Jollibee afterwards.)

All these things i mentioned are all external motivations though they are all good facts, and works one way or another. It will not get our children very far. It might even work only when we are there with them. A much better approach is INTERNAL MOTIVATION.

In the writing of pastor Edmund Chan, he mentioned that we gravitate towards living by the external – We live by rules, a list of Dos and Don’ts. We live to impress people, have as many likes and approvals in our Fb pages and articles. Yet, deep inside it is empty and different. So we pass this on to our children. We want them to perform, to make us look good, to have good behavior in front of people. Sometimes, this frustrates us deeply when they fail and make mistakes.

Internal motivation addresses the heart issues. It motivates the dream of what he can become when he unleashes his full potential. This approach will take more time and gentle dialogue, showing him real inspiring true stories of discipline and perseverance, what the outcome of these disciplines come to. It is geared more on the reasoning side, casting a vision of the future. If he catches it, then he will be motivated from within.

So in the case of my child’s swimming, i have to talk to him and get him on the same boat. I have to ask him a lot of questions like: do you want to be a champion swimmer? Do you like to be number 1? Definitely, he answered “yes!” Then i give the reasons why – that is why we need the discipline to train and practice, that is why you need to listen to coach and execute his commands and instructions. I have to show him champion swimmers like Michael Phelps, how long he trains and so on.

Motivating him goes with the gentle tone and not with the authoritarian/dictatorial tone of “Train now!” With it, goes the importance of doing his best, and teaching him the balancing concept of just an “Empty cup” and “Life is more than just winning.” We love you whether you win of lose. We just want you to give it your best. It will be nice to watch movies of victory and defeat – Cars, Turbo, Facing the Giants, and so on. Teaching him lessons of being a good sport, congratulating the winners, not calling losers “losers” with an L on your forehead.

I often remind myself, it is a lifetime of learning. We can’t learn it all in one sitting. We have to be patient and trust God and surrender our kid’s hearts to Him. We can not change people, only God can. So it is our duty as parents to pray for our children and by God’s grace, they’ll turn up good.

There are now several books in the market lie Shepherding a child’s heart by Tedd Tripp, the Christian Parenting Handbook by Scott Turansky, and so on. Hope they will be a tool for us to be equipped in our parenting. They are full of practical tips and guides to help us deal with other situations in the family.

Again, i am a fellow father with all my flaws and short comings. I haven’t master all these things. As i write this, i am reminded and in the process of doing these myself. So continue to pray for me to be a better patient and loving father. God bless you all.

Parenting Styles

Parenting Styles (principles from ptr Peter Tanchi)

I’m a father of 2 children (8yr old son and almost 4yr old daughter). I love my family very much. I believe that it is the most important thing of all.  That is why i prioritize them and invest my time with them, playing and homeschooling them in several subjects. I thank God for blessing me with a work that is not too demanding of my time and a wife that listened and obey God’s call to homeschool.

I allow my kids to be independent and free. I remember when we were at a cousins house in Florida, our daughter roamed around the house freely, there was no “yaya” or nanny following behind her at 2yrs old. So she developed this early sense of independence and freedom. When she falls down, we ask her to stop crying and stand up. This developed her inner strength. So i am not a hoovering or helicopter parent.

1. Helicopter parents are over protective even when it comes to the small things. It doesn’t mean you don’t protect them from the dangers of the environment but you tailor fit your environment for them, that they are safe roaming around in it. You need to remove breakable items within reach, cover electric sockets, cover sharp edges, put matting to have a soft fall, and of course, clean the floor. We were blessed that the house we stayed in for almost 2months was clean and carpeted, so it was soft to fall onto and she was free to crawl. We need to strike a balance between being to relax and being over protective. We should let our children explore their world in the confines of a safe environment.

The root problem of this parenting style is the FEAR that we parents have. You don’t want to travel because you’re afraid of accidents. You don’t want to learn to swim because you’re afraid you’ll drown. You don’t want them to learn because you yourself don’t know how. It is us parents who have so many apprehensions and they are passed on to our children subconsciously. No wonder they are always afraid and are so clingy or shy. We need to address those fears and issues first.

2. I believe in TOUGH LOVE: to teach order, discipline, excellence, cleanliness, being responsible for your actions and accepting the consequences that comes with it, etc. I know these are good traits to teach but this became a downside when i leaned more toward being an AUTHORITARIAN DAD. A bad thing that goes with it, is the anger. I shout at them when they make mistakes at home, when they make a mess, when they disobey, and so on.

