Children Learn What They Live #19

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


A friendly home environment is one in which children's efforts are encouraged, recognized, and praised; where their mistakes, shortcomings, and individual differences are tolerated; and where they are treated fairly, with patience, understanding, and consideration.

Friendliness creates more friendliness – it helps make new friends and strengthen old friendships. Start your kids off right by showing them how to be a good friend.

Taking an interest in community projects can be a family affair. Getting together to give clothing and food to the needy helps to stimulate in our children a spirit of concern for the good of others.

A family atmosphere that is lighthearted and friendly surrounds all who enter the home with a welcoming glow. It's not always easy to maintain that glow, but it's one of the most important things we can try to do as parents.

It is what we actually do with our children that count, much more than what we say, or even what we believe. Our behavior leaves an imprint on our children and the generations that follow.

Our children witness and absorb the way we live together day to day, and what they learn serves as model for them their whole lives. This will affect not only them, but their children, too.

Often, grandparents have more quality time to give to their grandchildren than they had for their own children. Let them give it! And appreciate them for it.

Let's expect the best of our children – and, in fact, of all children. The kids down the street, across town, and far away. Let's do all we can to make it easy for them to do their best.

Family celebrations give our children a chance to see us as people, not just as parents, by revealing us in a new and different light – dancing into the night, telling jokes, playing games, having fun with our friends.

The family is your child's first exposure to the world. Create a family tone that is harmonious with your highest aspirations for your child and seek to maintain it as best you can.

Close connections with family and friends outside the nuclear family open up our children’s world. Find ways to foster these relationships for your child.

Friends of the family can provide invaluable outreach and support during stressful times. Be sure to nurture your own friendships as well as your children's, so that you will have someone to turn to when you need help.

It's important to be friendly and stay in touch with the parents of our children's friends. It's one good way of keeping the lines of communication open, and it offers a valuable window into our children’s world.

We know the world is not always such a nice place in which to live, but it is our home. How can we, our children, and our children's children make the world a better place for all of us?

We want our children to be able to embark on their path into the world with an attitude of friendliness and positive expectations, each finding her own unique and special way to contribute to the greater good.

Each of our children has the potential to be an instrument for positive changes in the world. Help them find small and concrete ways to do so, from an early age.

Family gatherings are a time for ritual, when our cultural and ethnic traditions are celebrated and we tell stories about the past. Our children love to hear about our own childhood escapades.

Family gatherings give our children a way of understanding the passage of time and the fact that they are growing up. It's fun for them to look at the photos taken at these times, and to see how they’ve changed from year to year.

An extended network of loving adults can help create a richer world for our children. Find ways to keep this network alive and well by being a good neighbor, a concerned friend, and involved member of your own extended family.

Children Learn What They Live #18

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


Our children learn to trust when we do what we say we're going to do in a predictable and dependable way.

Children who have feelings of insecurity may also fell uncared for or alone. We need to be alert to the extra care and attention they may need from us at those times.

Our children's faith in themselves will enable them to fall in love, make meaningful commitments to others, and build families of their own one day.

Children trust their parents whether or not that trust is deserved. Let's make sure we live up to their trust.

Our children's belief in themselves will guide their career choices, enabling them to take risks, handle responsibility, and trust their own decisions.

We want our children to internalize a feeling of security – to have genuine faith in themselves and in what they can do. The only way they can have this faith in themselves is if we have faith in them first.

We want our children to feel secure enough to be able to enjoy the awe, mystery, and wonder of the universe.

Our goal is to be able to send our children into the world each day with expectations that they will do good work and choose right actions.

We must earn our children's trust by being predictable and accountable, day in and day out. This requires our commitment and vigilance, in big matters and small.

We want our children to have positive expectations of other people, yet recognize when the behavior of others is unacceptable. We also want them to have the inner security to set limits and stand up for what’s right when they, or others, are being challenged.

Our children need to know that we are on their side, available to support them regardless of what the situation is. We can show them this is how we truly feel by the way we respond to minor nuisances – a broken vase, spilled milk, a wet bed.

Families define faith in many different ways, but a basic faith in the goodness of humankind is essential to be able to face life with hope and optimism.

The family is the child’s "home base" – a haven of security and safety. We want our children to know they can rely on us, that we will always be there for them, even as they venture out into the world.

We need to have enough faith in our children to allow them to fall down and get up, make mistakes and learn from them, fail and try again. These lessons are invaluable in helping them to develop a sense of inner security.

We need to take our promises to our children very seriously. They don't forget them, and neither should we.

When children feel safe, protected, and cared about, they are secure. Don’t be afraid to ask them every once in a while how they're doing. They may need to be asked.

When our children trust us, to be responsive to them, to consider their feelings, and to always care for them, they develop a strong sense of security and faith in human relationships.

An inner sense of security and faith in oneself is part of a child's psychological foundation. It's essential for her success and happiness in life.

When we believe in our children – that they will have the inner strength to handle life's challenges, the resilience to recover from disappointments, and the courage to love – they will have the faith in themselves that they need to live a full life.

Thoughts to ponder #2

Many people will walk in and out of your life.
But only true friends will leave footprints in your heart.
To handle yourself, use your head;
To handle others, use your heart.


Great minds discuss ideas;
Average minds discuss events;
Small minds discuss people.

Children Learn What They Live #17

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


If children don't master the essential skills for respecting their friends while they are growing up, life will be far more difficult for them than it has to be.

We can let our children know what we expect of them in a way that is still respectful of them and their feelings. "I know you'll do the right thing" is a better way of stating our expectations than "Don't embarrass me." Showing thoughtfulness in our daily activities created plenty of opportunities to teach our children how to respect others.

Children notice the way we care for our possessions. When clothes are piled on the floor or tools are left our in the yard, they see it. And they walk in our footsteps.

No matter what we tell our children about how to behave, the way we treat each other and the way we treat them is the strongest message they receive.

Children have a right to their own personal privacy. They should be taught this, just as they are taught to respect the privacy of others.

It's a mistake to demand or try to force our children to treat us with respect. If we treat them with kindness and respect, they are more likely to treat us the same way.

Even the smallest gestures of attentiveness and concern that pass between Mom and Dad are noticed by our children, and become their model for how to treat loved ones.

We can express our respect for others by being kind and considerate in what we say as well as in the way we say it.

The "me first" kid needs to slow down and learn to see someone else's point of view. We can help him do so, with patience and kindness.

Plants die when they are ignored and not cared for. We should make the effort to show consideration for all living things.

An atmosphere of kindness, consideration, and tolerance for individual differences within the family will prepare our children to respect the rights and needs of others, no matter how different they are.

Children notice the way their parents speak to each other, the ways to resolve disagreements, how they communicate with each other in clearing up understandings, and how they responds to each other’s needs.

Children can practice kindness by helping to care for household pets and learning to consider their needs.

Give your child every opportunity to express kindness and thoughtfulness – and notice and praise him when he does.

As our children move into the larger world and honor others out of a basic respect for individual worth and dignity, they can expect to be so honored in return.

Taking care of our home and everything in it provides a golden opportunity to exercise respect and caring. Once again, our example sets the stage for the best learning.

Acting respectfully is not necessarily the same as having a genuine inner feeling of respect toward another. It is the latter that we want to encourage in our children.

Teaching respect for our own bodies' need for food, rest, and exercise is another way of teaching kindness and consideration. Emphasize a balanced life for your family.

Children Learn What They Live #16

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


Our children's sense of fairness begins with small things. If we are respectful in handling their concerns about being treated fairly, they will have the foundation they need to extend the same kind of respect to others.

In order for our children to learn that they can speak up in the face of what they consider to be injustice in the world, they need to practice expressing their feelings with us.

We need to take our children's feelings seriously and respect their right to express themselves openly so they don't fall into a pattern of resentful acquiescence that could be damaging to our relationships.

Be clear in your communications. And when your child has disobeyed you, consider the possibility that there has been a misunderstanding or misinterpretation of your directions. Check in with her point of view first.

Many kids don't tell their parents everything about their experiences outside the home. We can only hope that what they learn in the family will guide their actions out in the world.

It's inevitable that our children will witness and experience injustice in their lives. If they have had some practice and success in standing up for what's right in their own home, they will be more able to advocate for injustice in the world.

It's almost impossible to be fair all the time in a large family. And since fairness is subjective, everyone may not always agree. Do your best, knowing that things won't always be perfect.

We all know it's not easy to be fair, and each person has a different idea of what is fair in any situation. Take the time to talk things through as a family so each child can understand the other points of view.

