Yes You Can!

The poem, Oliver Twist, brings forth an interesting thought. How often do I, do you, say “can’t” rather than “can”? Are you mindful to encourage your children to use an I can attitude or do you reinforce an I can’t mindset by the words you use or the example you set? This is a good time of year to focus on Yes you can! Believing something can be accomplished is part of getting the task done well. The poem is a bit silly but also a good reminder: Oliver Twist you can’t do this, so what’s the use of trying? Touch your toe, touch your knee, clap your hands, away we go.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. Timothy 1:7 NIV


Getting Along With Siblings

School’s out. The family has switched into a summer rhythm. Children, who now have additional time together throughout the week, could also wrestle with increased sibling rivalry. That’s never fun. Hurt feelings can easily erupt. What can a parent do to help those brothers and sisters get along in wholesome ways? First, talk about developing respectful relationships at home. Recognize that everybody has days when they are not pleasant (adults, too) but that is not a license to give way to rude behavior. Instead have a plan. Create a keyword, like butterfly or hot fudge, or set out a basket of blue poker chips, that means “I need time alone.”  If the keyword is spoken, or the chip set out on the table, back off and give that person some space. Second, schedule activities for your sons and daughters to look forward to: church camp, horseback lessons, camping trips, sport camps, mission outreach, family vacation. Teenagers are often welcomed as camp counselors, too. My daughter, at 15, worked with the YMCA summer camp staff. It was a wonderful summer. And many a teen finds part-time to full-time summer work which allows them to have spending money and begin to save for college. Third, keep communication open with your kids; and internet access under parental approval. Know who your child’s closest friends are. Invite them to your house for games, movies, food … so you get to know them, too. Above all, make the most of these memory building months with your family.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:10 NIV