Category Archives: Parenting

Make sure you have your cell phone when you go to heaven!

We were just leaving the check-out lane at the local grocery store….my tow-head five year old boy and I.

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He looks at me while I navigate the cart around the other shoppers.  “I’m really glad you’re not old,” he says as we pass a couple of senior citizens.  Lately, he’s had a horrified fascination with wrinkles, so I figured these lucky grayhaired folk just had too many wrinkles for his taste.   But, his next few words cleared that right up….

“Because….I don’t want to go to your funeral yet…..when you’re just laying there all flat….like this,” (and he demonstrates the head back and eyes close) I assured him that I wasn’t quite ready for my own funeral either.

“But,” I told him, “when you’re dead, you get to be with God in heaven, and it’s REALLY nice and beautiful.”  He looked unsure, but wanted to believe me.

“Where is heaven?” he asks…looking at the cloudy sky.  “Is it really up above the clouds?  Is that where God is?”  I told him that I really didn’t know, but that I was sure it was a very nice place.

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“OK,” he says, “Just make sure you take your cell phone with you when you go there, so you can tell me about it.”

Later that day, we went over his Sunday-school homework.  He was supposed to talk to God, anytime, about anything.  So, we prayed a quick prayer about heaven, and requested that God send my dear boy a few dreams so he could see what it was like.

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Dear God – please help me to make use of every “teachable moment” that you give me with my kids.

Call Out that Negative Behavior

Do your kids fight? Whine? Stomp away? Refuse to eat dinner? Back talk? Drag their feet? Do everything EXCEPT what you asked?

If so….they might be normal!

I’ve been blessed to have a great friend in my life, that’s also a family therapist.  She has a great way of looking at things…and great advice for me.  In this situation, she tells me:

When you are at your wit’s end….take a deep breath and step back, and listen up!

All kids have a negative behavior (that pushes your buttons) that they will “go to” when they are not getting enough positive attention.

How’s that for a revelation?  So, what do you do with this info?

  1. Take a look at each of your kids….and figure out which of their negative behaviors is “the one” (note, some may have more than one)
  2. Write it down…and put it somewhere that you can look at it (like your bathroom) when you’re at your wit’s end and giving yourself a “mommy time-out”  Knowing what’s really going on in the situation will help you keep your cool.
  3. Respond to the real situation (your child needs more positive attention) instead of Reacting to the negative behavior that’s making your blood boil.

Watch for it….and call it what it is….(I did this with my daughter, age 11, and she stared at me dumbfounded.)  I simply told her that if she needed some attention or one-on-one time with my husband or me, that she just needed to ask.  She didn’t need to pick a fight with us.