If we listen to and respect our children's protests about what they see as unfair in the family, they will learn that they can help change things for the better.

Fairness in everyday happenings in the household lays a solid foundation for the larger concept of justice in the world.

Expecting perfection or holding unreasonably high standards for our children is just plain unfair. We may need to work at accepting our children's limits, but that's our problem, not theirs.

Children take the unfairness in the world to heart, especially when they see or hear about other children who may be suffering. Help your children find ways that they can take action that will make a difference, and teach them that together we can work toward justice for all.

We can't expect our kids to understand the whole concept of justice until at least adolescence. Our own examples of being fair and just will help build their understanding.

The news headlines are filled with examples of injustice. Take the opportunity to discuss current events with your children to help them begin to understand how the world works, as well as how they can help make it better.

Be sure to respect and take seriously your children's sense of fairness. They have an innocence and idealism that we don't want to lose.

Your children will experience plenty of examples of unfairness in school, in sports, on the playground, and in the community. These experiences will help them learn that sometimes life isn't fair. They need our help in understanding this fact of life and learning how to deal with it.

Look for opportunities to acknowledge your child's sense of fairness and concerns about justice. These are the foundations for his developing sense of ethics.

When you see an example of someone exercising fairness, point it our to your child. Even if it's just kids taking turns, it's still an example of respecting the right of other people.

Find ways to spend special time alone with each of your children. It's a great way of letting them know you value each of them, each in his or her own way.

Why Go To Church?

If you're spiritually alive, you're going to love this! If you're spiritually dead, you won't want to read it. If you're spiritually curious, there is still hope!

Why Go To Church?

A Church goer wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper and complained that it made no sense to go to church every Sunday. "I've gone for 30 years now," he wrote, "and in that time I have heard something like 3,000 sermons. But for the life of me, I can't remember a single one of them. So, I think I'm wasting my time and the pastors are wasting theirs by giving sermons at all."

This started a real controversy in the "Letters to the Editor" column, much to the delight of the editor. It went on for weeks until someone wrote this clincher:

"I've been married for 30 years now. In that time my wife has cooked some 32,000 meals. But, for the life of me, I cannot recall the entire menu for a single one of those meals. But I do know this.. They all nourished me and gave me the strength I needed to do my work. If my wife had not given me these meals, I would be physically dead today. Likewise, if I had not gone to church for nourishment, I would be spiritually dead today!"

When you are DOWN to nothing..... God is UP to something! Faith sees the invisible, believes the incredible and receives the impossible! Thank God for our physical AND our spiritual nourishment!

All right, now that you're done reading, send it on! I think everyone should read this! When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus, could you get that for me?"

Caller ID

On a Saturday night several weeks ago, this pastor was working late, and decided to call his wife before he left for home.

It was about 10:00 PM, but his wife didn't answer the phone. The pastor let the phone ring many times. He thought it was odd that she didn't answer, but decided to wrap up a few things and try again in a few minutes.

When he tried again she answered right away. He asked her why she hadn't answered before, and she said that it hadn't rung at their house. They brushed it off as a fluke and went on their merry ways.

The following Monday, the pastor received a call at the church office, which was the phone that he'd used that Saturday night. The man that he spoke with wanted to know why he'd called on Saturday night. The pastor couldn't figure out what the man was talking about.

Then the man said, "It rang and rang, but I didn't answer."

The pastor remembered the mishap and apologized for disturbing him, explaining that he'd intended to call his wife. The man said, "That's, OK. Let me tell you my story. You see, I was planning to commit suicide on Saturday night, but before I did, I prayed, 'God if you're there, and you don't want me to do this, give me a sign now.' At that point my phone started to ring. I looked at the caller ID, and it said, 'Almighty God'. I was afraid to answer!"

The reason why it showed on the man's caller ID that the call came from "Almighty God" is because the church that the pastor attends is called Almighty God Tabernacle!!

Anniversary Celebration

Happy 46th Wedding Anniversary to my parents!

Parents are special people,
that guide you through the years.
They comfort you when you are sick,
when you cry they dry your tears.
They listen to all your problems,
even when they have problems of their own.
Parents are always for you,
when you're young and when you're grown.
If I had to find the perfect parents,
I wouldn't have to go very far.
Because you could not be more perfect,
than you already are.
And when it comes to love...
Yours out shines the rest.
So here's to you Mama and Papa.
You are the best.

~ by Vicki Rogers ~

Children Learn What They Live #15

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


Encouraging honesty in your family means demonstrating your own willingness to be accountable – to be able to say "I was wrong" and make amends.

Above all, our children need to learn to be honest with themselves. The peace of mind that comes from this knowledge is a great gift.

Teach your kids that honesty means "no addition, subtraction, or multiplication" of the story-it means just simply saying what happened.

We need to be forgiving of a small child who blurts our, "Your hair looks yucky!" She will learn the finer points of expressing her opinions in delicate situations by our example and explanations of kindness toward the feelings of others.

We need to leave room for our children to explore and express their imaginations, while teaching them to know the difference between telling stories and telling lies.

Our children need our support and encouragement to face unpleasant consequences, and to report truthfully in word and deed. Learning to see cause and effect is a lifelong experience.

Our children will be very quick to notice any discrepancies in the stories we tell them. Be careful about the example you set for them: if you don't, it will surely come back to haunt you.

Encourage your child to accurately tell you what happened on relatively small and unimportant matters. This prepares him to keep you in the loop when it comes to the bigger issues.

We need to find new ways to develop closeness with our teenagers, much different from when they were small children. Despite their growing independence, they need to know they can trust us with any of their problems or questions.

The child who deliberately withholds the truth may need help in expressing his thoughts and feelings. Give him plenty of room, and the help he needs, to say what's on his mind.

Most of us underestimate our children's ability to understand difficult issues, like sex and death. Though these matters may be challenging for us to talk about, we need to do so in ways that take into consideration the child's age and level of maturity.

Sometimes we thin we're protecting our children by shielding them from the whole truth. Usually they know when something's wrong, and they are far better off with an honest explanation.

Even as parents we know how tempting it can be to add or subtract key information from an explanation. Understand the difficulty, and give your child plenty of room to tell the truth.

When you ask your child to explain "what happened," remember that the way your child feels about what happened is also part of the story that needs to be told.

Our children need to be praised and thanked for telling the truth, especially when they have done wrong. Also, the consequences that follow should take into account the fact that they were honest with us.

There's nothing to be gained by putting your child on the witness stand and playing attorney to get at the truth. It's easier, and more effective, to just ask to heat the story of what happened.

When a child is in a difficult situation, we need him to feel free to be honest and truthful with us, so that we can help him. If he is accustomed to being treated with respect and consideration, he will be more likely to turn to us when he needs help.

Teenagers need some privacy in their lives in order to separate from their parents. Withholding certain things from us is not the same as lying. We need to learn to respect their need to become independent.

All children lie to their parents at one time or another. Find gentle but firm ways to insist on knowing the truth, so they'll know you're not the enemy.

Children Learn What They Live #14

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


Generosity is a spontaneous response to someone's need. It may involve sacrifice or inconvenience, but we don't set it as a loss. Surely, this describes a major aspect of what we do as parents.

True generosity implies an openhearted willingness to give freely, without thought of personal gain or reward.

As parents, we can get bogged down in day-to-day business. We need to keep a long-range perspective on how quickly our children will grow up. We want to be there for them as much as we possibly can.

Deliberately withholding time and energy from our children can create feelings of distress. We need to be there for them.

Our children need us just as much when they are teenagers as they did when they were toddlers, though in a very different ways. Sharing our time with our children means we need to be flexible and adjust our schedules as their needs change and evolve.

Very young children are not developmentally ready to share. They certainly don't want to share their favorite blankets or stuffed animals, and they shouldn't be asked to do so.

Even if it's only a bit of food or toy, when a small child spontaneously reaches out, saying "Here," she is showing true generosity.

We can share more than just material things. We can also share our patience, understanding, help, friendship, closeness, and affection with others.

The best kind of giving is giving with no strings attached. Be careful not to give your child the impression that gifts are always rewards. Help him understand that there is pleasure in the pure act of giving.

Help your child understand that giving while expecting to get something in return is not real sharing.

When a new baby arrives, the other children have to share their parents and their home with a tiny, extremely demanding stranger. It's important to give them extra attention and support at this time.

Taking turns is a form of sharing with playmates and one of the hardest lessons for preschoolers to learn. Our patient persistence in guiding them is important.

