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Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is your home a house of horrors?

We can teach our children without being mean or critical. No one learns when being nagged or yelled at.

Let's take a cue from the educational system. In it's beginning teachers were known for walking around a classroom with a ruler in hand ready to snap the knuckles of an unruly child.

If you gave the wrong answer....snap - snap

Not paying attention....snap - snap

Talking to a friend....snap - snap

Can't recite....snap - snap

We are wiser now. Walk into a present day classroom and you feel like you are entering another world. Colorful pictures and posters walk around the wall. Different play stations lay in wait calling to each child to come play math games, word games and science experiments.

Parents are responsible for training. There are a multitude of daily instructions we need to give our children as we train them to take care of hygiene and chores. Until they unconsciously do the normal things we require, we feel compelled to remind, fuss, point out and demand. In our frustrated busy lives we often add criticism to the list.

When our child begins to rebel because of the constant barrage of insults and instructions, most parents step it up a notch until the problems escalate into a real war.

Take a tip from the educational system. Make your home a place of fun games. Find ways to take your most difficult issues and transform them into pleasant adventures. The first one to the breakfast table with a completed list receives a bonus in his allowance or a special cup to drink out of. Write and sing a song about clean hands, nails, faces and teeth. Sing it with your child to check to see that the job is done and of course, end the song with a tickle under the arms.

See how many chores you can turn into a game and watch your family go from a house of horrors to a fun ride at Disney World.

God loves you,


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