Monday, September 18, 2006

Hurrah For Grandparents

HURRAH FOR GRANDPARENTS By Dr. James F. Hubbard, Associate Professor of Psychology (Ret) UNC Pembroke, North Carolina
Over a period of twelve years in my Introductory Psychology classes we conducted surveys about the meaningful relationships of children as they grow and develop. High on the list were grandparents. I want to share these findings with grandparents of today. It should give them positive feelings about their role in children's lives.When they were small they have fond memories of their grandparents as playmates. They played outdoor games with them. They also played exciting parlor games with them which were much preferred to TV programs.. They remember grandmother's art materials. They remember making cookies and decorating them. These little ones had a special memory of visiting their grandparents when there was a new baby in their home. They felt on the edge of things at home but at the very center at their grandparents. They remembered some special trips to the zoo and theme parks. So many of them were introduced to fishing and hiking even with campouts and cookouts. Most of all they remembered how their grandparents treated them. They were not bossed or pushed. They really didn't make them do things. They used persuasion and talked them into behaving properly. Contrary to what parents believe, these children did not believe that they could do anything they wanted to do. They always asked. Misbehavior was very rare because most of these children felt that they were guests and visitors in somebody else's home. So many said that they had no desire to do ugly things at their grandparents. When they did make mistakes like tracking in mud on their feet. Grandmother usually did not fuss, but persuaded them to clean up their own messes.When they were school age some of these play relationships continued at a higher level. They were given help at sports or encouraged in music. At this age many grandparents discover hidden talents like singing and dancing and provided for lessons when they returned home. One student who is now playing in a music group got his beginning from a guitar given him by his grandfather. Another student now on the golf team gives the credit to his grandfather who discovered his steady hand and gave him some beginning lessons. A large number of these college students described how their grandparents had kept them at the books in their school years. They would call them up at report card time with both verbal and monetary encouragement. These students noted a different pattern during the school years. Brothers and sisters were invited at separate times. Cousins of the same age and sex were the rule. Their grandparents knew about sibling fighting and understand the need for separation. At this age they felt that they had more freedom from the regular routine. They could stay up a little later and sleep a little longer in the morning. They remember being corrected for misbehavior but it was accomplished gently with the use of explanations and persuasion. It is probably at this stage that parents felt that their kids were being spoiled rotten.In the teen years grandchildren were at more of a distance. Grandparents continued the relationship by telephone. Some of them were close enough to watch their team sports. They enjoyed telling their grandparents about their high school experiences both social and academic. Surprisingly many of them had serious discussions with their grandparents about issues arriving at this age. They felt that they could talk to their grandparents about drugs, alcohol, and sex. They respected their wisdom. They remembered how their grandparents had helped them out financially when the need was great. The grandparents of these college students had an influencing role. They were still fond of them and cherished the memories over the years. From my study of this relationship over a period of twelve years there was indeed a major finding of how important this relationship was.
Grandparents of today no doubt provide these same experiences.

The Lord Is My Shepherd

The author is walking through the dark valley. The shadow of death has fallen upon his life. He is in "the presence of enemies" which attack his faith and bring him sadness. His mind will not rest as he is reminded of his lost loved one. Tears flow. He is "walking through the valley of the shadow of death."He sees the Shepherd going before the sheep as they descend into a valley between two pastures. The trees are tall, the underbrush thick, briars prick, and vines entangle.It is a fearful experience, but "thy rod and thy staff comfort me." He sees the club on the shepherd's shoulder ready to drive off attacking animals. He sees him take the crooked staff and lift up a wounded lamb. He carries the lamb in his arms until they come to a clearing at the edge of the new grazing ground. The shepherd takes a sheepskin from his pouch and rubs oil on the lamb's wounds and rubs his head gently. "Thou anointest my head with oil." The author can feel the soothing and healing touch as he prays."He maketh me to lie down in green pastures." As the sheep move from the shadows on the hillside, the sun shines brighter and the grass is greener and thicker. The author recalls his green pastures the shepherd has provided for him. He remembers his marriage ceremony, the birth of his first child, and all of the family experiences that meant so much to him. He remembers his friends with joy and appreciation. He rejoices that his loved one has had such a good life. His life has had many wonderful experiences. "My cup runneth over."The shepherd has brought so many green pastures and walked with him through the dark valleys. The shepherd provides more green pastures than dark valleys. There are more joys than sorrows. His faith triumphs: "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever." The Great Shepherd led His Only Son into the deepest and darkest of all valleys and brought him through victorious in glory. He points the way to all of his children. The good shepherd who lay down his life has brought eternal salvation.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Positive Living 12