True generosity means reaching out, free of conditions and qualifications, and giving openly and freely.

When our children start appreciating and complimenting us on what we've given them, we can rest assured that they're on their way to understanding what generosity truly is.

The child who is unable to share will have fewer friends. It's in our children's best interest that we help them develop the ability to share.

We would be wise to spend generous amounts of times with our children from the very beginning. This is easier said than done, but if we wait too long we may miss our children's growing up altogether.

If it is genuine, sharing needs to come from within the child. Forced sharing is not really sharing.

Eating together family-style is a wonderful, warm experience. And cheerfully setting an extra place for an unexpected guest offers a valuable lesson in sharing.

Being generous with our children is not just about sharing things. It's about sharing our time, energy, interest, and attention – about sharing ourselves.

15 Things

15 Things You Probably Never Knew or Thought About
  1. At least 5 people in this world love you so much they would die for you.
  2. At least 15 people in this world love you in some way.
  3. The only reason anyone would ever hate you is because they want to be just like you.
  4. A smile from you can bring happiness to anyone, even if they don't like you.
  5. Every night, SOMEONE thinks about you before they go to sleep.
  6. You mean the world to someone.
  7. If not for you, someone may not be living.
  8. You are special and unique.
  9. Someone that you don't even know exists loves you.
  10. When you make the biggest mistake ever, something good comes from it.
  11. When you think the world has turned its back on you, take a look: you most likely turned your back on the world.
  12. When you think you have no chance of getting what you want, you probably won't get it, but if you believe in yourself, probably, sooner or later, you will get it.
  13. Always remember the compliments you received. Forget about the rude remarks.
  14. Always tell someone how you feel about them; you will feel much better when they know.
  15. If you have a great friend, take the time to let them know that they are great.

A Minute: They say it takes a minute to find a special person, an hour to appreciate them, a day to love them, but then an entire life to forget them.

Take the time... to live and love.

The fourth finger

Why must we wear the ring on the fourth finger... Please follow the steps and you will know. First, do as the photo shown below.

Try to separate your thumbs. Thumb represent parent, they will leave you someday, hence the thumbs can be separated.

Close your thumbs and try to separate your index fingers. Index fingers represent siblings, they will leave you someday when they have their own family, hence index fingers can be separated.

Close your index fingers and try to separate your little fingers. Little fingers represent children, they will leave you someday when they have grown up, hence little fingers can be separated.

Now close your little fingers and try to separate your fourth fingers. You will realize that you cannot separate them, because they represent the marriage of husband and wife.

Children Learn What They Live #13

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


Setting goals and reaching them is good preparation for life. We can help our children set realistic goals and encourage them to keep after them until they achieve them.

Stay in touch with a slow starter. Is he afraid of failure, in need of additional support, comparing himself to others unfavorable? Or is he just a child who needs more time to enter into his experiences than others do?

The push to succeed can be just as stressful as the fear of failure. Encourage your child to put forth her very best, and yet be relaxed about the outcome.

We need to make sure our children don't get overly caught up in seeking recognition for their achievements. A sense of fulfillments in the task itself and feelings of genuine accomplishment are vital, too.

When a child is jealous or resentful of another's recognition, dismissing her feelings abruptly will not help. Take the time to talk it over with her and help her understand her inner feelings.

Our kids are continually doing new things in new ways, discovering what works best. That's what learning is all about! Leave them plenty of room to explore the world in their own way, even when it's inconvenient for you.

Sometimes our children really think they can do everything. They may need our help in sorting through their options as well as in making realistic choices.

Children need to learn that most goals in life are achieved through cooperation. Working with others, sharing recognition with others, and helping others are all important learning experiences.

Notice when your child helps out around the house, and thank him for it. No matter how small the job, this is his contribution to the family.

Learning how to manage money is an essential skill for growing up. Recognize your child for even the smallest wise decisions about handling money.

We want our children to know that the inner feeling of accomplishment is fulfilling a goal can be as satisfying as outer recognition. We can help them learn this distinction by highlighting their inner experience.

Working toward a goal provides important lesions for growing up. It teaches realistic planning, problem solving and perseverance. Be sure to give your children plenty of opportunities to work toward their goals.

The child's first attempts at goal setting begin with play. Building blocks and other creative toys are good tools for learning to set goals.

We want to remind ourselves to take the time to pause in our busy lives so we can recognize our children by seeing them anew – in the moment, just being themselves. Every single day of our lives offers opportunities to do so, if we are willing.

The best way to increase the chance of success is by setting realistic expectations. Help your child choose age-appropriate goals.

Acknowledging children for giving and doing their best regardless of the outcome contributes to the building of integrity, even in the very young.

"Watch me! Watch me!" is a frequent refrain of little children. Older children are crying out for our attention too, although in a very different ways. No matter what age our children age, they need to have their accomplishments, large and small, noticed.

Eventually, older children come to realize how much hard work goes into a project. Once they’ve made this connection, recognition and accomplishment take on a deeper meaning.

Help your child with school project, but be sure not to take over. You are important resource and guide, especially when your child is frustrated or discouraged. Your presence does make a difference.

The Scars of Life

Some years ago, on a hot summer day in south Florida, a little boy decided to go for a swim in the old swimming hole behind his house. In a hurry to dive into the cool water, he ran out the back door, leaving behind shoes, socks, and shirt as he went.

He flew into the water, not realizing that as he swam toward the middle of the lake, an alligator was swimming toward the shore.

His father working in the yard saw the two as they got closer and closer together. In utter fear, he ran toward the water, yelling to his son as loudly as he could.
Hearing his voice, the little boy became alarmed and made a u-turn to swim to his father. It was too late. Just as he reached his father, the alligator reached him.

From the dock, the father grabbed his little boy by the arms just as the alligator snatched his legs. That began an incredible tug-of-war between the two. The alligator was much stronger than the father, but the father was much too passionate to let go. A farmer happened to drive by, heard his screams, raced from his truck, took aim and shot the alligator.

Remarkably, after weeks and weeks in the hospital, the little boy survived. His legs were extremely scarred by the vicious attack of the animal. And, on his arms, were deep scratches where his father's fingernails dug into his flesh in his effort to hang on to the son he loved

The newspaper reporter who interviewed the boy after the trauma, asked if he would show him his scars. The boy lifted his pant legs. And then, with obvious pride, he said to the reporter! "But look at my arms. I have great scars on my arms, too. I have them because my Dad wouldn't let go."

You and I can identify with that little boy. We have scars, too. No, not from an alligator, but the scars of a painful past. Some of those scars are unsightly and have caused us deep regret. But, some wounds, my friend, are because God has refused to let go. In the midst of your struggle, He's been there holding on to you.

The Scripture teaches that God loves you. You are a child of God. He wants to protect you and provide for you in every way. But sometimes we foolishly wade into dangerous situations, not knowing what lies ahead. The swimming hole of life is filled with peril - and we forget that the enemy is waiting to attack. That's when the tug-of-war begins - and if you have the scars of His love on your arms, be very, very grateful. He did not and will not ever let you go.

Never judge another person's scars, because you don't know how they got them. Also, it is soooo important that we are not selfish - to receive the blessings of these messages, without forwarding them to someone else.

Right now, someone needs to know that God loves them, and you love them, too - enough to not let them go.

Children Learn What They Live #12

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


Even when we don't state our feelings explicitly, our children are experts at knowing what we approve of as well as what we don't. We might need to become more generous and less critical if we truly want them to flourish.

By the way we express our approval, we can influence what our children come to value and like about themselves. In this way, we contribute both to their developing identities and to their emerging morality.

Our approving remarks – "Go ahead," "Stay with it," "You’re doing great!" – send a reassuring message and encourage children to continue with their efforts.

We need to support our children's developing self-esteem so they can like themselves on their own terms. This will help them hold firm to what they know is right when outside pressures challenge them.

If our children grow up to be responsible human beings who make their decisions conscientiously and in good faiths, we should be pleased, regardless of whether or not we agree with every specific decision they make.

We need to be on the alert when a child seems to be constantly seeking approval. What he might really need is love and affection.

When older children ask for our approval about a choice they're making, they're letting us know they respect us and have confidence in our judgment. Don't miss this opportunity to engage in a constructive dialogue.

We make it easier for our children to gain our approval when we have realistic expectations of them, when we are firm but flexible, and when we create with them a family setting in which their contributions are respected.

The child who is anxiously seeking your approval may really need more special time together – time to be closer to you.

