A few weeks ago, someone on facebook posted a photo of a child’s graded paper from school. The child’s teacher had written on the paper that she had told the child several times not to write in cursive. A friend of the child’s mom posted it. She included that the child wanted to learn cursive and that the child’s mother who was a veteran taught the child to write in cursive.
I watched as thousands of people shared the story. Many were in an uproar about it. Some were appalled by the teacher’s actions. Some wanted the teacher chastened for such an act. I saw comments about reporting the teacher to the board of education. Most were outraged that a teacher would make such a comment. I also saw many comments that declared “At least you could read it.” “The teacher should be glad the child could write in cursive.” I could go on. You get the idea.
I mulled it over for days. It really bothered me. I tried not to think about it, but I kept seeing it over and over again. Here are some points I made to a friend that posted the picture:
1. The child’s teacher asked her several times not to write in cursive. The child was being disobedient.
2. People are justifying the child’s disobedience with comments like, “it was only …”. “At least you could read it.” Justifying disobedience is a dangerous line to cross. Doing this gives children mixed messages. Sometimes you mean what you say and sometimes you don’t. Does a child get to pick and choose which instructions are up for negotiation?
3. The person who posted the picture included that the child’s mom was a veteran. What does that have to do with anything? My husband is a veteran. My grandfather was a veteran and wounded in action. Does that absolve a person from following instructions? No doubt the veteran comment was a way to manipulate others and elicit compassion and sympathy to join their side.
4. Why are adults bullies? This problem should have been resolved with the child’s teacher. A very short parent conference or phone call could have handled this. Handling it civilly obviously was not their intent. It was to gather support and attention.
5. These adults are teaching their child that they do not have to listen to adults. If something goes wrong in their life, their parents will be there to bail them out. Even the best of children will manipulate and lie to get their parent on their side. This family opened a wide gate to that happening.
I just checked the photo. It has been shared over 460,000. I’ll be honest. This kind of behavior grieves my heart.
If I have a problem with my child’s teacher, I discuss it with the teacher. Disagreeing or disrespecting an adult in front of a child causes some serious mixed signals. I may not always agree with my child’s teacher, but I think it’s important to maintain a united front.
It’s your job to get along with your teacher, not your teacher’s job to get along with you.
Make no mistake: defending your child when he has behaved inappropriately will not help him develop appropriate skills and to become right as a person.
Truthfully, I think I have pretty great kids. I don’t say that with a boastful heart. They’re not perfect. We have normal issues. I’m incredibly thankful for my children. They didn’t become who they are on their own. My husband and I require obedience. We also pray and rely on guidance and wisdom from God.
Some parents say, “I don’t know what to do! I’m at my wits end. I can’t control them.” Are you not the one that pays the cable bill? The phone bill? Do you pay for a cell phone? Are you the one that buys special snacks and treats? Do they live in your house? Then yes, you are the parent. Control is not the goal. We’re supposed to be raising children to be successful adults. Hopefully we’re not trying to raise children that can’t make it on their own and need their mom and dad to intervene in every conflict. But then again, maybe we are.
Tonight I read a parenting article from John Piper. He says that parents should require obedience from their children. Even if you do not consider yourself a believer, it is a great article.
Parenting is not for wimps. There is no easy button. Some days you think you’ll have a whiny child forever. Then suddenly, you make a breakthrough and things get better.
Once again, I’ll remind us all that we are raising our children to be successful adults. I don’t want my child to go off to college unable to function and cope with people and relationships. I don’t want them calling me to bail them out. I don’t want them getting dropped from their classes because they are disrespectful and challenge a professor’s authority.
I can say with confidence that respect, cooperation, responsiblity, and conflict resolution are lifelong skills that your child will need. Teach them to obey. Please don’t set them up for failure.
image: sxc by Chrissy Pauley
November 5, 2013
For years we have heard the expression, “follow your heart”. Whom do you date? Whom do you love? Whom do you marry? The decision is usually based upon following your heart. Roxette sang a famous catchy song that says, “listen to your heart”. Following your heart seems to be the popular answer. When faced with a decision, people will quickly tell you to follow your heart. They’re not giving you an answer or some type of guidance — they’re basically telling you to do whatever feels right or whatever it is that you want to do.
The problem is, my heart is deceitful. It can’t be trusted. Jeremiah 17:29 says that the heart is deceitful and desperately sick.
Our hearts tell us to be rude to someone that upsets us. The truth is they are having a bad day and need grace.
Our hearts tell us to talk about a friend that annoys us. The truth is that we should be loyal and discuss the issue and work it out.
Our hearts tell us to leave our spouse and to seek comfort in another mate. The truth is our mate is our gift. No one else knows us like they do.
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander.” Matthew 15:19
Those are pretty strong accusations. Solomon is considered to be one of the wisest men that ever lived. He warned us to “guard our heart above all else”. God’s idea is not that we would follow our heart, but that we would guard it.
The problem is, our emotions lie to us. They tell us we’re not pretty enough, not thin enough, not good at our job, that people don’t like us, that our spouses are lousy, that we could do better, and that we need things we can’t afford.
Emotions aren’t bad things. It’s important to realize that they are emotions; they are not dictators.
