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Here are my notes for the most challenging but rewarding role — Parenting. Send me your ideas!


on this page Time Together
on this page Encouragement
on this page Resources
on this page Blended/Step Families
on this page Advice to Children
on this page Children Learn What They Live
on this page A Fathers' Lamentations
on this page A Household of Faith
on this page Websites for Teens

another page on this site Learning How To Learn


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Set this at top of window. Time Together


My husband and I have discovered a terrific way to maintain a close long-distance relationship with our grandchildren who live several thousand miles away.

Kyle is 5 and Sarah is 3. Their attention spans are not yet long enough to allow extended phone conversations between visits, so we came up with the following idea. It works not only for the grandchildren and for us, it also gives their parents a break.

On the weekends, my husband and I visit our local bookstore and buy two identical "easy-reader" books. We keep one and send the other to the grandkids. Then, on a designated night each week, we call just before bedtime and read them their "night-night" story. Both children are snuggled in bed -- one with the bedroom phone and the other with a cordless phone. The children can read along with us because they have the same book we have.

After the story, the kids are eager to talk about it and other things.

We know that Kyle and Sarah go to bed at least one night a week secure in the knowledge that they are loved by their grandparents as well as their parents. An added bonus that should not be overlooked is that they are developing a love of books as well.

Get Dear Abby emailed to you everyday.


If I Had My Child to Raise Over Again

I'd finger-paint more,
and point the fingers less.

I would do less correcting,
and more connecting.

I'd take my eyes off my watch,
and watch with my eyes.

I would care to know less,
and know to care more.

I'd take more hikes,
and fly more kites.

I'd stop playing serious,
and seriously play.

I would run through more fields,
and gaze at more stars.

I'd do more hugging,
and less tugging.

I'd build self-esteem first,
and the house later.

I would be firm less often,
and affirm much more.

I'd teach less about the love of power,
And more about the power of love.

by Diane Loomans
from Condensed Chicken Soup for the Soul Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Patty Hansen

No matter what you've done for yourself or for humanity, if you can't look back on having given love and attention to your own family, what have you really accomplished?
—Lee Iacocca

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Go to top of page Encouragement


It is difficult to estimate the damage done by saying to a child:

* You'll never amount to anything.

* You can't do anything right, can you?

* Why can't you be like him?

* You're no son of mine!

* I'm not going to invest any more money in you.

* You're just like all the other kids.

Why not communicate your trust instead and give your child something to live up to? See the potential, not the problems. Looking for the good in your children will bring out the best in them and you.

Imagine how Peter felt when Jesus looked at him and said, "You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas (which translated means Peter [rock])" (John 1:42). Peter went on about his business of fishing. Sometime later Jesus called him to be a disciple. After Peter's great confession that Jesus was the Christ, Jesus said to him, "You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church" (Matthew 16:18). What confidence Jesus expressed in a smelly, uneducated fisherman who would later deny Him three times!

Would you have chosen Peter and expressed confidence in Him? Would you have stuck with Peter after he betrayed you? Jesus did, and He is sticking with you, too. He has entrusted you with His message, gifted you to serve, and blessed you with children. Are you trustworthy? Not completely. But His trust sure gives you something to live up to, doesn't it? Your trust in your child can do the same for him.

Loving Father, help me not to focus on my children's limitations and weaknesses but to notice and affirm their potential.


Everybody knows how to raise children, except the people who have them.” — P. J. O`Rouke.

Let us pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another. —Romans 14:19

God brought Abraham outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to count them.”
And He said to Abraham, “So shall your offspring be.” —Genesis 15:5

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Go to top of page Resources


Family by Pio. Get this print framed on your wall!
Get this print framed for your wall!

Seen during a conference:


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Go to top of page Blended/Step Families

A blended family is one in which one or both parents has been previously in a marriage (or relationship) which produced children.

