What Nonviolent Parenting Can Do

Many decades ago, Martin Luther said, “Nothing good ever comes of violence.” And while history has proven this premise to be true time and time again, unfortunately, up to this day there are still parents today who choose to impose discipline on their children through violent means or as some would term it, “corporal punishment.”

I know for a fact that most parents who choose to punish their kids through physical means have their own good reasons, but I will always be a believer and an advocate for peaceful parenting. I believe it is more powerful than imposing any form of violent punishment. And here is a marvelous story from “Be the Change! The Power of non Violent Parenting” that can aptly demonstrate what nonviolent parenting can do:

“I was 16 years old and living with my parents at the institute my grandfather had founded 18 miles outside of Durban, South Africa, in the middle of the sugar plantations. We were deep in the country and had no neighbors, so my two sisters and I would always look forward to going to town to visit friends or go to the movies.

One day, my father asked me to drive him to town for an all-day conference, and I jumped at the chance. Since I was going to town, my mother gave me a list of groceries she needed and, since I had all day in town, my father ask me to take care of several pending chores, such as getting the car serviced. When I dropped my father off that morning, he said, ‘I will meet you here at 5:00 p.m., and we will go home together.’

After hurriedly completing my chores, I went straight to the nearest movie theater. I got so engrossed in a John Wayne double feature that I forgot the time. It was 5:30 before I remembered. By the time I ran to the garage and got the car and hurried to where my father was waiting for me, it was almost 6:00.

He anxiously asked me, ‘Why were you late?’

I was so ashamed of telling him I was watching a John Wayne western movie that I said, ‘The car wasn’t ready, so I had to wait,’ not realizing that he had already called the garage.

When he caught me in the lie, he said: ‘There’s something wrong in the way I brought you up that didn’t give you the confidence to tell me the truth. In order to figure out where I went wrong with you, I’m going to walk home 18 miles and think about it.’

So, dressed in his suit and dress shoes, he began to walk home in the dark on mostly unpaved, unlit roads. I couldn’t leave him, so for five-and-a-half hours I drove behind him, watching my father go through this agony for a stupid lie that I uttered. I decided then and there that I was never going to lie again.

I often think about that episode and wonder, if he had punished me the way we punish our children, whether I would have learned a lesson at all. I don’t think so. I would have suffered the punishment and gone on doing the same thing. But this single non-violent action was so powerful that it is still as if it happened yesterday. That is the power of non-violence.”

What a powerful story that proves what nonviolent parenting can do. Passively teaching your children lessons is the way to go, in my opinion.

Parenting Lessons You Learned From Your Parents

A post titled, 5 Valuable Lessons I Learnt From My Parents inspired me to look within myself, and make a list of the parenting lessons I had learned from my own parents. The process of recollection made me realize how much I have been using the parenting tactics that my mom and dad used to raise me–a few of which I had issues with before. My mom was right when she said that children will never really understand their parents until they become parents themselves.

Now that I am a parent myself, I am beginning to see how great my parents were. Below are 5 of the best lessons I learned from them growing up under their love and care:

1. A child’s spiritual formation is primarily in the hands of their parents.

2. Children learn more from what they see from you than from what they hear from you.

3. Giving kids chores helps them become more responsible adults.

4. Family dinners are VERY important.

5. Never underestimate the power of a well-chosen few words.

So there they are. How about you? What are the parenting lessons you got from your own parents? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Unexpected Lessons We Get From Our Children

All parents are well aware that we are our children’s teachers and role models. We try to inculcate in our children’s minds and hearts the right values, teach them how to discern right from wrong as well as in inspire them to live a life that is centered in Christ. In short we are responsible for the character formation of our kids, but is the lesson giving and lesson learning meant to only be a one-way street? Certainly not!

A post titled, My Kids Keep Teaching Me How to Pray made me see that parents too can learn valuable lessons from our children. We need to take the time to listen and be in the moment when we are actually with them. Of course, we should do our best in teaching our children the right things so that they will grow up to become happy, good-hearted, and faithful individuals. However, we must not allow ourselves to get so wrapped up in all of our parenting roles and responsibilities. Missing out on great opportunities to become better individuals through our children is something parents should try to avoid.

Lessons From the Bible: The Birth of Christ Can Teach Us A Lot

If you know the story of how Jesus Christ was born, you know how he was born in poverty. Mary and Joseph were traveling desperately searching for a place where she could have the Son of God.
Every single place they went, there was no room for them. They were at a loss. Where would they have this child?

That was until they knocked on the door of one inn. The man told them he had no room for them, however, they were more than welcome to use an outside area. When Jesus was born, Mary and Jesus laid him in a manger made of straw. They were overjoyed with the new baby boy God had given them.

