This has been an unusually busy season for me as I have gone back to teaching part time. Some of my extra office activities have been set aside to make this happen. One such item is my bi-weekly blog. For the "thousands" that read it and enjoy it, all I can say is "I'll be Back" (Terminator movie voice over)
Meanwhile, I'll search the internet for timely and poignant videos and articles that accentuate what we are doing here at PCS. These posts will be for your enjoyment and education. I've already lined up a video series through Right Now Media. If your not a member, please email me and I can put you on the school's account.
To start this new series off, I've given you a link to a video called Failure or Failing . This continues the genra of parents who are overbearing and don't allow their children to fail.
Blessings to you and your family this most special time of the year. Jesus came to be a ransom for our sins! That is the greatest gift of all.
By A.J. Juliani
My daughter lowered her eyes, looked at me, and said, "I can't do it."
I looked back and asked her again to put one foot on the board, push off with her other foot, and then put that foot on the board when she was moving.
She was being a typical six-year-old who was trying to learn how to ride a skateboard.
"No", she said. "I'm not doing this anymore. Can you push me?"
It would have been easy for me to help her get both feet on the board and give her a push to get her started. But I had already done that, and now after guiding her through the process (and almost falling myself while demonstrating) it was time for her to keep trying if she wanted to make any progress.
I told her "no" and asked for her to try again, this time focusing on getting a good push so she could be moving when she put her foot back on the board.
She was visibly upset. She knew that I could help her out. I knew that I could help her out. But in her mind, she didn't see the bigger picture. She didn't realize that only by trying (and failing) herself, would she ever be able to ride a skateboard without my help.
I wrote about this scene about my house a few years ago on the blog, and still see it happening everyday with my own kids and our students (and adults) at school.
In this video (yep, I made another one...still scary, but I'm going to keep trying it!) I share the big difference between "Fail-URE and Fail-ING". We look at how skateboarding can be the perfect example of what growth mindset should look like in and out of the classroom.
Thanks for your support on the first video, it made me want to make another one!
Chores or no chores?
Allowance or no allowance?
I have heard these two subjects debated many times. I listened to a CD series on this from the Love and Logic Institute, and wholeheartedly agree with their position on how to piece these two together. I will follow with a brief summary of “my” position, and if you would like to borrow my CDs for the full version, you can request them through the office.
All children in a family should be required to participate in activities that are mutually beneficial to all. These are nicely termed Family Responsibilities by me (FRs), as opposed to the more notable “chores” label. Early on in the life of the family, these FRs should be gathered and displayed for all to see and to choose. Of course, they are categorized by difficulty and effort. Some FRs are more suitable for older children. Parents should allow each member of the family to draw several tasks they would like to do, as part of being in the household. Parents should have a list of their own. Once the draw is complete and vetted by parents for appropriateness, that list gets posted. The tasks are mentored so that the child knows how to properly complete each activity.
An allowance is a financial privilege that is given to children so that they can learn how to handle, save, and properly spend their resources. Amounts vary by age and parental discretion.
Now comes the intersection of the two ideas. The Family Responsibilities are performed on a regular basis with quality control. If a parent must step in and perform any one of the child’s duties, the child must pay the parent for doing so. The comment from the parent is “you know this task must be done by Friday…? If it’s not done, I will do it, but are you willing to pay me what I charge?” No argument just, a reality check. I heard the story of a teenager who didn’t do his FRs for awhile and had no money left in his account, and his next allowance wouldn’t cover the expenses incurred. His Mom took his gaming system and sold it to pay the teen’s expenses. Do I need to state the lesson learned there? (Garage Sale is great for generating revenue.) This exposes children to real life and shows them the logical consequences for not completing their responsibilities. When a child receives their allowance envelope, there should be a pay stub-type document that shows gross pay less any deductions, such as payment to others. The the net pay is for them. Of course Mom or Dad would draw a large wage, when needed to fill in during these times. All part of the financial learning curve. If the child wants to earn extra money, then parents can post additional jobs that need doing. Maybe even have them do the bookkeeping?? In a tender moment, a parent may offer up one of their own jobs and reimburse the child this way. Be careful not to overdo the tenderness angle. Children can choose as many as they need to earn the extra cash for items they would like to purchase. No borrowing from next week’s pay. Either do more work to receive a larger pay, or wait it out over several months until the funds accumulate.
(Example) If a child asks for new shoes, which is part of the family budget, the parents set the value they are willing to spend on this item. If the child wants to buy a more expensive pair, then they must come up with the difference from their funds. This eliminates arguments and places it into a financial learning opportunity. Done right, this can have a far-reaching effect on how your child will handle their money.
