Saturday, February 28, 2015

Families and Nations

For this blog I think the Priests' of Nigeria have spoken more eloquently than I ever could. You will find their words and the article Here .

"The family is a divinely instituted community of persons made of husband, wife, children and relatives open to life in love.  In the words of Pope St John Paul II, “Man cannot live without love.  He remains a being that is incomprehensible for himself, his life is senseless, if love is not revealed to him, if he does not encounter love, if he does not experience it and make it his own, if he does not participate intimately in it” (Redemptor hominis, 10). Consequently, the first task of the family is to be the first school where fidelity to one another, love, sanctity of life, solidarity, mutual respect and values that promote human dignity are learnt.
The family is at the service of love and life when parents educate their children on the essential values of human life—to love the truth, to love the good, to love and to be loved, to love God.  This is itself the ministry of the Church in which the family is able to participate when husband and wife live in fidelity, love and mutual respect.  In this way, parents teach their children to love in the wider society, and good families build good nations.
A nation is itself a family of families, a community of persons who share common core values, and the family is the nucleus of the community of persons that a nation is.  Every nation needs effective institutions and leaders of intellectual, moral and technical competence to administer these institutions.  The family, as vital cell of the society, is where such leaders are born and nurtured.  Hence, both the effectiveness of such institutions and the emergence of good leaders in the nation largely depend on the family.  The family, as a community of persons, gives birth to and nourishes the nation and every other institution critical to the life of that nation.  Nations are built on and secured by values, and the family is the first place of acquisition of values. That is why the state of a nation is a reflection of the state of its families.

The primary responsibility of parents is not just to pass genes unto their children, but also, to bring them up in every aspect of life in the society.  Christian parents in particular have the responsibility of inculcating civic and religious values to form them into good citizens and good Christians.  The religious education they provide for their children is the foundation on which their civic education rests. This is best achieved by the witness value of the parents, by the spiritual and moral fruits which they hand unto their children by their own personal example. For, as the saying goes, examples are better than precepts."

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Believe in Parenting Launches NEW Website!

Believing in Parenting is a new program concerned with bringing parent development ministries to churches Our new website is dedicated to giving churches a real understanding of what we do and as a tool for future Parent Development Ministry Teams to have online tools and support they can use as they develop programming for their congregations. Our new website is going to include information on Training/Coaching, Scheduling, and Resources. We look forward to serving congregations The site is still in the process of being developed so, check back regularly to see more content as it is added.  Anyone interested in finding out more information immediately, can contact the agency at

Idaho's Bill to Expand Parental Rights

I have spoken a lot on the limiting or criminalization of parenting. I thought I owed some news on states supporting parents. The state of Idaho is looking into a measure  to expand parental rights. Althou, looking at the langage it does not seem to me but to be common sense. The Idahodian putis it this way "The House State Affairs Committee listened to nearly two hours of testimony on the legislation that would expand Idaho law to say parents and legal guardians have the fundamental right to make decisions regarding the care, custody, education and control of their children." You can read more of the article here 

Okay, so Idaho law does not currently say that parents have the fundamental right to make decisions currently and they are seeking to ensure they ge it. I think this is great news. I must admitt though I though along with life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness these rights were already given by God. If parents do not have the fundamental right to the care, custody, education, and control of their children then who does? As a person who leans to the conservative side. It concerns me that the role of the family is slowly slipping away. When people show up to argue parents should not have nor exercise these basic roles in their children's lives then what hope does the future hold for the basic meaning of family?

I am hopeful that the Idaho legislature will make this bill law in the state. However, as the article state there will be lawsuits to block it. I just hope that those of us who believe in parents and support them in developing more and better skills can make our voices heard clearly and distinctly regarding his issue.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Family/Parent Ministry Coaching for Congregations

Over the years Family Ministry has focused on Engagement/Marriage Enrichment and raising  godly children. However, church leaders are starting to recognize a major gap. The assumption that parenting is innate and no training was needed in this area on an ongoing basis, has caused some serious issues. Namely, family struggling alone to resolve issues, parents  failing to recognize gaps in children's dedication and love of Christ, parents who believe they need to overprotect their children and not allowing them too learn to trust God in difficult situations, I could go on. Although, there were occasional uses of Dr. Dobson's books and videos to teach a class and ministry  leaders to talk to if you had a problem. Oh, and the church mothers who offer some support. There was no one dedicated to specifically consistently work with parents on the everyday issues.

