5 Things parenting experts don’t tell you about discipline

If you are like me, you have spent hours searching the internet or reading books looking for advice on disciplining your children. In this post, I will share with you 5 things that parenting experts don’t tell you about discipline.

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When I had my first child, I had no clue what I was doing. I now have 3 kids and I still have many days when I feel like I have no clue what I’m doing 😉

One of the things I continually look for is advice on discipline. I want new strategies or tips to see if maybe I am missing something that will have my kids behave.

After doing extensive reading and going over lots of information, I have discovered that each piece I have read has had something missing. Everyone gives advice on the best way to discipline kids.

So, I have decided to fill in some of those blanks.

5 things that parenting experts don’t tell you about discipline

1. It may not work for you

One of the first things I realized that experts don’t tell you about discipline is that what may work for one may not work for the other.

Every child is different and one strategy that one parent shares may have zero impact on your own child.

If you even suggest that this strategy does not seem to be working for you then people will respond by telling you that you are obviously not doing it right and that you have no clue what you’re doing.

The truth is that your child may just not respond to a particular tactic.

2. It may work, but only a few times

Another frustrating that people don’t tell you about discipline is that the strategy you picked may not work all the time.

You have finally found something that works!!! Yeah!!!! A few weeks later, you use the same tactic you have been using for weeks and it no longer works.

This may be for a few reasons. The first is that young children grow in and out of stages very quickly. As they transition, how they react to certain strategies may change as well.

The second is that children are smart. They might have figured out what’s your doing and are no longer want to go along with what you’re trying to do.

3. It may work for this kid, but not the next

Your first child was easy. You got this parenting business down so you decide to have a second. You have a list of discipline strategies that worked like a dream for child 1 and think: I have no clue why people find this so hard.

Enter child #2!! You try and try and try, and nothing you do seems to work. You use the same strategies at the same stages and your child still does not toe the line. Why?? Well, your kids are not the same.

They won’t react the same way to a certain tactic as each other. You might have to find a whole new bag of strategies for each child you have.

4. Your child is too young for this strategy

I read parenting books and regularly think: wow, that would never fly for my 2-year-old. Or, I think: so what age is this strategy good for?

For some reason, books never suggest an age. It’s easy to read a book and think it’s a fantastic idea.

But then you try it out and realize that your child is not developed enough to understand what you’re trying to do.

Don’t throw the strategy out the door, just maybe put it on the shelf and try again when your child is older.

5. Time requirement

Training children takes time. When I say time, I don’t mean minutes or hours. I mean days, months and years.

There are some concepts that I have been working on with my children for years and they still don’t seem to understand. But don’t lose heart, because one day they do get it and it gets better.

In the comments below, share what parenting truths that you feel are left out of books.

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25 of the Best Cheap date night ideas

I love a cheap date night and so I am always looking for some cheap date night ideas. To help you save time on finding great date ideas, keep reading and see 25 of the best cheap date night ideas.

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When my husband and I started our marriage we had very little money. But no matter how little money we had, we always found ways to have a fun date night.

We all know that spending time with our spouses is very important. But, sometimes the reality of spending time together can be hard when you have a tight budget.

Paying for a babysitter and a night out can add up costs very quickly.

So, instead of breaking the bank on date night, try these 25 ideas and have an amazing date night.

25 Cheap date night ideas

  • Have tea together
  • Play a board game
  • Go for a walk
  • Watch a movie
  • Make dinner together
  • Make dessert together
  • Have ice cream together
  • Decorate the house together
  • Make a movie with your phone
  • Plan your dream vacation
  • Work out together
  • Go to a free outdoor concert
  • Discover new art on an art walk
  • Have a picnic
  • Volunteer together
  • Read together
  • Make a puzzle
  • Feed the ducks at the park
  • Go window shopping
  • Dance to your favourite music
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Watch planes take off
  • Have an outdoor movie night
  • Fly a kite

Click here to get all 25 date ideas in your inbox for free

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What is your favourite cheap date idea?

For more date night ideas, check out Focus on the Family

Don’t forget to click here to get the date night ideas in your inbox.

Share your favourite cheap date night ideas in the comments below. Thank you for reading, Please share this post with family and friends.

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9 Ways to Express Anger

9 ways to express your ANGER without sinning or hurting those around you. ANGER is natural and good to express but only when you EXPRESS YOUR ANGER in a healthy way. Learn to CONTROL YOUR ANGER , read some ANGER QUOTES and some ANGER MANAGEMENT activities #christianliving, #wordofGod, #anger, #angermanagement, #angermangementstrategies

Growing up, I had a lot of anger. As a Christian, I felt that it was sinful to feel anger and to express anger. So, instead of expressing how I felt  I would stuff it in. In this post, I will share with you 9 ways to express anger.

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The problem with stuffing my feelings is that there is only so much room for all the emotions I was feeling and it was inevitable that I would explode. 

My explosions were full of screaming at my family and throwing things violently. 

I knew that my actions were sinful but I had a hard time knowing anger.

After some reading, I realized that anger itself is not sinful but that the way we choose to express anger can be sinful.

The Bible says

““Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭4:26‬ ‭NKJV

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Freedom to be angry

God shows anger and so did Jesus. Since God is perfect and can’t sin He must have expressed His anger without sinning. Since God Himself can express His emotions, then so can we?

