Teaching Kids Self-Control – MBFLP 207

This episode we deal with a perennial problem in parenting – how in the world do we teach our kids self-control? The entertainment and collegiate culture may celebrate raw emotion and thoughtless self-expression – if it’s “authentic” it’s immune from criticism – but the Bible says differently. What’s more, every parent knows that what you might laugh about when they’re two, can wreck their lives when they’re twenty … and make your home intolerable when they’re sixteen. So what can we do to start – and continue – teaching the critical habit of self-control?


 

New
by
Hal and Melanie Young
CLICK HERE to find out more! 

 


What Does the Bible Tell Us?

The Scriptures warn against being led by our impulses and appetites. The Proverbs are full of warnings about the outcome of anger, drunkenness, laziness, gluttony, lust … TLDR, it doesn’t end well for the person “whose god is their belly, who set their minds on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:19)

Self-control is a fruit of the Spirit. Galatians 5:21-22 list “self-control” alongside love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness, as a sign of the Holy Spirit’s work in someone. That says it’s important, and it also should encourage us to pray for it – for our children and ourselves!

Our children are our disciples and they learn from our example … whether good or bad, and as Jesus said, “everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” (Luke 6:40 ESV).  That should encourage us to try to be the kind of persons we want our kids to become.

Some Practical Ideas

Feelings are real but they may not be accurate. The Lord tells us, “The heart is deceitful above all things …” (Jeremiah 17:9) so we can’t trust every feeling that comes up.  Talk with your kids about what they’re feeling and why they think that is. Help them discover whether there’s really a reason to feel so angry or weepy or fearful.

Realize there are times when they really can’t control their emotions.  The pre-teen years are so filled with hormones, it is nearly impossible for the young adolescent to handle them. When they’re in an emotional storm, you may need to comfort and calm them before you can have a rational conversation again. This will pass; when they settle down, it’s good to have that discussion with them.

Help them see that self-control (and self-discipline) offers many rewards. A child who can keep his temper or his tears in check is not as likely to be bullied. If they learn to rein in emotional outbursts and blurted observations, they can save themselves a lot of embarrassment and apologies. And learning to defer their immediate desires in order to finish a task or reach toward a goal will be great preparation for a useful adulthood.

Encourage them to reach up to adult roles early. When ours are 12- or 13 years old, we make a formal transition – they’re no longer “little kids” but now “young adults, in training.” We encourage them to take more responsibility for themselves and contribute more to the work around the house – with more freedom and privilege granted as they take on more responsibility. And our parenting has to transition from “direction” to “advice” as they mature – we want to them to be ready to step into full, independent adulthood sooner rather than later, and that means a lot of coaching and advice to get them prepared.

Teaching Self-Control is a Long Process

It starts as soon as you teach them to dress themselves, go to the potty, and come when you call. It won’t end until they’re fully capable and on their own! But as they grow up, keep the goal in mind – a fully matured, self-disciplined, responsible man or woman after all those years of discipleship. With that goal ahead, you’ll be ready to capitalize on every opportunity to encourage and guide them.

 

Doubling Down on Seventeen – MBFLP 206

We hear from a lot of parents who are struggling with their eleven-year-olds – the preteen uproar is real! But a close second is parents who are wrestling with an older teen – typically a seventeen-year-old. They don’t feel the respect or obedience, they are experiencing pushback and defiance, and they wonder how to make this kid toe the line again. This episode, we look at that question and how we’d answer it – first hint, there’s an underlying problem that you can do something about, without having to change your child or get their buy-in! (keep reading)


What’s the problem?

Society has moved the goalposts. In 1920, it was expected that a 15- or 16-year-old was grown-up enough to find a job or start a family. Now, according to Georgetown University, 65% of jobs in available in the year 2020 will require at least some college education to qualify – that’s two-thirds of all jobs, just two years from now.

That’s telling young people “You’re not old enough to be an adult until you’re in your mid-twenties.” No wonder psychologists Joseph and Claudia Allen say, in Escaping the Endless Adolescence, “Twenty-five is the new fifteen.”

At the same time, the onset of puberty comes four- to five years sooner than it did in 1920. Our teenagers are gaining adult bodies, adult temptations, adult desires, long before they have adult opportunities – whether or not they’re emotionally mature by that time. They are feeling like grown-ups earlier than ever before, even if they can’t live that way.

