6 things to do when you’re losing a wayward child #parenting

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  • They may be your literal flesh and blood, but that doesn’t mean your children will embrace your values or your rules. Finding yourself challenged with a wayward child can be heart-wrenching, and often makes you second-guess not only yourself but your parenting strategies as well. If you want to get your child back, it’s important not to lose hope. You can do more than you think.
  • Don’t blame yourself

    From acting up in kindergarten to sneaking out in high school, parents have a tendency to blame their children’s behavior on themselves. But taking on that kind of guilt won’t help your child find the right path, and nor will it help you deal healthily with the situation at hand. Not only does blaming yourself make you feel bad, but it also sends your child the message that he doesn’t need to be accountable for his actions. According to Empower Parents, when a parent blames himself, “the child gets the message that he’s not responsible for his own behavior and choices-his parents are. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lifetime pattern of blaming others and refusing to take responsibility. It will always be his spouse’s fault, the boss’s fault, the police officer’s fault, or the legal system’s fault.”

  • Stick to your values

    When you’re a parent, you’re charged with the responsibility of teaching your child morals and ethics, however you view them. But when your child becomes wayward, she will challenge these values to the very core. Whether these morals come from a religious or secular place, it’s critical that you show your child consistency in what you view as acceptable and unacceptable behavior. For example, if you’ve taught your child that underage drinking is wrong, don’t try to mitigate the risks of the behavior by allowing him to drink in your presence.

  • Love unconditionally

    It goes without saying that parents love their children unconditionally, but when you’ve got a wayward child, she can definitely try those feelings. While practicing unconditional love is easier in theory than in practice, it’s important if you’re trying to lead a wayward child back to the family fold. According to Aha! Parenting, “unconditional love is like a muscle. It needs a daily workout. Compassion is the heavy lifting of life.” If you don’t feel like you’re in the habit of loving your child unconditionally, don’t worry, it’s still possible to achieve it.

  • Let them be them

    When you see your child going down an undesirable path, your first reflex might be to take control. For example, when your son begins hanging out with a less-than-reputable crowd, it might be tempting to force him into soccer or football to keep him occupied after school and help him meet new friends. Psychology Todayadvises:

    “When we do that – that is, parent our children according to our own requirements, desires, or standards of how things ‘should be’ – we often deprive them of developing a solid sense of self. We stifle their innate creativity and urges. What’s more, we may subconsciously deliver the message that they will only earn our love by being just like us.”

  • Fight with them

    Fighting with them doesn’t mean you should go around arguing, screaming or bickering at your child. The fact of the matter is, many wayward children are facing some difficult demons, whether those are substance abuse, addictions, eating disorders, bullying or abuse. Any of those issues could be making your child feel isolated and hopeless. As parents, you’ll do anything to help your child find happiness and peace, and that will likely require a fight. Your child may not have the strength to face her demons, but when you join in the fight, your whole family will be stronger for it. And it will show your child that you’re in this with them, which may help bolster their hope and motivation.

  • Invade their space

    Giving your child his space and hoping he’ll make the right decisions on his own might sound enlightened in theory, but in practice, a laissez-faire parenting approach rarely works. That’s why it’s so important to monitor your child’s behavior and correct it when it needs correcting. For example, don’t allow your wayward child carte blanche access to the internet or social media when you think she’s sending or receiving explicit posts. Monitoring your child’s behaviorisn’t an invasion of privacy. It’s your duty.

    If you want to become more involved in your child’s life, WebSafety offers an easy-to-use app that helps you keep tabs on your children’s online and cellular activity.

 

 

 

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There are no perfect mothers, there are many great ones. #MothersDay

 

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BEST MOTHER’S DAY GIFT EVER 

 

Mothers are full of various traits that the adults and children of the world need. Often, mothers are nurturing, loving, kind, comforting and leaders. Mothers protect their children, or those close to them, from harm. Teaching either intentionally or by example is what mothers do best. The eyes of a child are always watching and observing and learning from the mothers around them. Every mother has a special blend of attributes that she can use to lead, guide and lift others.

No two mothers are alike

Moms have a tendency to compare themselves to seemingly “perfect” mothers and then proceed with negative self-talk about what a terrible mother they think they are. Stop it! The “seemingly perfect mom” has strengths, but she also has weaknesses. And you have weaknesses, but you also have many strengths that are perfect for your family or those you mother. Some moms have one child while others have several. Some homeschool and others use public schooling. Avoid the “mommy wars.” One is not better than the other; they are just different.

Mother’s Day is a day to be celebrated

Though we as moms may not like Mother’s Day all that much, the people in our lives want to show their love for us. Every day, moms selflessly cook, clean, nurture, lift, inspire and a myriad of other duties. Remember to enjoy and be grateful to those who want to celebrate YOU. Likewise, tell the women in your life how much they mean to you. There is nothing like witnessing the joy on the faces of a small child, a spouse or friends as they do something kind for you to show their love and appreciation. Be grateful and let them shower you with love this Mother’s Day.

Whether you are a mom with no children or many, an empty-nester or a new mother, a loving aunt or friend, Mother’s Day is for you. Your nurturing and caring ways qualify you as a mother. Mothering is a special gift designed to help and comfort others who need your strength. Regardless of how we mother, we are all doing our best with the circumstances and strengths we have. Though there are no perfect mothers, there are many great ones.

 

 

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MY BEST FRIEND, MY MOM

Mom’s smiles can brighten any moment,
Mom’s hugs put joy in all our days,
Mom’s love will stay with us forever
and touch our lives in precious ways…
The values you’ve taught,
the care you’ve given,
and the wonderful love you’ve shown,
have enriched my life
in more ways than I can count.
I Love you Mom!