As our children mature, they will develop their own standards and values, and they may not always be the same as ours. Part of letting them grow up is accepting that sometimes they will act independently of our approval.

Our approval encourages our children to feel good about themselves, both for what they do and for who they are.

Given a supportive and nurturing environment, our children are free to bloom into their own best selves and grow up with the knowledge that they are loved and valued for their own special qualities.

Ultimately we want our children to develop the inner strength to do what's right, independent of their friends' – and even our – approval.

Life is easier and more fun in families where approval and acceptance are the norm. We all feel better about ourselves in this kind of atmosphere.

Television and movies offer us many opportunities to let our children know what kinds of behavior we disapprove of and to open up discussions about possible alternative behaviors.

The more we include our children in negotiating family rules, the better they will accept our disapproval when they misbehave. Asking their opinion about how to enforce the rules can lead to much better cooperation.

As parents, we need to be able to give our approval freely and easily. This will provide our children with a model for their own marriages.

Our children want and need our approval – don't withhold it for fear of spoiling them. Instead, give your approval generously, even when it's for something little, like remembering to clear their place from the table or to hold the door for someone.

A positive sense of self will play an important role throughout our children's lifetime, influencing their marriages and their relationships with their children.

Children Learn What They Live #11

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


We want our children to strive toward goals and achievements – but not to feel they have to work for the fundamental right to be accepted and loved by us.

Accepting your child's inner being is part of loving her unconditionally. This doesn't mean we have to accept everything our children do. We can, and should, still set limits.

The way Mom and Dad treat each other and show how they care for one another can provide a powerful model of acceptance and love in family life.

Love is the soil in which our children grow, the sunlight that determines their direction, and the water that nourishes their growth.

The ability to give and to receive love is a measure of our own health and well-being – it is contagious.

Children who are surrounded with the warmth, caring, acceptance, and love they need learn how to love themselves and others.

Children learn the most basic message about love – that they are wanted and accepted – in their families.

When we respect and support one another in our marriage and in our family, treating each other with warmth and affection, we give our children a model for how to build and sustain a happy life.

We want our children to feel loved, no matter what. They need to know they don't need to do or be anything special to earn our love.

The need to be touched is perhaps one of the most fundamental, universal, and powerful needs in our lives – as important for the newborn baby as it is for his grandparents.

To be accepted by others, your child has to learn to fit in, follow the rules, and be accepting and friendly. He can learn all that in the family first, and it’s your responsibility to make sure that he does.

While children need to be told they are loved, they also need to be assured through hugs, kisses, gentle pats, and snuggling that the words we speak are real.

The example parents give their children through their everyday interactions with each other becomes a template – for better or for worse – for the relationships they will have when they marry.

It may be impossible for us to fully express all the love we feel in our hearts for our children. But do try – your children need to hear these words, over and over again.

Even when you reject his behavior, make sure you accept the child. You can make this distinction very clear to him by saying, for example, "Hitting is not okay, even when you’re very angry. Let’s find another way to solve this problem."

All kids need hugs, pats, squeezes, and kisses. For the very young, these expressions of our love make it real for them.

Your acceptance and love will give you child the certainty and confidence she needs as she enters the larger world, beyond the family.

We want to fill our children up with enough love to sustain them throughout their lives.

Children who are secure about being accepted and loved have the inner strength they need to pursue their goals and to extend themselves to others.

Children Learn What They Live #10

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


If they learn to appreciate themselves even from a very young age, our children will have an internal source of emotional support and nourishment that is always available to them.

We can model behavior that strikes a balance between kindness and frankness, honesty and diplomacy, by showing our children through our own actions how to negotiate the delicate but important social interactions we encounter in our daily lives.

When we praise our children, we also provide them with a model for how to notice and express their appreciation of others, and of the world around them.

There will always be times when we will be disappointed in our children, or they will be disappointed in themselves. An extra hug can let our kids know that we are always on their side, no matter what.

We need to remember that it's not our aspirations for our children that will determine their lives, but their own goals and dreams for themselves.

Heartfelt praise is a reward in itself. To feel appreciated is to feel very special. Every child needs to feel this way.

Some children need more praise than others, and there are times when all children will need more attention and nurturing. Our physical closeness and the sharing of feelings can offer the comfort and reassurance children need to get through difficult times.

While walking around your neighborhood, help your child learn to appreciate the beauty of nature by pointing out the various colors, shapes, and smells that enrich our experience of the world.

When we appreciate and praise our children, we show them how to appreciate and celebrate the world around them.

As our children become emotionally mature, we want them to learn how to look within themselves for some of the support and encouragement they need as they grow toward independence.

Praise creates a warm glow on your child's face – and in her heart, as well.

We can feel free to give our praise generously. Praise is invaluable when it comes to bolstering a child's emerging sense of self.

If a child seems to be especially hungry for praise, she may be needing reassurance that she is loved.

In order to offer our children meaningful praise, we must first notice and be aware of when they are doing their best. We can also praise them when they choose to refrain from unacceptable behaviors, especially when we know it's hard for them to do so.

The more specific we can be in our praise, the more our children will learn what behaviors or qualities we value in them. This is more helpful than just telling them how wonderful they are.

Appreciation is the core of love. Don't underestimate its importance!

Praise is a form of celebration. Celebrate your child, your family!

Think of praise as another way of expressing your love. Make sure that the praise you offer is meaningful. "I like the colors you chose" means more than "What a beautiful picture!"

We can always find something to appreciate about our children, even at the end of a really tough day. And those are the days when doing so is most important.

Children Learn What They Live #9

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


There will always be moments when we lose our patience with our children. But we can recover, regain our composure, apologize, and forgive ourselves.

By finding-and holding on to-the serenity that we need to be patient with our children, we can create a home in which the daily struggles of life may be challenging, but are not overwhelming.

Growing up in a family that teaches tolerance for different ways of doing things and different opinions prepares children to enter a world full of new ideas with greater openness and acceptance.

A tolerant attitude is usually a more relaxed one. Children thrive when they are allowed, and even encouraged, to be patient with their own mistakes and the 'goofs' of others.

When we take the time to listen to our children, patiently and carefully, we are teaching them how to be tolerant and helping them become a more understanding person.

We may need to apologize to our children - sometimes even several times a day - for being impatient with them. Fortunately, children are forgiving, especially with parents whose hearts are in the right place, and who are trying to do their best.

Our children will learn how to be tolerant of others by living in a family where differences are accepted and respected.

The lessons in tolerance that you model to your children will reach beyond your home – into the neighborhood, throughout the community, and out into the world.

When we allow plenty of time for our children to complete a task, rather than rushing them, we are demonstrating patience.

Being tolerant with your children doesn't mean seeing how much aggravation you can take. You have a right – indeed, an obligation – to set limits.

Saying "be patient" to your child isn't quite enough. As parents, we need to show them how to do so. When they're very young, we can help by distracting or entertaining them. When they're older, we can teach them to take deep breaths to calm themselves.

Ideally, tolerance means more than just "putting up with." It means accepting others and treating them with patience and kindness. This is what our children need from us.

Vague expressions of time – "in a little while," "in a few minutes," "soon" – are difficult for a small child to understand. Try making a connection between the amount of time a child must wait and concrete events in a real world – "when Baby wakes up," "after lunch," or "when the big hand is on the 12."

Don't get impatient with yourself when you're feeling impatient. That's a double whammy! Let it go and relax. You’re doing the best you can.

Don't leave things for the last minute and get caught in a rush. A certain amount of planning ahead makes maintaining a patient attitude much easier.

Enjoying each season of the year teaches young children about the passage of time and the stages of life, and it instills the idea that change is a natural part of life.

It's up to each of us, as parents, to become aware of our own prejudices so we don't teach them to our children. If we demonstrate tolerance toward others, the generations to come will have a better chance of living together in harmony and peace.

Most of us live with far too much tension and stress in our lives. We'll do better as parents if we're more patient with ourselves.

As parents, we need to be aware of how much we are pushing ourselves. Remember, we are teaching our children how to live by our example. Try listening to your own inner voice, and if you're being too hard on yourself, lighten up.

Children Learn What They Live #8

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


The root meaning of the word encouragement is "to give heart." When we encourage our children, we give them courage – from our hearts to theirs.

When we see our children manifesting a quality we admire – whether it's generosity, kindness, sensitivity, determination, or some other positive trait – we ought to let them know that we notice and appreciate it.

It's important to recognize and praise our children for the small steps they take toward achieving their goals – as well as for the end results.