Believe in Parenting is a unique small group training/coaching and ongoing support agency helping ministry teams and volunteers of local congregations to create Parent Development Teams. These teams are dedicated to equipping, empowriing, and supporting parents in their own houses of worship. Every congregation is different therefore, the needs for parenting is different. Our program takes into account these issues and works to assist each congregational team develop a unique program tailored to their needs.

Believe In Parenting has the following scope of work:

We support Ministry Leaders in the creation of the ministry team. It is strongly recommended teams be made up of a traditionally married couple, a blended couple, one single Mom and one single Dad.
2-4  hours month one

We offer six sessions of training. Churches can chose two or four hour training sessions two-hour sessions meet twice a month, four-hour sessions meet once. 24 hours from month one through month six

Coaching/Training and ongoing support 12 hours fixed and as needed last six months.

Total time commitment 40 hours for 12 months

For more information

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Family Engagement: What's in it for Them?

There are three types of family engagement we as educators can engage in on a regular basis. They are Family Program Engagement, Family Classroom Engagement, Family Support and Training. Childcare Centers and Schools need to participate in all three in order to have a robust engagement program.

We in education really do want parents to engage yet, we need to give parents a reason to engage in such pursuits. Contrary to most educators opinions, parents are not going to become involved in school activities because their children are. Educator's need to take what is in it for the parents point of view. People get involved in things because they want power, prestige, accolades, self-satisfaction or peer pressure. The goal is to help parents to find their own reasons to engage.

The average parent works more than 40 hours a week. They have a house to clean, groceries to buy, family to visit and see to, a spouse who needs attention, children to care for, cars to attend to, etc.Asking them to engage in the school environment can not simply be an ought to when you have time; it needs to be a way to meet a particular need. Childcare Centers and Schools need to provide a way for parents to see and want to meet this need.

Program Engagement-This particular form of engagement will meet the needs of those who will be seeking power, prestige, and accolades. Being in a decision-making role gives people a chance to have some kind of control over what is happening in the center or school.

Classroom Engagement-This form of engagement can be enticing to those who want accolades, self-satisfaction and a bit of peer pressure. If a teacher asks all parents to engage in some sort of activity that year and provides a variety of options parents feel important. Creating a bulletin board which provide pictures of parents involved in such activities in the hallway gives those who participate accolades. It also provides a bit of peer pressure to find their picture is not included. Overall, it will give parents a sense of self-satisfaction that their time spent in the classroom has made a difference.

Family Support/Traaining-every family wants to ensure they are doing well in caring for their children. Providing parent supports such as classes, articles, and discussion groups can help empower parents to do a better job. Make these sessions about empowerment and support. Make titles of sessions about the motivators mentioned above. Family Empowerment Helping your child Thrive, PTA Series Parental Power in the School and Classroom, How to help your Child Succeed in Life, How to Engage and Support your Teen. These sample titles all in one way or another speak to the motives of what is in it for me parents need to engage.

Over the years I have seen a variety of surveys designed to get information from parents. I suggest you create a five question survey for each type of engagement and use them at least twice a year. You want to be careful to get all the information you need while not overwhelming your parents. One idea is to get a great item to display in front of the office. A classroom game, a new set of  books, or a video. Then make a contest. The classroom which gains the most surveys wins the prize. Again this supports the what is in it for me. Parents want their child to win the prize.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

$800 Fine for Parents of Obese Children in US Teerritory

Here we go again! Criminalizing parents! This time it is for children being overweight and also in an American territory some consider the 51st state. The regulation calls for overweight children to be evaluated if they are found to be obese they then go onto a wight loss program. They are re-evaluated after four months if the child is  not deemed to have not improved then the parents can be fined. You can read the original article here.

I am about to go on a rant so be warned!

This is blatantly ridiculous and is potentially harmful to the parent-child relationship. This legislation is supposed to force parents into making healthier choices for their children. However, what it will do is place the government into a place it does not belong. Anytime a government agency interferes with a parent-child relationship should be a matter of life and death. I understand this law is about quality  of life and not life and death. This being the case BUT OUT.

Parents and children know they have weight issues and getting pressure by the government will be more of a hinderance than a help.Why do people think that making a law is an answer to correcting human behavior. This law is making it a criminal offense to have an overweight child. They do say if it is medical or hormonal parents will be exempt. But honestly who do they think thy are? No one can control what another person puts into their mouths. Parents who work to help curb this problem, could have grandparents, sisters, brothers, babysitters the list goes on feeding their child the food they do not want them to have. Yet it will be the parent who is fined.

