Browse Category: Parenting Uh-Ohs

Listen Here You Spoiled Little…

I was one of those people who waited in line at Honey Baked Ham the day before Thanksgiving. You’ve seen the line before, it funnels into the store after wrapping around the block. Then when you actually make it into the establishment, you switch-back-and-forth for 15 minutes to pick up your ham. Lengthy, yes. C’est la vie.

Photo credit: Saitor (Creative Commons)

After picking up the ham, we had to wait in yet another line to pay for it. While waiting something caught my ear — a well-dressed gentleman, maybe 40, speaking on his cell phone. My immediate thought, “Wow, he is laying out on one of his customers.” Cuss words were flying and the conversation we getting heated. He wasn’t terribly loud and demonstrative, but I’m certain that those nearby could hear his most of the things he was saying. What he said next broke my heart.

Listen here you spoiled little f***: if you don’t listen to me, I am going to take away your Xbox for a week.

I was appalled. Didn’t even know what to say. Possibly shame on me for not saying something, I don’t know. But in the end, I was floored. Who would speak that way to a child–let alone your own child? What sort of life do those words speak into this child’s life?

It got me thinking: what words do I use around my children? How do I speak life into these young, impressionable girls right now? Are they being edified by the things I say?

Most of the time, I would say so. But there are moments of frustration that cause me to overheat a little. Those moments need to be brought before the Lord and counter-balanced with forgiveness, healing and, in the end–life-giving speech toward one another.

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Have you ever been convicted by the words you’ve said?
What can you do to speak life into your child’s life?

Yes, I Yelled At My Daughter

It happened last night during dinner.

My wife was at one of her yoga classes and I was by myself with the kids for a couple hours during dinner. Our oldest, Sophia, has been going through this phase lately where she’s hit or miss during mealtimes. Sometimes she is crazy about green beans. Other times she abhors them. Quite honestly, it has been frustrating.

And then it happened; I raised my voice and said something to the effect of, “Sophia, if you do not eat your food, we are done!”. It wasn’t that the message I communicated was wrong; it was my tone and the manner in which it was delivered. All of a sudden, I was condescending, harsh, and unforgiving.

Certainly it wasn’t a moment I was proud of.

Nobody's perfect...

Lately, God has been reminding me about the grand importance of speaking life into my children’s life. In an opposite-kind-of-way, this was how he showed me this last night.

In one split second I crush her delicate spirit. I was immediately convicted to ask for her forgiveness. I did and it was a humbling moment–a brief story I don’t plan on forgetting.

I can speak life into her by asking for forgiveness. It demonstrates humility. It admits a shortcoming. It places others above myself.

I want to always remember to affirm, encourage and admonish my children. In the same vein, I also want to remember to show them it is okay to be mad, upset and frustrated (in healthy ways).

In the end, I want my life to communicate that their daddy is far from perfect, yet points to a heavenly Father who is infinitely perfect.

Have you had to ask forgiveness from your child? What happened?

Photo credit: laurenbratton

Phil Dunphy, Yo!

I love Modern Family. It’s a refreshing comedy that details the everyday life, struggles and wins of a family that despite their obvious differences, choose to stand together. My wife Jen gets a kick out of Cam and Manny. Me personally, I’m a Phil guy. He’s your typical suburban, real estate dad that loves his wife and kids. He’s clumsy, sensitive and is always trying to fit in.

To be quite honest, when I’m with my family I feel like I channel Phil all the time. What is my “Dunphy-ism”? My wife would say that I’m goofy even though I’m not trying to be. For example, she laughs at the way I dance with our girls. Apparently I’m like Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing, but minus the rhythm and swanky hair. So, basically I’m Chris Farley. Want proof? Check this out.

While it’s fun to goof off and relate to your kids in in creative ways, we must not forget the the great responsibility we have as parents to speak life into our children. What does this look like? For me lately it has involved extending grace to my 3 year old. As her father I want to communicate God’s truths to her right now, even in her young age. I’ve also been reminded lately about how God views my children. They are more than the nicknames we call them; they were created with a purpose, to live a life that brings Him glory.

What is a “Dunphy-ism” that you can relate to? In what ways do you ‘speak life’ into your children?