Parenting Advice From Grandpa

2012-11-23 19.20.37

WWII Veteran Melvin Lagoon with his youngest great-grandson, Enoch. 2012

Here’s some sweet and simple advice from an 89-year old WWII Veteran, and father of four:

“Love ‘em. There’s no need to yell at ’em all the time like they’re a bunch of dumb animals.”

I will use this post as a small tribute to my grandfather. He is a WWII Veteran, a paratrooper, and by God’s grace, a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge. Recently, he was able to travel back to Belgium where he fought for our freedom, representing the men of the 17th Airborne Division.

I have been delighted to tears to see how he has been honored these last couple weeks. You can read all about it on my uncle’s blog who has documented this once-in-a-life-time opportunity. Here’s a ten-minute news clip that tells the story.

My Grandpa’s story challenges me to evaluate the legacy I am leaving for my children. And their children. And their children. The way I choose to live my life today will no doubt affect the people of my family for generations to come.

Will they look back on my life and be blessed by the way I raised their grandpa or grandma? Am I living a life worth emulating 3 generations from now? Am I creating an honorable legacy to pass on to my great-grandchildren?

I think I speak for all of us Lagoon’s when I say I am privileged to be a part of Melvin Lagoon’s family. His service in fighting for America’s freedom, and his dedication to be a good husband and father has enriched my life. And I’m so grateful.

What Do You Allow?

Yellowstone 2011 - Anthony's Pics (31)I often get frustrated and think, “Why are my kids doing this?!” Like when they talk back or argue, talk disrespectfully, or even just jump on the couch. “Don’t they know what they’re doing is not allowed?!” The simple answer is, I’ve allowed it. I let them do it once, or a few times. I’ve allowed it. I let them do it with no consequence whatsoever. In my mind it’s definitely against the rules, but according to my actions, it’s totally permissible.

Before I freak out, I need to reign it in, and think through if I’ve actually taught them not to do that. If I haven’t taken the time to discipline that sort of behavior, then now’s the time to begin.

If I silently disapprove of a behavior for too long, eventually I will explode, resulting in mean-mommy guilt, and a confused and hurt child. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of our children’s behavior. Stay engaged and on top of the situation at hand. Manage the misbehavior as it comes, so that you can constantly be at peace with your child, or presently working towards it.

Apologizing To Your Kids

IMG_2950You were a total jerk to your kids. Even though they were getting out of hand, you lost your temper and took it out on them. No wait- that was me. Who knew I had such a problem with anger? Like Jim Bob Duggar says, “I never had an anger problem before I had kids!”

When you find yourself suffering from mean mommy guilt, the best thing to do is go and apologize to your kids. Take the chance that they might not learn their lesson. They just might learn an even more important one from hearing you apologize: repentance.

We first repent to God, and then the victim of our sin- our children. It takes humility to apologize to such small people who are under our authority. But your apology is powerful. It can heal, and win their little hearts. And that’s what we want, isn’t it? We want to win their hearts so our influence carries weight.

Repentance is the basic building of block of Christianity. Martin Luther believed that the entire life of the Christian should be one of repentance. Tim Kellar states, “It is the way we make progress in the Christian life.” Your kids already know you’re not perfect. So don’t worry about losing ground that you never really had. Show them how to deal with failure by submitting to Jesus, and embracing forgiveness. I pray you hear similar words that I often hear from my little Jane, “Mommy, I will always forgive you!”

For godly sorrow produces repentance [leading] to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. 2 Corinthians 7:10

A Child With Self-Discipline

034 (2)“Some parents try to give their children an easier life than they had or they try to make their children feel good at the expense of good character. Unfortunately, this often translates into more freedom and less self-control. A wise parent will use childhood to prepare a child for success as an adult. Self discipline is one of the most important character qualities a child can develop. Ironically, spoiled children are not happy; self disciplined children often are!”

This excerpt was taken from an article on helping your child develop self-discipline

A Poem For Uptight Mothers Like Me

LOVE

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, but have not love- I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing, and decorative achievements, but have not love- my children learn of cleanliness, not godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child’s laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints in a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up the spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love is present through trials.
Love reprimands, reproves, and is responsive.
As a mother there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is… LOVE.

