I’m so confused!

confusion

We have our public high school students read, Lord of the Flies, by William Golding. Why? To help them see how horrible human nature can be? I find the book to be ridiculously violent, so I won’t allow my autistic son to read it, but I find the message, sadly, sound.

Fascinatingly enough, our public schools also tell our kids that they just need to look inside themselves to find all the strength and knowledge they need to make themselves and this world a better place. We teach them that, as a kindergartener, they know whether or not they are a boy or a girl, regardless of what their biology is saying. Ok, then why have them read, Lord of the Flies? Doesn’t that preach the exact opposite message? That kids don’t know the proper way to live?

On the one hand we say that research shows that children know who they are by age five. But on the other hand we say that no one should be considered responsible enough to make their own decisions about life until about 25, because the rational part of the brain isn’t fully formed until then (see University of Rochester Medical Center).

So which is it? Do you have everything inside of you or not? Do you need to be educated about how life works, or not?

I would propose that we don’t have everything inside of ourselves, unless we have God in us.

Mark 10:18b  No one is good except God alone.

And I would also propose that we need to be taught.

Matthew 11:29

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

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Be the Change

Ok, so this saying has gotten to be a bit cliche, no, very cliche. But things usually become cliche because they really are true, and why reinvent the wheel when there is a perfectly good phrase out there that describes your point.

Another good cliche for today would be, Monkey see, monkey do.

Kids will mimic what you do more than what you tell them to do. Oh, I so wish that weren’t true sometimes! I see certain behaviors in my teens that I really wished they didn’t have, but know that they learned those bad habits from my poor example, despite my words encouraging them to be otherwise.

Several weeks ago I was crying out to God, asking him what I could do to help help my kids through some typical teenage challenges. His immediate word, “Be the example.”

Be the example of peace, joy and perseverance in trials, rather than the example of fussing and fuming and depression.

Ok, so I was convicted. Here’s to being a better example!

In everything set them an example by doing what is good.

Titus 2:7a

I pray that we can all be the change we want to see in the world – not so much in the big things, but in the little things, that make up the big things.

Blessings on your day, week and year!

Teach them Diligently

“These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7

The number one thing I would encourage all of us parents to do is to teach our kids to love, trust and obey God. That is the only thing that will get them through anything in this life, and into the next.

Someday I won’t be around to help them. Someone might do something terrible to them that no one could have stopped. They might fail in some way. But God will never fail.

Teach them all you know, and even those things that you haven’t yet totally come to grips with yourself, but know that the Bible says are true – teach them those things, too. And teach them how to stop and talk to God for themselves. Teach them how to recall Bible verses for the tough situations they encounter – and for the good situations too.

Never stop teaching.

Push them, and hug them

Now that my son with autism is 16 years old, and is doing pretty well, not only for a kid with autism, but for any 16-year-old boy, I feel like I can finally add a few more parenting tips. So here’s tip #1:

Push your kids to be their very best. They will throw huge fits, there will be many tears and you will be up some nights wondering if you pushed them too far. There will be times when you will have to say sorry. But most of all, let them know that you are pushing them because you love them, because you want life to be easier for them down the road if they can just learn that one more skill.

There will be days, make that years, when you feel like what you are doing isn’t making a difference. You will want to give up because the gain just doesn’t seem to outweigh the pain.

There will be days when you cave and let them watch too much TV or play too many computer games (or whatever their obsession is). You will then have to pay the price of reigning them back in. But I am telling you, all of this struggle, as tiring and fruitless as it may sometimes seem, is worth it.

Don’t let their stubborn clinging to unhealthy habits daunt you.

As long as you also make it very clear that you love them, through whatever means works for them – maybe a hug, maybe a little extra computer time, or a visit to an amusement park, all of your pushing will pay off.

Will they be perfect? Are you or I perfect? But they will be stronger, better people, more able to function in the world around them.

Proverbs 22:6  Teach children in a way that fits their needs, and even when they are old, they will not leave the right path.

Let’s all be really selfish, girls!

Curl up with a good book…to help your child with his homework.

Binge-watch Netflix…when you have loads of laundry to fold.

Talk for hours on the phone..while you are dusting.

Get out of the house…to pray for your kids’ school (check out Mom’s in Prayer for a group near you).

Make a lunch date with a friend…to cook meals for your families.

Shop ’til you drop…looking for jeans for your son who keeps outgrowing his clothes!

Tune into YouTube…to spend time watching Jimmy Fallon clips with your husband.

Bake a decadent dessert…for your daughter’s slumber party.

Go to the movies…to watch something your tween daughter is dying to see.

Surf the net…for the treatment of a mild concussion and good church youth groups in the area.

Hang out on Facebook…to laugh with those who laugh, weep with those who weep and hopefully spread a little joy.

27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.

28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her.

Proverbs 31

Finally, go out for seafood…with a friend who will laugh, cry and pray with you, so that you have the strength to do it all over again.