Once I had figured out that I could express anger, it gave me so much freedom. I hated lashing out and hurting the people around me and wanted to ding a better way. 

2 ways to express anger without sinning

I think the best way to express anger and any other emotions is to get stop bottling emotions and to find healthy ways to express our feelings.

1. Confront

The Bible is very clear that if we feel hurt or sinned against then we  to seek that person out and talk to them.

Moreover, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭18:15‬ ‭NKJV

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The best way to express anger is to clear the air with the person we are angry at and get on the same page.

In the heat of the moment, it’s probably best not to say what’s on your mind. If you are in a situation where someone is making you angry, step away and don’t respond right away.

It’s best to take a break, calm down, pray about it and then seek that person out. If you respond in anger then things will only get worse.

2. Let it out

The best way to express our anger is to let it out. I have learned the hard way that keeping emotions in is not healthy. The emotions add up and soon we can’t control what comes out of our mouths. 

So, if you don’t want to blow up then it’s best to find ways to express how we feel when we feel it. 

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7 Healthy Ways to express anger

1. Yell

The best way for me to express anger is to yell.

I like a good fight or argument and when I am frustrated there’s nothing better than to have a good fight.

Unfortunately, not many people can have a fight without getting hurt or ruining a relationship.

When I first got married, I soon realized that my husband does not like confrontation and will not engage in an argument.

So, I had to find a solution. Thankfully, my younger sister is similar to me. She likes a good argument but married a non-confrontational guy. What were we to do? One day, my sister called me up and we ended up in a good fight. After she said: thanks, I really needed to fight. I laughed and we both moved on. We expressed some frustration and were able to do so without hurting each other.

I know that my situation is unique and most people don’t have people they can do that with.

If you like to yell and scream then do so. Just not at another person. Yell in a pillow, outside, or alone in your car. These will satisfy your need to yell and no one will get hurt (except for maybe your voice).

2. Punch something (not someone)

When I was younger, all I wanted to do when I was angry was hit something. Sometimes my emotions would get the best of me and I would be physical towards my sibling. Other times  I would go into my room and rip paper and hit my pillow.

One of the ways I express anger was by hitting my pillow was never satisfying. I always wanted something better to hit.

What I really wanted was a punching bag. Now that my kids are getting older, I might just get one. Not just for me, but for them as well.

Punching a bag gets out frustrations and spends energy. It feels productive and is very helpful.

3. Put on some music

I love music! and listen to it all the time. Music helps me express anger by expressing what I can’t in my own words.

There are some music that I listen to when I am angry or upset that helps me express what I am feeling and get me out of that feeling. 

When in doubt, put some music on.

  • Click to hear some of my go-to songs.  (warning: these are not Christian songs and are a bit unconventional but they do the trick) 

4. Eat something sweet

One way I express anger is by eating something sweet. I can’t always do this because if I ate something sweet every time I felt mad or frustrated I would be the size of a house.

But, I do have a stash of chocolate in the house. When I am feeling overwhelmed and frustrated, the best way to feel those things is to just dig in and eat some junk food.

For me, it’s sweets. I have a friend that dips into the peanut butter.

Whatever your go-to is, don’t feel guilty about just having a bite. Chocolate has some magical powers to help heal all anger. But be careful to not indulge too much or make food a crutch. It’s a delicate balance and one I seem to always be walking.

5. Exercise

Since my go-to comfort food is chocolate, it might be best to find a healthier form of therapy.

The healthiest way to express anger is to use all my pent-up energy and exercise.

I have never caught the exercise bug. I wish I enjoyed it and used it as a coping mechanism. It is something I am trying to add to my day since I know there are many benefits, but I just can’t seem to figure it out.

Tell me in the comments the best forms of exercise that help you release some anger. 

6. Clean

There are some people out there that express anger by stress cleaning or clean to relax or express anger. I wish I was one of these people. Their houses are always clean and their emotions make them more productive.

Getting up from the couch and doing something is a great way to use some of the energy you have from being mad.

Instead of taking out your anger on a person, you can hit the floor with the broom or dust aggressively.

7. Make something

The next best thing to a punching bag is a batch of dough. If you are a baker, there is something about kneading dough that is extremely satisfying and may help you express anger. Cooking uses all the senses and is extremely therapeutic.

The best part is that you usually end up with an edible finished product. Not only does cooking help express emotions, but it can be externally productive.

There are many s that you can make that will help express anger and help release some of the energy you have from anger or frustration. Look at what you love to do and ways you can express yourself when you do it. 

In the comments below tell me some things you do to express anger in a healthy way.

Please share this blog post with others. Thank you.

8 Ways to teach children good behaviour

As a parent, every single day brings new challenges and things I need to learn. One thing that does stay consistent is my desire to teach my children good behaviour. Today, I want to share 8 ways to teach children good behaviour.

As a parent, every single day brings new challenges and things I need to learn. One thing that does stay consistent is my desire to teach my children good behaviour. Today, I want to share 8 ways to teach children good behaviour.

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Over the years, I have found that there are a few key ways in which children learn best. 

In today’s post, I will share with you 8 ways I teach my children good behaviour.

