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Each child is so different in personality, temperament, and learning style, that to plan to use one method for all is ridiculous. I had one child that all you had to do was look harshly at him and he would burst into tears and never commit the act again. I had another that in a battle of wills, won, when I was afraid to punish him again for fear of actually causing him harm. (And is now married with a daughter who appears to have the same dominate will, HA!)

Thus, through trial and error and the reading, listening, and questioning of those parents who have weathered successfully, the stormy side of parenting, I have learned several important concepts.

"The anxieties in our lives relate to the sand passing through the hourglass. Man is the only time-conscious creature. Man alone can recall the accumulation of his past in such a way that it bears heavily on the present moment.

Man is also the only creature who can bring the future into the present in such a manner as to imagine it as if it were happening now. And because man can bring the past to the present with his memory, and his future to the present with his imagination, he can also bring unhappiness to his life through excessive dwelling on past failures and an overindulgence in the prospects of future failures”. (Burden 21)

This is so true, especially in parenting. You yell at your child and punish him, and then find out he was innocent. Other episodes and failures undermine your example; it is easy to give up or slacken the bit, believing that it is too late or not worth the effort anyway.

But in parenting, a positive self-image and the ability to separate failure to be perfect from one's daily character are imperative.

Never give up; wise words during a war, but even wiser to the parent who is battle weary.(As I am, turning fifty this year !#$ and thinking of how many years I still have to have teens in the house....oh...did I say that aloud? Of course, my six year old daughter reassures me that she will NOT be like her older, 17 year-old sister and that she will let Papi and I choose her husband...)

The 90/10 Principle

The 90/10 PrincipleWhat is this Principle?10% of life is made up of what happens to you90% of life is decided by how you reactWhat does this mean? We really have NO control over 10% of w...

Remember that all discipline should lead to self-mastery, and that after you discipline, you need to afterwards show increased love...

Watch this video: Is your child one that one give a hug or walk by? Children learn by example...give more hugs!

Free Hugs Campaign - Official Page (music by Sick )

Download the "Free Hugs" soundtrack here: Sick Puppies New Album Tri-Polar Available Now! Get your "Free Hugs" t-shirts here:

Toward the end of my

first pregnancy,

I had told my


of all my

wonderful plans for

disciplining my future

children. She just sat

there and nodded her

head knowingly and


Now after having had

nine children

I do the same.

Teaching values through discipline is perhaps the most challenging, and yet at the same time, the most rewarding of the parenting aspects.

It is the most challenging because you are working with a child whose perception is changing constantly.

You are traveling on a road where you have never been, you are at the whims of the child's personality, and you feel alone, against the forces of today's world.

These same challenges, when overcome, become the rewards to the parent.

As you work with your children, they become your friends (though it might not be till they're married)and you and they learn to respect all types of people.

Teaching and being an example opens new vistas and opportunities, and adapting to each other's differences, teaches patience and perseverance.

Sometimes, it is better to walk

away from a situation, but

other times it is better to

confront it and try to turn it

into a teaching moment.

Wisdom is knowing

what to do...




is hard to come by.

One of the greatest gifts we

can give our children is to help them become masters of

themselves and the virtue of

patience is paramount!

The dilemma I see in our

society today is many parents

think THEYare to have the

patience and put up with a

self-centered, whinny,

spoiled brat.

Au contraire! You teach your

child patience by


immediate gratification.

Teaching them to sit politely,

wait to be spoken to, serve

others first, etc.

Tell your child that you would

not be a good mommy if you

buy him the toy and that he

has to wait until the 10th visit

to the store with you, and

then, and only if he has been

patient and polite...will you buy him the toy.

Use this scenario over and over

again. Teach them to wait until they have saved the money.

Allow others to go in front of

you at the check out line.

Help someone out while waiting in the doctor's office. As you

are an example of

graciousness. Waiting


your child will learn.

Let me share a secret, too.

Children, behave better when

they receive less material


The more they receive


the harder it is to get them to


(Adults are the same...

when we receive

something for nothing

we tend to become

more selfish.

However, when we have to

EARN what we recieve...

we value it more.....)

SO--Make your child

EARN what they receive...

and "EARN" (By practicing)


Values must be lived and displayed, not just preached. In our home if an article, movie, TV show, and so forth, is inappropriate for the children, then it is considered inappropriate for the parents.

Values are practiced daily through the disciplines of service, reading the word of God, prayer, church attendance, obedience, restitution, and love. Nagging, threats, negative comments, coercion, and so on are not aspects of a disciplined person, and therefore are eliminated (an ongoing, never ending they keep creeping back in).

Someone once said that your children will reflect your values so make sure they are virtuous one and not negative ones. Parents too, tend to tolerate many negative aspects of their children, believing that they will out grow them or in time they will learn to choose the correct way, but we believe that true discipline is of oneself and that it is made up of hundreds of habits that are usually formed in childhood.

As home administrator's, our task therefore, is to instill virtuous habits in our children while very young, so that they may carry these traits into adulthood and achieve true discipline. Hence, true discipline is that of a disciple, not a form of punishment.