Positive Living - Apologizing
No matter how great the effort it is not possible for people to be perfect in their efforts to promote positives. There will be times when thoughtless words will come forth. Criticism is difficult to restrain when a person makes the same mistakes over and over again. There are often very difficult encounters with stubborn workmates who do not seem to listen to suggestions. Changing a teen’s mind is a trying task. They seem to want to degrade their parents. Children also can become very difficult. Many times the offended person of all ages attacks with very hurtful words. In these situations negative comments break forth even with serious efforts to restrain them. So many times there is a two way battle. When a person talks back, this makes it certain that the self-esteem has been hit. Sometimes there is silence but the person’s expression indicates the damage done. If an apology is not made, the emotions of the offended person will be upset for days. Every time the person sees the offender the old experience is triggered. An apology puts an end to this repetition of negative emotions and restores the relationship. The person who did the offending tends to have repeated pangs of conscience wishing that the unkind words had not been said. These conscience pangs keep disturbing the emotions. An “I’m sorry I was so thoughtless to make such an ugly comment” relieves the conscience and puts an end to these feelings. An apology tries also to include comments about the well liked traits of the offended person. Children’s feelings are hurt when their parents lose their cool and make comments which lower their self-esteem. The wound may last for days affecting the child’s appetite and sleep. A parental “I’m sorry” will go a long way in soothing the hurt experienced by the child. Apologizing is sometimes very difficult but it is an important part of positive living. Knowing how much it means and how much it does for both persons should it reduces emotional hurt leads us to make the effort.
Apologizing keeps wounded feelings from festering,restoring a strained relationship.

Positive Living 11

Positive Living - Forgiving
Most people will experience abusive words directed at them. Often they come with an angry tone and seem to be meant to hurt. Positive living principles urge us to accept the words in an understanding way and forgiving way. When people explode, their emotions have reached the breaking point. Ugly words come from an unhappy person. Emotions are difficult to control. They have unloaded their feelings on an innocent scapegoat. This release gives them temporary relief. Stressful experiences in the lives of all ages bring them to the exploding point. Aggression comes from unhappiness. Nervous tensions have been released. We know that there is an underlying problem in the person’s life. We know that the person does not need more negatives to contend with. They need friendship and not attack. Abusive words alert a caring spirit to find a time for a very personal talk. Problems need to be discussed even if they cannot be solved. Telling some one about the difficulty and the stress they are undergoing provides a positive way to release the emotions that have built up. Knowing that some one else understands gives them an inner feeling of strength to contend with their problem. Caring parents understand that verbal and physical fighting in their children suggest that they are suffering stress in school or with their peers. A talk is needed. An effort is made to find out what is happening to the child. So many problems are a process of growth: A forgiving spirit keeps the relationship strong and leads to personal growth. Forgiveness is the “take” part of the relationship. It is extremely important in positive living. Keeping relationships intact means accepting abusive words of others with understanding. Outbursts indicate inner hurt. Positive living asks a person to understand the feelings and disregard the meaning of the words.Do not accept them in a personal way and make a special effort not to retaliate. This principle will be needed many times. One Psychologist says the lifetime average is 500.
Foregiveness understands that abusive words come from some unhappy person.

Positive Living 10

Positive Living - Gentle Correcting
In the course of everyday relationships both workmates and members of our immediate family will need to be reminded of their shortcomings. They keep doing things that are both disgusting and slow the progress of the required work. Some mistakes are so costly it takes hours to recover. Sometimes it is due to carelessness which can be overcome. At other times it is a matter of teaching new skills. Whatever the problem it is a difficult task because it targets one’s self-esteem. It is easy to make a person nervous and make matters worse. Improvement is the goal which requires a gentle and understanding approach. The tone is friendly and the words are slow, filled with positive emotion and two way exchanges. The discussion points out other commendable behaviors and shows appreciation for all work well done. The person is given an opportunity to explain, for there are often good reasons for mistakes. Directions may have not been given properly. Forgetting is very real. Listen attentively even to excuses and defenses without criticism or retaliation. Most people are already aware of their shortcomings and already have inner feelings of guilt. Caring gives them a chance to release these feelings. Confession makes a person feel better and more relaxed. Understanding comments and encouragement to do better will likely bring improvement. Correcting sessions are kept short, for bearing negatives is a difficult experience. Caring parents correct their children as gently as possible emphasizing growth. Making them feel inadequate is a blow to the self-esteem. When correcting the children parents are always careful in pointing out their good behavior and show appreciation for it. This makes it possible for the negative to be received without emotional damage. Parents are patient knowing that mistakes will continue. When any measure of accomplishment takes place praise and commendation is quick and sincere. Relationship conscious people use positive approaches when correcting people for their mistakes and unacceptable behavior.
Correcting people gently prevents self-esteem damage and promotes improvement.