From Peter K. Gerlach, MSW, at the Stepfamily site: 60 ways step families are structurally different than intact biofamilies 30 unique stepfamily tasks 10 Co-parent projects for re/marital and stepfamily success


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Go to top of page Advice to Children

In case you forgot: Adapted from Cyberhighway
Set screen Manners
  • Wipe your feet!
  • Close the door.
  • Were you raised in a barn?
  • Big boys don't cry.
  • Get your elbows off the table.
  • Always say please and thank you. That way, you get more. If you forget, you'll be grounded till the end of the world.
  • Turn off those lights.
  • Sit up straight!
  • “Hey” is for horses.
  • Don't tell on anybody.
Set screen Choices
  • Coffee will stunt your growth.
  • Don't you know any normal boys?
  • You call that a haircut?
  • Young ladies perspire, they do not sweat.
  • Act your age.
  • Two wrongs do not make a right.
  • Do you think I am made of money?
  • What do you think I am, a bank?
  • You call that noise "music"?
  • What keeps those jeans of yours from falling off?
  • Could those sleeves be any longer? You look like a bag lady!
  • You're not leaving my house dressed like that! What will other parents think?
  • It's hard to be good, and easy to be bad.
Set screen Achievement
  • I told you, keep your eye on the ball.
  • Don't worry. It's only blood.
  • Shake it off. It's only pain.
  • Who said life was supposed to be fair.
  • C'mon, you throw like a ....
  • You want something to do? I'll give you something to do.
  • Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.
  • Worrying about things you can't change is like a rocking chair... it gives you something to do, but it doesn't get you anywhere.
  • You didn't beat me. I let you win.
Set screen Discipline
  • I'll tell you why. Because I said so. That's why.
  • This will hurt me a lot more than it hurts you.
  • Did you hear me talking to you?
  • I told you, keep your eye on the ball.
  • This will hurt me a lot more than it hurts you.
  • Don't give me any of your lip, young lady.
  • Now you listen to ME, Buster! I'll play catch after I read the paper.
  • I don't care what other people are doing! I'm not everybody elses father!
  • So you think you're smart, do you?
  • Don't give me any of your lip, young lady.
  • As long as you live under my roof, you' ll live by my rules.
  • What's so funny? Wipe that smile off your face.
  • If I've told you once, I've told you a thousand times.
  • What part of NO don't you understand?
  • When I was your age , I treated MY father with respect.
  • Do what I say, not what I do.
  • I'm not just talking to hear my own voice!
  • Hurt much? I didn't feel a thing.
  • Enough is enough!
  • Don't make me stop the car!
  • What did I just get finished telling you?
  • Don't use that tone with me!
  • Am I talking to a brick wall?
  • If I catch you doing that one more time, I'll...
Set screen Traveling
  • No, we're not there yet.
  • We're not lost. I'm just not sure where we are.
  • This is your last warning. Your mother worries.
  • I'm not sleeping, I was watching that channel.
  • A little dirt never hurt anyone, just wipe it off..
  • Traveling with kids humor archive.
Set screen When
  • You should visit more often. Your mother worries.
  • You know you're always gonna be Daddy's little girl.


Mother and Child by Pablo Picasso. Get this print framed on your wall!
Get this print framed for your wall!

We are often role models whether we want to be or not.

Go to top of page Children Learn What They Live:

    by Dorothy Law Nolte, first published in the Baptist Leader, July 1972

  • If children live with criticism,
    they learn to condemn.
  • If children live with hostility,
    they learn to fight.
  • If children live with ridicule,
    they learn to be shy.
  • If children live with shame,
    they learn to feel guilty.

  • If children live with tolerance,
    they learn to be patient.
  • If children live with encouragement,
    they learn confidence.
  • If children live with praise,
    they learn appreciation.
  • If children live with fairness,
    they learn justice.
  • If children live with security,
    they learn to have faith.
  • If children live with approval,
    they learn to like themselves.
  • If children live with acceptance and friendship,
    they learn to find love in the world.