Help your children find ways to pursue their dreams. We want them to be able to use the power of their dreams to inspire them throughout their lives.

It's important to support our children in what they want to accomplish in their lives, respecting their autonomy and honoring their right to make their own choices. This starts at a very early age, with small things, and often requires exceptional patience and understanding.

We need to maintain our confidence in our children, especially during difficult times – and most especially when they lose confidence in themselves.

Encouragement is like a blessing. It makes kids feel good inside.

Encouragement lets your children know you are on their side. That's important!

Encouragement helps children keep going when things get tough. Every small success builds their self-confidence.

All children make mistakes. They need encouragement to find the courage to start over and give it another try. When you make a mistake, don't hesitate to say, "Whoops! I got this wrong and have to do it another way."

As long as your kids are heading in the right direction, encourage them. Ignore the little things that irritate you, and concentrate on noticing the things they are doing right.

Our encouragement is an important aspect of our child's growth and development, leading to the flowering of confidence, certainty, and the ability to try a new idea.

When we provide our children with a supportive environment, a safe and nurturing place in which to learn, we encourage them to become their best selves.

Each child is a unique spirit, with his or her own special gifts to offer. If we encourage our children to become the people they want to be, we will have the great privilege of glimpsing the world through their eyes.

Children who are confident have an inner feeling that they can tackle whatever is in front of them. They also know how to ask for help when they are having trouble.

Encouragement helps children build feelings of certainty and security that will stay with them and nourish them.

Saying "Watch out or you'll drop that!" gives voice to a negative expectation. Try saying instead, firmly but calmly, "Hold on to it carefully so it doesn't fall."

Sometimes we have to encourage our children even when we know that what they're trying to do is impossible. Protecting them from failure or disappointment is limiting. We need to have confidence that they will learn from their experiences, and to be available to offer a wider view.

It's inevitable that our kids will experience discouragement. When they do, we need to be there for them. Sharing our own childhood disappointments can be comforting for them.

The Optimist Creed

  • To be strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind
  • To talk health, happiness and prosperity to every person you meet
  • To make all your friends feel that there is something in them
  • To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true
  • To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best
  • To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
  • To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future
  • To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile
  • To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others
  • To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear and too happy to permit the presence of trouble

To The Love of My Life

I gave this poem to my hubby on our anniversary in 2002... I thought I'd post it here since it's our 11th year anniversary today!

I could tell you I loved you.
I could tell you you're my life.
But I won't because I don't think that would be enough.
Not only do I want to tell you how much I love you,
I want to show you.
You are the reason I live,
the reason my heart keeps beating.
Without you my life would be over.
I never knew I could love someone as much as I love and need you.
Please know I'll never be able to love anyone as much as I love you.
You're the only one for me.
And that's the way it will always be.
Without you my heart would be empty and incomplete.
Every memory I have of you I treasure.
Every thought of you is wonderful.
Thank you for the love you have given me.
Thank you for the lesson of my life I will never forget.
Thank you, love of my life.

Author: Mariana Traferro

IF you are 30 or older

you will think this is hilarious!!!!

When I was a kid, adults used to bore me to tears with their tedious diatribes about how hard things were when they were growing up; what with walking twenty-five miles to school every morning ... Uphill BOTH ways . Yadda, yadda, yadda.

And I remember promising myself that when I grew up, there was no way in hell I was going to lay a bunch of crap like that on kids about how hard I had it and how easy they've got it!

But now that...

I'm over the ripe old age of thirty, I can't help but look around and notice the youth of today. You've got it so easy!

I mean, compared to my childhood, you live in a damn Utopia! And I hate to say it but you kids today you don't know how good you've got it!

I mean, when I was a kid we didn't have The Internet. If we wanted to know something, we had to go to the damn library and look it up ourselves, in the card catalog!

There was no email! We had to actually write somebody a letter. With a pen! Then you had to walk all the way across the street and put it in the mailbox and it would take like a week to get there!

There were no MP3's or Napsters! You wanted to steal music, you had to hitchhike to the damn record store and shoplift it yourself! Or you had to wait around all day to tape it off the radio and the DJ'd usually talk over the beginning and @#*% it all up!

And talk of about hardship? You couldn't just download porn! You had to steal it from your brother or bribe some homeless dude to buy you a copy of "Hustler" at the 7-11! Those were your options!

We didn't have fancy crap like Call Waiting! If you were on the phone and somebody else called they got a busy signal, that's it!

And we didn't have fancy Caller ID Boxes either! When the phone rang, you had no idea who it was! It could be your school, your mom, your boss, your bookie, your drug dealer, a collections agent, you just didn't know!!! You had to pick it up and take your chances, mister!

We didn't have any fancy Sony Playstation video games with high-resolution 3-D graphics! We had the Atari 2600! With games like "Space Invaders" and "asteroids" and the graphics sucked a$$! Your guy was a little square! You actually had to use your imagination! And there were no multiple levels or screens, it was just one screen forever!

And you could never win. The game just kept getting harder and harder and faster and faster until you died!... Just like LIFE!

When you went to the movie theater there no such thing as stadium seating! All the seats were the same height! If a tall guy or some old broad with a hat sat in front of you and you couldn't see, you were just screwed!

Sure, we had cable television, but back then that was only like 15 channels and there was no onscreen menu and no remote control! You had to use a little book called a TV Guide to find out what was on!

You were screwed when it came to channel surfing! You had to get off your ass and walk over to the TV to change the channel and there was no Cartoon Network either! You could only get cartoons on Saturday Morning. Do you hear what I'm saying!?! We had to wait ALL WEEK for cartoons, you spoiled little rat-bastards!

And we didn't have microwaves, if we wanted to heat something up, we had to use the stove or go build a frigging fire... Imagine that! If we wanted popcorn, we had to use that stupid JiffyPop thing and shake it over the stove forever like an idiot.

That's exactly what I'm talking about! You kids today have got it too easy. You're spoiled.

You guys wouldn't have lasted five minutes back in the 80s!

The 30+ Something crowd!

Children Learn What They Live #7

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


It's a good idea to let our children explain why they did something instead of jumping to conclusions and blaming them. This approach is a better way to get the whole story, and it preserves their sense of self-worth!

We want our children to learn how to evaluate their own behavior and find constructive solutions to the problems they face. We can help them find concrete ways to take responsibility for their actions by offering suggestions – whether it's comforting a crying friend or paying for a broken window.

When our children are allowed to tell us the way they really feel, we are able to help them discharge negative feelings, move forward, and grow.

A sincere apology includes the acceptance of responsibility and a genuine feeling of regret, as well as the intention to make things better in the future. Make sure your kids understand tall three elements.

We can best correct and guide our children by giving them a better and more precise idea of what is expected of them. Instead of saying, "Clean up this mess!" try saying, "Could you help me by getting all the blocks back into the box?"

Most children understand when they have done the wrong thing, and it's okay for them to feel bad about it. Our job is to help them figure out ways to make better choices in the future.

Our kind acceptance of our children's faults, and our caring guidance in helping to overcome them, allows them to grow up feeling good about themselves, rather than ashamed.

It's important to notice and praise the efforts our children make to help restore a situation. We want to recognize and encourage their budding ability to take responsibility, rather than pointing out their shortcomings.

Given an abundance of positive, respectful reinforcement, most children come to understand that they are responsible for the consequences of their actions.

Each child has a basic right to express his feelings and to have his emotional needs met. As the child grows, this right is balanced by his responsibility to express himself in ways that are appropriate and respectful of others.

After a child has done something wrong, we should help him move through a positive cycle of apology – first taking responsibility, and then being forgiven.

We don't want to use shame in an attempt to control our children's behavior - that only makes them feel bad about themselves. It's better to ask for and applaud the desired behavior.

Fortunately, most children want to please their parents most of the time. Help them find ways to do so.

It's not our job to condemn our children. It's our job to teach and guide them – to set the rules and then to enforce them fairly.

Prolonged guilt and shame are not productive feelings. We want to encourage feelings that help point to a better way next time.

By taking full responsibility for your everyday actions, you provide a healthy example for your kids to follow. It's not always convenient or comfortable to do so, but it is important.

We want to help our children develop an inner sense of right and wrong, rather than teaching them through shame or guilt.

Shame and the resulting feelings – blame and guilt – are both negative and isolating. Let's encourage as many positive feelings as we can and stay connected to our kids.

Growing up in an atmosphere of shame and guilt is not constructive. We want to create a nurturing environment for our kids so that their desire to please others is encouraged.

