Author: Parent Cue

New Years Resolution: Self Control

So you’ve stuffed yourself full of black-eyed peas, cabbage, and fish. You’re bound and determined to solve all the world’s problems this year… or at least lose five pounds. You promise your family and friends to be around more. You have a detailed plan to get out of debt in the next twelve months. You’re making grand plans to volunteer more, get organized, maybe learn a new language. But what happens when someone brings fresh doughnuts to the office? When you find an incredible deal for that flat screen you’ve had your eye on? When you get hooked on a new reality TV show? At Studio252 this month, we are going to talk about the very thing that can make your New Year’s resolutions more than just a great idea—self-control. We define self-control as simply choosing to do what you should do not what you want to do. So what’s fun about that?? Well, get your family together for some of these activities and find out just how fun learning about self-control can be! Watch as the studio252 team learns a very important lesson about just how important self-control can be! Practice self-control by playing a classic game of Simon Says. Bake a batch of cookies together—without eating all the dough! Let your kids show off their self-control skills by pushing the cart next time you’re at the store!...

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Making Christmas Better

by Mike Jeffries I’m writing this post from the Latin American nation of Nicaragua where, over the past few days, we’ve had an interesting international experiment in global generosity from the perspective of five young children. Three families decided one of the best Christmas gifts would be to take their kids to work among other children in the this second-poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. (The average income in Nicaragua is less than $200 a month.) One of the dads is a cardiologist who brought his seven-year-old son. He met his wife here on a mission trip when he was in college, so he wanted to show young James where Mom and Dad met. Another one of the dads brought his seven-year-old daughter, Isabel. He’s a news photographer so he and his daughter stood side-by-side, each with their cameras capturing unbelievable images. The third dad has been serving in Iraq and Afghanistan as a pilot in the Air National Guard, but got a week off to spend with his wife and three kids — 10-year-old Jacob, nine-year-old Gabrianna and seven-year-old Zach — and they decided to spend their vacation here in Nicaragua. Each one of these families had the same objective: make their own Christmas better by making Christmas better for someone else. Five kids, and three of them only seven years old. They walked from dirt-floor shack to...

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How to Be Rich

With December here, we don’t have to wonder what our kids are thinking about. They’re making their lists and checking them many more times than twice. It might be a toy car for a child or a first car for a teenager. From Fisher-Price to Ford, there’s something for everyone at every age during this season of giving. As focused as our kids may be on what they’re getting for Christmas, sometimes that makes it even more surprising how much they want to give. The New York Post Office even has an Operation Santa division, where they watch for letters to Santa where kids describe someone in need. Volunteers match donors to the kids’ unselfish requests. The postal service’s Director of Elf Operations expects about two million such letters this Christmas, just in New York alone. Children seem to be the first to notice the homeless man on the street or know about the family with the unemployed dad. They’re wired for generosity, and how we approach the holidays will help determine if they stay that way. In each one of our lives, we have a tendency to move toward a lifestyle of generosity or a lifestyle of greed. Are we wrapped up in ourselves or our things, or do we reflect God’s character by giving freely to others? Kids will see this most clearly when parents and leaders...

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Intentional Influences

Earlier this week, we talked about how important it is to find other trusted adults who will have an influence on your children. We suggested several places to look: educators, people with interesting jobs, extended family members. While it might seem to just make sense that we’d want other voices saying the same thing we as parents are, our research shows that usually this just isn’t a priority. In the State of the Church and Family Report we commissioned with The Barna Group, only a quarter of the parents said they place a high priority on finding other adults to speak into the lives of their children and teens. Of those who do, here are some of the ways: • Connect kids with family members and grandparents • Encourage involvement in church or a youth group • Enroll in extracurricular activities, like sports or Scouts • Participate in community service and volunteerism Unfortunately, even when parents take these actions steps, they don’t go far enough. One-fifth are intentional about family connections. Ten percent actively encourage sports and clubs where coaches and leaders can take mentoring roles. Overall, only five percent articulate the importance of volunteering to help others. Even though many parents responded that they want other adults to positively influence their children, they aren’t intentional about what it takes to make that happen. Interestingly, parents who don’t regularly...

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Share Your Story

by Don Jacobson I didn’t originally want my name on God Makes Lemonade. I even tried putting someone else’s name on the cover, and I tried to squeeze the project into someone else’s story. But it just didn’t work. I was forced to accept that God has put me here intentionally and given me this message of hope to share. You see, I’m a walking, talking lemonade story. I was a happily married twenty-four-year-old who enjoyed a physically demanding job in commercial construction. Then, one winter night, a shooting accident changed everything. I nearly died as I lay for hours in a freezing field. I spent nine agonizing days in critical condition, and nearly a month in the hospital. When I left, things looked bleak, and I could no longer physically provide for my family. Could I still be a good husband and father? It took a while for that lemon to become lemonade, but in the end it was wonderfully sweet. I began to work in publishing, and the shape of my life changed forever, both at my job and at home. Now, twenty-five years later, I see that not being able to work with my hands forced me to work with my head and heart, and both my family and my career became better than I could ever have imagined. My wife, Brenda, and I know that...

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