8 ways to teach children good behaviour

1. Role-Play

One of the best ways to teach children good behaviour is to do a little role play.

If you are not sure how your child may act in a certain citation, it may be a good idea to role-play. There is a good reason that schools have fire drills. That way, when the real thing happens, students know what to, they don’t have to stop and think.

Similarly, you can role-play how to respond to criticism, or bullying or even role-play sharing. As your child plays out how they may respond, you can see which areas they are already confident in and which areas need to focus on.

2. Reading Stories

Another great way to teach children good behaviour is by reading stories to them.

We all grew up with fables and other such stories. Nowadays if there is a problem you are facing with certain behaviour chances are there is a kids book about it.

Reading stories is a fantastic way to learn the desired behaviour. While reading the stories, as a parent, you can ask leading questions. Such questions will help you know what your child thinks about the citation and how they would deal with the same scenario.

Reading books may also help your child know that they are not alone in their struggle. They will be able to relate to the character and see that there can be different ways to deal with citations.

Some stories I have read to my children teach fantastic life lessons

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3. Repetition

One of the ways we can teach children good behaviour is by repeating, repeating, repeating.

The more you say something, the more likely your child will remember. If I had a dollar for every time I said: what do we say when somebody gives us something?

But because I said this so often when they were young, I hardly have to remind them of their manners now and they are very polite.

I hate hearing, using and saying the same thing over and over and over again but it does pay off in the long run.

4. Teachable moment

The best time to drive a lesson home if after the tantrum and once your child has settled down.

You can bring your child on your lap or beside you and take the time to say: this is why I gave you a time out, you can’t act like this. It’s also a good chance to tell them your expected behaviour for future instances.

5. Give 2nd chances

I don’t expect my children to always remember how to act in every situation. So sometimes, when my daughter comes in the room with a bad attitude I give her a second chance.

I will look at her and say: try again. But maybe I should say the 5th chance because sometimes I give her that many times to get her tone right.

This gives her an opportunity to change her mood without me having to discipline her for her tone and we can focus on why she came to talk to me.

6. Mimic

My eldest daughter has a strong attitude and if often comes out in the way she speaks to me. But often instead of disciplining her for the way she is speaking to me, I will say: please say; mom, I would like to talk to you.

I say it in the tone of voice I want her to use. This sets my expectation for her and she knows how I want to be talked to.

7. By example

We all know the saying: talk is cheap. We can tell our kids something a million times and correct them all day long, but if our behaviour does not match our words then our children will follow suit.

Kids are not stupid. They pick up on our mood, coping mechanisms, and habits.

So the best way we can teach our children self-control, anger management and every other behaviour is by living out our lives the way we want our children to act.

8. It takes a village

I often find that when mom says something, the instruction goes in one ear and out the other. But, I have noticed that when my children are corrected by other adults my children actually stop and listen.

We know that it takes a village to raise a child and this for me is the number one reason I want to surround myself and my children with people who are like-minded.

That way, the chances are my husband and I will not be the only adults in our child’s lives that expect certain behaviours from them.

In the comments below, share how you teach your children good behaviour.

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Why do bad things happen to good people?

In this blog post, I am going to try to answer the age-old question: Why do bad things happen to good people?

Life is complex and full of complicated questions. The one question that seems to pop into my head every day is: why do bad things happen to good people?

Bur God is good and protects us, right?

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How can the paradox exist?

How can bad things happen and yet God’s word be true?

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but through searching the scripture and knowing who God is The Lord has revealed Himself to me and shown me some things that help me know His word is true.

The following verses promise that if we make The Lord our refuge then no harm will overtake us.

Psalm 91 (NIV) 

1 Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a] 2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust. 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.

7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 8 You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. 9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, 10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. 11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; 12 they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 14 “Because he[b] loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;  I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. 15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. 16 With long life I will satisfy him  and show him my salvation.”

How can these verses be true?

When bad things happen, it’s hard to understand where God is and what He is doing. I often ask: Why do bad things happen to good people?

As a Christian, it’s important to have a solid faith base and understanding of God. So that when bad things happen, we can be comforted by God and His word.  

My thoughts are based on my faith in Christ. I believe that He is good, that He is sovereign, that He loves me and that His words (the bible) are true.

Since I believe these things when I read Psalm 91 I know that these verses are a promise to me. So, if they are true, why do bad things happen to me and to the people I love?

Have bad things happened to you?

“Have bad things really happened to you?

You and God may have different definitions for the word bad.

Parents and children do. Look up the word bad in a middle schooler’s dictionary, and you’ll read definitions such as “pimple on nose,” “Friday night all alone,” or “pop quiz in geometry.” “Dad, this is really bad!” the youngster says.

Dad, having been around the block a time or two, thinks differently. Pimples pass. And it won’t be long before you’ll treasure a quiet evening at home. Inconvenience? Yes. Misfortune? Sure. But bad? Save that adjective for emergency rooms and cemeteries.”

What’s bad to a child isn’t always bad to a dad

When asking the question: Why do bad things happen to good people, it’s always good to remember God’s perspective.

What is bad for a child is not always bad for a dad.

The same holds for God.