OKAY This was for some of the PRACTICAL.


An empty pitcher cannot pour water.

First of all, we must be filling up our own pitcher. We do this by taking care of ourselves, but not in a selfish way: time pondering, exercise, making ourselves healthy and beautiful, time to learn, and so forth.

Secondly, we work on our marriage and yes, marriage comes before the children (in a healthy, unselfish way). Why?

Because NOT taking care of one’s marriage will lead to no marriage, and we all know the statistics of single or divorced homes- the children are lost.

I see this all the time as I work with those struggling through life.

We need to have strong marriages to protect, guard, teach, model, and raise our children.

Now as we come close to the special day each year when we think about our loved ones and how we can show them an expression of love, I want to show some of the things my husband and I have done to improve our relationship to become closer to each other, and to have a unified front- in front of the children.

One of the things that I have done through the 29 year of our marriage is to write notes/cards/letters.

Of course, being a writer, I love the written word. But more than that-it is powerful.

And when it is written down, the individual can keep those words and messages and reread them again and again.

I have cleaned many of children’s rooms through the years and have observed that they keep the notes and cards that I have given them.

It is my hope that at those times when they feel depressed, ugly, unwanted, unappreciated, and so on, that they can read one of those notes and that they can remember just how much I love them.

That they can be reminded of their talents, their greatness, their potential.

I believe, too, that our spouses are the same as our children. That they, too, need words and messages that are uplifting, encouraging, and full of gratitude for all the many small and great acts that they have done for us.

I have a drawer in my office and it has cards in it. It is fun! I read them, treasure them. Cards, loving cards, thank you cards, thoughtful cards.

Sometimes I don’t use a card, I just write a letter, a poem.

Sometimes I make a homemade card- maybe silly, princessy, a robot loving, whatever is needed.

When there has been a misunderstanding, conflict, or contention, it is hard to come together again in unity.

A letter giving reasons to rejoice- feelings of gratitude- why I love that child/spouse. Why they are important to the family. Why I am glad they came to our family.I try to share the potential I see in them and the confidence I have in their abilities.

Positive loving words done in sincerity are:

extremely healing,

profoundly uniting,


powerful reminders.

Letters also allow the author to take the time to clear up any misunderstandings. Sometimes when we are talking to each other and things get tense it becomes almost impossible to go back and clear up what was said.

However, when we take the time to write our thoughts and feelings down in a letter it allows us to phase things in such a way to dissolve the misunderstanding or to clarify what we really meant.

Too, when you are really angry or frustrated, write down all those feelings and thoughts.

Wait 24-48 hours then read it again.Usually, you will find that your anger was justified (sometimes not) but that in the past 2 days it somehow just doesn’t seem as pertinent or as stressful as it did in that moment.

I then tear up that letter, throw it away, and at the same time throw away those poisonous thoughts.I mentioned earlier that I sometimes make hand-made notes.

One fun thing to do that quickly brings a joy and unity to the home is to include the children in the note writing/complimenting/looking for the good in each other.

Below is a list of some of the things we have done that help family members show love to each other and bring unity:

1). Take pink, red, and white paper and make simple Valentines. Then have the children (one by one if you want to do it secretly) write positive notes to each sibling and parent.

Then go around the house and hide the notes in places where that particular individual can find the notes at random times: in a shoe, in a drawer, a pocket, on a pillow, by a clock, etc.

2). A fun addition to this is to put a trail of candy on the floor leading to the note.

We also at times have written fun little poems or riddles that lead from one hiding place to another. At the end of the “Treasure Hunt” is a treat for the family.

3). You can also tuck small appreciative or romantic notes into a husband’s/child’s lunch, binder, shoe, drawer, i-pad, shirt pocket, and so on.

4). Another thing we do is secret pals. At a family council, have each member choose a name from a bowl! Then help each child do special things for their “secret pal”.

This comes more naturally to some children than to others.

Some don’t need mom’s help at all; others need lots of prodding.

5). I write poems... (and getting ready to put them on my website).

Sometimes we write a poem together or we try to write a song (even more fun). Poems are such a wonderful way to express your love for your spouse.

Some of my poems were romantic, others were about everyday things, some were just about simple small things such as my husband playing “Piggies” on the babies feet and how much love I felt for him when I saw him play with the children.

I still feel those same stirrings of love as I watch him hold and play with our grandchildren.

BUT- what will happen to our message if I never tell him about those feelings; or even worse- if I don’t notice or appreciate all that he does. This is especially important when a child or a spouse disappoints us or has problems.

This is when we must look even harder to see the good in them, acknowledge it and EXPRESS GRATITUDE, SERVE THEM and continue to WORK HARD to build a family of love, respect, and commitment.

As we do and create small acts of love, mercy, and service we build harmony and bind each person together- as a couple and as a family.

May each of us be blessed to know how to best minister to our family, to find small ways to show love, and to bring joy to our home.

(These same principles work in the workplace, but in a more professional manner).

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