Whole Family

In a recent parent/teen workshop, one of the parents expressed the challenge of using wholeness as a framework for the family. A schedule that starts at 7 am with the family heading out the door to school and work and not ending until 7 pm makes it hard to even try to exercise and eat well let alone explore some of the other pieces of wholeness.  Others piped in that they too are pushing schedules that leave everyone exhausted. Weekends were busy catching up on chores, getting kids to soccer matches or other extra-curricular activities.  

Parents were also concerned that their kids be ‘well-rounded’ with lots of activities that will show up on college applications and increase their kid’s chance at success in a world that has become hyper-competitive. The fear and anxiety were palpable, as these concerned parents felt obligated to run a rat-race lifestyle for themselves and their kids even though deep down inside they wanted off the merry-go-round of this hyperactive lifestyle.

I agreed it is a challenge but it is also a choice to become proactive and break out of the reactive patterns in which most of us feel trapped. As we looked at the Wholeness continuum—it is clear that 85% of people live on the 0-5 reactive side. And the parents in this workshop could see they were too. But they also learned there is another option.Putting your pieces together Continue reading

Discipline or Punish…what helps a child learn best?

It has been a tough month for the NFL.  There’s the Ray Rice domestic violence case and now charges against Adrian Peterson for child abuse related to his hitting his four year old child with a switch to the point of leaving significant marks on the child.

All sorts of people have weighed in on this case–some in horror to what was done to this child and others with a shrug as they say “Well, I got hit when I was a kid and I turned out okay”.  This is forcing us to confront a huge reality–that we have used punishment as a regular method of child development for a very long time. Some insist it is a good and necessary tool in a parent’s tool kit and others insist it be removed forever.

But here’s the key issue–if we are going to help our children build healthy, whole and dynamic lives, are we going to use discipline or punishment as the way to do this.  To discipline means “to teach”. To punish means “to hurt”.  Framed in this way–it really asks parents to decide–are you teaching or hurting as your method of helping your child learn how to build their life?  It’s a choice that we all have to make. Continue reading