Things that seem bad to us are not always bad to God. He has a plan and is working it out.  We don’t know how the events from our life or the world around us affect God’s grand plan. We can’t see the effect, we have not read the ending. But God knows. He wrote the book. It’s finished! He is now working it out.

Something else that helped me during this time is the following example from my life. It helps me understand what God is doing when I feel like my world is being torn apart.

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No capacity to understand.

One of the things I remember when I ask: Why do bad things happen to good people is that I really have to capacity to understand the whole picture.

I can’t help but remember a few years back. Meredith was 4 months old and my family and I were watching the Olympics. It was the gold medal hockey game and Canada was playing. When they scored, are family went nuts! We were ecstatic and very loud.

Our noise made Meredith cry out of fear. She had no clue that the noise we were making was because we were happy and that there was nothing to be scared of. But, how do you explain that to a 4-month-old? You can’t.

It’s the same with God. I feel like we are living in a world where we sometimes hear screams and we are scared, unsure and helpless. We have no way of knowing what those screams mean. If God tried to explain what was going on, we would not understand.

So where does that leave us?

Where is God when we are scared, or confused? Why do bad things happen to good people?

When my daughter was screaming, I did not leave her alone. My love for her compelled me to pick her up and comfort her. My soothing voice and smiling features soon called her down.

God does the same. He is our father and loves us deeply. God does not leave us to cry, but  He picks us up and comforts us. He holds us while we cry and tells us that it is going to be ok. We calm down because we know His voice and trust His goodness.

We still might be afraid, and bad things may still be happening around us, but we are no longer crying because we are in the Father’s arms.

Unanswered Questions

What about those people who don’t have a relationship with God? The same events happen: They cry, and God is there willing to comfort them, but they don’t accept.

There is nobody to hold them and to give them peace and tell them that everything will be alright. They are like orphans crying out with nobody to hold them.

I can’t explain why bad things happen to good people or why God chooses to let people die, or why tornadoes hit, or a building comes crashing down.

All I know is that I am a baby and I don’t understand what is happening around me. But, I know my father. I know He loves me. I know He is with me and holding me when bad things happen.

So, during these times, I picture myself with my head in His chest, being held and comforted.

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In the comments below, share your thoughts on why bad things happen to good people. Also please share how God comforts you in times of difficulty.

Please share this post with friends and family. Thank you.

6 Strategies to avoid meltdowns

I have three children and between the three of them, there seems to always be one child in the middle of crises and have a meltdown. Here are 6 strategies to avoid meltdowns.

Sometimes these meltdowns can’t be helped. They are due to tiredness or not having the ability to control their emotions.

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6 strategies to avoid meltdowns

1. Preparation

When there is an event in our day, I make sure to tell the children beforehand what is going to happen. I tell them where we are going and what type of behaviour I expect from them.

I also lay out the consequences for breaking the rules. By doing this, children have time to expect what is going to happen next and it helps them behave better when you are out.

2. Time of day

I have discovered that the time of day in which activity happens can dictate behaviour. In my family, any time after 3 pm seems to trigger more screaming and unhappy behaviour.

This is not to say we don’t leave the house after that time, but I just come to expect it and know that the kids are most likely tired or just in the crankiness part of their day.

If you don’t want meltdowns to happen, then I would suggest getting to know what parts of the day are hard for your children and then trying to avoid outings during those times.

3. Diet

Children need a proper diet to have enough energy to last the whole day. My eldest daughter was coming home from school complaining about headaches. She was cranky and tired on a regular basis.

It took me a while to figure out that she was not getting enough protein at the start of the day. I did some research and switched breakfast foods. We went from eating cereal to having either peanut butter on toast or baked oatmeal that is full of protein and energy.

Since making that change, she has stopped complaining about headaches. So maybe your child is acting up because they are lacking something in their diet. I know that when I don’t drink enough water, I get light-headed. Children can be the same.

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4. Training

Since my eldest daughter was very young, she has always had a hard time controlling her emotions. When she gets angry, she flies off the handle with no warning and has an extremely hard time settling down.

I may not be able to avoid her explosions, but I have been able to help her find tools to calm down. She is now 7 and she is still learning to use these tools. Some days, it feels like I have done zero work and we are absolutely nowhere.

But other days, I see her using the tools we have talked about and she is able to calm herself down. There is still a long road ahead, but strides are being made.

5. Sleep

Young children need 10-12 hours of sleep per night. If you want to avoid meltdowns, make sure you have a routine that gives your child enough time to sleep.

When my kids go to bed late and don’t have a regular amount of sleep, I know that the next day the kids might have a harder time.

6. Give them help

When my child is having a meltdown, there might be a small window that I might help them calm down. If I step in and help them calm down, there might be a chance they relax right away.

If I wait too long, or they are too far gone, there is not much else to do than to wait it out.

The worst part of my day is when my children are exploding with anger and screaming at me. This happens regularly in my house and since I hate it so much, I have worked hard at finding ways to reduce the number of blow-ups.

It’s not a perfect system, but changing a few things around in the day has helped the general mood in the house.

In the comments below, share what strategies you use to avoid meltdowns. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

One thing to do to have a better relationship with my child

Over the last 10 years, I have tried very hard to have a good relationship with my children. But, as I reflect, I realised that there was one thing I could do to have a better relationship with my child.