Simple vs. Real Friend

A simple friend, when visiting, acts like a guest.
A real friend opens your refrigerator and helps himself.

A simple friend has never seen you cry.
A real friend has shoulders soggy from your tears.

A simple friend doesn't know your parents' first names.
A simple friend brings a bottle of wine to your party.
A real friend comes early to help you cook and stays late to help you clean.

A simple friend hates it when you call after he has gone to bed.
A real friend asks you why you took so long to call.

A simple friend seeks to talk with you about your problems.
A real friend seeks to help you with your problems.

A simple friend wonders about your romantic history.
A real friend could blackmail you with it.

A simple friend thinks the friendship is over when you have an argument.
A real friend calls you after you had a fight.

A simple friend expects you to always be there for them.
A real friend expects to always be there for you!

Are you a simple or real friend???

Children Learn What They Live #6

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


Let all your children know how special each of them is to you by helping them to bring out their own unique talents and pursue their own interests.

We can provide our kids with a good example by showing them how to enjoy what we do have rather than longing for what we don't.

What a wonderful message it is to let your child know that you wouldn't want him to be any other kind of person, that you love him just for being himself.

There is no better reason to finally make peace with ourselves and come to terms with our own imperfections than this: that by our own example, we can help our children learn to accept themselves more fully.

Our children are exposed to advertising that stresses the importance of what others own. These messages often confuse having possessions with being loved and accepted. Our kids need our help in sorting out these confusing messages.

The ability to appreciate and enjoy our own blessings can help us deal appropriately with feelings of jealousy or envy.

Avoid labeling your children, even positively – "the smart one," "the athletic one," "the pretty one," and so on. Comparing your children to each other can promote feelings of jealousy and discourage them from becoming the best they can be for themselves.

When parents and children feel good about themselves, jealousy and envy go out the window. Try focusing on your inner sense of yourself rather than comparing yourself to others.

No matter what they say, what our children really want from us more than the newest clothes or the latest toys is our time and attention.

When we value our children, they learn to value themselves. We do this best when we avoid comparisons and showing favoritism.

Sometimes there are deep feelings of loss behind expressions of envy, like, "I wish my Dad was more like Bill's." We need to be able to listen to our children's feelings without getting defensive.

We will be much better off as parents if we cub our competitive feelings and our tendency to compare our kids to our friends' kids. Let's appreciate our children for who they are, and not see them as extensions of ourselves to brag about.

Jealousy and envy can make children feel bad about themselves. Help your kids learn to feel satisfied with what they have.

When a new baby comes along, accept some signs of jealousy as a natural reaction. Make sure to give even older kids special attention at this time.

It's good to nip jealousy in the bud, but not by stifling expression. When you notice your child longing for what others have, talk about it with him.

When they are struggling with feelings of envy, we want to listen to our children express their thoughts and feelings as well as offer them our own perspective.

There will always be people who have more of the things we want, but there will also be those who have less. It's up to us to decide how we make peace with this fact.

We need to recognize and value each child in the family for his or her own unique and special talents. Doing so will help keep jealousy at bay.

Even very young children may become concerned about having the "right" clothes or electronic toys. We have to balance the messages they are getting from advertising and other children by making our own values explicit.

Children Learn What They Live #5

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


A pushy, demanding attitude can actually bring about shyness instead of compliance. When we want our children to participate in an activity, it’s best to be inviting and welcoming.

When a child is able to laugh at herself, let her do it first. Then follow suit, and laugh with her. A big hug can help reassure her that she’s not being ridiculed.

Our children can learn from our example that the world doesn’t come to an end when someone laughs at us or we make a mistake. Show them how to move quickly and smoothly from acknowledging a mistake to correcting it.

Help your child learn to see the difference between laughing at someone and laughing with them. It’s laughing with someone only if everyone is enjoying the laughter.

It is important to always respect our children’s efforts to please us, no matter how misplaced or untimely they may be. When necessary, redirect them, and remember – it’s the spirit of giving that counts!

If we openly accept our own faults and mistakes and try to learn from them, we create a warmer, more relaxed environment for our children.

The ability to laugh at oneself is a sign of maturity, insight, and self-confidence. Provide a positive model for your child by showing him that you don’t always take yourself seriously.

Even if your child really is shy, it’s best not to say so in front of others. For one thing, that kind of attention is very hard for a shy child to bear. And for another, this may be just a phase in her development.

If your child suddenly becomes shy or withdrawn, it’s a signal. Be available to listen and find out what’s bothering him.

Using ridicule as an incentive to energize a child does just the opposite. It deflates her sense of self. Find positive ways to encourage and support your child.

Warmth, encouragement, and affection are the most effective tools for bringing out the best in your child.

Ridicule encourages your child to turn away. Help her get involved with others by creating fun and exciting games that capture her interest. Most children love to play tag or hide-and-seek. Sometimes you can help get things started.

Ridiculing a child in order to gain a desired behavior doesn’t work; it only encourages more shyness and withdrawal.

Ridicule can close the door to communication, leaving your child feeling very much alone. Don’t unintentionally close this door by too much teasing.

Ridicule is a put-down. Build your children up; don’t tear them down.

May kids experience teasing or ridicule at school or in neighborhood. We want our children to know they can always talk to us about this and that we’ll find a way to help them make things better, not worse.

Our children often overhear our offhand comments about others. Then they repeat them. Let’s not ridicule anyone, especially within earshot of our children.

We want our kids to be able to truly relax when they’re home. This means a “zero-tolerance” rule for ridicule or cruelty among siblings.

Sarcasm and ridicule are a devastating combination. Avoid both for your child’s sense of well-being.

Little Eyes Upon You

There are little eyes upon you and they're watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager to do anything you do;
And a little boy who's dreaming of the day he'll be like you.

You're the little fellow's idol, you're the wisest of the wise.
In his little mind about you no suspicious ever rise.
He believes in you devoutly, hold all you say and do;
He will say and do, in your way, when he's grown up just like you.

There's a wide-eyed little fellow who believes you're always right;
And his eyes are always opened, and he watches day and night.
You are setting an example everyday in all you do;
For the little boy who's waiting to grow up to be like you.

Author Unknown

Lord, Help me Build a Healthy Child

For it is easier to build a child then to repair an adult.
Help me praise more than criticize, encourage more than nag,
Discipline, not punish, and model good behavior
Rather than simple demand it.

Help me break the habit of automatically saying "no",
When I could just as easily say "yes" and to remember
a hug given before it's asked for is ten times more valuable!

Help me ask myself, "Will this matter in 20 years"
Then enable me to let go of those things that won't,
so I can have the energy for those things that will.

Help me earn their respect as I lead life consistent
with the principles I value. Lord, give me the courage
to teach them right from wrong
and help them discover their own special destinies.

Help me to freely join in their silliness, share in their laughter,
delight in their joys and keep their confidences.
Remind me daily to draw upon your strength
to heal thier wounds and comfort their sorrows.

Most of all, Lord, help me really listen for the hidden thoughts
and needs that often lie behind their requests
and give me the key to their heart
that is may be opened wide to all life's wonders and possibilities.

Author: Audrey Jeanne Roberts

Do you need a little washing?

A little girl had been shopping with her Mom at Target. She must have been 6 years old, beautiful face an image of innocence. It was pouring outside. The kind of rain that gushes over the top of rain gutters, so much in a hurry to hit the earth it has no time to flow down the spout. We all stood there under the awning and just inside the door of the Target.

We waited, some patiently, others irritated because nature messed up their hurried day. I am always mesmerized by rainfall I got lost in the sound and sight of the heavens washing away the dirt and dust of the world. Memories of running, splashing so carefree as a child came pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of my day.

The little voice was so sweet as it broke the hypnotic trance we were all caught in, "Mom, let's run through the rain," she said. "What?" Mom asked.

"Let's run through the rain!" She repeated.

"No, honey. We'll wait until it slows down a bit," Mom replied

This young child waited about another minute and repeated, "Mom, let's run through the rain."

"We'll get soaked if we do," Mom said.

"No, we won't, Mom. That's not what you said this morning," the young girl said as she tugged at her Mom's arm.

"This morning? When did I say we could run through the rain and not get wet?"

"Don't you remember? When you were talking to Daddy about his cancer, you said, "If God can get us through this, he can get us through anything!'"

The entire crowd stopped dead silent. I swear you couldn't hear anything but the rain. We all stood silently. No one came or left in the next few minutes. Mom paused and thought for a moment about what she would say. Now some would laugh it off and scold her for being silly. Some might even ignore what was said.. But this was a moment of affirmation in a young child's life. A time when innocent trust can be nurtured so that it will bloom into faith.

