The Curries

The Curries
Keith and Patricia

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Summer Tips: Make a schedule!

Swimming! The beach! Watermelon!! Ice Cream! …What comes to your mind when you realize that summer is upon us? Do you think about lying on a beautiful white sandy beach while sipping your Mint Iced Tea? Or do you think about the endless summer hours filled with active children without anything to do?

One secret to a successful summer with children is scheduling. Give your children a track to run on; that’s called training. No pun intended.

How does scheduling help?

  • scheduling brings an inner order to the day
  • scheduling helps your children have a purpose and direction for each day
  • scheduling eliminates the “I don’t have anything to do syndrome”
  • scheduling helps children appreciate the time that is unstructured
  • scheduling is productive

Scheduling is a Time Skeleton. It becomes the framework for your day. Specific activities put flesh and muscles on your skeleton. Planned activities build anticipation in your children. Most children do not plan well by nature; you do it for them and you both will reap benefits.

Scheduling doesn’t have to be rigid, just let it give shape to your days.

How to schedule?

· list all the areas of activity/growth

· organize the activities with certain criteria in mind:
harder things while they have more energy
alternate high energy and quiet activities

· determine the time frame: how long for each activity

· plan activities that will keep to the time frame you established

· post the schedule; if the kids are not yet readers, post the schedule in pictures

· be flexible

· plan some free time

· build in some choices for the kids (consider their ages; the younger they are, fewer choices).

Summertime can be a time for regrouping, for gathering your kids back in to your ways, your thoughts, your philosophies, a time for emphasizing what is important in life, a time of building, of securing the foundations of your family.

This week, take an evening and plan a typical day for your summer. Write it down so that you can look at it. Try it out this week just one day.

Next week we’ll share some things that we did during our summer days with six kids.

Tips: Proverbs says “A man makes his plans and God directs his steps.” Keith likes to ask the opposite: If we don’t make plans, who will direct our steps? The answer may not be what we want.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

DISCIPLINE: Expect Respect! (#6 out of 8 great tips)

“The thing that impresses me most about America is the way parents obey their children.” (Edward, Duke of Windsor, Look, 5 March 1957). If Edward thought that in 1957, I wonder what he would think if he visited America today. Children rule; adults obey. It is a world upside down. Isaiah (3:4) announces a coming curse upon Judah by saying, “mere children will govern them.”

God’s ancient wisdom is completely different.

Here are three samples: “Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right.” Lev. 19:32 "Rise in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD.” “Honor your father and your mother.”

Obedience is hearing authority and responding as told.

Respect is recognizing authority and responding appropriately.

Honor is loving authority and responding above and beyond what is expected.

Obedience and respect can be demanded, and it is our task as parents to see that it is carried out. Honor, on the other hand, must come from the heart. It cannot be forced.

Parents must teach obedience and respect. It does not come automatically. As parents, we instruct and correct, we demonstrate and train. We lead and insist that our children follow. Now get this: RESPECT IS AN ACTION WORD! It is not an inner attitude but an outward demonstration. Respect is not how they feel; RESPECT IS WHAT THEY DO.

Here is how respect looks: you call her name and she stops to look at you.

Here is how it sounds: he answers you immediately and addresses you as an adult, not as a friend. He says, “Yes ma’am” or “Yes, mom”, but not “Yeah” or “Nope.”

She looks at you.

She listens and responds to you as an adult, not as a friend.

He obeys your commands; he doesn’t give the commands.

Tips we’ve netted: Regina Britt, from Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, says, “Live each day as if it were your last day together. Have no arguments unattended before going to bed.” Cindy Roberts of Mt. Juliet, TN, reminds us to speak to our children the way we want them to speak to us. Respect is a two-way street. Kristel Bergman of Mobile, AL, simply says, “Be consistent.” One more tip from Cynthia Szumlanski of Boaz, AL: Do what you say you are going to do.

Quote: It behooves a father to be blameless if he expects his child to be. ~Homer

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

DISCIPLINE: Tantrums are unacceptable! (#5 out of 8 great tips)

William and Patrick, eager helpers at five and eight, were working in the back yard with me. Our goal was to solve a drainage problem. God’s goal was different. Realizing that I needed to dig a shallow trench, I sent the two guys to get my “round-point” shovel. It took longer than I thought it should have. I waited. I waited impatiently. Then they came around the corner dragging my “square-point” shovel. In an instant, I lost my cool. “Don’t you know the difference between round and square?” I asked. My face was red, my veins bulging, my voice loud. They froze. I went on and on. I grabbed the shovel and took it back to the garage, seized the “round-point,” and returned to the yard. . . still fussing and fuming. The boys had turned to watch me go and kept their eyes on me, never uttering a word, as I returned.

That day, they learned the difference between round and square when referring to shovels. They also learned how to throw a temper tantrum. They also learned that working with dad was not fun.

The more I dug that trench, the more God’s Spirit spoke to me, revealing my own weakness. He showed me that digging a trench was not nearly as important as training my two sons. They were the greater project. I went to them and asked forgiveness. They forgave. Patrick and Will may have forgotten that day; I have not.

Tantrums are unacceptable, whether they are adult or childhood fits. Try these tips to help eliminate tantrums.

Work on yourself first—eliminate your own tantrums.

Show disapproval with your face—frown.

Speak disapproval with your words—say, “NO! We do not act like this in our family.”

Show disapproval with a gesture—Wag or point a finger, hold up your hand in a “halt” sign, clap your hands loudly. Get his attention, and direct his conduct to a better way.

Speak disapproval with your tone—Let your vocal tone indicate your dislike of his behavior.

Temporarily, don’t be nice—be firm and clear and determined.

Tips we’ve netted: Some people say to walk away and let the tantrum play out. That may work sometimes. We simply preferred to take action, to be in charge.

Quote: Proverbs 29: 11 A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control. AND Prov. 22: 24 Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, 25 or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.