Posts tagged ‘parents’

August 24, 2012

Back To School

by pastortimfowler

Back to School 2

 

As I was taking our international student to school today I noticed that all the other kids were back to school this week. He goes to a private school that started over a week before public school did. The traffic was heavier and slower thanks to the buses on the road. I was starting to think about letting Freddy ride a bicycle so that I could avoid that morning madness. The way my wife is feeding him, he could use the exercise.
Going back to school always made me sick. I got sick more during the school year than any other time. I never got the kind of sick that made me run a fever, usually it was a stomach ache. Most of the time it was only an 8 hour bug that really seemed to start easing off within an hour of the bus going by my house. My guess is that I was allergic to something at school; probably having to do with those old books.
My mom never posted pictures on Facebook of me going back to school. She didn’t cry and get all emotional either. Well, I did see her laughing hysterically a few times as I looked out the bus window. I don’t remember any parents, “back in the day” posting kids going to school on Facebook. Parents just sent their kids off on the bus or that dreaded 3 mile, uphill walk in knee-deep snow, and then they would all meet to celebrate with moonshine, fresh from the still.
When my kids were young and going to school, we never had to worry about sending them back to school. They never got out of school through the summer. But on the rare occasion that one of them passed a grade and got a break from school, we did not post their pictures on Facebook. To be honest, we did not take many pictures of our kids at all. We figured that because they had to live with us anyway, why create any evidence that could be held against us when they moved out.
Facebook is a great thing. I use it to post my blogs, stalk, I mean, keep up with a few close friends, and find material for my blogs, like thousands of pictures of kids going back to school. I do not believe that Facebook was created for back to school pictures posted by parents. It was created by a college student. College students don’t post anything that parents are proud of, why should parents do otherwise? Facebook should be limited to pictures of those report cards, or, pictures of that letter from the truant officer and/or notice of suspensions that will drive many of you to drinking again. But then again, my parents didn’t post those things about me on Facebook either.
So, rejoice that the little ones are going back to school. Go ahead and post those cute little pictures, we know what is coming later. Those little angels who look so cute now, will be those fallen angels with colored hair, stuff sticking through their nose, and pre-drawn tattoos as they wait to turn 18 and really embarrass you.
I want to leave you with a Bible verse to go with all of this. Philippians 4:4 Always be joyful in the Lord! I’ll say it again: Be joyful!

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May 10, 2012

Mother’s Day

by pastortimfowler

 http://www.flickr.com/photos/marcusandsue/6989520159/

In case I get busy tomorrow, I wanted to be sure and get in my Mother’s Day blog. If there was ever group that deserves a holiday, it is this one. Mothers are awesome. There are two women in my life who have shown me just how awesome they are, my mother and my wife. My wife tries to tell me what to do like my mother did, but I never listened to her either, so get over it, dear.
My mom had some faults, but I know that without her I would not have been born. As much as my dad wanted me, he was not able to get pregnant and therefore married my mother to have me. Her first attempt to have me was a failure. Not a total failure, because it produced my sister. But my dad really waned me, so they tried again, and you know what they say, the second time is the charm.
When I was born they liked me so much that they tried to have another me, but it too ended in something not quite me, my brother. Don’t get me wrong, they liked them, but they were not me. I was my parents favorite first-born son.
My mom raised me special from the beginning. I did not get the first born’s hand me downs. I was the first of my siblings to learn to pee standing up. My sister claims that she could have done it first, but I guess it wasn’t that important to her until I started doing it. My mom dressed me in blue before the others and she also gave me the most masculine name of the first two of her children.
Mom cooked my favorite meals quite often. Chicken, burgers, and bacon covered anything were the top of the list. Often she would cook other stuff for the other children, but I know that she was only trying to not play favorites. It is hard for a mother to show favoritism when she has more than 1 child even though I believe she wanted to. Part of the reason that I think I was her favorite child is because she was my favorite mom as I was growing up.
My mom went to heaven several years ago. I believe she is there with no more pain from the cancer that took her life. I believe that she no longer worries about me and those other two she birthed. I believe she is trying hard not to play favorites when she tells God how thankful she is for having us, but I know that when no one else is around, she tells God how special I am.
My wife is the other mom that is special to me. I believe that it is something genetic that I inherited from my dad, but I too could not get pregnant. So I had to find someone who could. I wanted to have a child just like me because I was such a joy to my mom. Sadly I got stuck with those kids that we had to raise. They are okay, but they are not me. My wife, their mom, says that they are just like me, but we all know that would be too good to be true. I think that she loved me so much that she wanted more of me and sees those traits that make our children better. You can’t blame her for that.
My wife is a great mom. She made the children eat the same food I liked and rarely cooked them anything else. She dressed them like me often and even made our oldest, my daughter, learn to pee standing up so that she could be more like me. This is still very troubling to my daughter and her family now. My wife made all of our children promise to always say they love me more and taught them to be Gamecock fans. She never worried about how she was perceived, only how they perceived me.
In all the years that we have been married, she has treated me like she was my mother. She said that if she didn’t have any children that I would be her favorite child and believes that I will never grow up. Of course I am extremely mature for my age and this is just her desire to never stop being a mom. She cooks for me, cleans my room, makes sure I have everything I need to watch every football game the Gamecocks play, and always makes sure to leave to toilet seat up, because after all, I learned to pee standing up.
Happy Mother’s day to my two favorite moms and to all mothers out there. Sure, you don’t have children like me, but not everyone can be so blessed. Enjoy the kids you have and you can always teach them to be like me by continuing to read my blogs and teach them my ways. My two favorite moms did it with their kids, and you can too.