What happens with this is, i shut my children’s open communication down. They are not open to me anymore. My son learned to throw leftover food at our storage room, and even behind the gas tanks under the gas stove. I was wondering, how come the mouse were grabbing the food from the garbage. Soon i found out the truth, when there was spaghetti with fork behind it, courtesy of our youngest, following ahia’s footsteps. They don’t do that anymore, thank God. But he did it again with a chinese medicine that he was supposed to eat. He hid it under the sink in our bedroom. God revealed it to us when the pipes broke due to strong water pressure when i turned the water valve on. Every time my son knows I’ll say no to him, he hides his agenda from me – even playing timezone or ipad.

In the area of swimming: i teach him sports discipline, the value of training, following coach’s instructions, executing it the right way. I act as an “assistant” coach, by shouting key words to him like kick faster, harder, faster hand strokes. I force him to train everyday whether he likes it or not. I told him, you will know the reward when the time comes (competition). I love him whether he wins or loses but it is just a waste if he failed because he wasn’t disciplined enough or just didn’t train enough. We can offer rewards for each time they obey, collect points or stars, have Jollibee afterwards.

All these things i mentioned are all external motivations though they all good facts, and works in one way or another. It will not get our children very far. It might even work only when we are there with them. A much better approach is INTERNAL MOTIVATION, which i will talk about in the next blog.

I realize that the root problem with this parenting style is SELFISHNESS. The issue is more on me being selfish. I want to get what i want, be obeyed immediately and i get angry when i don’t get it. The obeying immediately is an important part that we should teach our children but the response of anger is the problem. My selfishness led to my impatience and high expectations leading to frustration and anger.

For us to address the selfishness issue, we first need to realize it for what it is and accept it that we became selfish, thinking only of ourselves and being inconsiderate to other’s feelings. Second, we need to apologize to our family members about our reactions and the hurtful words that we uttered, even physical abuse if ever. Third, commit your ways to the Lord and ask for His wisdom and guidance. Let us learn more practical ways on parenting techniques and so on. Keep on improving, never stop learning.

3. The opposite of the authoritarian dad is the BUDDY-BUDDY DAD. This is when we desire to be best friends with our kids that they have no respect to our authority, they do not obey us and sees us as their equal. We are not their equal. God has put a system in place and He has put us, parents, to be in authority over them, to decide when they are incapable of wise choices. That is why we need to train them.

Some kids even commands the parents and the parents becomes helpers instead of friends. I love to serve and do things for my kids but not with a whining, ungrateful, and disrespectful tone and words. Being a best friend to them is important: bonding time with them, doing what they like.

We saw this kind of parenting style and the dad didn’t even know his situation was awkward. He was being commanded by his young son disrespectfully. He may not be sensitive to the issue or he loves too much but he is owed RESPECT by his children. The issue on respect is a very important character trait to instill in our kids because our society needs it to function properly.

Again, we need to strike a balance between being a dictator/authoritarian and being too complacent without being respected.

I am far from perfect and I am still a work in progress. Do pray for me as i work on becoming a better dad. It is really very difficult to be patient and kind. But with God, nothing is impossible. May God’s grace be with us all as we journey through this phase in our lives.

Fathering Flaws from Great Men of Faith

David (2 Samuel 11-14)

We know that David is a man after God’s own heart. But even in his success, he sinned against God and had a weakness for women. He acquired more and more wives. One that displeased the Lord was how he got Bathsheba – through murder. So his consequence was the sword will never cease to devour in your own house.

Indeed, this came true with Amnon and Absalom. David was a very wise and discerning king. He seek God’s advice for every actions that he took when he was going to war. Could it be that David backslided? How come in regards to his family affair, he was not seeking God. In his relationships he did not seek God’s will – like what to do with Amnon’s sin of raping his half-sister, Tamar. What to do with Absalom for murdering his half-brother, Amnon. He wasn’t even bothered if he did not see his son Absalom for many years. He longed for him but did not bring him back. When he brought him back courtesy of Joab’s idea, he didn’t go see him for 2 years as well.

Could it be that David has backslidden or he has compartmentalize his life about seeking God’s will with nation’s affairs but not family affairs? This reminds us of the value to seek God’s will specially in terms of our relationship and family – dispensing discipline, justice, involvement, and most important of all love. Maybe he was too busy and had too many families to be able to mind them and be involved in rearing them up. We can see that David had a weakness in being a great father despite him being a great king and leader. It reminds us that even as we succeed in our careers and earn a lot of money but if we didn’t invest our time with our families they will be led astray. They might even just squander our riches foolishly.

It is never too late to correct this problem though it may not be easy. Teens will have their own agendas and groups that they don’t want to spend time with us anymore. But through repentance, prayer, and God’s grace there is hope for restoration and reconciliation.

As parents, you have the first move of reconciliation, will you take it? Will you humble yourself and ask God and our children for forgiveness of our shortcomings and sin of neglect?

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