The Sobering Truth About Parenting and How God Sees You

I am a firm believer that as parents (and guardians), we are responsible for guiding and supporting our children towards fulfilling their life’s purpose, rather than manipulating their future life course.

Contrary to what some parents may feel, children are not prized possessions; they are on loan to us for a season. They were not created to be replicas of ourselves. Children, from conception, have their own unique identity and personhood. Therefore, it’s an honor and weighty responsibility to nurture children into becoming emotionally intelligent, compassionate, empathetic, and productive human beings. And this privilege comes from God.

You didn’t come from your parents, you came through your parents

While mulling over this truth, I came across an inspiring and challenging message by Lance Wallnau that speaks volumes about our godly heritage and how parents and guardians shape our life story. Please read on to uncover some deep truths.

Sometimes somebody might come into the world through parents that are divorced or a mother that put them up for adoption, or they could even be the victim of incest or rape or something terrible like that. You know, not everyone comes through the earth in a fairytale story.

BUT…

You didn’t come from your parents, you came through your parents, God is the one who brought you into the world. I love that.

You didn’t come from your parents. You may have had loving parents, you may have had good parents, but you didn’t come from your parents, you came through your parents. God is the one who brought you into history at this time.

  • Whatever age you are, you are exactly the age God wanted you to be in 2015.
  • Whatever gender you are, you are exactly the gender God wanted you to be in 2015.
  • Whatever race or nationality or color of skin you are, you are who God brought you into the earth to be in this hour in history.

You are at the right place in the right body with the right gender in the right nationality with the right skin tone. And if you are a Christian, then your parents may have been the delivery vehicle through which God brought you into the world.

You came from God. God wanted you to exist. God wanted you to be here. God has gifts and talents that he has given you. And he has given them to you because He wants you to be an extension and expression of the goodness of God to other people’s lives.

God is putting the fragments of your story together so that your story will have a better next chapter than you possibly could ever imagine.

God is positioning you in your prayers. Please pray. Pray for God to put you at the right place with the right people at the right time.

Be faithful in everything that God gives you. Be faithful to honor everything. Put your faith into fruitless situations simply because by serving as unto the Lord, serving as unto God, and not unto people, serving as unto the Lord and not unto a ministry or person, but making the Lord your client. Every time you work with a client, treat them as though it was Jesus and do it by faith because God will be working through those people to connect you to His divine appointments.

Tell me, were you as blessed by these powerful truths as I was?

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Because My Daddy Said So…

Ever had to contend with your kid’s reasoning:

Because my daddy (or mommy) said so?

As Princess Z continues to transition from toddler to “big girl” (because she’s no longer a “little girl”), her reasoning powers and surprisingly logical arguments keep me on my toes.

I find myself having to focus more on hearing and listening to what she says because tuning out the loudness doesn’t cut it anymore. When I don’t pay attention, I find myself in precarious situations having to explain a comment or promise I made while not listening—anything I say can and will be used against me!

In comes the “because my daddy said so” reasoning. Princess Z is fast realizing that she can pitch her arguments better when she uses daddy’s word as evidence to back up a need (because to her, everything is a need not a want).

So when she needs to watch TV, play iPad, go for a walk at bedtime, eat ice cream, not sleep…she’ll throw in “because my daddy said,” hoping that this justifies her need. And I can’t always say no; I have to choose my battles carefully, otherwise I’ll be constantly arguing; toddler kids are relentless!

All in all, this drives home the importance of being consistent as parents and keeping a united front. The kid is watching and listening and will use what we say against us!

Is your kid outsmarting you?

Stop, Think, and Act: Teaching Kids About Emotional Intelligence

It’s never too early to teach children how to manage their emotions. A large and growing body of research demonstrates that emotional intelligence is associated with positive outcomes in children beginning as early as preschool.

According to Daniel Goleman, author of the best-selling book Emotional Intelligence:

Emotional intelligence is a different way of being smart. It includes knowing what your feelings are and using your feelings to make good decisions in life. It’s being able to manage distressing moods well and control impulses. It’s being motivated and remaining hopeful and optimistic when you have setbacks in working toward goals. It’s empathy; knowing what the people around you are feeling. And it’s social skill—getting along well with other people, managing emotions in relationships, being able to persuade or lead others.