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What was holding me back

If you’re like me, you love to have control over things in your life. One of the things I love having control over is my children’s behaviour and the choices they make.

I want my children to choose the things that I would choose. Mainly, I want them to obey me and do as they are told.

I like total and complete obedience. I want my kids to obey me right away with no argument.
After having many confrontations with my daughter, I realised that having this expectation of my children made things more stressful around the house.

My focus was on complete obedience and not on my relationship with my child. I had to learn to let go of some control.

But I have learned that this mindset does not lead to a better relationship with my child.

When I stepped back, I realised that I was not happy trying to control my child’s behaviour.

Since I stopped trying to control the outcome, it has helped me in disciplining my children and has given me a better relationship with my child.

My children are strong and independent and have minds of their own. That means that when I have an idea, they don’t always agree with me and always seem to have a ”better” way or another plan.

Before I started letting go, I found myself in a constant battle with my kids. It was exhausting.

So I had to decide that having a good relationship with my kids was more important to me than having control over the outcome or the situation.

One thing to do to have a better relationship with my child

1. I had to change my thought process.

To help me change my thought process, I tried to incorporate these 2 things:

  1. why do you want it done this way? Is it really that important?
  2. my child maybe 7, but maybe her way is better and we could do it that way.

To change my behaviour, I had to change my thought process.

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My motivation:

This first thing I had to do was analyse my motivation. Why was it so important that they I had to have this done my way?

After some soul searching, I realised that I wanted to feel control over the outcome. I was afraid that if I did not have absolute obedience right away then I was not a good “Christian” mom.

Leaving room for my child to question me made me feel like I was letting her rule the house. I was letting my fear dictate my behaviour.

My realization

The next time my daughter questioned me or did not respond to me as I wanted, I actually listened.

THIS DOES NOT MEAN THAT MY CHILD HAS ABSOLUTE CONTROL OR THAT SHE RULES THE HOUSE … But it does mean that I have become a bit more flexible. Let me give you an example.

I say something like: Please set the table. She responds: I am just finishing drawing a picture!

I have 2 choices

  • Get mad that I was not absolutely obeyed on the spot.
  • Let my child finish her task and have her come when she is done.

This way, my child has no choice in the task I am asking her to complete, but there is a choice of when she can do it. She has some flexibility.

This may seem like a simple example. But there were dozens of these small moments during the day. I wanted something done a certain way and would get frustrated when it was not done to my standard.

By letting go of some control and giving my child more flexibility greatly reduced the amount of time I spend reprimanding her. Not only that, but it gave her confidence that she does have good ideas, that I hear her, and that her opinion matters to me.

I find that by giving her that flexibility has also made her more willing to obey and has also resulted in her doing things around the house without me asking.

In the comments below, share how control affects your relationships. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

9 ways to reduce arguments with kids 

If your house is like mine, there are always arguments going on. I don’t like arguments and I am always looking for ways to reduce the amount of fighting in our house. Today, I am going to share with you 9 ways to reduce arguments with kids.

In our house, most of the arguments are between my kids. But more often than not, the arguments are between me and my child. And if you are like me, then you like to win those arguments.

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Sometimes I feel like I am picking the battle just to win so I can show that I can. This makes for a more hostile house and something I desperately want to change.

I came to this realization a few weeks ago after an encounter with my eldest daughter.

The conversation went a bit like this: 

Me: come here

Child: What?


Child: WHAT?
Me: COME HERE!!!!!!!!!

My child finally comes into the room
Me: I want you to come the first time I call you!

Child: I could not hear you!

Me: then why did you say what? You should come to me when you heard me!

What happened next

At this point, I forgot why I wanted to talk to her and instead spent the time giving her a consequence for not obeying me when I first called and for giving me attitude when she did eventually come.

After this incident, I had time to reflect on the scene. It was not the first time this had happened and I knew that it would keep happening… Unless I changed something.

Why was it so important that she come to me? 

After much reflection, I realized that I wanted her to come to me because I was lazy. My frustration did not stem from wanting her to obey. It came because I actually had to move and get up and do something about what was going on. I had been lying down in bed and I did not want to get up. My laziness factor had kicked in and I wanted her obedience to trump my unwillingness to move.

My selfishness became so evident to me. I could have avoided this whole scene had I not been so lazy.

The argument got me thinking about ways I could reduce the arguments in the house. So here are my 9 ways I can reduce arguments with my child.

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9 ways to reduce arguments with your kids

1. Seek Them out

The best way to reduce arguments with kids is to seek out my child. When I want to talk to my child, instead of calling to her over and over, I will call her once and if she can’t hear me I will get up and go find her. When I find her, I will then talk to her.

2. Give direction 

Sometimes I ask my kids to do something and they don’t actually understand what I want them to do. They do their best to obey, but I end up frustrated because the end result was not what I had originally wanted.

One way to decrease misunderstanding is to make sure my child understands exactly what I want by giving clear directions.

3. Set the Tone

I find that if I am upset or frustrated, my children mirror that back to me. To reduce the tension in the house, I need to be an example of how I want my children to speak.

If I speak politely to them in my frustration, they will learn (eventually) that they can also be frustrated but still speak without yelling.