This is how we know we love God's children: We love God and we obey his laws.
We show that we love God when we obey his laws. His laws are not hard to obey.
Everyone who is God's child wins a victory over the world. We win because we believe God. Who wins a victory over the world? It is only the person who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.
1 John 5:2-5 (WE)

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Go to top of page A Father's Lamentations: Household Principles for Children (from the Old Testament)

From among parenting jokes at Humor Net:

Laws of Forbidden Places:

Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room.

Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room.

Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein.

Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage there you may not eat, neither may you drink.

But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.

Laws When at Table:

And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were.

Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.

Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away from my presence.

When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck: for you will be sent away from my presence.

When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within; I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same to you.

Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is.

And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, for we do not do that, that is why.

And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why.

Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold, even as I have said, it has come to pass.

Laws Pertaining to Dessert:

For we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert.

But of the unclean plate, the laws are these: If you have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see, and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, then you shall have dessert.

But if you eat a lesser number of peas, and yet you eat the potatoes, still you shall not have dessert; and if you eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, you shall not have dessert, no, not even a small portion thereof.

And if you try to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear you have eaten what you have not, you will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and you shall have no dessert.

On Screaming:

Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time. If you are given a plate on which two foods you do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, your voice rises up even to the ceiling, while you point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say to you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct the fault.

Likewise if you receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I say, refrain from screaming. Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to your nose. For even I have made the fish as it should be; behold, I eat it myself, yet do not die.

Concerning Face and Hands:

Cast your countenance upward to the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, there is rice thereon.

And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner beyond comprehension.

Only hold yourself still; hold still, I say. Give each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go hence until I have done.

Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances:

Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of the bath water of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub your feet against cars, not against any building; nor eat sand.

Leave the cat alone, for what has the cat done, that you should so afflict it with tape? And hum not the humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Indeed, you will drive me to madness. Nor forget what I said about the tape.

Discipline your son while there is hope
—Proverbs 19:18.

The goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith
—1 Timothy 1:5.

My son, if you will receive my sayings,
And treasure my commandments within you, Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding;

For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures; Then you will discern the fear of the Lord, And discover the knowledge of God.

For the Lord gives wisdom; From His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright;

He is a shield to those who walk in integrity, Guarding the paths of justice, And He preserves the way of His godly ones.

Then you will discern righteousness and justice
And equity and every good course.
For wisdom will enter your heart,
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you.
Proverbs 2:1-11 Proverbs 2:1-11 (NASB)

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Go to top of page Song: A Household of Faith

By Steve Green

Here we are, at the start, committing to each other - by His will and from our hearts. We will be a family in a house that will be a home. And with faith, we'll build it strong.


We'll build a household of faith that together we can make. And when the strong winds blow, it won't fall down. As one in Him we'll grow, and the whole world will know - we are a household of faith.


Out to be a family, we've got to love each other - at any cost, unselfishly. And our home must be a place that fully abounds with grace - a reflection of his face.

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Go to top of page Web Sites Addressed to Teens

Go to top of page Parenting Myths vs. Facts

    Myth Truth
    Permissive parents create rebellious children. Rebels are more likely to come from authoritarian
    The more times a child is asked to do something, the more likely that it will be done. “Nagging” is not effective because it conditions children to ignore authority, to tune out. This trains them to miss important wisdom.

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Go to top of page Comments From Other Readers

    7/5/2005 1:33:30 PM from Brian

    IN RESPONSE TO: "Rebels are more likely to come from authoritarian." In the case of children, this is not so. All children are rebellious in the beginning. It is their nature to be self-centered and do things that they want to do. They have no desire to do the right thing unless the parents instill these values in them. As a (weak) proof, watch the 'Super Nanny' television show. This is full of examples of children who are still rebellious. A parent should be strong and give the proper punishment to their children the moment they do something wrong. Otherwise, they will remain rebels. The statement, "Rebels are more likely to come from authoritarian," applies to governments. Not parents. Parents are naturally in a position of authority. At any rate, discipline is not the main motivation behind having a child. Children need love much more.

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