 

Marriage: The Final Frontier

  
Marriage: The Final Frontier
What is it about human nature? Our ability to appreciate the majestic is only rivaled by one thing: our ability to grow bored with it.

In 1961, President John Kennedy challenged the United States to put a man on the moon. Throughout that decade, the American public had an insatiable appetite for space flight. The media covered nearly every detail of NASA’s efforts, and the astronauts became national heroes. The euphoria culminated in 1969 when Neil Armstrong’s crew landed on the moon, an event witnessed by an estimated half a billion people.

But, amazingly, less than a year later, public interest in moon landings had all but evaporated. Imagine that: A feat as incredible as humans walking on the surface of the moon had become little more than a footnote on the nightly news.

It really shouldn’t surprise us. It’s human nature to lose interest in things that ought to inspire us. Like marriage. A man and a woman stand at an altar, and it seems impossible that their passion could ever fade. Yet, fast forward to the not-too-distant-future, and in all too many cases their life together has begun to drift toward the mundane.

  
It’s natural. But it’s all the more reason why couples must fight this tendency. Make time in your day to connect with one another. Get a babysitter and do something special. Use your imagination, but whatever you do, be proactive about reviving the fire that God used to draw you to your spouse in the first place.

“Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.”

‭‭Song of Solomon‬ ‭8:6-7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Jim Daly

Loving the Stranger #Marriage

Loving the Stranger
You wouldn’t marry a complete stranger, would you? Well – surprise! – if you’re married, that’s exactly what you’ve done.

On our wedding day, we all innocently believe the same myth: that we know and understand the person we’re marrying. But every newlywed eventually discovers that getting to know the depths of someone’s heart takes years. That’s the nature of relationship, especially one as intimate as marriage. So in that sense, we all marry a stranger. We’re in love with what little we know about our spouse, but we don’t know them. Not really.

  
Maybe that’s why Stanley Hauerwas defines a successful marriage as “learning how to love and care for the stranger to whom you find yourself married.” What does he mean? Simply this: In countless ways, the person we commit to on our wedding day will not be the same person five, ten, or twenty years from now. In fact, neither will we. Marriage changes us. So does raising children, careers, the aging process, and other significant events in our lives.

That’s why it’s important to understand that marriage is not a stopping point where we instantly know our spouse fully and completely. It’s a journey through life between a man and woman, both of whom continually grow and change across their years together. As one speaker said, “When people get married, they tend to believe they’ve found a finished statue, when in reality, they’ve merely found the block of marble from which their spouse will emerge.” Commit to loving your spouse and helping them grow more Christ-like each day.

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.”

‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:15‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Drifting in Marriage 

  

 Drifting in Marriage
Good marriages are like a relaxing canoe ride when the winds are calm and the lake water is as smooth as glass. You just have to be careful you don’t drift.

One year, while working as a camp counselor, Craig Jutila grabbed a canoe for a quiet afternoon on the lake. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and almost no breeze, so the water was completely still. Letting the canoe come to rest in the middle of the lake, it dawned on him: it was after hours, and no other boats were out. So he did the only sensible thing. With an extra life jacket for his pillow, he nestled in for a short nap.

An hour later, he woke up to voices. Somehow his canoe had beached along the shoreline of a camping area. Craig realized there was a current in the water and a breeze in the air he hadn’t sensed. They’d caused him to drift, and he ended up somewhere he never intended to be.

Like that canoe, marriages often drift. There’s no obvious conflict or struggle, just subtle distractions that lull spouses asleep. Couples hardly notice they’re losing interest in one another until they end up somewhere they never intended to be.

Fortunately, there’s an easy solution. Be intentional about the path your relationship is taking and keep your eyes focused on the Lord. It may not take as much effort as you think, but these small course corrections can change your marriage.

“Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭4:25-27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

For a daily dose of encouragement and perspective, check out Daly Focus

Riding the Brakes #Parenting 

  

Riding the Brakes
I see parents all the time who are working very hard to correct their children, but they don’t realize it doesn’t have to be so hard. If they would invest more time in building a relationship—hit the gas a little harder—they would discover it’s much easier to steer.

That analogy poses the question: What gets in the way of building a relationship? Sometimes we blame our lack of time, because we’re just too busy. In the analogy, that’s like running out of gas. Other times we blame our children’s stubbornness. They don’t want a relationship with us and push us away. That’s like having a flat tire. We’re not going anywhere until we pull off to the side of our paths and change an attitude or two.

“But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says: “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.””

‭‭James‬ ‭4:6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Both our lack of time and their stubbornness can be factors in why the relationship isn’t gaining much acceleration. However, I’d like to suggest another reason, one I think is actually much more common than we recognize. Many parents are riding down the road with one foot on the gas and the other foot on the brake. And the name of that brake pedal is pride.

Three times in God’s Word, pride is linked to resistance. Peter and James both tell us, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” The writer of Proverbs says, “Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.” I don’t know about you, but I’m thinking that if God says something three times, it must be really important to Him. Here’s my paraphrase: in a relationship with God, humility hits the gas and pride hits the brakes.

God warns us repeatedly about pride because it destroys our relationship with Him. God does not want your life to implode into self-centeredness like a black hole that collapses into nothingness under its own gravity. But it’s pretty hard to worship your Creator when you are High Priest of My Way in the Temple of Me.
*Do you see pride or selfishness in your own life that is affecting or being picked up on by your child?