Tag Archive | building character

Blog Post #5 in a Series: Dr. Kevin Leman Interview: The Benefits of Vitamin N

184805039This excerpt is from the article

“The Child Is Father of the Man”: Dr. Kevin Leman on Childhood Memories

by Alicea Jones from an interview with Christian psychologist, author and humorist, Dr. Kevin Leman on how our pasts affect how we parent.

Q- What advice do you have for parents who may not have had healthy role models?

A – Parenting is not a popularity contest. Every kid needs vitamin “N,” which is “No,” and vitamin “E,” which is encouragement. Kids don’t need praise. Praise is actually destructive. Praise should be reserved for God. It’s the false praise that gets me. I mean, the kid strikes out at little league, and the parents are screaming “Great at bat!” I’ve got news for you. It wasn’t great at bat. “Everybody wins, everybody gets a trophy.” That’s the mentality today. It’s crazy. Failure is important. Talk to anyone who has done it in life. Ben Carson: His mother was illiterate but made him write a book report every week. I love that. She was a domestic, cleaning people’s houses. Ben Carson is the top neurosurgeon at John Hopkins Hospital. Those kinds of stories inspire me.

It’s sometimes hard for me to watch my child fail. But I know that’s how they learn and mature. How about you? Were you allowed to fail as a child? How do you handle failure with your own children?

Photo: Thinkstock

Blog Post #3 in a Series: Dr. Kevin Leman Interview

122440385This excerpt is from the article

“The Child Is Father of the Man”: Dr. Kevin Leman on Childhood Memories

by Alicea Jones from an interview with Christian psychologist, author and humorist, Dr. Kevin Leman on how our pasts affect how we parent.

Q – Some people who have unpleasant childhood memories have grown into adults with a strong need to control their surroundings. How do you explain that?

A- A defensive controller is one who controls not because he or she enjoys controlling, but they do it for defensive purposes. Why? Because they’ve been hurt . . . hurt by people. So they’re really guarded. Very few people get close to them. You become a defensive controller to protect yourself from getting hurt. It’s a coping mechanism; it helps you get through the day. It helps you get through the year. It helps you get through life. Men are specialists at that because men thrive at arm’s length in relationships, where women want to hug everything that moves.

Aaah, convicted! I did try to control many things when my child was younger and often felt exasperated because there are many things you just can’t predict or orchestrate. I also learned that if you try to control everything, you stifle the sense of wonder and exploration in yourself and in your children. Vulnerability is a beautiful quality but one that doesn’t come easy  to most of us. I just finished a  study on the subject vulnerability with a group of other women.
We used the book, Daring Greatly by author and popular TED Talk speaker, Brenee Brown. I found it very motivating.

How about you? What experiences have you had with control and parenting? Any tips for the rest of us?

Photo: Thinkstock

The Best Thing We Can Do

86495715As a new mother, I wanted to know how to raise a happy, healthy child. I read that spending quality time with your children was important. The latest books on child rearing also said that words of affirmation build a good sense of self-esteem. Teaching children to be polite, thankful and compassionate also helped to build character, the books said. I tried to do all of these things as I followed the wisdom of the day.

But now that my child is an adult and I have an opportunity to look back, I see that one of the greatest things a mom can do is to walk humbly with God, follow his ways and do right in his eyes. But how does that help our children?

As I read 1 and 2 Kings in the Bible, I learn about David and how God considered him faithful and a man after God’s own heart. Although David was flawed and committed sin, he trusted God for all of his needs above anyone or anything else. As a result, God promised David that one of his heirs would always sit on the throne as long as they walked in the ways of the Lord.

When our children see us trusting God for all of our needs, placing nothing or no one above Him, and walking in his ways, we bless them by laying out an example for their lives. More important, we bless God and God blesses us, our children and their children—long after we’re gone.

Yes, spending time quality time with and affirming our children are good measures. However, I’m convinced the best, most enduring gift we can give to our children is our relationship with God, placing him above anything else and walking in his ways as we trust him with our and our children’s lives.

What does it look like for a mom to walk in the ways of the Lord? Chime in as you’re led!

Check out Exodus 20:6

What Is A Mother’s Reward?

The ball rolls down the tube and hits the toy truck. The toy truck smashes into a wooden plank and tips another toy truck down a homemade runway. If everything works right, the second truck rolls down fast, hits a block of wood with a needle taped to the front and the needle pokes a red balloon. When the balloon pops, the experiment is a success. It all happens in about 30 seconds.

My daughter is studying physics and her team created this project. While I don’t understand a lick of it, it’s interesting to observe how cause and effect works.

Do you ever wish that the reward for your efforts would come rolling down upon you as quickly as that toy car in the experiment? Or, maybe you don’t ask for that much, just a pat on the back every once in a while.  Sometimes, it does seem as if no one notices what you do.

Paul’s comment to Timothy in 2Timothy 1:5 reminds me of one mother’s (and grandmother’s) reward. Paul was telling Timothy how much he had missed him. And he commended Timothy for his good character: “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also . . .” Timothy had become a dear son to Paul and Paul loved and admired Timothy because of his character. Imagine how proud you would feel if you had been Timothy’s mother Eunice or his grandmother Lois.

Where did Timothy’s good character come from? Did it come over night? Eunice and Lois surely invested hours of teaching and modeling for Timothy.

We’re no different as modern-day mothers. We teach, we model, we love. From the moment our little ones are born, we pour into them.

Everything you do for your child matters, dear one. You are molding your children into the person God has pre-destined them to be. You won’t always get a thank you or a hug but the blessings will come and that’s a promise from God. The gap between what you are doing today and the fruit that will reveal itself in the future is called Faith. God will abundantly reward your work in the gap in a  far greater way than you can imagine.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

photo courtesy Google Free Images