If this mindset is ingrained early on, a child will understand financial responsibility and how to manage their money. Don’t forget to explain tithing and charitable donations. This is not an automatic deduction, since the lesson is “ God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Co 9:7).
Audio - “Didn’t I tell you to take out the trash?!” Jim Fay CD (60 min.)
Book - Millionaire Babies or Bankrupt Brats , Jim Fay & Kristan Leatherman
That’s what I would call the labels that are being assigned to parents. It started with “Tiger Moms”, moved into a more general “Helicopter Parents”, and then morphed into a very specific “Snowplow parents with Snowflake children”. This summer I read about the next level label described as “Lawnmower parents”
Why all these labels? Parents have changed the phrase “helping my child” into “ doing it for my child” as they wrongly assumed that by doing so much for their child that this was the best for them. It was supposed to show their child ( and all their peers) how much they cared about their child’s safety and well being. Each new label has taken a potshot at what parents are doing and how it is actually creating an undesirable set of values and attitudes in the next generation. The fact that it has reached the media and even been written about in numerous books and articles indicates that it has grown into a cultural aberration of past values and expectations of our youth. It’s not that some of these undesirable behaviours have never been present in past generations.It’s the magnitude of the mindset that is troubling our current social community. If you want a humorous break take a moment to watch this video on “millenials”
After over thirty years of home daycare, my wife has firmly asserted that “ Children become what you allow them to be” So in that vein of thought do I transpose the fact that this growing group of young individuals who are apathetic, disinterested, self-centred, unappreciative and over expectant are a product of radically poor parenting?
Maybe this accusation is a bit severe but it puts the owness back on the parents.
While reading an article by the Love and Logic Institute, It brought to mind a new label, “Thieves”. In the article it was talking about how parents are creating financial issues with children and how they should be trained in understanding the value of money. It was about stealing the joy of earning their own way through life. That term “stealing” stuck in my mind. I want to push it into a larger arena. What opportunities have parents stolen from their children by trying to remove all hardships, growth pains, maturing experiences and the proper understanding that you don’t always get what you want?
If parents truly want to show their children that they love them, what should they be doing for them?
- First is that they should start with the attitude that the perfect parent has… our heavenly Father! He loves his children,(Jn. 3:16) forgives them,(1Jn.1:9) disciplines them (Heb 12:6) and requires their obedience (Jn 14:15). (Two great family books to read are listed at the bottom of this blog.)
- Secondly, I believe parents must be giving their children “a multitude of activities and opportunities to experience all that life has to throw at them, in its best and worst moments, that won’t cause permanent damage or injury”. Allowing them to scrape their knees, work through hurt feelings, understand frustration and loss and how to stand up for themselves are all important lessons to be learned not always avoided. The story is told of a parent calling their daughter’s college professor to ask for an extension for a deadline. The professor asked why the girl hadn’t called herself? The mom replied that her daughter didn’t feel comfortable with confrontation!
Give children back their right to fight through life. Every conflict and every problem is an opportunity for you to teach your child. Through their endurance, they will reap the benefit of a life that can persevere.
I pray that no parent will be labelled a “Thief”.
The Fulfilled Family by John MacArthur
Parenting - 14 Gospel Principles by Paul David Tripp
At the end of each school year, we as a staff spend time evaluating this past year and also preparing for next year. As a part of that process I find various resources for the teachers to read through the summer to generate discussion and lead to additional learning or development as a staff and then we discuss it at our staff meeting in August before we start or throughout the school year. Some are devotional while others relate to the teaching profession. A good practice as the staff stays current in their Christian teaching and professional skills.
Through the year I have pulled together various resources for you as parents that I felt would be helpful and insightful for you in a desire to encourage growth and development. Many of you have communicated how timely you felt many of the articles have been, challenging even in some cases. As we partner to help develop the whole-child with you, I am encouraged that many find these articles and perspectives helpful.
So with that in mind, I have accumulated four articles regarding school, parenting, and understanding gender. All areas that very important given the context we find ourselves in.
As you read these articles it is my desire that they will challenge you to look at what you are doing as a parent. It’s nice to check off those things that you are doing right. It smacks our pride when we are either wrong or not doing what we should. At these times we avoid the readings and sink our heads back into the sand.
We need to be motivated to stand up and do what is right. I believe these articles will stir, move and motivate you into being well informed and action oriented parents. Like these articles or not they will make you think.
Have a great summer and remember that knowledge is useless unless it leads to action.