"Honey, you are absolutely right. Let's run through the rain. If God let's us get wet, well maybe we just needed washing," Mom said.

Then off they ran. We all stood watching, smiling and laughing as they darted past the cars and yes, through the puddles. They held their shopping bags over their heads just in case. They got soaked. But they were followed by a few who screamed and laughed like children all the way to their cars.

And yes, I did. I ran. I got wet. I needed washing.

Circumstances or people can take away your material possessions, they can take away your money, and they can take away your health. But no one can ever take away your precious memories... So, don't forget to make time and take opportunities to make memories everyday. To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.


Take the time to live!!!

Children Learn What They Live #4

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


When things aren't going well for your child, don't waste time pitying him. Instead, do everything you can to help him make the situation better.

Our confidence in our children's inner strength will help give them the faith they need to trust in and rely upon themselves. This will guide them along the road from self-pity to self-determination.

Feeling sorry for ourselves does not set a good example for our children. We have to find or create the resources we need to change our attitude.

When a project fails, encourage your child by asking, "How did you want it to turn out? Maybe there's a way I can help you do a better job next time."

We must open our hearts and teach our children to recognize a tragic situation when it occurs - then do what we can to help, and find ways they can help, too.

Disabled or even terminally ill children often teach their parents more about how to live than their parents could ever teach them.

No child needs pity. Encouragement and understanding can inspire your child and give him something to hold on to.

Your kind thoughts and words directed to a truly disabled child are just as important as the helping hand you may offer her.

When your child notices you are not feeling up to par, and says, "I'm sorry, Mommy," and pats you on the shoulder, she is showing empathy.

All of us know what it's like to miss out on an opportunity or to feel regret or disappointment. When things go wrong, help your child review what happened and figure our how she could have made different choice, so she can do better next time.

Keep off the pathway of pity with your children. Instead, take the pathway of determination.

"Poor me" is an isolating feeling. Make a special effort to connect with your child, offering warmth, appreciation, and understanding instead of pity.

Let's face it - nobody is perfect. Sometimes expecting too much too soon from our children can cause them to feel that they don't measure up.

If we hear a child saying "I can't" to often, we may want to explore in what way he needs to feel more empowered.

We want our children to understand that things don't always go the way they want them to. We hope that, rather than feeling sorry for themselves, they'll learn to see this fact of life as a challenge.

The positive outlook of those who live, work, and play with disabilities in their everyday lives can teach all of us a lot about courage, faith and hope.

No matter what the situation, pity is not a helpful attitude. Our children need our support and confidence.

It's vital for us to confront ourselves when we start feeling sorry for ourselves. At these times we need to find the strength and support we need to take positive action instead of wallowing in self-pity.

No matter how difficult things may appear in the moment, as parents we need to always maintain our most optimistic vision of our children. Remember - we are the grown-ups!


"I got two A's" the small boy said.
His voice was filled with glee.
His father very bluntly asked, "Why didn't you get three?"

"Mom I've got the dishes done."
The girl called from the door.
Her mother very calmly said, "Why didn't you sweep the floor?"

"I mowed the grass," the tall boy said, "and put the mower away."
His father asked him with a shrug, "Did you clean off the clay?"

The children in the house next door seem very happy and content.
The same thing happened over there, but this is how it went:

"I got two A's" the small boy said.
His voice was filled with glee.
His father proudly said, "That's great. I'm glad you belong to me."

"Mom I've got the dishes done."
The girl called from the door.
Her mother smiled and softly said, "Each day I love you more."

"I mowed the grass," the tall boy said, "and put the mower away."
His father answered with much joy, "You've made my happy day."

Children deserve a little praise
For tasks they're asked to do.
If you're to lead a happy life,
So much depeends on you.

Author unknown

The Parents' Affirmation of Imperfection

It's perfectly okay for me to be imperfect.

This includes not being a perfect parent.

This means that it's okay that I have already made a lot of mistakes as a parent
and that it's okay that I will make other mistakes in the future.

What's not okay is for me to pretend
that I am perfect and to thereby hide my mistakes from myself.

Instead I will catch my mistakes with a smile rather than a kick
and learn what they have to teach me.

That way, I won't make the same mistakes too often,
and I'll never be a perfect parent and that's okay,
because my goal is excellence, not perfection.

Author unknown

Prescribed by the Great Physician

The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...

Noah was a drunk
Abraham was too old
Isaac was a daydreamer
Jacob was a liar
Leah was ugly
Joseph was abused
Moses had a stuttering problem
Gideon was afraid
Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
Rahab was a prostitute
Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
David had an affair and was a murderer
Elijah was suicidal
Isaiah preached naked
Jonah ran from God
Naomi was a widow
Job went bankrupt
Peter denied Christ
The Disciples fell asleep while praying
Martha worried about everything
The Samaritan woman was divorced, more than once
Zaccheus was too small
Paul was too religious
Timothy had an ulcer... AND
Lazarus was dead!

Now! No more excuses!
God can use you to your full potential..
Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger.

1. God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
2. Dear God, I have a problem, it's Me.
3. Growing old is inevitable... growing UP is optional.
4. There is no key to happiness. The door is always open.
5. Silence is often misinterpreted but never misquoted.
6. Do the math... count your blessings.
7. Faith is the ability to not panic.
8. Laugh every day, it's like inner jogging.
9. If you worry, you didn't pray. If you pray, don't worry.
10. As a child of God, prayer is kind of like calling home everyday.
11. Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.
12. The most important things in your house are the people.
13. When we get tangled up in our problems, be still. God wants us to be still so He can untangle the knot.
14. A grudge is a heavy thing to carry.
15. He who dies with the most toys is still dead.

If Tomorrow Starts without Me

"If tomorrow starts without me,
And I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes
all filled with tears for me;

I wish so much you wouldn't cry
the way you did today,
While thinking of the many things,
We didn't get to say.

I know how much you love me,
As much as I love you,
And each time that you think of me,
I know you'll miss me too;

But when tomorrow starts without me,
Please try to understand,
that an angel came and called my name,
And took me by the hand,

And said my place was ready,
In heaven far above,
And that I'd have to leave behind
all those I dearly love.

But as I turned to walk away,
A tear fell from my eye,
For all my life, I'd always thought,
I didn't want to die.

I had so much to live for,
So much left yet to do,
it seemed almost impossible,
that I was leaving you.

I thought of all the yesterdays,
The good ones and the bad,
I thought of all that we shared,
And all the fun we had.

If I could relive yesterday,
Just even for a while,
I'd say good-bye and kiss you
and maybe see you smile.

But then I fully realized,
That this could never be,
For emptiness and memories,
would take the place of me.

And when I thought of worldly things,
I might miss some tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did,
My heart was filled with sorrow.

But when I walked through heaven's gates,
I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me,
From His great golden throne,

He said, "This is eternity,
And all I've promised you."
Today your life on earth is past,
but here life starts anew.

I promise no tomorrow,
But today will always last,
and since each day is the same way,
There's no longing for the past.

So when tomorrow starts without me,
don't think we're far apart,
For every time you think of me,
I'm right here, in your heart "

The Rain and Wipers

One rainy afternoon I was driving along one of the main streets of town, taking those extra precautions necessary when the roads are wet and slick. Suddenly, my daughter, Aspen, spoke up from her relaxed position in her seat.

"Dad, I'm thinking of something." This announcement usually meant she had been pondering some fact for a while, and was now ready to expound all that her six-year-old mind had discovered.

I was eager to hear. "What are you thinking?" I asked.

"The rain!" she began, "is like sin, and the windshield wipers are like God wiping our sins away."

After the chill bumps raced up my arms I was able to respond."That's really good, Aspen." Then my curiosity broke in. How far would this little girl take this revelation?

So I asked... "Do you notice how the rain keeps on coming? What does that tell you?" Aspen didn't hesitate one moment with her answer: "We keep on sinning, and God just keeps on forgiving us."

I will always remember this whenever I turn my wipers on.

Moments in Life

There are moments in life
when you miss someone so much
that you just want to pick them
from your dreams and hug them for real!

When the door of happiness closes, another opens;
but often times we look so long at the closed door
that we don't see the one,
which has been opened for us.

Don't go for looks; they can deceive.
Don't go for wealth; even that fades away.
Go for someone who makes you smile,
because it takes only a smile to
make a dark day seem bright.
Find the one that makes your heart smile.

