Six tips for shepherding your child in public

child

Sometimes our kids misbehave. And sometimes they do it in public! They kick, they scream, they act disrespectful, they cry, they throw a tantrum. With our four, this has happened quite a few times over the past 9 years. And since it happens in public, it’s embarrassing, frustrating and can ruin the moment. For a lot of parents, it can be overwhelming.  In the moment, it can also be very hard to know what to do.

We’ve made our mistakes and been overwhelmed just like anyone else. But here’s what we’ve found to be effective.

  1. Prepare in advance. That is, take time to talk with your child before you get there. Communicate what you expect in advance. Before you even get out of the car, remind them of where you are going and what you expect. Setting expectations is a vital part of navigating these situations.
Sometimes our kids misbehave. And sometimes they do it in public! They kick, they scream, they act disrespectful, they cry, they throw a tantrum. With our four, this has happened quite a few times over the past 9 years. And since it happens in public, it’s...

5 important questions to ask about your child’s future

hands (1)

“What kind of men will they be?” These were the words that went through my mind the first time I held both of my two sons for the first time. I would later hold my two daughters and wonder the the same thing.

“What kind of men will they be?” These were the words that went through my mind the first time I held both of my two sons for the first time. I would later hold my two daughters and wonder the the same thing.  Read more... 5 important questions to ask about your...

What my little girls need from their daddy

dads

I love having little girls! But as any parent knows well, they are very different from little boys. And, I must admit, because I was a little boy, I get boys. I understand them. I know how they think and what they want. I once thought like they did, and frankly, I sometimes still do. Because of that, early in our kids’ lives I found it easier to engage the boys.

My little girls are beautiful, creative, sweet, caring and sometimes silly. They like to dance and sing. They want to read books and play dress up. They draw pictures, pick flowers, dream of being a princess, and think about their wedding day. I had to adjust to all this. But, they have my heart so it’s been a happy adjustment!

I love having little girls! But as any parent knows well, they are very different from little boys. And, I must admit, because I was a little boy, I get boys. I understand them. I know how they think and what they want. I once thought like they did, and frankly, I...

Six reasons to take your kids to the hard places

poorlady

How comfortable are you taking your kids to the hard places? By hard places, I mean those places where poverty and brokenness are rampant, the places where pain and suffering abound. Perhaps it’s a particular part of town, a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, the food pantry, a hospital, your local nursing home, or even a mission trip to a difficult part of the world. Truth be told, it’s probably not our first instinct to take them there or to do anything that might put them in harm’s way.

How comfortable are you taking your kids to the hard places? By hard places, I mean those places where poverty and brokenness are rampant, the places where pain and suffering abound. Perhaps it’s a particular part of town, a soup kitchen, a homeless shelter, the food...

Teaching your children about poverty and brokenness

poor

What do you do when you pull up at a stoplight where a homeless person sits with a sign saying “Homeless. Will work for food”? Too often I have simply looked the other way, pretending that the person outside isn’t there. Because we are afraid of being taken advantage of, or because of the assumptions we have about the person in this situation, we do nothing. We wait for the light to turn green and then we drive off. I’m not suggesting that we should be naïve about the situation, but I am suggesting that my typical response is insufficient. Especially when my children are in the car and watching what I do!

What do you do when you pull up at a stoplight where a homeless person sits with a sign saying “Homeless. Will work for food”? Too often I have simply looked the other way, pretending that the person outside isn’t there. Because we are afraid of being taken advantage...

Teaching your kids about the value of work

children

Nobody likes to work. That’s probably not true, but it does seem that way sometimes, given the way people complain about their jobs and their overall circumstances. As a result, most adults have a very low view of work and they end up passing it on to their kids. Unless we want kids who are lazy and ungrateful, we should do everything we can to help them see the value and goodness of work.

  1. Start young. There’s a lot that small kids cannot do. But, there is more they can do than we might think, and we shouldn’t miss these opportunities to shape them. Even small children can feed a pet, or fold a washcloth on the floor while mommy and daddy fold laundry. They can also do things like carry toilet paper to the bathrooms, put their dirty dishes in the sink, or help clean up toys. If you do all these things without soliciting your child’s help, you’re missing an important opportunity to shape them…and to encourage their participation in working with you.
Nobody likes to work. That’s probably not true, but it does seem that way sometimes, given the way people complain about their jobs and their overall circumstances. As a result, most adults have a very low view of work and they end up passing it on to their kids....