This is another example of how parenting is becoming a criminal offense. The government wants to tell adults how to parent their children and if  not obeyed they will fine you, take your child, or put you in jail. We need to wake up before we have the same Named Persons Program in America that they have in Scotland (see blog here.)  Here in the US parenting is quickly becoming a means of government control. I am very concerned about the health of our children and families.

Though the rhetoric is about the best interest of the child. The truth is in most cases no one is going to care more about the health and wee-being of a child than their biological parents. Anytime that bond is severed, hindered, or controlled the child suffers greatly. Children are dependent on the relationship they have with their parents even if that relationship is not perfect. None of them are by the way.

Having worked as an educational advocate as well as a  parent support and educator for parents who were dealing with the state I can tell you one thing the government does well is screw up family life. It was Arthur Miller in his play the Crucible who wrote "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." If we make the mistake of giving the government power over our family life we will find that eventually the government will have absolute power over it and family life will cease to exist.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Parents Influence Teens Even When It Comes to Sleep

I believe as children age how we parent must change as well. John Moore the Children Pastor of St. Louis Family Church once said in a sermon " Parents raise kids and influence teens." I have over the years come to appreciate this advice. This story in the Wall Street Journal talks about how parental sleep habits influence teen sleep patterns. You can read the article here.

I think this is a very important study not because of the whole getting enough rest, which of course is very important. But, because it is a testament to the fact --children are keen observers of parent behavior even into the teen years. In this case teens are observing what self-care looks like. Eating right, drinking water, exercising, and sleep are all examples of how we take care of ourselves. Adults should  live the lives which they want their children to live most especially in this area. As this study shows how parents live is a primary influence on their teens. Teaching how to live by being a living example. Here are five suggestions to positively influencing teens.

  1. Explain to your teen about what you are doing and why. Teens are approaching adulthood they need to know more and more the why of how adults do things.
  2. Be a mentor and develop a mentoring team. A large part of being the parent of a teen is helping them to understand what it means to be an adult. This includes being a sounding board and offering insights and advice as they begin to make life decisions. However, sometimes it is not comfortable for teens to come to parents with certain issues. Before an issue comes up sit down together and talk about which adults in your lives you both are comfortable with your teen to go to for advice. Then ask these folks over.  Use this time for you and your teen to discuss if they are willing to be a sounding board and to offer advice to your child. Try not to put them on the spot; ask them to take a week or two to think about it, and get back to you.
  3. Create a plan to help your teen prepare for adult responsibility. You may help them learn to manage a budget, learn about credit, paying bills, etc. it will help to start with your teens strengths because it will help them to build confidence.
  4. Give your teens more responsibility. Teens tend to fair much better if they feel their parents trust them. Giving them responsibility and thanking them when they live up to it helps build confidence. Some suggestions include: make them responsible for one meal a week, have them do their own laundry, and even have them get a part-time job to pay for their own car insurance.
  5. Help your teen identify their interests, goals, and passions. Teens fair better when they find their own interests and passions to pursue. It gives their lives direction and helps to define their roles.
  6. Be patient, supportive, and approachable. Teens are in a very difficult stage of life called Identity verses Role Confusion. This stage is  where they need lots of parental support. This is a confusing time where they are trying to figure out their own role as an adult and their place in the adult world. This can be overwhelming to them at times and they act either belligerent or childish depending on the situation. Parents can help by not allowing teen moodiness to affect their reactions. In additions, if adults support them in being who they are and follow the convictions of their own hearts it is easier on the changes in your relationship. Of course you still need boundaries, there should be some non-negotiables, and teens need real and consistent supervision.
One thing to keep in mind is that two year olds and teens are in the same stage. Teens show the same stubbornness and control needs in effect they are saying "I can do it myself". Keep this in mind and you will  have an easier time. I believe if we use our lives to teach about adulthood and are there for there them, makes it easier as they explore their own journey.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

What is a Parent Development Ministry?

We believe according to Psalms 78:6  it is the job of every parent to empower their children to become adults who live Godly purpose driven lives. We also believe that in Ephesians 4:11-13 Paul makes it clear it is the church’s responsibility to equip the saints to do their work. The  mission of Believing in Parenting is dedicated to encouraging, supporting, and guiding local church congregations in the creation, development , and establishment of Parent Development Ministries.