And studies tell us that frequently, the parent-child relationship is strained or broken in the preteen years – and a rocky time as teenagers often started with the tween years. By the time they’re 17 or 18, they may have long-standing habits of bad interaction – and often, we parents do, too.

So what can be done?

Recognize the transition to adulthood doesn’t happen on the eve of their 18th birthday. We need to be training our teenagers in mature thinking and behavior from their early preteen years. That means we need to …

Recognize their growing adulthood. – They are feeling more and more grown up, and in many ways, they are. We found it helpful to start thinking and speaking of them as young adults, and expecting them to act that way.

Transition parenting from “director” to “advisor.” – Your younger children need your active direction – they need you to be a benevolent dictator! But your teens and young adults need you as an advisor. They need to learn to ask their own questions and do their own research, then make decisions for themselves – not wait for orders nor wrench themselves free of your influence. You want to become a trusted counselor to them, not to order them around but to offer your wisdom and experience as guidance.

Learn to listen. – Often our kids feel like we never listen to them. We are so focused on the parent-child aspect we fail to appreciate them as people. One way to improve that is to always engage a bid for attention: Whenever they speak or whenever they want to show you something, make a point to look up and make eye contact, then engage whatever is on their mind.

Dr Jeff Myers of Summit Ministries says that we must teach truth, but it is only received in the context of a relationship – a relationship of love, trust, and respect.

Psalm 116:1-2 says,
I love the LORD, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live

We want that kind of relationship with our adult kids – we want them to love us and we want them to call us when we’re apart. And what does this passage say? “I love the LORD because He has heard and inclined His ear to me.”

If you want your kids to listen to you, then you need to listen to them.
If you want them to pay attention to you, you need to pay attention to them.
If you want them to love and respect you, then you need to love and respect them – in a way that they appreciate!

If you have a 16- or 17-year-old and you find yourself struggling, why not give this a try? Simply recalibrate your own thinking to see them as a young adult—who still needs coaching and guidance, sure! – but a young adult who is truly a complete person with his own needs and concerns and dreams and fears – not just “your kid” who needs correction.

Try reaching out to them as though they were a young adult not in your family.

Treat them with courtesy and not just command.

And see if they don’t respond!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal


Preparing Your Teens for More – MBFLP 205

“You think this is hard – just wait till they’re teenagers!” the stranger told Melanie as she pushed our four young children through the Atlanta zoo. But that’s a cultural expectation, not a foregone conclusion. Why can’t the teen years be productive years of growth, maturity, and deeper fellowship between parent and son or daughter? This episode we’re looking at positive ways to build up your teens during these critical years of transition from childhood to independence!

The Remarkable Potential of Teenagers

The oncologist looked at Hal skeptically.

“Well,” he conceded, “if you feel up to it, you can travel. And you can speak from the platform. But you can’t stand around shaking hands afterward – your immune system is going to be completely shot.”

The results had come back from the biopsy – Hal had advanced lymphoma, and he was about to start chemotherapy. The good doctor from Duke had listened while we explained what we do in our ministry, and travel was a concession – no compromise on the personal contact.

We had hardly gotten this far explaining it to our family when our teenagers burst out, “Don’t worry, Dad – we’ll take care of the book fair!”

Our oldest still at home were 16, 14, and 12. We might have been a little skeptical, but at the time, we didn’t have a choice. Hal was sidelined, Melanie would be busy counseling and praying with parents, and somebody needed to handle the business part of our resource table. If teens are who we had, then teens would have to do the job.

And it has made a world of difference!

Don’t Underestimate Teenagers

So many people consider the teen years and react with alarm, “Batten down the hatches! Duck and cover!” And yet, we look back and history and wonder. Laura Ingalls Wilder was put in charge of a school before she turned 16. John Quincy Adams was 14 when he became the sole translator for America’s embassy to Catherine the Great of Russia. Paul Tripp calls it “The Age of Opportunity;” why shouldn’t we expect more from the teenage years?

What started as a necessity in our family developed into a tradition – ever since that day, our teenagers and their younger siblings have managed our booth and many aspects of our travel. They shoo us out into the aisle, telling us, “You need to be talking with the parents that need help! Let us take care of this stuff.” They load and unload, set up and manage. They deal with customers of all ages, polite or combative. And they take turns in charge of the booth and their siblings, watching the younger ones and passing on job skills to the middle group.

