The “D” Word (Part 2)

Parents, we are responsible for SO MUCH that happens with our kids, often more than we want to admit. Right?! For instance, it is really easy to take credit for the kid who gets good grades or the one who knows how to tie their shoes at 3 years old. It’s not so easy to take credit for the child with a short temper or the one who lets an ‘oops word’ slip (we have no idea where she got that from!). Looking back to the last post (The “D” Word Part 1), we want our kids to be good, mature, functioning members of society. Let’s face it, a child with a very short fuse or one who just...
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The ‘D’ word (Part 1)

Ready for a test? Which of these words is negative: warmth, laughter, discipline, love? Answer: none. None of them are negative. It’s okay . . . most of us make this face and have those thoughts running through our heads when we read that. Maybe you grew up in a home where discipline was done in a loving manner, or maybe your background brings some painful memories of discipline. Whatever your upbringing, we need to make sure that we are not thinking of the ‘D’ word as a bad one. Say it with me: “Discipline. Discipline. Discipline.” Now, that wasn’t so hard was it? The...
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Quiz Time

In case you haven’t heard yet, Des Moines First has gone through a big ol’ overhaul of the Children’s Ministry. After months of the 3 P’s (which surprisingly have nothing to do with potty training) — planning, prepping and praying — we have FINALLY introduced our new approach to children’s ministry and equipping you to make the most of the time you have with your kids. We want to get these kids right where they are at, and  MAKE IT STICK! (Note the rather larger “Orange” graphic below, then see www.whatisorange.org.) If you haven’t already, make sure to...
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Just Do It

If you’ve ever spent time with a child (which we can assume you have done), you soon find out that it can get pretty draining. Let’s be real: Hanging out with a kid is like taking a trip to an amusement park — overwhelming and fun all wrapped in one package. Something is so cool the way kids receive the time you spend with them — they always appreciate it. It seems that just the little bit you can give, goes a VERY long way. The sacrifice you make to spend with a child, will make a difference not only to day, but in the years to come. Growing up, most of us had chores. Some...
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Gifts

A kid’s room can sometimes be a hot mess — stuffed animals strewn all over the floor with oodles of lovely toys from their caring grandparents and other family members. You may start to think a trip Goodwill be in your future. As you help clean up that crazy mess, your child lets you know there is absolutely NO WAY he is giving up that Raggedy Andy doll that his grandma brought him all the way from Wisconsin (even though he isn’t playing with it . . . ever.) Giving and receiving gifts can be a very powerful expression of love. In fact, most of us (if not all of us) really enjoy getting...
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Tick-Tock

“Let’s go play!” Silence. “HEY, MOM! Let’s go play!” You can’t do that. Not right now. You are finishing up with balancing the check book, the macaroni noodle water has spilled over TWICE already and you need to make a phone call into the doctor to schedule the kids’ next appointments. “Mom… can we go play?!” You’ve already told her three times, “not yet.” Frankly, you’re ready to dig your eardrums out of your head so that you don’t have to hear it again. And here it comes, the big one, the fighting words, and the worst sound in the world at a time like this. “Mooooommm…!!!”...
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Words

As you brought home a sweet little bundle from the hospital, you might have been wondering two things: 1. Where are all of those noises coming from? 2. How am I not going to screw this parenting thing up? Think back to that first gummy smile. Those sweet baby eyes and chubby little cheeks looking up at you as you make baby talk small talk. Then, out of nowhere, “THAT’S IT! I think . . . maybe its gas? Nope. THAT is a genuine smile!” Little did you know, you had just completed the first step in the adventure through the Words of Affirmation love language! Long before children understand...
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Poke

Remember, earlier, when we talked about the little one who always manages to get their sticky prints all over your pants just as you’re walking out the door to go to work? Or, maybe you can relate to the child who is ALWAYS wrestling or hitting — maybe they are doing it in good fun, or maybe it’s kind of starting to get on your nerves a little bit. The phone calls from school get tiring and you just can’t understand why in the world your child can’t keep his hands to himself. This brings us to our very first love language, physical touch. It is important to keep...
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Surviving a Case of the Mondays

If you have been following these blogs the last two weeks, you might be thinking, “You’re kidding right?! This all sounds almost unachievable.” Life is crazy and it’s definitely not always easy to keep your cool when the kids are interrupting your work or putting gum in each others’ hair. How can we be expected to keep all this ‘emotional tank’ stuff in mind when lego towers are crumbling at our feet? Here’s the deal: WE ARE HUMAN! We are not fully capable of unconditional love. BUT, we can strive to offer that to our kids. We aren’t God and we never will be. We can,...
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Filling the Tank

Picture yourself sitting at the dinner table. As you look around, you see little faces that are rapidly growing into strange creatures . . . creatures that you might not recognize in five years (hello, teen years!). Time flies. Those little lives are your blessing, and each of those kids has a love language and an emotional tank. What are these ‘emotional tanks,’ you ask? Great question! Let’s talk about it: These emotional tanks are really important — like a car’s gas tank. If that tank is empty, you’re not going anywhere. No matter how much you scold or coax, that car is just...
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