Friday, October 28, 2011

I don't want to go to school

Parents – Ask Questions!!!!!!!

My wife and I have been attending a required parenting class at Cade’s new school that has been life changing for me and I don’t say that lightly.  I’ve been to a lot of parenting classes and seen plenty of videos but this one has challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged before.
One of the main focuses is dealing with attitudes rather than behavior.  Bad behavior is a result of a bad attitude and if you ignore the attitude and focus on the bad behavior, you are ignoring the problem and dealing with the symptoms only.  You know how that works medically and it isn’t any better with children, in fact it’s worse.

Another thing this class focuses on is asking questions to see what the child is thinking, how they are feeling and why their behavior is bad.  This was illustrated to me this week.  Every morning lately Cade has been saying, “I don’t want to go to school”, which is weird because he loves school.  Jen and I have gotten frustrated and started telling him to stop saying it because we know he doesn’t mean it.

Finally yesterday when Cade said it again, Jen asked him why he felt that way, yeah we finally got it right.  His answer?  Welling up with tears he said, “because I just miss you guys so much and want to be with you”.  This wasn’t a manipulative act either because he wasn’t in trouble.  It was his heart revealing how much he loves us and feels loved in our home.
Wow!  Talk about a wakeup call.  Here all this time I’ve been getting frustrated with him and irritated that he is saying this and all along it was just because he loves us. 

Again I say, parents ask questions.  Yes, Cade still needs to go to school, and yes we want him to love it, to learn, and have fun, which he does.  But we must never forget to find out what is in his heart and what he is thinking and feeling.  Children have emotions, feelings, and thoughts that often get ignored in our desire to make them do "what is right" (in our opinion) regardless of the situation.

Parents learn from my mistake and ask questions and please, please, please, listen to them when they answer.

God Bless you in this most difficult yet rewarding task,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

My Favorite Things

I remember in grade school when our music teacher began to work with my class to determine which of us wanted to enter in the regional contest for singing or any other talent we might have.  There was a song that we guys stayed away from but there seemed to be at least one girl every year that would sing it.  “Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens”……. Really?  For a boy in the 5th grade that was an extremely lame song……. “Girls in white dresses, with blue satin sashes”?  Talk about making a ten year old boy want to vomit.

But you know the song has a point.  We all have our own specific list of our favorite things.  It might be shaped by our gender, race, background, upbringing, etc.  It might be shaped by role models, parents, grand-parents, teachers, or many other things, but it definitely exists and is unique to each of us.

I also remember in the 5th Grade receiving a calendar picture of Joe Montana from Mrs. Green.  She had randomly picked QB’s for each of us boys and I got Joe Montana.  I became a 49er fan for life and now live less than 2 hours from Candlestick Park (where they play, for you non-football fans).  It’s amazing how life works.

Today’s list of favorite things is very different from back then but it still exists.  It includes NY Super Fudge Ice Cream, G2, Lindt Dark Chocolate, Boneless Buffalo Wings from Chili’s, the TV Show Monk, the Andy Griffith show, Southern Gospel music, Oklahoma Sooners, and the 49ers.  Here’s the thing, as you read my list you might be rolling your eyes, or laughing at me, or even agreeing with me, but to me it’s an amazing list.

I do have a point in all of this.  God has blessed me with a list of favorite things that has nothing to do with food, or football or TV Shows.  It’s the morning drive Cade and I take to his school every day, it’s the view of the ocean, and the mountains, and even sky-scrapers.  It’s waking up every day and knowing that I’m loved by the most amazing woman (in my opinion) God ever put on this earth.  It’s watching my youngest son as he learns to walk, and talk, and shake his head no, and laugh uncontrollably when he’s tickled by his mom. 

And last but not least it’s every October during pastor appreciation month when I’m reminded again just how blessed I am to be serving God at Tyler Street Church of Christ.  The truth is that I get this reminder on a weekly if not daily basis, but this one time of the year when I’m showered with love and gifts and cards, I shake my head in wonder and thankfulness that God saw fit to put me and my family here.  Working with and under a Godly leadership, and alongside a bunch of amazing people who have given us so much over the almost 5 years we’ve been here, from physical gifts to emotional and spiritual gifts. 

I have a shelf on my desk that is dedicated to nothing but the cards and small reminders of this love, and it grows each and every day.  These are a few of my favorite things.  May God bless you today as you think of your list of favorite things, and may you be thankful for the people and things God has placed in your life.

Blessed beyond belief,