Positive Living 9

Positive Living - Appreciate Individual Differences
Positive living appreciates the variety of individual differences. An effort is made to live with and adapt to characteristics in people which are difficult to accept. There are those who work very slowly and carefully. There are others who work faster and accomplish more in a given period of time. Some learn very rapidly while others need a number of repetitions before they catch on. Some people are very stubborn while others respond to suggestion without a hassle. There are those who like to talk while others are people of very few words. Expecting people to be different and recognize that changing a basic trait is not only difficult but often undesirable. Relating to the special characteristics of a particular person in an understanding way prevents negative feelings from developing. Refraining from making comparisons also makes the acceptance of personal traits more positive. You can be sure that people do compare themselves with others. By words and actions let everyone know that they are valued just as they are. Certain physical characteristics such as: largeness, tallness, and unattractiveness do not give people good feelings about themselves A special effort to be friendly to these people is important because positives are few. Even when we are handicapped by the behavior of other people, we try to accept it in a good natured way. The old saying “variety is the spice of life” is very true in everyday relationships. Without human differences life would become very boring. Caring parents appreciate the fact that their children are different in many ways. They let them know that they are not expected to be alike. They want them to be different. They learn early that the stubborn child will be stubborn from now on. They learn ways to try to deal with this trait in a way that avoids head on collisions. Adults are children in a bigger box as far as traits are concerned. Individual differences can be both challenging and interesting. The variety can be enjoyable. Remember that others will have to deal with our traits.
Variety is the spice of life. Appreciate and enjoy individual differences.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Positive Living 8

Positive Living - Tongue Control
In daily relationships there are situations when there is a feeling to tell people off. Sometimes there is a temptation to use even stronger words to tell them where to go. Frustration from other people’s actions or lack of actions trigger these feelings. It is thought that a few strong words will wake them up and get them to do better. Negative comments, however, do not usually result in permanent improvement in behavior. Degrading labels are very hurtful to a person. Loaded adjectives like: stupid, foolish, lazy, thoughtless, careless, mean, ugly, selfish target a person’s self-esteem. They create enduring feelings which are not easily dismissed. People store these comments in their memory and think about them often. Negative emotions continue to build up.This is especially true of children and teens, but most adults are sensitive to degrading comments from others.Judgments that are made may well be accurate and fully deserved, but for the sake of good relationships they better go unsaid. They make people nervous and emotional, interfering with effective work. They may lead to costly mistakes and affect a person’s disposition to the degree of unpleasantness. Negative comments are used often as a wake up call to try to get the person to improve. This approach fails more often than it succeeds. Caring parents are very aware that negative comments may lower their children’s self-esteem with long lasting effects, extending even to success in school work and increasing misbehavior and fighting. Negative feelings may well result in health problems like blood pressure increase, tension headaches, digestive disorders, elimination problems, and even sleeping difficulty. Controlling negative comments prevents emotional tensions from building up, preventing these health aggravations. A very important positive living principle is tongue control. Knowing how negative words affect people increases the effort to withhold words that hurt.
Use Tongue Control when temptations come to use ugly words.