A Parent Development Ministry has three focus points:
  • Challenging parents to examine their own lives and to adjust where needed into living their own godly purpose driven lives
  • Facilitating the growth of each parent through an understanding of child development, personality, temperament, and other aspects of childhood to give them the basis for dealing with children based on understanding.
  • Empowering parents with the tools they need to establish strong interpersonal relationships with their children. Training them to use their influence, to empower their children to develop lives lived with purpose, courage, and conviction.
It is our goal to help churches to establish these ministries through a unique one-on-one training and coaching program. This training program comes your atmosphere and develops the Parent Development Ministry based your needs. Working with staff and volunteers We bring in our tools, training, and parent development curriculum and trains a team of believers to offer Parent Development Ministry to your congregation.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Civil rights leader Edith Savage Jennings: Parent engagement and education is the solution

For those of you who have not heard of her Edith Savage-Jennings is one of the women of the civil rights movement. She did her fair share of protests,  marches, and sit ins. Now at 90 years old she has some things to say about the state of the family in an articl on

I was struck by three things she said in the article:

"Something is going wrong as far as parenting is concerned," 

"Better parenting might solve many of the more recent problems cropping up."

"I think it is very important for parents to really start parenting," 

What struck me is these three statements suggest she has seen a downturn in how children are parented in her lifetime. It is something I have also seen in my lifetime. Admittedly, I am younger than Mrs. Savage-Jennings being 2 when the Voting Rights Amendment became law; yet I seen so many parent struggling and not understanding why.

In many classes I have heard parents say to me. "Kids today are not like when I was a kid. I cooked, did laundry, and cleaned the house when I was 13, my daughter does not." When I asked this Mom in one of my sessions when she taught her daughter to cook or do laundry she looked at me blankly. I was very disheartened by this fact.

I am not sure where the disconnect came in, but somewhere along the way parents stopped teaching their children. I think maybe we in education had  a hand in it by saying parents were the first teachers. Suggesting once children enter school it was no longer necessary to teach. I say this because more and more our schools seem to be trying to teach things beyond reading writing and math. In today's schools there are classes on manners, emotional intelligence, washing hands, and all sorts of things parents used to teach their children. This is not acceptable. There is no way a classroom teacher can be a parent to the children in her class.

We need to get the pendulum to swing the other way. Many parents may need help in knowing and truly understanding their roles. This is where the church should come in. Believing in Parenting has a program for churches willing to take on this demand it is called a Parent Development Ministry. Designed to be overseen by Children's Pastors, but run by a group of volunteers this program will help the volunteers develop, set up, and run a ministry. The purpose of this ministry is to support all parents in the congregation.   If you would like more information you can either choose to leave a comment below or contact me directly at

Monday, February 16, 2015

Great Thanks to Ona Brown and her Team

Last night I spent 45 minutes with Ona Brown and her team talking about Believing in Parenting. Her endless support and encouragement is invaluable to all  of us stretching out to Own our Dreams! The best thing about her is her dedication to help others to become better. She corrected my tendency to say "you know" which is something I have been working on since I started speaking! I had to laugh when she pointed it out to me.

So, let me tell how I am looking to start fixing my "you know" issue is Ona's coming event Command the Stage Training on March 21-22. Just before I go to speak to Atlanta Concerned Black Clergy talk about the nick of time.If you would like more information this link will take you to the page on Eventbrite to register.

I want to thank Ona, Donovan, and the rest of the team for their support.

In case you missed the show here are some highlights:

Believing in Parenting is looking to bring parent development to local church congregations.

According to Psalms 78:6 God expects one generation to teach the next to love and serve Him with purpose. Therefore we believe it is the job of every parent to empower their children to become adults who live Godly purpose driven lives. We also believe that in Ephesians 4:11-13 Paul makes it clear it is the church’s responsibility to equip the saints to do their work. This leads to our mission of supporting individual churches to establish Parent Development Ministries.

A Parent Development Ministry has three focus points:
  • Getting parents to examine their own lives and to adjust where needed into living their own godly purpose driven lives
  • Facilitating the growth of each parent through an understanding of child development, personality, temperament, and other aspects of childhood to give them the basis for dealing with children based on understanding.
  • Empowering parents with the tools they need to establish strong interpersonal relationships with each child. Then train them to use their influence to empower children to develop lives lived with purpose courage, and conviction.
We think this program should fall under the Children's Minister but be lead by a group of volunteers.  If you have interest, questions,l or comments. Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me at

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Scotland's Madatory Government Nanny Program

Over the last few years I have begun to cry out about the criminalization of parents and parenting. I have done this because I see a time when family life could suffer from such over concern on the part of the government. What is happening now in Scotland gives me both pause and sends a shudder down my spine.  In this program every Scottish child will have a "government nanny" basically a person who checks in on the child for the government. This "named  person" will have access to all things pertaining to the child including medical records. Although, parental input is valued this named person may report their finding to whomever they deemed important without the parent's consent or input. The final straw for me is that the Scottish government is recommending to teachers and school officials that if they note the child's sexual behavior seems concerning they should contact the named person and not the parents.