Increasing Emotional Literacy

A big aspect of emotional intelligence is teaching kids how to appropriately identify and label their emotions. By developing and expanding their emotional literacy (vocabulary), children can adequately focus on discovering and defending their true selves. And we know that confident children are less easily swayed by negative peer pressure influences.

With bullying and hate speech rampant in our society, we must teach our children how to nurture their inner voice. Identity is so crucial to a prosperous and healthy soul; personally, I don’t want society defining who or what my child is or will become.

The Stoplight Technique for Impulse Control

There are numerous techniques for cultivating a culture or environment of healthy emotional responses in children. One such technique called “The Stoplight” teaches kids about impulse control and how to respond when distressed, upset, or facing a problem.

The Stoplight offers children concrete steps for dealing with challenging situations:

Red light—Stop!
Calm down and think before you act

Yellow light—Think!
Say the problem and how you feel
Set a positive goal
Think of lots of solutions
Think ahead to the consequences

Green light—Act!
Go ahead and try the best plan

I’ll be sure to implement this strategy next time my daughter acts up or is in distress.

I Feel Way Up Blessed

My Princess Z gifted me with this gorgeous flower straight from her imagination. To some, it may appear simplistic; to me, it’s symbolic of her compassion and maturity.

She knows I love flowers, so this is her way of telling me she sees and values me. I feel blessed, wayyy up blessed.

Princess Flower

#Blessed #WayUpBlessed

365 Moments (D4): I’ve Never Been So Excited to See Poop!

Baby pooping

Don’t worry, I’ll spare you the actual poopy pile

The transition to solid foods hasn’t been easy for my Prince. He’s been plagued with constipation ever since beginning solids a few weeks ago. We’ve kept his nutrition pretty basic, offering fibre-rich veggies, fruit, and water, yet his digestive system remains somewhat sluggish.

Constipation sucks.

Especially in a frustrated lethargic infant. We’ve tried the usual tricks: leg raises, water, food holiday, but after 2.5 days, nothing.

Under doctor’s advisement, we gave our Prince diluted prune juice and waited for the tract-cleansing powers to kick in.

Hallelujah, after a few hours of stinky false-alarm farts, my baby boy pooped, a big ol healthy poo. You could immediately see the relief on his face followed by voracious hunger.

We accomplished sh!t today and it was a glorious.


This post is part of an ongoing series: Quick Tips for Creating a 365-day Motivation Guide

365 Moments (D2): Writing Numbers is as Easy as 1-2-3

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Princess Z learning to write numbers

It’s so lovely to watch Princess Z get excited about learning new things.

Whenever we learn—because learning is as much about her as it is about me—I try to create a fun, safe, and non confrontational environment. My daughter is super hard on herself, so I’m quick to reassure her that it’s okay to make mistakes.

Today we practiced writing numbers. I wasn’t sure how she’d respond to the challenge, but boy was I impressed by her willingness to learn. It took her about 30 minutes to confidently write 1-2-3-4. What a superstar! This was definitely a magic moment for both of us.

I was reminded once again that the minds of children are like “little sponges” that soak up knowledge. I have to be way more intentional about the time we spend together so that she effectively capitalizes on this beautiful season of rapid neuronal development. #ProudMama #MyDaughterIsAwesome

That Moment When Your Child Outsmarts You

Truly, it’s got to be a privilege to watch children grow and mature before your eyes.

My 4-year-old Princess continues to astonish me with her wit and emotional intellect. She really knows how to navigate tense situations, even when I’m downright mad at her. Take this situation for example:

  • After rough handling her little brother, I disciplined Princess Z with a time out. Sensing that I was unhappy with her behavior, Princess Z decided to win me over using her armamentarium of mommy tools: crayons and coloring sheets. I watched her transform Peppa Pig from a white empty shell into a bold colorful life force, a process she calls “change the colors.”

Once she was satisfied, this is what she presented to me along with an innocent charming question, “Mommy are you happy now?

Peppa pig

Mommy are you happy now?

My heart MELTED.