Positive Living 7

Positive Living - Promoting Peace
Positive living requires every effort to resolve issues. Differences in viewpoint are expected and disagreements are normal in every type of relationship. They cannot be avoided. Striving for peace seeks to diminish the negative feelings that arise from this area. Arguments can develop into real fights, bringing on long lasting hurt feelings. Bitter words are hurled with vehemence. Arising disagreements alert one to respond wisely. An effort is made to prevent a confrontation with a slow, measured reaction. Offense brings on defense. Snap judgments and quick attacks inflame the discussion. A mild response leaves the door open for further consideration. Recognizing the pending difficulty guides the exchange into a "friendly exchange." We must talk about this and think about it for a while. There are pros and cons to be discussed.” People value their ideas and want them to be considered. A private, personal get together is planned in a way that it is more like friend to friend than superior to inferior. There is a real effort to give the opposing idea a fair hearing. Questions are asked to gain understanding. There is more listening than talking. Even if the idea is not acceptable, the person has a good feeling about the discussion. Delaying the expressing of viewpoints until a full listening to the other person’s point of view keeps the discussion at a less warlike level. Pointing out the pros and the areas of agreement tends to reduce the intensity of the difference. Making a special effort to show some merit in the idea even if it cannot be fully accepted avoids harsh words. Caring seeks a compromise where each person must give in to some degree. If this is not possible, they agree to disagree using warm, friendly tones. Whenever the emotional level rises to the level of war, continuing the discussion is set for another day or another time. Relationships with children and teens need this same technique. Listening to these youngsters is so important to reduce the superior-inferior distance.
Striving for peace prevents long lasting wounds which do not easily heal.

Positive Living 6

Positive Living - Remembering Special Days
Positive feelings can be multiplied by being attentive to people when they are celebrating a special day in their lives. It is relatively easy to learn people’s birthdays, anniversaries, and other special events in their lives. Keeping written records helps to remind us. Special days in everyone’s life are times to generate many positives. Warm words, telephone conversations, cards, and even thoughtful gifts increase the joy of the celebration and the flow of positive emotions. Brief ceremonies involving a group of people are very beneficial, but private, personal words have even a deeper impact. With all relationships the positive feelings that come from the celebration of special days are a source of happiness which should not be missed. The sad feelings that accompany unhappy experiences can be reduced when a friend is aware of what they are going through. When people are ill or have loved ones in the hospital, warm words bring real healing. People experiencing marital problems reveal their unhappiness by the expression on their faces. Friendly words help even though there is not much that outsiders can contribute. When people lose loved ones, the hurt continues for months. Words from friends which simply say: “I know what you are going through” bring positives to offset the negatives. People miss their loved ones so much around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and other special family occasions. It is easy to know how they feel on these occasions. The anniversary of the loss rekindles all of the initial feelings. Empathy nourishes positive bonds.Personal words have the greatest value because there can be smiles, hugs, and expressed feelings. Phone calls have a similar impact but carefully selected cards carry a meaningful message. In this day of the Internet e-mails can cover great distances.
Positive Living makes an effort to remember both glad and sad days.

Positive Living 5

Positive Living - Humility
In this world of titles people are placed in superior and inferior relationships: parent - child, teacher - pupil, professor - student, manager - employee, officer - secretary. Any word or comment that suggests that I am “smarter than” or “better than” brings negative feelings. Even when words are not said people feel inferior because they know the position they represent. In the workplace a person is given the position of supervisor or manager which suggests a position of superiority. The distance and the feelings in these relationships can be reduced by using soft tones and friendly words. Requests and suggestions replace the manner of giving orders or making demands. In teaching or training an employee in their tasks and responsibilities the learner is always in an inferior position. The good teacher realizes that it is not pleasant to be in an inferior position and will make an effort to overcome this, knowing that people respond better in fulfilling their responsibilities when they are treated like equals. They work more effectively in this kind of relationship. Parents because of their age, size, and experiences are put in a superior position to children. Getting children to perform their responsibilities or behave properly involves the authority position. Bossing brings negative feelings and may well engender resistance. When a parent becomes a playmate to a child this is a position of equality and reduces the feeling of superiority. Talking with them when they do most of the talking also reduces the feeling of inferiority. Children control their misbehavior and perform their chores better in a non-boss approach. When something important needs to be said, the parent would do well to bend down to the height of the child which makes their relationship more equal. In dealing with teens the authority method is resented. Influencing their decisions must come from a friendly discussion. There needs to be a two way exchange characteristic of friends. Parents would do well to be more “ears” than mouth. Efforts to promote equality in relationships avoids friction and engenders positive feelings.
Treating others as equals brings surprising results.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Positive Living 4