The Scottish Government explains the program on their site. The program called Getting It Right for all Children or GIRFAC is outlined clearly here . Opponents think this closely mirrors some of the United Nations opinion of what needs to happen with families. I will investigate that and get back to you later.

My great concern with this program is the effect it will have on family life. It is often difficult for parents to maintain a disciplinary strategy and a relationship with their kids. If the government has a person who has veto power over a parent comes into the picture, I think all bets are off. In addition, I love history these kinds of programs were instituted in both Nazi Germany and Communist Countries. This is the ultimate of the child belonging to the state and not the family.

We have already seen some of this in the US. Over the last few years several children who were under the care of a doctor were taken into custody. One case in Massachusetts regarded a young teen who was taken into custody by officials even though she was and had been treated by a specific doctor for years. My fear is this will become the norm. Scotland's law leads me to suspect my fears are based in reality.

 There are those who are fighting this program. I think every person who values family and parenting should donate to this cause. This BBC Report gives more details  here  The original story as I got it was from WND for the link to the story click here

Friday, February 13, 2015

Introducing Believe in Parenting for Churches on the Own Your Deams Radio Show

This Sunday Barb Harvey will be a guest on the Ona Brown Show. Own Your Dreams is a radio show on Love 860 am in Atlanta. This show encourages folks to find their dreams and turn them into plans and goals. I really like the fact Ona talks much more about the journey than the destination. I am sure she gets this from her Dad the famous motivational speaker Les Brown, who by the way is a frequent guest on her show.

Ona has graciously invited Barb to be on her show to talk about Believing in Parenting new program bringing Parent Development Minisries to churches. According to the Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture a majority of parents who attend church on a regular basis seek help when they have a parental issue. However, many churches do not have a specific plan to address these issues. Barb has created a program to help churches fill this gap. You will have to listen to the show on February 15th from 9-midnight to find out the details. If you have questions you can call the show at (404) 355-8699. To listen online . If you would like more information check out the. Great Thanks to Ona post.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Parents admit to having little knowledge of good parenting.

According to a study done by the Institute of Advanced Studies in Culture the following statistics are true.

 "Though a minority of parents say they have “little clue what it takes to be a really good parent” (9 percent), “feel inadequate as parents” (21 percent), or believe that their children need more from them than they are able to provide (31 percent), it doesn’t mean that they are not worried about how they are doing as parents. The majority (55 percent) expressed concern about their effectiveness, admitting that they often wonder whether they are doing a good job at parenting."

As a parent educator I find most parents are doing better than they think. Do you have a question or a comment you would like me to address? Leave a comment and I will help out where I can.

Is Quality Child Care a big deal?

What is the big deal about quality care? I have been asked this question a lot over the last year and I can tell you it means a lot! Quality Child Care is all about how well your child will learn and grow during the first five years of life. I think quality should exist no matter where the child spends those years. This is why I wrote this book. I think all parents should know and understand what is happening in an Early Childhood Setting because it is important that all children enter school ready to learn. If a child is at home with Mom or Dad excellent. However, the parent needs to help prepare the child as well or better (said due to one on one attention) to enter Kindergarten ready to thrive. This book is not just for the parents entering their child into pre-school. It is for the parent who want to ensure their child who is with Grandma or at home will also have the skills needed to do well. The last few sections of this book gives parents the tools they need to provide a quality early childhood program at home. It gives parents a basic understanding of pre-skills and some exercises to support this learning with at home activities. This book would make a great gift to a pregnant or new Mom trying to decide if they want to put their child in care or stay home. It is also a great book for a stay at home Dad looking to grow his skills in preparing children for Kindergarten. There are also many Grandparents who want to  help Mom and Dad or are raising their Grandchildren this book can help.
 Take a look.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Responsible Parenting