Feelings are indicators, not dictators. ~Lysa TerKeurst, Proverbs 31 Ministries
Feelings can indicate where your heart is in the moment but that doesn’t mean they have the right to boss you around. You are more than the sum total of your feelings!
photo from kidultchia
August 6, 2013
It’s hard to believe it has been two years since the helicopter was shot down in Wardak province, Afghanistan killing 31 U.S. troops. Of the Navy SEALS that were killed 15 were members of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, also known as SEAL Team Six. A long time family friend Chris Campbell was one of those killed.
Chris’ request was that if anything happened to him in combat, that his family wouldn’t focus on his loss. His wish was that people would focus on wounded troops. Chris requested that 100,000 people donate $1 to Wounded Warriors to help our wounded troops that have given so much for their country. Chris’ family and friends are dedicated to seeing his request fulfilled.
April 8, 2012
Happy Easter! The day is ending but thankfully the story never ends and it is always relevant. This is a picture I took this morning. I hope you enjoy it. Happy Resurrection Day!
“I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.” John 4:10
January 16, 2012
Many years before I had my children there was one thing I prayed — that they would know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. Now that they have been with me for a few years there are other things I pray for them. I pray that they will find a Godly spouse, that they will be a good wife/husband, a good father/mother, that they will always follow God, etc.
Today while I was searching around on Pinterest I found this free calendar. Each day has a topic, prayer, and verse so that you can pray something specific for your children. Of course we will always mutter prayers like, “Please let them sleep in on Saturday.” lol This calendar provides and easy way to pray intentionally for our children.
Enjoy and let me know what you think!
March 6, 2011
Last year I read about Robyn’s 38th birthday celebration, which was to complete 38 random acts of kindness. Robyn was pretty creative at fulfilling her tasks and it looks as though she and her family had a great time blessing others. Many people’s lives were touched by their acts of kindness and many more will be affected by reading her post.
We’ve heard stories of people paying it forward by paying someone else’s tab in the fast food drive-thru or at a restaurant. Some of you may feel discouraged by this because you don’t the extra money to help out someone else. I want you to know that random acts of kindness don’t have to cost anything.
Here are some inexpensive ideas to get you started . . .
1. Collect shoes for Samaritan’s Feet. You can host a shoe drive in your church, school, or community.
2. Visit a neighbor. Maybe take some baked goods.
3. Give compliments. Something as simple as “That color really looks good on you” can brighten someone else’s day. (I need to work on this one.)
4. Sing or play a musical instrument at a nursing home. When I used to visit my grandma, I would play Christmas songs and other music on the piano. It was a small act that brought joy to many.
5. Send a card. A simple “thinking of you” or “praying for you” goes a long way to making someone feel loved.
6. Right a wrong. Have you hurt someone else’s feelings? It’s never too late to mend broken fences. Make an effort to restore a broken relationship.
7. Rake leaves, plant flowers, or make repairs on an elderly person’s home. Many times they don’t have the physical ability or the money to pay someone for the work. It would mean so much to them.
8. Divide up your overflowing flower bulbs and share with someone else.
9. Pick up trash. This could be in your neighborhood or just a place you have noticed that needs cleaned.
10. Mentor a child. You can be a blessing to a child in need.
11. Babysit for a single or stressed out mom (for free, of course). Having a few hours alone can really help someone to feel refreshed.
12. Make cards and letters for deployed military or veterans.
13. Pass out sandwiches and hot chocolate to the homeless.
14. Volunteer at the homeless shelter. You can serve food or just be someone to talk to.
15. Write thank you notes for your child’s teacher and school administration. Educators have a tough job with little thanks.
16. Donate gently used toys, coats, and blankets to a ministry such as a women’s shelter.
17. Offer to run errands for someone. Call your neighbor to see if they need anything. This would be especially helpful to an elderly person or a mother with young children.
18. Save expired coupons to ship overseas to military families.
19. Take a friend out for coffee.
20. Make homemade bread, muffins, or goodies for work and put them in the breakroom.
21. Deliver dinners for Meals on Wheels.
22. Crochet hats for cancer patients or sew blankets for children who are hospitalized.
23. Clean houses for cancer patients.
24. Donate old towels, rugs, blankets to an animal shelter.
25. Volunteer at the local animal shelter.
26. Give someone the benefit of the doubt. We all make mistakes and are in different stages of life.
26. Get those free items with your coupons even if your family doesn’t use them. Donate the items.
27. Let someone go in front of you in line.
28. Take dinner to someone that is sick or is unable to cook for themselves.
29. Play some games at freerice.com. For each question you answer correctly, rice will be donated to the hungry. Sometimes I’ll play this game while I’m watching tv. It’s so easy to make a difference.
30. Help others learn to save money. 😀
Added later: Oops, I just noticed there are two of #26. haha I guess you are getting more than 30.
And just for fun . . .
32. Get involved in a church or community service project. When you get together with others, you can do a lot of good. Elevation Church just had their yearly Love Week where they encouraged their congregation to volunteer in their city of Charlotte, NC. Over 33,000 hours were volunteered. That’s awesome!
I know there are many other ways to show kindness without spending much money. Can you help me add to this list?
This is a rewrite from a post I did last year while working for another company. Image by sxc by andreyutzu.