Positive Living - Be A Good Listener
When conversing with other people in the workplace or in family relationships, positive living asks us to try to be good listeners. Efforts are made to make every interaction as two way as possible. Friendly questions are asked to open the door for others to talk. This permits them to relive their happy experiences and successes which adds to their positive feelings. The expression is kept friendly and attentive by looking eye to eye. Occasional comments are made to show interest and understanding. It is very important to be very attentive to people who are somewhat quiet and do not talk frequently on their own. Senior citizens need an opportunity to talk about their past experiences because the present is not always pleasant. Even grumpy people need a sympathetic ear as they unload their unpleasant feelings. Releasing inner nervous tensions in conversation is important to restoring positive feelings. People who have experienced sadness feel much better after they have talked to some one about how they feel. Caring Parents set aside regular “talk times” with their children so they can relate their positive experiences at school. Listening to children’s unhappiness is very important to their mental health. Some problems must be faced but knowing that some one cares makes it easier. Everyone needs to express their joy to a friendly ear. For children and adults as well conversations are made private and personal to prevent interference and increase the value in a one to one situation. Talk can be terminated with a friendly remark. It can even be continued at a later time. Break time lends itself to friendly social interaction. Both the talker and the listener receive benefits. The roles are often reversed as the listener becomes the talker. These positive feelings keep a person in a good mood and help overcome unhappy experiences. It gives a positive atmosphere at work and home. Listening is an art worth cultivating for building good friendships.
Providing an ear and a heart to others promotes positive emotions.

Positive Living 3

Positive Living - Praise and Appreciation
Everyday people around us do things for us and communicate with us in a friendly way. When a clerk in a store is efficient and friendly, this should be noticed with a smile and words of praise. Using the person’s name adds to the warm feelings. When anyone performs given tasks well, words of appreciation add to good feelings. When positives are dispensed to workmates and family every day relationships are strengthened In time we will be on the lookout for words or actions deserving of comment. Parents would do well to take notice of their children’s good behaviors and accomplishments. Words of praise can come together with affectionate hugs or squeezes. Praise is more effective when dispensed frequently with a few words rather than a long conversation. When used too often, some of its effectiveness is reduced. When a person gives useful ideas or makes humorous comments, we would do well to let them know what this meant to us. Rewarding good work, useful ideas, humorous comments, and other contributions with praise and appreciation keeps a positive atmosphere. Compliments and “thank you’s” kindle a flame of warmth in the home and in the workplace. Good practice provides many short comments spread at intervals over a long period of time rather than lengthy conversations less often. These positive comments provide self-worth feelings, making people feel good about themselves. Workmates do better in the tasks they must perform. There is more motivation to engage in routine, boring tasks. All are happier and more efficient in their tasks. Energy is forthcoming and fatigue does not come as rapidly. In the long run more work is accomplished and fewer mistakes are made. Children are better behaved and cooperate more readily with parental requests. They engage in difficult tasks with more interest and more positive energy.
Take notice of everyone’s effective work, good ideas, and friendly conversation.

Positive Living 2

Positive Living - Emotional Fitness
We want very much to spread positive feelings, but this becomes difficult if we do not reduce our nervous tensions Our own stressful experiences put us in a fighting mood, and curb warm, friendly feelings. We lose our cool much too quickly and say things we did not intend. No matter how much we want to control our words our stress build-up makes it extremely difficult. When emotional outbursts become too frequent, a person knows that nervous tensions have multiplied. Stress prepares the bloodstream to be filled with chemicals which make us ready for “fight or flight”. Blood sugar is elevated and two hormones from the adrenal gland speed up the operation of the nervous system. Our nervous tensions grow in quantity and intensity. One beneficial stress reducer is regular exercise. A thirty to forty minute walk is sufficient for normal stress. When we have had an extremely bad day, a longer walk is needed. When the muscles are used in a constructive way, the excess blood sugar is burned for energy and the chemicals make a more rapid exit. A second procedure involves diet. We need to reduce our sugar intake because blood sugar is already high. We need to increase consumption of Vitamin B complex and vitamin C. The B vitamins help control the blood sugar level and reduce the build up of choleserol. Stressful experiences use much of our vitamin C to make the adrenal hormones. It must be replenished to remove toxins from the blood. These are the blood cleaners which help to restore our internal environment to normal. B vitamins are found in whole grain cereals, sunflower seed, wheat germ. Vitamin C is abundant in fruit juices. Stress vitamins can be purchased and used as a supplement. Practicing the stress control principles of diet and exercise make us a more agreeable person to express ourselves in a warm, friendly way. Negative feelings are reduced and we can have better control over our outbursts and words.
The pressures of life and work make it difficult at times to emit positive feelings.Keeping emotional fit will make us much more effective.