Many experts have their view on responsible parenting. The Children's and Family divisions of the world also have their views. My question is what is your view of responsible parenting. It is obvious. This concept starts with meeting a child's basic needs of food,shelter, safety, and comfort, but what goes beyond these basics? I ask you to consider inspiration, motivation, and empowerment. Everyone knows the end of child rearing is adulthood. But, how many start with the end at the beginning? A parent's goal is to turnout an adult who is able to step out into the world with strength, confidence, and competence. Parents need tools in order to accomplish these goals. I think overall parents who inspire confidence and independence, motivate thoughtful decision making, and empower their children to acccomplish their goals is one who is doing well in our culture.Recently, in my professional circle we have discussed how culture effects parenting. Here in the US parenting is very different than other places. It has occurred to me that responsible parenting also includes not just training our children to live and thrive in our culture; but to respect parenting from another. Overall, I think responsible parenting is all about working to inspire, motivate, and empower your children to live and follow their own dreams. While teaching them the things they need to know about living everyday fife. Let's start with every day life. As an adult everyday life obviously consists of going to work, creating and living by a budget, cleaning, bill paying, washing dishes/clothing, self etc. It is about all the responsibilities that we all have to take on in order to make life work. A large part of responsible parenting is all about teaching children and helping then to master these skills. Then it will be easier to thrive in doing the other things in life. Let's look at the others. Inspiringg children takes three things: Finding out what they love to do, think about, plan etc. Helping them to gain the tools they need to pursue those things. Then talking to them and demonstrating for them how you do the same. Most people do not think of responsible parenting has anything to do with how they actually live their lives. The truth however is that your children will live the life they see not the life they are told about. How you interact with others, how you feel about work and life all shows up in how you live and children will follow that before and beyond all else. In the end in order to inspire your children you yourself must live an inspired life. Follow your dreams and talk about how you do it, what it means, and how you feel. If you do not have a specific dream find someone who does and help them follow theirs. Then talk to your children about that, and how it makes you feel. Let them know it is okay for you to have a dream it also okay to help others fulfill theirs. No wrong or right way just a way to choose. Motivating many think motivation is all about hyping up and being falsely encouraging. But, children can spot a fake at fifty paces with not errors. Motivating children is about two things. Getting in there with them and showing them what to do and how to do it. If you want your six year old to clean up after themselves. You should start when they are three helping them to clean up and put things away together. When they are old enough they will automatically pick things up because it is what you do. The second motivator is to listen and act on what you hear. Children will tell you what they need. The issue is parents and other adults for that matter think kids do not know what they want or need. Not true. Maybe we as adults could help them see what they want is not good for them or it would be better to make another choice. This means they know what they want or they can not have it. Children know what they want. What else is a temper tantrum all about? Remember listening is different from hearing.Listening is all about understanding every aspect of what is said. Words, body languages, facial expression, body language are all things that will tell you more about what is being said than the words themselves. Acting on what you understand will greatly depend on what you have listened to. Sometimes acting on what you have heard is about comfort and explaining why what is desired is out of reach or sometimes impossible. Many times it is about being patient and waiting. And sometimes it is about working together to make it happen. Whichever it is get after it! Empoweringyour children is about giving responsibility and stepping back. Many parents are nervous about giving their children more and more independence. My question is if we want our children to act on and be motivated by the inspiration we want them to have we have to help them gain the confidence they need to pursue those goals. The only way to show our confidence is to step back and allow them to do it. Studies show that men are better at this than women. In his article about Vygotsky in Simple Psychology Saul McLeod references this point. Our goal is to give our kids room to grow by giving them responsibility. It is better to slowly give them more responsibility and have to pull back than to fail to give them enough. Now one wants to see a 17 year old with the same responsibility as a 7 year old. It is just sad. So in the end I see responsible parenting as the teaching, inspiring, motivating, and empowering of a child to become an adult able to do the mundane things of everyday life, while reaching for dreams, goals, and aspirations that will fill their souls and serve mankind. Teaching them to do the same for their children. All while living the same kind of life as an adult.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

The Search Institute Family Assest Study

I read a study by the Search Institute that looks at the Family Assets in America. Now usually family assets consist of jobs, bank accounts, and retirement plans. This study however looks at things which make a family emotionally, socially, and psychologically sound. The study looks at five areas: Nurturing Relationships, Establishing Routines, Maintaining Expectations, Adapting to Challenges, and Connecting to Community. According to the study Americans are strong in having good relationships, but have a harder time overcoming challenges or connecting to community. Only 11% of families with tweens and teens show excellent assets. 47% of families fall in the fair category. So, when it comes to inter-relational assets we have work to do. Interestingly, Blacks and Hispanics have stronger scores than Whites and Asians. My question is; is this environmental, cultural, or biological? Perhaps all three. I am interested in the future research this study will generate. You can access a copy of the study at this website. You will have to register in order to get a copy.