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In Matthew 5, Jesus taught nine beatitudes for blessed living. The Amplified Bible translates the word “blessed” as “happy, fortunate, to be envied.” Several of the nine “Blessed are” statements contradict our typical ideas of things that lead to happiness, such as “blessed are the poor in spirit,” or “blessed are those who mourn,” or “blessed are those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness.”

The paradox of the Christian life is that often what we least want in our lives can work for our ultimate well-being. With that in mind consider these seven “be” attitudes to produce healthier kids. Be healed, be dependable, be the adult, be respectful, be perceptive, be near, and be a team.

By Kay Adkins.

The next few days will feature one of the above “be” attitudes.


by: Jill Savage

Any professional whose primary responsibilities include caring for the needs of others is usually accompanied by wonderful relational benefits. These same occupations can be very emotionally and physically draining and require a plan for refueling. As we all know, motherhood has twenty-four-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week responsibilities.

While there are no designated days off, vacation time doesn’t seem to be addressed in the job contract either. If we don’t take some time for ourselves, if we don’t arrange for a day off here or there or if we don’t take an evening for ourselves, we will find ourselves in a hole that is difficult to climb out of. We may lose our perspective or even consider reentering the paid workforce just to keep our sanity. As a woman in the profession of motherhood, you must learn how to take care of yourself. No one has built that into your job description and no one is going to set boundaries for you. You have to do it yourself.

As moms, too often we work sacrificially and selflessly to the detriment of our family life. It is then that we become short-tempered, judgmental and even jealous of those who have more freedom in their lifestyles. We find ourselves discouraged with the daily duties of a job that never feels finished. We begin to question the value of what we’re doing and our self-worth. To combat such reactive emotions, we need to be proactive in caring for ourselves.

Have you ever been on an airplane and listened to the instructions about using the oxygen masks in an emergency? The flight attendants always give special instructions to those traveling with children: Put your own oxygen mask in place before you place the mask on your child. Those directions seem to go against our very nature. Our first inclination is to take care of that child even if it means sacrificing ourselves. But when we stop to consider the reasoning behind the instruction, it makes sense. If we don’t take care of ourselves first, we might not be able to help either one of us and we might both perish in those few precious moments. If we put our mask in place first, we are then in a position to care for others.

The same principle applies at home. We must first take care of ourselves in order to properly take care of others. This will give us the stamina, patience and perspective needed to care for the needs of others over the long haul.

Pull into the Filling Station

Do you have someone in your family who insists on driving the car on gas fumes when the gauge is registering empty? It seems every family has one member who pushes it to the limit. Well, each one of us has an emotional fuel tank. If we don’t take time to fill our tank, if we push ourselves to the limit, sooner or later we will find ourselves “out of gas.” Stranded. Stuck. Ineffective.

When we’re broken down along the road, someone else has to come take care of us. By that time, it takes more to fill us up. If we’re proactive, we do something to fill up while we can still pull up to the gas pump.

Moms are always taking care of others, but we have to make sure that in the whirlwind of life we’re taking care of ourselves as well. There are three personal areas we need to care for: body, mind and spirit. Do you know how each of these is drained and filled? To keep our lives balanced, we need to evaluate these areas regularly and place emphasis on keeping our tanks filled as we do the job God has called us to do.

Expressing your concerns about someone else’s child is not easy and should not be done lightly.

“This may actually be harder than telling someone something about their husband or wife,” Hoffman says. “It’s a very tough situation.”

His advice: Wait for an opening.

“If the other person says, ‘I don’t know what to do with Johnny,’ it may be a good time to delicately express your concerns,” Hoffman says.

But be warned: Saying something, even when prompted, may affect your friendship. And be careful that you state the facts and share your feelings, rather than diagnose or label someone else’s child.

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If your older child has a friend who you think is a bad influence, limit how much time they can spend with this person, says Nancy Darling, PhD, a psychology professor at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio. “Set it up so it’s difficult to spend time with them,” Darling says.

Don’t judge older kids by their behavior when they were much younger. Just because someone was a bully or a biter when they were 5 doesn’t make them a bad teen.

“Kids can change and we have long memories as parents,” Short says.

One bad play date does not a bad kid or doomed friendship make. We all have off days, and you should not consider yourself an expert on any child based on one afternoon.

However, if you notice consistent issues over a period of time, then that may be a pattern that deserves more consideration.

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If your child is young enough that you are in charge of his or her social calendar, you can always stop making play dates. But if you value the relationship with the parent, this can strain, if not ruin, that relationship too, Hoffman says.