April 17, 2012

Children Deserve Better

by pastortimfowler

Parents today have a hard time raising children. They can’t do what they want to do without fear of government intervention. Schools can’t do what they need to do because of fears of lawsuits and lose of funding, and that only leaves grandparents as the source of hope, and we can’t keep the kids long enough to straighten them out.
I heard on the news today about a 6-year-old girl who was handcuffed by the police because she was pitching a fit at school. She was throwing things in the office and turning over bookcases. When I did that as a kid, no one called the police. The principal grabbed me and busted my butt with a paddle and then called my dad who took me home and busted my butt with a belt. Six year olds don’t need the police called on them, they need what I got if they act out like that.
As I watched the news story about this event, of course they had an expert come on and make excuses for the kid. She said the girl probably had ADHD or PBDO, or some pshyco-babble disorder that needed to be understood and the schools needed to be better equipped to handle this. So we need psychologists and a police station in the elementary school? I think that if we better equip principles with wooden paddles we could solve a couple of problems. First, six-year olds would think twice about showing off like that because, and I speak with experience, paddles hurt, and kids would start wearing their pants up around their waist to provide a little protection from when they misbehaved.
When I heard that the police were called to handle this problem, I immediately thought that it would have been a good day to be a bank robber in that town. While our police force was handling the important job of raising children, bank robbers could be doing their thing with less of a chance of getting caught. I can only imagine when that police officer was growing up he was thinking about becoming a cop so that he could protect the world against six-year-old girls in elementary school. I would love to know when they would schedule that training at the police academy. Do they put it before or after what to do if a bank robber pulls a gun on you?
Children do not need to be abused. But they also don’t need to be handcuffed. Most of them do not need a psychologist either, unless this is repeated over and over again. They may just need a paddle across butt and the promise of another one if they do it again. Too many parents are trying to be anything but a parent to their children and too many schools are trying too hard not to be a place where kids get their little feelings hurt. Adults have a responsibility to teach children that there are authority figures in the world that deserve our respect. Children need to know that bad behavior has serious consequences from mom and dad or the principal. They need to know that they do have to mind and they do have to follow rules. If they don’t learn it as a six-year-old, they won’t learn it as an adult. It is kids who don’t learn this early in life that end up needing to be in handcuffs as adults. But they do not need to be handcuffed as a six-year-old who is just pitching a temper tantrum.
Our children deserve better.

December 8, 2011

Spending Time With Kids

by pastortimfowler

Tomorrow I am heading to Washington DC to see the Army/Navy football game being played there Saturday. This will be the second year in a row, and I am stoked to get to do it again. Being a Navy veteran and the son of a Navy veteran, it has always been a special game for me. What makes it even better is that my son is going with me again. It would be great if both of my sons, and even my daughter, could go, but that just isn’t possible.
I have been blessed to have a great relationship with my adult children. We can talk about most anything. Our favorite subject is their mother, but that is another blog for another time. We enjoy hanging out and have fun when we do. And this all started when they were small children.
I was definitely not the perfect parent when they were little. But I had a desire to spend time with them and to try to be. From the time my daughter was in preschool, we went to dances and father/daughter date nights and I rarely missed a game that she cheered for. My boys and I fished, play video games and I coached their teams when they played sports. I even played “roady” for my youngest son’s band for a couple of years. My wife and I tried to take vacations that had us all spending time together rather than finding a place to entertains us as individuals. Sure we had some vacation nightmares, but for the most part, we always enjoyed our time together.
So now that they are adults, we still find time to hang out. What is cool is that I see them spending time with their children now. Taking them to ballgames, cool vacations, and special events of music and plays. I can’t tell you how special that is because I know that these times spent bonding now will last a lifetime and will grow into a habit of spending quality time together for years to come.
Don’t think that your children don’t want to spend time with you. Parents don’t have to be best friends in everything, but they do need to be examples of how to have a good time with the one’s you love. Those things are priceless lessons that embed in the heart and grow to be memories that never fade and continue to be made every time you get a new chance to spend a special moment together. If parents teach children how to have a good time, then they won’t have to learn it from other kids who have no parental influence in their lives.
So tomorrow there won’t be a blog. I will be driving to DC with my oldest son to spend Saturday at the stadium watching a game that I have loved ever since I was a kid watching it with my dad. GO NAVY! BEAT ARMY!