Positive Living 1

Positive Living - Its Benefits
The basic principle of Positive Living is to promote positive feelings in relationships and to keep negative feelings at a minimum. When there is a serious effort to promote positive feelings, it has a beneficial effect on both the giver and the receiver. Being positive calls upon a special section of the nervous system. In experiments people have been wired to instruments which measure heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, and other measures of body functioning. The person is given such tasks as talking about enjoyable experiences, petting a dog, or hugging a child. In these situations. The operation of all the bodily processes is smooth and regular. This is a health benefit for everyone. In a positive atmosphere children will behave better and cooperate more. Parents who try to practice positive living will find that their parenting tasks will be easier and the end result more enjoyable In the workplace relationships will greatly improve. Efforts to accomplish difficult tasks will increase. Mistakes will be reduced. Work will be more orderly and efficient. More tasks will be accomplished. Social interchanges will be warm and friendly. Enjoyment of the day’s activities will increase. Fatigue will actually be reduced. Life in general will be more pleasant. When people suffer negative emotions heart rate increases and the beat is more erratic. Blood pressure elevates. Other bodily functions like elimination, digestion, relaxing, and sleeping suffer. When positive feelings are promoted, the stress in daily life is reduced. Health benefits add up and health aggravations will decrease. Positive emotions promote emotional stability. There should be fewer outbursts, less irritability and fewer verbal fights. The workplace and the home should become more friendly and warm. Conflict will be more easily resolved. Many already have discovered the benefits. Practicing the principles of positive living takes time and effort, but the rewards are great. It is well worth the effort. As in any undertaking success in using these principles is a step by step process. All of us will fail many times but will be aware of the mistake that was made. We can back up and get a fresh start. Over a period of years it becomes a habit.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Childrens Wisdom 12

Children’s Wisdom - Mr. Mischief From A Worn Out Mother
Jimmy could not be considered a bad child, but it seemed that he liked to do things to see me upset. When he discovered that tracking mud and trash into the house got me upset, it seemed to increase in frequency. Even though I made him clean it up, it still continued. One day I got so mad, I bared his bottom and blistered it with my hand. He jumped and cried: “ Mama,that’s not nice.” He was turning my own words back on me. He turned over a glass of milk at the table. I was really upset. This I feel increased in frequency just to tee me off. One day I needed my scissors. I couldn’t find them anywhere. I asked Jimmy: “ He gave such an overconvincing no, I knew he was guilty. A little pyrex pot I used to heat water in the microwave disappeared. I finally found this, but it was cleverly hidden. I only have three bras. When I wanted a clean one, they all were gone. One morning my husband pulled them out of his coat pocket. I tried the Time Out method by making him stay in the bathroom for five minutes. He worried me so by asking every minute if five minutes was up. I increased his time to ten minutes. He was so quiet, I thought I needed to investigate. When I opened the door he had water in the bathtub, enjoying playing with his little boats. One December I put X’s by BAD and GOOD on a piece of paper for Santa to see the record of Jimmy’s behavior. This did improve his behavior some. After he had gone to bed on Xmas eve, I went in to take the paper down. He had made many more Good X’s. After this I decided he was too smart for me. I simply I gave up and quit trying to monitor his behavior. I ignored his efforts to get me upset. What a surprise I received.! His behavior was so much better. He played more with his toys. I consented to let him play with his boats in the bathtub. He didn’t get the floor all wet like he used to. I thanked him for the dry floor. I suddenly caught on. When I didn’t get upset it was no longer any more fun for him. Also when I praised him for his good behaviors, he made a real effort to get nice word attention. I was so grateful I picked him up with a great big hug. Mothers, give this a try.