Sometimes they even challenge us! Our third son made it a point of honor to learn to drive our 15-passenger van and trailer in any situation – threading night-time traffic alone in downtown Phoenix, backing the trailer into a tight parking space, or turning the whole rig around on a one-lane road that suddenly became impassable. Hal had to step up and improve his own skills to keep from calling the 16-year-old to get us out of a spot!

They became so involved in the business and support of our ministry, we naturally included them in all our planning. “We need some products to keep the younger children quiet while you talk with their parents,” they told us. We challenged them to come up with ideas, and they located sources for the swords and rubber band guns we sell alongside our books on parenting and marriage.

Three of our teens took what they were learning from our own business and bought another for themselves. The one who took the greatest part at the age of 13 is majoring in entrepreneurship in college and has already attracted venture capitalists to the businesses he’s started.

One of our teens became a freelance journalist at the age of 17 and was writing investigative articles for a statewide magazine before he left for college.  Another taught himself guitar and mandolin and joined a bluegrass band at a local coffee house. His elderly bandmates used to tease him, “I’ve got blue jeans older than you, Curly,” and he’d smile and reply, “But I’ve got more hair than all of you, combined.”

What made the difference? For all our teens, they found an area where they could serve, then we encouraged them to step up. By the time they were ready for college, they’d already been participating in grownup activities for two or three years, and they were unafraid to face the new opportunities which opened up in college and their early careers.

Want to read more? CLICK HERE!


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal


When DAD Is The Teacher – MBFLP 204

When Dad is the Homeschool Teacher

Surveys and studies have shown that over 90% of the time, Mom is the primary teacher in a homeschooling family. But that doesn’t account for everyone, and sometimes Dad is the teacher, not Mom. How does that change the homeschooling dynamic? What is it like being a Dad at a support group meeting full of Moms? How can the homeschooling father find the support and encouragement he needs when so much is aimed at the concerns and struggles of mothers? This episode, we look at the question of what happens when Dad is the teacher.

When Dad is the homeschool teacher


When Dad is the Homeschool Teacher

Some years ago a survey found that something like 96% of homeschool families report that Mom is the main teacher in the home. That number may have changed with the rise of more digital and co-op programs, but the bottom line remains – at 90% demographics, you have to expect most of the support will be directed toward mothers, not fathers.

But there are many situations where Dad might be the main instructor at home, whether by plan, by accident, or by temporary circumstance. And if Dad’s a homeschool teacher, he needs support and encouragement just like Mom would. How does that work out?

First, it’s nothing to apologize for. While the Bible talks about the instruction of both parents, whether as a couple or individually, it frequently puts the expectation on the father to make sure the children are being trained up “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.” (Ephesians 6:4). Modern work patterns make it difficult for fathers to personally carry out the 24/7 spirit of Deuteronomy 6:7 – “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.” If a Dad does have the opportunity by working from home or whatever, that’s a blessing in itself.

No matter who’s teaching, you’ll need to communicate with your mate. Keep her in the loop. Give her a daily update. Reach out during the day with prayer requests or interesting news. Coordinate on decisions. And give yourself a mental break at the end of the day before she comes home from work, so you can ease her return to the family after the distraction and stress of the workplace.

As the dad, you may not be as tuned in to your child’s non-verbal and emotional communication. Get your wife’s input and trust her instincts. (On the plus side, you are likely to experience less stress and uncertainty over choices and directions for the homeschool. We tell moms to recruit their husbands’ decisiveness to break the impasse they experience).

Do be sensitive to your children’s childhood. We dads get really goal-oriented and sometimes we don’t allow for their normal levels of distraction, fatigue, and so forth. They’re kids!

Understand their differences

Understand the learning differences between your sons and your daughters. Boys tend to be noisy, physical, active, and just hard to teach. Moms often don’t instinctively get this, and you do. But you might need some insight into what makes your daughters special.

For example, our sons like the teaching to be emphatic, confident, engaging, challenging. They like to debate. And they like the room well lit and cold, preferably with a breeze in their faces. We understand this. Our daughters like things more warm and nurturing, affirming, peaceable, gentle rather than stirring. You need to speak both languages, if you have both sons and daughters to teach.

One thing I find I CANNOT do is divide my attention. If I’m teaching our kids or interacting with them in any way, I have to focus on them. I simply don’t have the ability to continue working on my laptop and have a conversation or lead an activity at the same time. The multitasking gift is a great boon to homeschooling moms; I do things like keep a notebook handy, and anytime I’m interrupted (a billion times per day), make a note of what I’m doing. That way I can get back on task without trying to keep half my brain on hold while I talk with my child.