4. Change the mood

When my kids are driving me crazy, it’s easy to turn around and snap at them or become frustrated with them. One way I keep from blowing up is by changing my mood.

Instead of yelling, I put some music on and dance or tickle them. These things make us smile and laugh and I tend to forget why I was mad.

5. Ask the child to repeat

When I ask my children to do something, I ask them to repeat what I said. By doing so, we both understand what is expected and it helps clarify any misunderstandings.

If my child can’t repeat what I said, then they won’t be able to do what I asked. When they know what to do and what is expected, they are more likely to do it.

6. Pray

The fastest way for me to calm down is to pray. I pray for patience and understanding. I pray for wisdom and grace. Every moment with my children I am afraid that what comes out of my mouth will scar them for life.

By taking a moment and praying, I usually keep myself from saying something I regret or using a tone I did not mean.

7. Let it go

I oftentimes forget that my kids are small and don’t understand the world like I do. I usually expect them to have my standards. Once I remember that they are small, I lower my standards and let some things slide.

For example:

Last week as I was cleaning the bathroom I found candy wrappers on the floor. I suspected that my eldest daughter had found some candy and eaten it without permission.

She knows the rules: you can’t eat anything without asking Mom first. She also knows that candy is a treat and is only eaten on special occasions.

Lately, she has been breaking a lot of rules and being sneaky. I have spent countless of hours going over proper behaviour and punishing her for disobeying.

I could have easily found her, asked her a question and given her a consequence. This time, I chose to let it go. I had no real evidence that she was the one to eat the candy.

This may be an unpopular opinion but, I think it’s ok for kids to get away with a thing or 2. Since I am addressing the larger issues on a regular basis, catching every act will only drive her further away.

8. Give them grace

One of the things that I love most about God is His grace towards us. He regularly does not give us the punishment we need. He regularly does not show His anger and frustration towards us.

My task as a parent is to show my children God’s character. One of the ways to do that is to be like God and to show grace. When my children disobey, I sometimes will choose to not give them the punishment they deserve.

9. Pick your battles 

The last thing we can do to reduce arguments with kids is to pick our battle. Some fights are not worth the effort you put in. For me to win an argument with my daughter, it takes so much energy and time. Sometimes, that energy and time is not productive and would best be spent focused on other things.

For example, I let my youngest choose if she wants to get dressed or stay in her pj’s. She is 4 and does not go to school. On days we stay home, there is no reason for her to get dressed. So, if she does not want to, fighting her about it does not seem to be worth the effort for me.

I am often the reason that I get into arguments with my kids. I a. Either lazy, tired or just done with the day. But if I step back for just a moment, I realize that I can sometimes diffuse the circumstances by using some of these strategies.

In the comments below, share how you decrease arguments with your children. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

Five Minute Friday: confident

Confident: that’s a strange word for me. I spend most of my time pretending that I have confidence. I also pretend that I know what I am doing– but in truth, I rarely know what I am doing.

This is true when it comes to parenting and ministry.

I know that The Lord has given me the spiritual gifts of leadership and teaching.

One of the ways we can be certain of our spiritual gifts is by getting affirmation from the people around us. For me, people thank me for sharing and tell me they have been encouraged. But, I am never asked to speak and need to find these opportunities on my own.

So, even though I believe what I am doing is from The Lord, my confidence is very low. It’s so low because I am not getting much affirmation from the people around me.

So, I am not sure how I am supposed to grow in being confident.

I want to be surer, but then my conservative background peeks its head and reminded me that condidenc= boasting.

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A verse to think about

As Christians, we have a tendency to focus on the verse:

But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by [awhom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Galatians 6:14

This means that we train ourselves to not think highly of our gifts. It also means that we don’t encourage each other in our gifts. We do this because we don’t want to cause people to be prideful.

But, we miss all the verses encouraging one another.

The Lord tells us that we need to encourage each other. He also tells us that we need to share with each other how The Lord is blessing us and using us.

Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches

Galatians 6:6

With this encouragement, we can give people the confidence they need to know that they are following the right path. We can help others know that they are using their spiritual gifts and that the work they put into a ministry has been profitable.

Now, I know that I should not be needing affirmation from people when I have it from God. But, the truth is that we all want to know that people like us and approve of what we say and do.

In the comments below, share your thoughts about the word: confident. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

7 Reasons Why I love sending my child to School

Like most parents, when school started, I had mixed feelings. Most days, I hate sending my child off.  Instead of looking at the negative, I have tried to be more positive and have come up with 7 reasons why I love sending my child to school.

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7 Reasons Why I love sending my child to School

1. Routine

Have you ever noticed that all programs are based on the school calendar?

During the Christmas break, every activity has stopped. Playgroup, bible study, sports, library programs etc all take a break.

There are a very limited amount of things to take your kids too. This makes it hard to keep your kids busy and leaves me more isolated from friends because there are fewer opportunities to get together.

One of the reasons why I love sending my child to school is that school creates a stable and reliable routine.

Our routine is simple and easy to do and works well for us. Without a need to send my children to school- I have a hard time thinking about how I am going to fill the day with my kids.

2. Keeps them engaged

When my kids were younger, all I had to do to keep them from getting bored was introduce a new toy or change their surrounding by bringing them to a new room in the house.

