Author: Parent Cue

Patience = Money in the Bank

By Terry Scalzitti Some friends of mine recently told me they were at their wit’s end. They had two children who—in their words—were “driving them crazy.” Since they didn’t think that destination would change anytime soon, they asked for some practical ways to improve their patience with their kids. Should they count to ten?  Should they walk out of the room? While those might seem like a few good go-to options for most parents, they’re can actually be counterproductive. My friends were puzzled by my response. I told them that patience is a lot like “capital.”  Much like money in the bank, we all have different amounts of Patience Capital or “PC” in our banks. From time to time, our children will make a withdrawal from our banks. When our accounts run dry, we typically say things like “I’m running out of patience” or “I’m trying to be patient with you.”  In these moments, we’re actually on overdraft protection mode! The reality is that we all must take some steps to re-build our PC accounts. Here are a few ways to grow your PC accounts so that you won’t bankrupt your patience! 1. Spend consistent quality time with your children. Many times, our children make their greatest withdrawal from our PC accounts when they want our attention. Spending intentional time after work or on the weekends with your children...

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Raising Ragamuffins

By Sarah Anderson This past Friday, April 12, 2013, Brennan Manning, someone many would consider a giant of the faith, passed away. I first came across Brennan Manning’s writing in high school. I checked out a book of his from the church library, because it had the word “ragamuffin” in the title—a word I’d never heard of, and an author I’d never heard of. On the way out, I ran into our pastor who asked what I had decided on. “The Ragamuffin Gospel, by Brennan Manning,” I answered. “Ah,” he nodded with—how I remember it—a bit of a twinkle in his eye. “Some would consider him a bit of a heretic.” He smiled, and went on his way. And me? I was more intrigued than ever. I never returned The Ragamuffin Gospel to my church library. (In fact, I probably owe them a good bit of money from that unreturned book) But I couldn’t bear to let it go. It was the first book that once I finished, I immediately started reading all over again. I couldn’t get enough. For me, Brennan Manning’s The Ragamuffin Gospel is a stone of remembrance, marking a time when God showed Himself to me in a way I never anticipated but so badly needed. Manning’s vulnerable words drew an image of God that haunted me. Pulled me in. Allowed me to fall in...

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Innocent Little Liars

Your cute innocent little children have deceived you. They are not who they appear to be! If you haven’t already caught them in a lie, chances are you will. And more than once—as toddlers, as young children, and as teenagers. At first you might want to try to suppress laughter as you watch them unknowingly betray themselves. They’ll tell you they didn’t eat the chocolate cake that is smeared all over their face. They’ll try to persuade you they brushed their teeth, but not let you smell their breath. They’ll say they found that trinket in the parking lot,...

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Falling Short

My husband and I are short people. We knew long before each of our boys was born they didn’t stand a chance. Height was not in the cards. Several months ago the county fair was in town, so on opening night we headed out with our family and some friends to experience what only a county fair can offer—shockingly greasy food and highly entertaining people watching. Once there, my 3-year old set his sights on one ride he was determined to experience. And when it was his turn to hop on the ½ mile an hour train going in one painstakingly small circle, he was told he didn’t make the cut. Too short. To my surprise, he didn’t seem too heartbroken. But I was. And in hopes to avoid what could easily lead to an emotional upheaval—in me more than my son—my husband quickly navigated our family to the games instead. There we were robbed blind—but at least spared more disappointment. Disaster avoided. And then about a week ago, out of the blue, my son, Asher, asked me, “Remember when we went to the fair? And I didn’t go on any rides? I was too little.” Just like that, the wound was fresh again. It was the first time Asher indicated that the pain from a previous experience had been internalized—and remembered. He may have been quick to hide...

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Discover Your Family's Rhythm

A couple once shared with me that they had no balance in their lives. Their home seemed like a battlefield filled with daily conflicts. Their children were frustrated and discontent most of the time. As a husband and wife, they felt like they couldn’t find margin in their lives to do the things necessary to make their marriage and home life better. Frustrated and in tears, they said they couldn’t find peace in the midst of the chaos, and they were about to give up. After a little more discussion, I asked them if they had any sort of routine in their daily or weekly schedule. The wife responded to me quickly that she had grown up in a very structured home, and now she absolutely did not believe in sticking to any type of schedule. Many couples run from routines and schedules because of a bad experience growing up in environments where they were rigidly enforced. The truth is, a routine or schedule is not a bad thing. But like most things, if not done with moderation, a routine or schedule can be a nightmare on children and their parents. In the book “Parenting Beyond Your Capacity,” Reggie Joiner unpacks the concept of every family developing their own “rhythm.” While routine and structure might be built on a clock or sequence, a rhythm is based upon the unique...

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