How Jesus’ Birth Shows the Spirit of Poverty

Mary and Joseph couldn’t have been happier that blessed day Jesus was born. They didn’t need a fancy room, nice warm blankets, or any other accommodations. They had everything they needed. God provided for them.

Think about this – you are about to give birth to a child with no place to go. You must make due with whatever you have around you. It’s not perfect, but it will work. When that child is born, nothing around you matters, all that matters is you have a brand new baby boy you love tremendously.

If you’re able to imagine that, you are able to see how Mary and Joseph felt. They were poor in the things they had but they were not poor in the love they had.
So what matters more? The things you have or the people you have around you? Appreciating what you have and realizing you don’t really need anything but what God believes you need will help you understand the spirit of poverty. When you are poor, you are able to see what really matters.

How to Use this Teaching in Your Life

Think about all of the modern conveniences you have and then imagine if they were gone. Think about how different your life would be and what you would have to do to compensate for the loss of those things. However, while this exercise can be effective, it may not be possible to truly feel poverty until you are poor. It’s hard for people to appreciate things when they aren’t really gone. It’s hard for them to see what truly matters when they are clouded by all the things around them.

It’s good to know though if there was ever a time when you don’t have as much as you have now, you can have faith in God that he will provide you with whatever you need. He always knows what you need before you even ask for it. Having that faith and believing in God’s guidance will help you in troubling times. It will help you see that you don’t really need all the things around you – all you need are the people you love and basic living essentials. Take a moment now to appreciate what you have and thank God. Try to see what really matters as you reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ. With this, you can grow stronger in faith.

Learning Life Lessons Through Sports: Why To Get Your Child Involved

When you first introduce your child to a sport you are probably only thinking of the present. Your interest is to see them make friends, have fun, and learn a game that they will someday maybe love. There is an entire world of sports ahead of them when they are young. Sometimes it is cool to think about what might happen for your child down the road. They might be on the varsity team in school or they could go on to play in college. Ultimately the most valuable thing they will take away from being an athlete at any level are the life lessons.

A post titled, “Young Athletes Take Lessons From Games into Real Life”, by Janis Meredith tells the story of how her daughter grew up playing softball. Her daughter played all different levels and is now a school teacher. She talks about the valuable lessons she learned from being an athlete for so many years.

What life lessons do you think sports will teach your children as they grow older?

Experiencing Failure: An Unavoidable Part of Life

It seems as though kids today are growing up with the expectation of always succeeding. This is not a bad attitude to have at all, in fact I think it is a good thing. These kids don’t accept failure, but do it the wrong way. Instead of failing and looking for ways to improve themselves, they look for who to point the finger at. If they didn’t score well on a test, then the test must have been way too difficult.

A post from Kitchen Table Chats with a Catholic Matriarch made me realize this was happening. Her post titled, “The Participation Trophy Generation”, explains this situation quite well. While I found the title to be absolutely genius and really witty, the post also got across the message that I spoke of above. Kids today want the success, but don’t want to work for it. Perhaps they have been given false “success”, like participation trophies, before when they might not have deserved it.

What do think about the “participation trophy generation” concept? Do you agree that children today are too coddled when growing up?

Board Games: Valuable Lessons You Can Learn

Depending on where you live this past week might have been a little hectic. The east coast was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy and many are still without electricity. Our thoughts and prayers go out to those whose families and homes were affected by the terrible storm. For those fortunate enough to still have their home and loved ones, it has certainly been a struggle to remain active at home. Times like these make you realize how much people today really do rely on electricity to perform simple, daily tasks. Many places of work have simply been closed in the New York/New Jersey area this week due to the power outages. This have left a lot of parents at home with their kids, whose schools have also likely been closed.

For a day or so it was probably easy to keep busy around the house. The day after Sandy hit you and your family probably went outside and checked out the damages to your area. Cleaning up and talking to neighbors probably turned out to take up most of the day, but once it was dark there was probably nothing to do. After the initial search around to see how everybody was fairing in the aftermath, things likely got boring. Kids and parents alike are susceptible to cabin fever, and without smart phones, television, or video games this syndrome was more likely to act fast.

A pretty awesome way to spend time, as long as you have daylight or a light source, is to play board games. Whether it be the “parent generation” games such as Scrabble or Trivial Pursuit, or the “kid generation” games like Apples to Apples or Trouble; board games can be an engaging source of entertainment for all ages.

A recent post on Mom Life Today mentioned playing board games with children and the lessons it can teach. Not only can you and your kids have a good time while competing in a board game, but you can learn valuable lessons like honesty and kindness. Playing a simple game like Monopoly with your kids can turn into a learning experience for everybody involved. Often when you teach children a lesson, you can also end up reminding yourself of a lesson your learned long ago that you have been neglecting of late.

So while the recent storm might have changed your week drastically, there have certainly been opportunities to spend quality time with your children. Playing a board game together is only one of many things you could have done this week to spend better time with your children.