December 2, 2011

Child Discipline

by pastortimfowler

She is at it again, my friend who asks me to blog about stuff that usually gets me into trouble. Today it is about child discipline according to the Bible. People tend to freak out when you quote the Bible and it goes against what “the experts” say, but I tend to lean towards what the Creator says to get my beliefs. The Bible is not an outdated writing that needs to be changed to fit our needs, it is God’s instructions for living a life the way that He knows is best for us.
First, yes it is okay to spank. Proverbs 23:13-14 Do not hesitate to discipline a child. If you spank him, he will not die. Spank him yourself, and you will save his soul from hell. The King James actually says to beat him with a rod. This is a reference to the good old hickory switch. So let me put in my two cents worth.
I don’t believe you should whip a child with your hands, those are for hugging and holding as instruments of love. I don’t believe you should whip your child if you can’t control your anger, and certainly never while angry. Just like our legal system has a guide for punishment to fit the crime, parents should establish the same. For example. If you child does not do what you tell them to, the first time he or she is in time out. The second time they get 2 swats with the weapon, I mean the instrument of correction. If a whipping is warranted, you tell the child what he has done wrong, the punishment for what he did and that in 15, 30, 60 minutes, (however long it takes for you to not administer this in anger) the 2 swats with a belt, or switch will be given. Then they go to their room, remind them of the disobedient act and the punishment and administer it. If both parents agree on this and even write it down and post it where all can see, kinda like the 10 Commandments, then punishment is not done on the spur of the moment and will always fit the crime.
There is a difference between spanking and abusing and spanking is not abuse but rather correction. Pain is a powerful teacher and we know that sometimes we all have to learn the hard way. Excessive and abusive physical punishment comes when parents react in anger instead of love. It is defined by whelps (not red marks) or bruising and in worst cases blood. It should always be administered under control and on the meaty part of the buttocks. If you are angry and out of control, you will hit too hard and miss where you need to strike. Again, NEVER whip in anger. Anything with a closed fist, strike to the face or head, or with an instrument that can be damaging even under control should never happen. And, if you are whipping a child too frequently there is a problem and you should seek counsel. If discipline is administered properly, whippings should be few and far in between and should decrease in need as the child gets older.
Second, it was asked, what amount of authority should a parent have over a child and should a child speak against or defy a parent? Colossians 3:20-21 Children, always obey your parents. This is pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, don’t make your children resentful, or they will become discouraged. Children should always obey their parents while they are minors. They should be taught responsibility and given liberties that are equal to their ability to reason, but always be in submission to the parent. Disobedience in the smallest of things leads to disobedience in bigger things. Parents should NEVER allow a child to be defiant on purpose. They must learn obedience at home or they will lack it elsewhere and especially with God. Proverbs 3:11-12 Do not reject the discipline of the Lord, my son, and do not resent his warning, because the Lord warns the one he loves, even as a father warns a son with whom he is pleased. Revelation 3:19 I correct and discipline everyone I love. Take this seriously, and change the way you think and act.
Parents must learn to communicate with their children, telling them about right and wrong and the consequences of disobedience. We should find ways to let our children tell us why they did what they did. It may not have been disobedience as much as misunderstanding. Our children should never be scared to defend their actions when they believe that they were acting appropriately. But when they cross the line into defiance, we as parents do them no favors by allowing it to go uncorrected.
Parents teach children who God is by their actions as much as by their words. God thinks it is so important for a child to respect its parents that He made it one of the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live for a long time in the land the Lord your God is giving you.