As my children get older, it is getting harder to keep them from getting bored without handing them the iPad.

During the Christmas break, my eldest daughter was easily bored and started sneaking around and lying about what she was doing. This behaviour was not as evident when she was in school.

One of the reasons why I love sending my child to school is because the school engages my children.

At school, my children are engaged and have something to do or think about all day long, she doesn’t have the time to be bored. When she gets home, she is spent and needs time to decompress and relax.

3. Shorter days

When all my kids were not old enough to be in school the days felt so long. As soon as my daughter started school the days started feeling shorter.

The biggest reason why I love sending my child to school is because it shortens my days.

There is something about getting out the door at 8:15 and having my children home by 3:30 that makes the day shorter. I think it has to do with the structure of the day and having specific events mark the passing of time.

Every time school is on break the days seem to last that much longer.

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4. Social time with friends

My daughter y social and loves spending time with her friends. Since I don’t know many of the parents very well she does not spend that much time with her friends outside of school. At school, she has time to learn about friendship and how to be a good friend.

5. Time outside

My youngest child is 13 months old. Being that young he still naps twice a day and is just starting to walk everywhere he goes. Due to those 2 factors, I find it hard to be outside by myself with all 3 kids.

My eldest daughter loves the outside and running around. When my husband was home, we were able to take turns and spend time with her doing outdoor activities like skating and sledding.

When she is at school, not only does she get 3 outdoor recesses she also gets regular gym time. Because she gets so much outdoor time at school I don’t feel the pressure to make sure she gets that time at home.

6. Build good qualities

The school that my daughter goes to participates in a program that helps students build good leadership qualities. My daughter is strong-willed and independent so it’s hard for me to foster those qualities and guide them to good use.

Her school has an environment that encourages independent thoughts and taking responsibility for their actions. These are all things that we try to teach at home but it’s nice that we are not the only adults in her life that try to teach her responsibility.

7. Meet people

School is a great place to meet people. By sending our child to school, we have been able to meet many parents. Since we live and shop in the area our child goes to school, we are now starting to recognize parents and families where we go.

We have met people at the grocery store, the library, and even the pool. All these encounters give us a sense of community and connection to our neighbourhood.

In the comments below, share the reasons why you love sending your kids to school. Share this post with others. Thank you.

How to make Me time in a busy world

As a mother of 3 and a wife of more than a decade, I know that it is very hard to make me time. Today, I am going to share with you 7 things you can do to make me time.

Life is busy and goes by so fast.

But, if you want a better marriage and a better relationship with your children, then it is important to take some Me Time.

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What is me time

ME TIME is the moments you spend taking care of yourself.

This time can be used to take care of your physical needs, spiritual needs, creative needs or whatever you need to be healthy and happy.  

7 Ways to Make Me Time

1. Kow how much do you need

Nobody is the same, so I can’t sit here and tell you how much me time you need.

For me, to be healthy, I need a bit of me time every day.

This time is either alone time-were I just need to sit in silence by myself. Or, I also spend me time doing something I love- which is writing and planning blogs.

I don’t get the same amount of time every day, but I do try to get some time that is just for me on a daily basis.

For you, this might be too much, or not enough. It’s important to understand what type of time you need, how much time you need and what you are going to do during that time.

2. Be selfish

Selfish can be a bad word. As a Christian, I was taught to be selfless and to take care of others and to not think too highly of myself.

As much as all those things are right, we also need to think about ourselves.

This does not mean that our needs always come before others, or that we need to put other people’s needs behind our own.

What this means is finding the balance between self-sacrifice and self-care.

We can’t serve others when we are empty.

Jesus himself took time away from the crowd to spend time with God.  

6 And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.

Luke 5:16 (KJV)

If God incarnate needs time away, then how much more do we need?

Now that we know how important time to ourselves is, how do we make time for ourselves?

3. Find something you Love

When I figured out I needed to start doing something for myself, I had no clue where to start.

So, I asked myself a few questions. To help you find your purpose or passion, download this free ebook.

The book will guide you through finding your passion. Once you have figured out what you love to do, now it’s time to find a time to do what you love.

Through this process, I discovered that I had a passion for writing and sharing ideas with the people around me. That is when I started blogging.

4. Talk to your husband

If you are feeling tired, empty and a bit lost then it’s time to talk to your husband. Tell him how you feel and what you feel you may need.

You might be surprised and find out that your husband has no problem with you taking a night out every week or doing a particular chore that you hate to take some work off your plate.

When I discussed my feelings with my husband, he was extremely supportive.

As mentioned above, I went through a process of self-discovery to find out that I loved to write. The only problem was that I had no motivation to write without an end product. That is why I chose to blog. Blogging gave me a focus and an audience to keep me accountable.

He supported me by letting me invest in my blog and things that would help me publish my blog.

Not only did I find what I loved, but I also needed more. I needed a meaningful connection with female friends.

We discussed those needs and he encouraged me to contact friends and make plans to get together with them.

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5. Make a routine

As a couple, you need time to be

  • together
  • alone
  • with friends
  • with friends
  • and the list goes on

Balancing 2 people’s needs for friendship, service, spiritual growth and marriage intimacy is very hard.