A Love That Multiplies, by Michelle & Jim Bob Duggar

The Opportunity To Sin

IMG_3323One of the most effective strategies of training my children to behave is by allowing them the opportunity to sin.

Especially when I’m busy, I find myself correcting my children, and then taking away their opportunity to sin. “Don’t touch this!” I say, then I take it away and set it on top of the shelf where they couldn’t touch it if they wanted to. It’s immediately convenient for me because I don’t want to have to deal with their disobedience. However, I’m also taking away their opportunity to practice obedience.

When I’m focused on getting stuff done, I remove my children from situations where they can get into mischief. When I’m focused on training them to obey, I let the opportunity for mischief stare them in the face. Because an opportunity to sin is an opportunity to obey. 

As my toddler attempts to topple my pile of freshly folded laundry, I tell him, “Don’t touch…” I don’t redirect his attention. And I don’t remove his temptation to destroy my hard work. I leave it all there right in front of him and wait to see what he will do. He ignores my warning and grabs the pile. He then receives the reproof- a spank on the  hand. I remind him, “Don’t touch…” and I wait. I wait to see if he’ll obey. He goes for my folded pile again, and I spank his hand a second time- a little harder. I’m ready to discipline disobedience, and ready to praise obedience. Each time he grabs the forbidden pile of laundry, he gets spanked. It’s not even about keeping my stuff orderly or completing my tasks anymore. This moment is all about training him to be a good boy, so even if it all ends with laundry strewn about, it’s worth it. Finally, he submits. He sits back in his new-found self-discipline, and leaves my laundry alone. Whew! 

There was no anger. No drama. Just training. Training them to obey by allowing them opportunities to sin.

And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” Genesis 2:16

Six Benefits Of Quiet Time

IMG_8463I once heard a mother of 8 talk about how surprised we’d all be at how quiet her house is. Every day they had a quiet time where everyone went to their rooms and were to read and be quiet for a specific amount of time. Once my kids were growing out of the dependency of infancy, I started to enforce a quiet time, too. The more kids I had, the more vital Quiet Time became! We have Quiet Time virtually every day. After a playtime in the afternoon, all the children go to their beds. The littlest ones will nap, while the older ones will read or play quietly. And now, I thank Jesus for Quiet Time, because it’s such a refreshing time of the day!

  1. RESTED MAMA.It gives you a chance to rest! As as a stay-at-home mom, you are on-call 24/7. Any other on-call job will pay you double, while letting you rest until they need you. Don’t feel guilty about taking a nap in the afternoon to get energized. It may take that edge off and allow you to wake up with a little more patience.
  2. SILENCE. It gives you a moment to catch your breath. Drink in that quiet! Even if you’re working during quiet time, you will feel refreshed by that wonderful, giving silence.
  3. TACKLE A PROJECT. It gives you a chance to do that one thing that just can’t be done around the little guys. Do you need to take chemicals out to finish a project or clean the bathroom? Maybe you need to have your thoughts to yourself to read a book, do your devo’s, or write an email.
  4. RESTED CHILDREN. It encourages your tired children to sleep. Everyone knows that tired children are cranky children. Some preschool age children may be phasing out of nap time. If they have quiet time, they have an opportunity to rest or fall asleep if they need to. This usually results in happy, rejuvenated children before dinnertime!
  5. READING. It encourages reading! We all know that reading is a “smart” hobby to form. After all, readers are leaders. I give my preschool and kindergarten-aged children a stack of books and tell them they need to read for the first hour of quiet time. After that, they may draw, color, or play with a couple toys for the remainder of the time.
  6. EXERCISED IMAGINATIONS. It encourages quiet self-entertaining play. For the second hour of quiet time, I usually let my children play with a toy, color, or draw in bed. Whatever it is, they need to be quiet about it. I usually steer away from any sort of media/electronics during this time since I’m aiming to help them exercise their imagination, and increase their ability to self-entertain.