Dream what you want to dream;
go where you want to go;
be what you want to be,
because you have only one life
and one chance to do all the things
you want to do.

May you have enough happiness to make you sweet,
enough trials to make you strong,
enough sorrow to keep you human and
enough hope to make you happy.

The happiest of people don't necessarily
have the best of everything;
they just make the most of
everything that comes along their way.

The brightest future will always
be based on a forgotten past;
you can't go forward in life until
you let go of your past failures and heartaches.

When you were born, you were crying
and everyone around you was smiling.
Live your life so at the end,
you're the one who is smiling and
everyone around you is crying.

Don't count the years... count the memories!

Children Learn What They Live #3

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


Our children learn how to deal with their fears by observing how we deal with ours. They are the best "copycats," so let's give them a constructive example of acknowledging our concerns and findings creative solutions.

Kids don't always tell us when they're having problems. We need to take the time to ask our children how they're getting along with the other kids at school and in the neighborhood.

Fear undermines the supportive environment a child needs in order to grow, explore, and learn, leaving him with a general feeling of apprehension. We need to do what we can to bolster our children's confidence.

Find ways to help our child build confidence and certainty, and then watch her flower!

Our kids get more than enough exposure to frightening things from watching TV or movies. Monitor their viewing to minimize the development of unnecessary fears.

Vague, generalized fears are the hardest to deal with. Help your child explore how he might react in certain specific situations by having him imagine what he could do.

When fear is in the air, hug your child and let him know you are there for him. Warmth and closeness are part of feeling safe.

A fearful child needs patience and love, not a reprimand. This is true for both boys and girls.

Stay close to a fearful child, and evaluate the situation. How realistic is this fear? What approach will be the best one to guide and help her through it? Doing so not only gets her through this situation, it shows her how to calmly face other situations in the future.

One of the biggest fears children have is about losing a parent. In times of serious illness or marital separation, children need plenty of extra reassurance. Stay close and be ready to offer comfort.

Fear produces hesitancy and uncertainty - not a good recipe for being confident. Teach your children how to overcome their natural fears, and turn potentially bad experiences into good ones.

A steady diet of fearfulness leads to a hesitancy to try new things. Give your child the support she needs to be open to learning something new.

When a child is fearful, see if you can help him explore creative ways to deal with the situation. A flashlight in his bed if he's afraid of the dark or a favorite toy in his pocket when he goes off to preschool can help a lot.

Finding out whether your child's fear is realistic or imagined is one way of becoming closer to her. You may be surprised at what you learn when you ask her open-ended questions ("What is it about ___ that scare you?")

Fear does have a purpose - to protect. Help your child learn how to examine and understand her fears - and find a way to use them constructively.

Realistic fear is not to be avoided. Rather, it's an opportunity to gather resources and mobilize courage.

We want our children to be careful, not fearful. Don't use scary movies to warn them of possible dangers. Instead, give them clear instructions about how they can handle threatening situations.

In a new situation, a warm hug can pave the way for a more relaxed approach. Sometimes just knowing we understand how hard it is for them can help our children overcome hurdles.

Let your child know it's okay to feel afraid and that you're there to help him work through his fears. Your confidence that his fears can be overcome helps him find the strength he needs to do so.

When a child conquers fear, he deserves to be congratulated. Don't minimize his accomplishment, or take it for granted.

Children Learn What They Live #2

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


It's important to show our children that anger is not an enemy to resist, but an energy to take charge of creatively.

Build your kids us - every chance you get - rather than putting them down. They'll fell better about themselves, and so will you.

Hostility pits children on the defensive. Instead of yelling at them, help them to relax and take a second look at what happened.

If we see our child being too rough with siblings or other kids, we need to make a special effort to understand the situation. Try asking what's going on instead of only prohibiting the unacceptable behavior.

Don't let anger build. Take care of small aggravations before they grow into something big.

If you notice your child having an automatic response of anger, talk it over and ask him if he can find three other ways to feel about the person or situation at hand.

Anger is only one response on our emotional menu. A steady diet of getting angry limits us, creating high levels of tension and blocking communications within the family.

Learning to recognize when we are becoming upset is very important. Anger and hostility build from small irritations and frustrations that are pushed aside or ignored.

Take the time to visualize how you want to see your children relating to one another. Then help them do so by paying attention to what is going on and guiding them through the inevitable ups and downs of each day.

Anger is not a problem solver. It's a problem generator.

We need to accept the fact that our children have the right to feel all their feelings, including anger. It's our job as parents to help them learn how to handle these feelings.

Rather than giving in to our anger, we can listen to our children and try to understand their points of view. It's important to remember we're on the same side - their side!

As we learn how to direct our own emotional responses, it becomes easier to remain in charge of hostile feelings. This is the model we want to present to our children.

In a tense situation, asking ourselves, "How else could I handle this?" before responding or reacting helps to open up a wider range of options.

Our children are likely to face some hostility or aggression in their schools or neighborhoods. We want them to learn how to handle such situations without escalating them.

There will be times when our children will get really angry with us. We need to listen to them carefully and, if needed, apologize for any mistakes we've made.

Remember that our children are watching the way we handle disagreements and disappointments in our relationships. We want to give them an example of effective communication and resolution of our differences.

Frustration builds more easily when parents and children are tired and hungry. Plan meals and nap times carefully, and try to maintain them as best you can.

Our children can teach us a lot about how to forgive and let go of anger and hurt. Often they get over arguments more quickly than we do.

When hostility takes over, our reactions can easily escalate beyond what we originally intended. Sometimes parents need a "time-out" too - a few minutes to calm down and pull themselves together.

Children Learn What They Live #1

~ by Dorothy Law Nolte ~


For the most part, our children want to please us. We can make it easier for them to do so by saying clearly what we expect from them at the outset. This may take more time, but it will help us avoid criticizing them later.

Our children are continually learning from us, whether or not we realize we are teaching them. Let's make sure the lessons they are getting from us are positive ones.

Often when we criticize our children, our purpose is to encourage them to do better. Unfortunately, they may find it difficult to understand that it's their behavior that is unacceptable, not themselves.

If we are thoughtful about how we say things, there is always a way to tell our children that we don't like what they're doing without diminishing their sense of self.

When your child, full of fear and discouragement, confides in you, "I really goofed," be sure to respond with understanding and encouragement. ("Let's see what we can do to make things right.")

Giving your child an active voice in everyday decisions helps her build a positive self-image as a competent person. This can start with small things, such as allowing your preschooler to choose her own outfits, no matter how mismatched they may be.

Nagging is a form of criticism. It's a way of saying that we don't trust our children to be responsible. It is better to set an encouraging tone.

Just as our children are continually learning from us, we can continually learn from them. Let's allow them to teach us new ways of seeing the world. This does not necessarily come naturally. We need to make a conscious effort to let go of our own ideas and to make room for theirs.

Sharing control over small issues builds trust for future negotiations over bigger issue as our children become teenagers. Hopefully, if there is mutual trust, they will be more willing to talk with us and work together to resolve problems.

Criticism is a form of rejection. Acknowledge what has been done right, and make constructive suggestions about the rest.

Try letting your children know what you want them to do or how they can make amends - and leave out the criticism.

We can let our children know what we want them to do without criticizing them. "Can you think of a nicer way to say that?" is better than "Don't be rude!" and gives the child a chance to succeed rather than fail.

The younger the child, the more we need to stand by to see how she's doing and spot the potential problems. Help your child get off to a good start by giving her support and positive suggestions as she ventures into the world. A couple of extra minutes spend reading or playing with her before you leave her at the day-care center can mean a lot to her.

Being criticized doesn't feel good. Let's help our kids feel good about themselves even when they've done something wrong, by expressing our confidence that they can do better.

Few of us learn from criticism. Find constructive ways to help your children learn from their mistakes. Offering a paper towel to a child who has spilled something teaches him important practical skills while preserving his dignity.

Rather than being critical, be generous and positive with your suggestions. ("Let's try this..." "You might want to..." "Have you thought of...?" "Why not wait awhile and then try starting over?")

Most children will take criticism to heart unless we make it clear to them that they are okay, but what they're doing is not. Giving them suggestions for more acceptable behavior can help keep this message clear.

Before rushing in with criticism, try to see the whole picture from your child's point of view. She may have an entirely different way of looking at it. Give her the chance to explain it to you.

When things go wrong, our first, automatic reaction may be to criticize, but we have the power to pause and decide how we can respond more constructively.