It takes planning

Each year, my husband and I sit down and we talk about what sorts of activities we want to be involved in and how many nights a week we are ok with us being together or apart.

These details change on a regular basis so it is important to have this conversation often.

For my husband and I, we have agreed that I go out Tuesday nights and he goes out Wednesday nights. The rest is time we spend together, with family or friends.

This has to be flexible because my husband travels for work and may not be home on the nights we have discussed.

So, we often compromise to make sure we each get the time we need. If things don’t work out one week, then we try to make sure it does for the week after.

It is not a perfect system, but we are both happy and seem to be able to work out the details.

6. Let things go

During the day, I spend a lot of time working on my blog. This means that things around the house don’t always get done.

Sometimes the laundry piles up or the dishes only get done once a day.

That’s ok!!

To lead healthy, balanced lives some things need to be let go.

It is impossible to do everything, so it’s important to choose those things that feed our souls and then not worry about those other things that we have not done or can’t get through.

7. Start now

If you are not used to taking time to yourself that’s ok. It took me a while to figure out what I needed.

But, it’s never too late to start.

  • Pick up that book you have been meaning to read.
  • Go out for coffee with that friend
  • Sleep in
  • Go on a date

In the comments below, share how you make time for yourself. Please share this post with others. Thank you.

Best Parenting Advice Ever

As a new mom, I received a lot of parenting advice. Some of it was not useful at all, but some of it was wonderful.

Today, I want to share with you 2 of the best pieces of parenting advice I ever got.

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When I had my first child, I was determined to not make any mistakes and to be the perfect parent. I had an image in my head as to the type of parent I wanted to be. I also had an image of how I wanted my kids to turn out. Anything other than that meant failure.

I was determined to find “the perfect” parenting formula and follow it. I thought that if I did things a certain way then my kids would turn out the way I wanted them too.

As I read this, I see the ridiculousness of my thought process. But, at the time, I was so stressed out about finding the perfect way.

Thankfully, I had seasoned parents around me that gave me great advice. I would talk to them about parenting and got great advice from people who had gone down this path before me.

The Best Parenting Advice I ever got

1. Perfection does not guarantee perfection

As a mother, I always want the best for my kids. I want to see them succeed and I want to have a close and loving relationship with them.

Along with that, I really don’t want them to make bad choices or go down a path that will lead to pain for them.

When I was a young parent, I had this idea that if I was the perfect mother, then I would then have perfect children. If I loved them a certain way then I would guarantee a good outcome.

This idea stressed me out because I had not figured out what that way was. I also felt guilty for not being perfect. I also spent a lot of time afraid that my imperfections would hurt my children in the long run.

When my eldest daughter was one, I went to a ladies retreat. One of my friends was leading a session on teens. Since I didn’t have a teenager, I was not planning on going, but my friend suggested I come anyways.

I am so glad I did!! At that session, she said something that helped me so much.

She said: Jesus is the perfect father, yet look at His children.

This idea set me free. The burden of perfection was taken off my shoulder as I realized this amazing truth. If Jesus can live a perfect life and be the perfect father and His kids don’t follow Him, what chance do I have?

I had set this ridiculous standard in my mind!

Now, I was able to see better. I knew that even if I could be a perfect parent, it would still not guarantee that my kids would not make mistakes.

But then I had this light bulb moment. I realized that my children are their own people and their actions are not controlled or determined by my actions.

How I act towards them might help or hinder what my kids do, but the end results ends with them. I am not responsible for the decisions they make.

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2. Focus on love

There are many types of parenting styles but they generally fall into 3 categories: Permissive, authoritative, and authoritarian.

In general, one allows everything, one is extremely strict and the other falls in between.

Wh I knew that I wanted to be an authoritative parent as it’s generally known to be best for the child.

Even though I knew what type of parent I wanted to be, I still had a hard time putting it into practice.

I had a friend come to my rescue, yet again and gave me a great perspective.

She said: it doesn’t really matter what type of parent you are as long as your child feels loved.

At first, I thought that this idea seemed too simple.

But then, the more I read, the more I realized the truth of it.

According to this article in aha parenting, “Children who feel loved and cherished thrive. That doesn’t mean kids who ARE loved – plenty of kids whose parents love them don’t thrive. The kids who thrive are the ones who FEEL loved, accepted and cherished for exactly who they are.”

Basically, if your child feels loved then they will feel secure and will thrive. If they don’t feel loved, then they won’t thrive.

So, that’s what I started doing.

I searched and read books that helped me focus on having my children feel loved.

These books include:

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Parenting is hard! It’s full of hurdles and mistakes, love, and so much more. My mindset when I started off did not help me.

Thankfully, I was able to change my mindset and focus on the things that really mattered.

My eldest is now 10. I have no real proof that my parenting ways have helped her. What has helped is the change in my mindset. This new midset has helped me feel better about the way I parent and given me so much more peace.

I am less stressed and don’t carry the guilt of my mistakes. I am able to seek forgiveness, move on and focus on loving my kids.

Comment below with the best piece of parenting advice you ever got. Please share this post with friends and family.

Need More?

If you are struggling as a parent and need more parenting resources, click here to get access to free resources that will make life easier.

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