August 16, 2011

Back To School

by pastortimfowler

Summers are just not long enough for kids and those who love spending time with their kids. But it has come to that time where we send them off in their new clothes with their new books to learn new things. It is an exciting time and can be quite nerve-racking. Our little rug rats are growing up!
I remember when I was in elementary school. We use to have to walk to school in knee-deep snow and then walk home when the snow was even deeper. It was uphill both ways too. But while I was at school I knew that the teachers and principals were people who had the same basic values that my parents did. Basically they demanded respect, effort, and adhering to specific values. Those values were biblical and no one ever complained about it because biblical values are what our laws are based on and they promote hard work along with compassion.
My 1st grade teacher use to read us a Bible story every morning. I remember hearing about David and Goliath and Joshua shouting down the walls of Jericho and how God created the world that we know it. Later in the 3rd grade I had a teacher who use to teach us music and often we used hymns to help us learn to read notes. By the time I got to middle school, things were changing. Not much more than the curriculum was taught, but we still had that core value base that was in place.
I always knew that there was going to be consistency in what I was getting at school and what I was getting at home. My dad always said that if I got a whipping at school that I could expect one when I got home. Sounds tough, but it was true. Now we have parents suing schools for disciplining kids and then complaining when the kids don’t learn anything. And the last thing that your kids will hear in school these days is that God created the universe, much less the story of David and Goliath. Instead they are taught new stories about families with 2 mommies or 2 daddies and when they get to middle school they are taught how to use condoms and where to go if you need an abortion.
Still I hear the complaints from parents that their kids don’t want to come to church and don’t want to know God. They tell me that they don’t know how to overcome all the “science that disproves the Bible”. I hear about kids having sex at younger ages and doing drugs and drinking in their teens. Parents are frazzled.
Last night in a Bible study this subject of why kids have no respect for the things of the Bible came up. So I asked the 15 men present, how many of you read a Bible story to your children every day? How ’bout once a week?. The answer was, none of them. My next question was this; Then why would you expect the schools to do it? Followed by this one: Do your kids think God is real and important to Daddy?
You see we pitch a fit when our school takes God out of them, but the truth is, God is not in our own houses either. We only visit His house on Sunday. We complain about schools not allowing prayers but we never pray with our kids at home. We proudly wear our “Put God back in Schools” bumper stickers, but maybe we need to put Him back in our homes first.
Here is God’s idea to help our kids:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9
4 Listen, Israel: The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God.
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6 Take to heart these words that I give you today.
7 Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up.
8 {Write them down, and} tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder.
9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
If we teach our children about God like this at home, we will have less worries about them wherever they go. But maybe, just maybe, then the kids will be the ones to take God back to school.

August 2, 2011

Where Do Babies Come From

by pastortimfowler

The other day I received a note from one of the mom’s at our church who was telling me that her child was asking that scary question of where do babies come from. Most parents face that question and fear that they will say the wrong thing that will scare their child away from ever having children and therefore the world’s population will gradually decrease until there are no people left on earth. Right?
I have heard some really weird answers to that question. The one I dislike the most is the stork. Storks are not baby carriers. They do not have the neck muscles that would be needed for such a task. Even if they did, their skinny legs would snap upon landing and if that happened around a pond or river, like where you see most storks, then the baby is likely to float off and be raised by a family of wolves or snapping turtles.

My parents told me that I was found under a cabbage leaf. I thought that this was a good explanation until I was old enough to actually smell cabbage cooking and see where it came from. If you have never smelled cabbage cooking, then you can’t understand this. It stinks! No baby would ever be found near something that has the capability of stinking so much while it is being cooked. The other problem with this is that cabbage is grown in open gardens in dirt. This leaves the possibility of the baby being carried away by deer or rabbits and then growing up thinking it is okay to jump in front of moving cars, or to be sucked into the ground by worms.
Most parents who are shooting for the honesty thing tell their children that babies come from mommy’s belly. That is not true because that is only where the baby stays until it is time to be born, meaning it had to have been put there somehow. Kids are not that stupid and will eventually ask about this.
Many kids are told that the doctor put the baby there to grow and will take it out when it is ready. I would never let my wife go back to the doctor that put a baby in her belly because I know the truth. Secondly, not all babies come out of the belly directly. It is only in recent modern medical history that this could be true. The caesarean birth is not the original way for babies to get out and thus we are stretching the truth a bit if that is all we tell the children.
That leaves telling the children about sex as an option. Then we have to decide if it is worth the anxiety this causes us. Most kids don’t really care about the mechanics of sex, but for some reason we think that we need to get way more graphic than we should, causing anxiety, and resulting in us saying something like, “the stork brings them”.
Christians default to God as the one who puts babies in bellies. This would be fine if we are talking about Mary, the mother of Jesus, but most of us did not marry, Mary. The Bible does say that all children are a gift from God, but He allows us to have a bit of fun to make those gifts. So what now? What are we going to tell those pesky little kids who ask those tough questions?
Much is dependent on how old they are when they ask. If they were below the age of 12, I told my kids to go ask their mother. If they were over they age of 12, I told them that this was so important that it would require us to spend two or three hours a day together talking for a few months, at least. That sent them running to play video games and me never having to talk to them again about anything serious.
Seriously, unless you want your child learning from his or her older, “smart” friend, the best thing that you can do is tell them the truth and keep it age appropriate. Most kids who grow up to be adults figure out where babies come from, but sadly they go through much unnecessary experimenting to find out. The Bible is full of examples of people having sex in order to create a baby. That might be a great place to start, reading the Bible. Whoda thunk it?
Do not be afraid to answer the question, where do babies come from?