We all need support

Finally, recognize that all homeschool teachers need support. Join a local group, even if you’re the only father in the mix. Yes, there will be some conversations you just can’t connect with, but there are so many other things which are important. Your kids need the peer group, there will be activities and opportunities that enrich their learning and make your teaching easier, and you’ll be less isolated yourself.

— Hal


Special Thanks to Our Network Sponsor – Well Planned Gal

Rebecca from the Well Planned Gal understands the challenges of working within a budget, managing multiple children, and trying to keep up with a variety of information. That is why she created popular planner bundles!

Combine organizational tools with year long encouragement by bundling Well Planned Day planners with the popular Family Magazine. For a limited time, Save 30% with one of her  popular planner bundles. Each bundle contains 2 planner products with a one-year subscription to Family Magazine.  

Click Here to Go to Well Planned Gal


 

Win-Win Arguments – MBFLP 203

It’s inevitable that we will have conflicts with the ones we love – the simple fact of fallen people living in a fallen world means accidents, misunderstandings, expectations – and yes, downright sin sometimes. When they happen, though, how do we turn the unavoidable conflict into something constructive? Can we argue in a way the honors God and leaves our relationship stronger? Is it all about the win, or is there a bigger goal in mind?  This week, we talk about choosing your battles carefully and aiming to fight so we both win!



Discipline Without Breaking Their Spirit – MBFLP 202

Kids need discipline, and in fact, God tells us that a child who doesn’t receive discipline has been rejected by his parents! (Hebrews 12) Discipline, after all, is discipleship – it’s meant to teach, not just punishBut there are good and very bad ideas for administering the needed correction to our kids. How can you discipline your child without breaking their spirit? That’s what we’re talking about this episode.



Dealing with Disrespect – MBFLP 201

“My son shows me disrespect.” “How can I deal with the disrespect from our kids?” “What can I do to teach my children to be more respectful?” It’s something we all have to deal with as parents, and yet it’s hard – and some of us struggle more than we expected! This episode, we look at the very real question of respect – teaching our kids to show it, dealing with them when they don’t, where this may be coming from, and what God expects from all of us!

Mom and Dad Parent Differently – That’s Okay! – MBFLP 200

What can you do when Mom and Dad have different perspectives on parenting? We get this question a lot, and it’s a concern – but in many cases, it may be a feature, not a bug! “There is unity of spirit, but diversity of gifts – just like in the church,” we think – listen in and see why!

References

Abigail Shrier, “‘Knock it Off’ and ‘Shake it Off’: The Case for Dad-Style Parenting”
Wall Street Journal, 3/12/18 – online (subscription)

The commentary on Albert Mohler’s podcast, “The Briefing,” may be helpful – 3/16/18, segment 3

 



New Hacks for Family Travel – MBFLP 199

We’ve traveled about 150,000 miles for ministry and business the past several years, so we’ve learned a few things about taking a big family on big trips for small budgets. This year, we have several new tips, trick, hacks, and advice on budget travel, discount lodging, and cheap food along the way – it’s our annual “Cheap Family Travel” update, and it may change the way you look at vacation or business trips forever!

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.

 

 

Business and Marriage – Making it Work – MBFLP 198

This page may contain affiliate links which earn us a small commission while not costing you anything extra.

Have you ever thought about “coming home” from the corporate world and running a family business? A lot of homeschooling families dream about that day … but we found there are some surprising discoveries when your mate is now your business partner and co-worker!

This episode, Hal and Melanie sit down with their friends Larry and Sue Pruett of Side-by-Side Business, to talk about work-life balance, homeschooling while running a business, and what all four of us learned in the transition from 9-t0-5 life to working from home with our spouses!

LINKS AND RESOURCES

Learn more about Larry and Sue Pruett’s family business journey at Side-By-Side Business

Ancient Paths Christian Bookstore

The Kanban work management tool, TRELLO – trello.com 

Take the Proven Amazon Course and learn how to become an Amazon Seller from home! This course is chock-full of information for selling online. We took it ourselves!

Special Thanks to our Network Sponsor!

 

We’d like to thank our Ultimate Homeschool Radio Network sponsor, The Miracle Season!

Based on the inspiring true story of West High School girl’s volleyball team. After the tragic death of the school’s star player Caroline “Line” Found, the remaining team players must band together under the guidance of their tough-love coach in hope of winning the state championship.

Visit here to learn more.