Childrens Wisdom - 11

Children’s Wisdom - His Majesty The King From A Mother Who Used Wits
I am sure many mothers have had to deal with a stubborn child. It was so often a battle of wills, and mother won because she was stronger. The first word my son learned to say was “no”. To try to get him to do anything would bring on an immediate “no” The bossing approach had to be given up. I learned to phrase my questions so they couldn’t be answered with a “no”. For example, “Do you want your potatoes here or here as I would point on his plate?” When it was time to dress I would put out two outfits, do you want this one or that one? Since he got to choose, it usually worked. When it was cold outside: “Do you want to wear the sweater or the jacket.” as I pointed to them. I learned never to say: “Do you want to go to bed?” It was “tell me when you want to go to bed. so we can read.” He loved to hear stories. I occupied myself in the kitchen but it never took very long. We went upstairs together usually in my arms. You did not dare pick him up without his permission. I took advantage of this opportunity because it was so rare. You can imagine the problem in the Super Market. He would rather push the cart than ride. This worked most of the time because I praised him for being a good driver. The next stage was “Do It Self” When it was time for the potatoes, he wanted to “do it self.” I solved this with a bigger spoon. Dressing: “do it self.” I had to watch him struggle to button his shirt, but I solved this with an outfit he could handle.. One night at reading time, he took the book out of my hand: “Do it self”. He began to “read” the Three Little Pigs which he knew by heart. He huffed and puffed and all, turning the pages at the right time with the pictures. The next book lasted three sessions. One major plus was toilet training. I introduced him to the Potty and showed him how it worked. I used his favorite word: “You can do it self.” I’m sure he set the record in how quick he learned. He has become a real pleasure. He asks for vegetables. He asks me to hold him in my arms. He holds my hand when we walk together. I still avoid telling him what to do. I wait for him to take the lead. Recently I got busy in the kitchen and forgot about bedtime. He came and got me. I feel greatly honored by our little king. Mothers, using wits is better than battling wills.

Childrens Wisdom 10

Children’s Wisdom - Rivals By A Mother Who Learned
Betty was four and Mike was two when we learned that children were competitors. For us this was the most serious period of jealousy and fighting. Mike, beginning to talk, was very cute and was picked up often into my arms. Betty was very jealous and sought to win my attention and affection by giving me pictures she had colored. Betty was quick to tell me when he wet his pants The children had their own play areas in the Living Room with a little desk and toys. Both of them had crayons, paper, color books and their own set of blocks different in color. Betty had “girl toys” dolls, clothes, and furniture. Mike’s trucks and cars ran into some of Betty’s things. Fusses developed as well as brief fights. Mummy repeated the words: “Play nice Play nice” many times. Betty designed situations to get Mummy to reprimand him. One day she had put together a carefully erected tower of blocks. Mike came over and knocked it down with feet and hands. Betty dissolved in tears: “Do I have to love him?” Ed and I decided to give the children one to ones with us. He would take Mike and I Betty with frequent changeovers. They loved this. I decided to give Betty a truck on her next birthday. This delighted her. They played together better with an occasional bumping. Another effort: I praised them when they were “playing nice” I told them also I believed they could settle their disputes. Some of the fights were loud but Mummy resisted doing anything. Then I praised them when the fight stopped. These techniques reduced the furors but did not eliminate them. They learned that peace was better than war and one battle was better than three. When Betty was sixteen, it was her turn to visit her Grandparents in Florida. I thought she was too old for this now, but she was quick to answer: “If I don’t go Mike will get to go.” As you see, no matter what age, they are always rivals.

Childrens Wisdom 9

Children’s Wisdom - Learning To Pray Early In Life From A Puzzled Mother
I taught my children to pray when they were very little. I showed them how to fold their hands in the praying hands position under their chin. We prayed regularly before going to bed and at mealtime, but one of my three children prayed more often than this. I would see Roddy in the praying hands position when he was playing. He really surprised me when he prayed as I was punishing him. I used a switch to sting their little legs when they misbehaved. I found that all I needed to do to get them to behave: “Do you want a switching?” Most of the time they reacted quickly and did what I asked them to do. This did not always work with Roddy. When he was deeply involved in something, he moved very slowly. I had to use the switch more often to get him to do things I wanted. When I got ready to use the switch on him, he would go into the praying hands position. As I switched his little legs, he began to cry as he prayed: “Jesus, Jesus.” When it was over, he would pray in great relief : ”Thank you, Jesus.” At first I thought he was playing a game with me to try to get me to stop. He would not struggle or yell as the other children did. He would just stand there praying while he was being switched. This was so unusual it set me to thinking. I decided that he was really praying and knowing how the Master loved little children, his prayer was being answered. Jesus did help him take his punishment I think Jesus was also trying to tell me something. My conscience hurt, and I also began some new methods of dealing with his misbehavior. I talked to Roddy more and tried to use persuasion. Often I had to get down on my knees eye to eye to get him to listen. It took longer than the switch technique, but I really learned the meaning of patience I waited so his little mind would operate. I was able to get him to dinner, to the bath and to bed. I had to try prayer on him when I was trying to get him to go to the doctor. I got down in front of him in the prayer position and prayed “Jesus, help Roddy be brave and go to the doctor.” I walked away and it was not long before I heard : “ Mama, I’ m ready.” In some other difficult situations I let him do the praying. I would give him the words and he would use them.