“If your friend pushes you about getting together, you can … say something like, ‘Your son is really rough and aggressive, and he scares my son,'” says Elizabeth J. Short, PhD, a psychology professor and the associate director of the Schubert Center at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

You can also take steps to control the play environment.

“Make sure you are present to monitor the play dates so that all kids stay safe,” Short says. For example, she suggests that you host the play date if you’re uncomfortable with other options.

“If you think your kid is at risk, then I would not take a second chance,” Short says. “Always be open-minded, but when you feel it might jeopardize your child’s safety, go with your instinct because instincts don’t lie.”


By Denise Mann

There are good play dates, so-so play dates, and then there are meltdown, can’t-get-out-of-there-soon-enough play dates.

Preschoolers may do battle over a toy, engage in name-calling, refuse to acknowledge one another, or even push, bite, or hit their playmate. Older kids may tease, taunt, or torment each other and/or get into trouble — or even into dangerous situations.

Of course, your child’s health, safety, and well-being — physical and emotional — come first. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to look out for that.

“You have to protect your kid and you don’t want to put your kid in a situation where he or she is uncomfortable,” says child psychoanalyst Leon Hoffman, MD. “If your kid doesn’t want to play with another child, you have to take that very seriously,” says Hoffman, who co-directs the New York Psychoanalytic Society’s Pacella Parent Child Center.

But how do you know if you’re reading the situation correctly? When should you express your concerns to the other child’s parent? And how can you do it diplomatically?

The next few posts provides expert advice.

It is very common, unfortunately, to make jokes about dads occupying the role of the biggest kid in the house. Robert Young (“Father Knows Best”) and Bill Cosby have been replaced by Homer Simpson and numerous other fat imbeciles somehow married to thin, attractive, and super-responsible wives. But we can’t blame the media. We feed our children this dangerous “humor” all the time – and we start when they are very young. Have you read a Berenstein Bear book recently? That dad is continually portrayed as another kid mom has to put up with and the kids learn what not to do from him!

There’s a reason why this stereotype persists. Both men and women do just enough to perpetuate it. Husbands, you cannot let your wives do all the child-rearing and housework, blame her for your lack of freedom, and then expect her to respect you, and even long for you, as a man. Wives, you cannot complain about your husband’s lack of involvement, criticize his parenting and/or housework when he does get involved, and then expect him to appreciate you, and woo you, as a complete woman. One of the best things you can do for your marriage and your children is to be aware of how you treat one another.

-Hal Runkel, Author of ScreamFree Parenting

In our on-the-go culture, we often try to keep our kids busy 24/7. It is crucial to learn early in life to enjoy your own company. “In countless studies, people who know how to lose themselves in a creative “zone” report feeling peace and contentment throughout their lives,” says Dr. Alice D. Domar, Ph.D.

We want our kids to feel good about themselves, so it is natural to try to remove obstacles along the way. Here’s the rub: If we are always trying to solve their problems they will not develop the ability to fight their own battles, accept when they are wrong and learn to move on. Jenn Berman, Psy.D. says “Handling stress or disappointments, admitting mistakes, and changing direction are some of the most crucial skills for living a happy life. The only way to master them is through practice.”

When your child complains that he can’t do something like finish a puzzle or put on his sneakers, do not try to convince him that he can. As grueling as it may be, show patience and say “That’s okay. There is no hurry. Next time you wants to try again, let me know.” Whether it is a few minutes or a few days later, he will probably come back to the task at hand. If he gets aggravated and starts to yell, it’s a good time to say, “I understand it is frustrating, but it is not okay to scream.”

A review of 50 years of research on family routines in the Journal of Family Psychology found that rituals like family meals and bath and bedtime routines help children feel secure, strengthen family ties and lead to greater productivity. They may even help improve their health by maintaining good habits such as brushing teeth, exercising and washing hands. Another study, from the University of British Comlumbia, in Vancouver, found that these sorts of rituals provide a neurobiological benefit by stimulating both the left (logical) and right (emotional) sides of the brain.

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  • Learning how not to do for others what they can learn to do for themselves is one of the golden rules of adult maturity. 4 years ago
  • In an effort to avoid the feeling of failing people often don't put forth effort.By doing this they will not experience their full potential 5 years ago
  • The ability to successfully handle conflict is more important than the amount of conflict in a marriage. 5 years ago
  • Weekend challenge: Tell your spouse something you love about them and expect nothing in return. 5 years ago
  • Word Wed:Don't be anxious about anything,but in every situation,by prayer and petition,with thanksgiving,present your requests to God.Phil4 5 years ago

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