Even though her actions were one part manipulation, one part intellect, and one part me being a total sucker for her charm, I couldn’t help but smile loudly. She knows me better than I realized. It’s commendable that this smartly colored Peppa Pig could overturn my mood so quickly.

Kids really do say the darndest things. What’s been a proud or witty moment with your child?

Does This Racist Drawing by Dr. Seuss Taint his Literary Genius?

Think Dr. Seuss and immediately beloved children’s author comes to mind.

  • Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Green Eggs and Ham. The Cat in the Hat. One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. Hop on Pop. Fox in Socks. And the list goes on….

Until now, I would never have associated prejudice or racism with this beloved author. However, in a 1929 cartoon, Dr. Seuss depicted Black people for sale with a racist sign in the background stating, “Take home a high-grade n****r for your woodpile. Satisfaction guaranteed.”

Racist-dr-seuss

Turns out that Dr. Seuss created several offensive cartoons early in his career. Then, in the late 1940s, he began to atone for his former views by producing numerous anti-racism illustrations.

Therefore, when you consider Dr. Seuss’ work in totality, I believe that his legacy speaks volumes about the power of the human spirit to change, evolve, and soar.

The thing is, we are the products of our cultural upbringing and heritage. Most of the bigotry in Dr. Seuss’ generation was passed down from previous generations. Therefore, the creator of this racist cartoon is not the same evolved man who created such endearing and lovable characters that have since blessed numerous generations.

The lesson from this story is that people can change. Ignorance can be overcome. Our past does not have to define our future. Isn’t this the message of hope embodied by the human spirit?

My family owns many of Dr. Seuss’ books and we often read them together. This cartoon certainly hasn’t destroyed my appreciation for his literary legacy.

Do you think this racist cartoon will damage Dr. Seuss’ legacy? Does it change your impression of him? 

Quit Being Beige

The Day the Crayons Quit

Beige Crayon from The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt

If you haven’t yet purchased The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt for your avid reader, I highly recommend it. Not only is this book fun and engaging, it is a wonderful tool for discussing feelings and emotions with your little ones. Children are never too young to learn about emotional intelligence.

You see, my 4-year-old Princess Z had become accustomed to assuming the posture depicted by Beige Crayon whenever she felt sulky, sad, or ignored. I tried numerous tricks to snap her out of this mopey picture of negativity that was often accompanied by sighs, huffs, and ughs, but nothing worked.

So you can imagine my excitement the first time I read The Day the Crayons Quit to her and came across Beige Crayon, her sulky comrade.

Me: Hey look. Do you want to be like Beige Crayon? Mopey and sad?
Princess Z: I don’t like Beige I like Pink.
Me: Okay, if you don’t want me to call you Beige, then you have to stop sulking.
Princess Z: I don’t like Beige. I like happy.

And that was it! These days, whenever I catch her stooping her shoulders and moping, I simply call her “Beige,” and she snaps out of it immediately.

I love books. Such great teachers.

LEGO vs Mega Bloks? Who Reigns Supreme?

LEGO vs Mega BloksInevitably, there comes a time when every parent has to make difficult choices: LEGO vs Mega Bloks? Kind of like iPhone vs android.

My Princess loves her building blocks. She’s been telling stories using creative bricks since she was one. So which brand of construction set does one choose for the avid builder?

Growing up, I was exposed to LEGO, so that’s all I knew until moving to Montreal where the headquarters of Mega Bloks is located. For this reason I do like Mega Bloks; I can’t help but support Canadian business.

Though Mega Bloks are generally cheaper, LEGO still wins in our household for the following reasons:

  1. Compared to Mega Bloks, LEGO offers my daughter better maneuverability and stickability; the LEGO bricks stick together better making her less frustrated during play.
  2. In my opinion, the plastic quality of LEGO is superior to Mega Bloks. With time, I find that Mega Bloks lose their “clutch power” and don’t hold well together.
  3. I love that the recommended age group for classic LEGO creative bricks is 1 to 99 years—genius advertising! The whole family can play along.
  4. LEGO bricks are durable. LEGO made 50 years ago still works perfectly with bricks made yesterday.
  5. The LEGO community offers online design and ideas; you feel like you belong to something.

Who wins in your household? Which brand do your kids prefer to build with? What’s the difference between the two construction sets?