Childrens Wisdom 8

Children’s Wisdom - My Little Scientist From An Astonished Mother
To this mother Donna is an unusual little girl. She is a real observer of everything around her. She is full of questions which Mama has to try to answer. The retired couple living next door Donna calls Brown and Papa. She talks to Mrs. Brown quite a lot Brown has white hair and Donna wanted to know why. Donna picks her out at church by her hair. Papa is bald and she wants to know why. I try to explain as clearly as I can. Her questions are very serious. Papa has a very deep Santa Claus like laugh. It’s amusing to see her imitate him. My mother who also has white hair visited us last week. Donna told Brown very excitedly: “Grandma can take out her teeth.” I wonder how Brown explained this. As you see my little scientist doesn’t miss a thing. Most children get restless in church but not Donna. She watches everything. I saw her imitating one of the choir members who sings solos. He sang “The King Is Exalted” Her song was “The King Is Exhausted.” She performs at intervals with her hands like the Choir Director. Her Daddy is the preacher. She imitates him by waving her hands and shaking her head. Once a week he goes to Pittsburgh for a course at the Seminary there. I heard Donna tell Brown: “Daddy has gone to the Sermonary.” We took the children to see the Falls near our town. They didn’t say much at the time, but Donna told Brown: “We saw a great big water hanging down.” She ran into a spider web that stuck to her face. She calls the webs Dusties. I taught her how to get the webs with a folded paper. I’ve got the best little house cleaner. When we took a vacation to Florida, she called the Spanish Moss Dusties and kept her distance. When we read a story or look at a picture book, the questions seem to have no end. When she asked “Where did I come from?” She had to have the whole story one step at a time. I tried to explain to her about Lightening being like the electric lights. “Where are the wires?” she asked. When she was taking a bath I swished my hand through the water as it came back with a sound. That’s what the lightening does to the clouds. They come back together with a clap as I clapped my hands. I saw her explaining this to Brown. My little scientist does not miss a thing.

Childrens Wisdom 7

Children’s Wisdom - A Cool Coverup From A Grandpa
We took our grandchildren, eight and ten years old, to Disney World when they came to visit us. In the beginning Grandma took the ten year old girl and I took the boy. Naturally he wanted to do Space Mountain, the roller coaster in the dark. It was very scary and not recommended for people over 50. Billy was very tough-minded and boastful in his persuasion: “Grandpa, don’t be chicken. It’s a lot of fun.” I explained to him about old people and their hearts. I got an older boy to go with him. When they came back after the ride, there was a very obvious circular wet place on the front of his pants. His big Buddy was quick to make fun of him: “It scared the PEE out of him”. In order to bring a smile back on his face Grandpa said quickly: “He had a great time. He just got too excited.” Billy simply could not live with this embarrassment. He went over to the water fountain and sprayed water on his shirt and pants. As we walked I tried to tell Billy not to feel bad about himself that this was so normal When we reached his sister: “How did you get so wet? " Billy was quick to answer “Grandpa, threw water on me.” It brought a big laugh from Grandpa. This was the end, but Grandpa worried if he had done the right thing. Would it be better that the truth were faced? Billy had engineered a cover-up and lied on his Grandaddy. I forgot about it, but I got my answer eight years later. Billy was a teen now and loved to fish in our Florida lakes. While we were fishing together, it came out: "Grandpa, I thank you for helping me out of a tough situation.” He had remembered the Disney World experience in detail. It had put an unforgettable mark on his mind. He especially appreciated my not telling on him.He told me how much it had hurt to wet his pants. This was last year. It’s too late to do me any good, but I want to pass this lesson on. When people brag and boast, when they bring up excuses and alibis, listen in an understanding way. They are hurting. Like Billy their emotional load is heavy. Let the inner mental processes work. They will learn in their own way. It worked well with Billy.