Monday, September 26, 2005


Self-control is one of those fruits of the spirit that touches everything in our life. It touches what we say, what we do and how we do it. Webster's defines self-control as “restraint excercised over one's own implulses, emotions or desires.” Learning self-control is a life long exercise but we can begin introducing the topic while our children are young. Self-control techniques can really help during those tumultuous pre-school years. My four year old daughter gets told to exercise self-control daily if not hourly over the dramatics she presents us with. This is a very practical lesson to teach to your young (or old) ones that will serve them well all the days of their life.

Idea one: Titus 2:6 says, “... encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity and seriousness.” Many times as parents we dismiss behaviour's that are 'out of control' because they are too young to understand or because that's what two year olds do. I believe that we need to set a standard for our children and even though they might not always achieve it, the standard needs to stay the same. As parents, sit down and dicuss what standards you have for your children, particularly in self-control. For instance, we don't allow temper tantrums. They have the choice of either gaining self-control or going to their rooms. Once your standards are set, sit down with your children and tell them what your home standard's are. With young children you might say, “Mommy and Daddy will not allow you to yell, kick or scream, do you understand? If you choose to do that you may go to room.” Your child (you may have to prompt them) needs to be able to repeat back to you what you just said, so that you know they understand. As a side note, be sure you are not treating frustration tantrums (“I know this block tower goes together, but I can't do it.”) and temper tantrums (“I'm not going to bed and you can't make me!”) the same. In both situations, the child needs to gain self-control but their motives are different.

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

A Case for Homeschooling

We homeschool our three children and while we understand that there are other good educational choices, we believe that no one understands our children like we do or can beat the one on one attention that a parent can give.

One reason that our oldest so favors homeschooling is that he has more time to pursue other interests - like inventing! While reading a George MacDonald book (yes, another ) I came across this quote,

"Mr. Simon never gave Cosmo anything to do at home, believing it the imperative duty of a teacher to leave room for a youngster to grow on his own, and that what a boy does by himself is of greater importance that what he does with any teacher. Such leisure time may be of rather small consequence for the multitude of boys, but it is absolutely necessary wherever one is born with a creative individuality."

So, we limit T.V. time and only allow video games with Daddy as a special treat and try to surround our kids with educational toys and books that strike our children's interest. We work hard in school for approx. 4 hours a day and then let our children have the freedom to grow on their own. Try it, you might be surprised what creative genius lies in your children.

For more information on homeschooling you can go to or nationally at

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Fruit of the Spirit II

Here's a few ideas that I've used with my children to help them learn the fruit of the spirit...

Idea One: Make a poster of the fruits of the spirit with small drawings of each fruit illustrating the word. These do not need to be masterpieces just stick drawings to help your child remember the words. Have your child think of someway he or she could show each trait. For example, “ I could show gentleness by petting the dog nicely.” or “I could show kindness by helping my little brother make his bed.” It's important to put these traits into concepts your children can understand.

Idea two: Use the poster from above and help your children memorize the fruit of the spirit. The pictures will help the smaller ones remember the words and the order. Try going over these once a day for a week, you'll be surprised at how much they can remember. My twins memorized these at two, of course it helped to get treats each time they said the verse.

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Fruits of the Spirit

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Galatians 5:22-23

These are the fundamentals of not only who we want our children to be but what we should want to be. Let me be the first to warn you, once your children know and understand these traits they will keep you accountable on them as well. My oldest son, who takes things strongly to heart, will tell me quite respectfully,”Mom, I don't think that was showing good self-control.” The majority of the time he's right and I have to repent and apologize. It's so humbling to be admonished by a seven year old. Learning the fruit of the spirit young will be a life long blessing. Adults and children who are well versed in and practice these traits are a joy to be around and strong witnesses for the difference Jesus makes in our lives. We will talk about learning all of the fruit of the spirit and then we will focus on a choice few in later blogs.

As I watched television this week and read news reports about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina I realized that you could tell the difference in behavior of those who show fruit of the sprirt and those that do not. I don't know who knows Jesus by the T.V. reports but I did take time to point out to my children instances where people were helping others and comforting each other versus the people that were stealing and hurting others. We, as children of Christ, need to show the fruit of the sprit more to show the difference that Jesus makes in our lives and our children should as well.

My heart and prayers go to those affected by the hurricane.

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