Be a great coach. Children who started out in a sport or activity will grow in it and may excel. Because of the encouragement and validation their coaches gave, they are able to make it to the “big leagues”. Coaches want to win. But more importantly, a great coach wants kids to have fun, get exercise and learn good sportsmanship. A child wants to be valuable to the team…to be an Olympian. To make that happen, a great coach needs to follow three simple rules. First, don’t put pressure on the child. Let each player find his own place on the team. Second, make sure each kid gets some one-on-one attention. And third, encourage their natural talents.
Here is a great thought from Shirley Dobson:
There’s no doubt that our culture’s assault on innocence is being engineered by Satan. The apostle Peter says that the devil “prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8). If you have a strong-willed teen under your roof, he or she could very well be Satan’s next target.
When a lion approaches a buffalo herd with the intent to kill, he typically avoids the healthiest members of the herd; rather, he spends his time scouting for a sick, injured, or elderly member to attack. Your strong-willed teen is like a vulnerable buffalo in some ways. Those who suffer from low self-esteem are more likely to fall under the influence of peers than their more confident siblings. Like the lion, the devil may very well single out your vulnerable son or daughter to attack with weapons such as drugs, alcohol, or sexual temptation.
To hold back the enemy, we suggest that you keep your strong-willed teen involved in healthy activities. Though constant busyness and overstimulation are equally harmful to any child, large quantities of unstructured time can be devastating for the naturally rebellious teen. Get him or her involved in the best church youth program you can find, and encourage participation in athletics, music, part-time work, and other activities. Scripture warns that “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” That can certainly apply to your strong-willed son or daughter.
Approach your kids’ adolescent years as a wonderful and exciting time to be enjoyed, but also recognize that it poses many risks and challenges to their spiritual and physical health. Do whatever you can during this brief period to get them through the minefield of evil through which they must walk. There is greater safety in the early twenties, when judgment and confidence will develop in your kids. Until then, invest yourselves in their welfare, and above all—stay on your knees!
A pen and paper. I know what you’re thinking, “Doesn’t he mean a mop and broom?” Nope, you heard right. I want you to take ten or fifteen minutes and think about the attitudes and habits you want to sweep out of your life. Is smoking dirtying your lungs? Do you need to wash away a family grudge? Or is negative thinking cluttering your mind? Whatever you need to change, write it down and commit to getting rid of it. Leave no personal dust ball unturned. And hey, once you’ve tackled that kind of spring cleaning, the usual sweeping and vacuuming will seem like a breeze.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. told us what greatness is all about. He said, “Everyone can be great because everyone can serve.” One of our jobs as parents is to talk to our kids about the significance of serving others and show them how to do it. First, serve in your home. You don’t have to look any farther than the four walls of your home to serve others. Doing chores together around the house, like washing dishes, vacuuming, and taking the garbage out, will teach your child how to serve. Serving is a great lesson that your kids should learn how to model.
Gambling among adults, and even teens and younger children, has proliferated since our state governments began embracing lotteries as a “something for nothing” source of revenue in the early 1990s. Buying a lottery ticket has become an almost patriotic act.
Yet the apostle Paul warns what happens when we are careless with God’s money: “People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction” (1 Timothy 6:9). Indeed, gambling addictions have been linked to substance abuse, suicide, and child abuse, resulting in the destruction of families.
The easiest way to protect your family from the ills of gambling, of course, is to refuse to play the game. For instance, we have traveled to Las Vegas without ever putting a nickel in a slot machine, even though two rolls of coins came with our hotel reservations. As Scripture says, “Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil” (Proverbs 4:27). Sometimes the obvious solution is the most effective one of all.
Children who are fitter and whose fitness improves during childhood and adolescence have better lung function as young adults, according to a large study published in the European Respiratory Journal.
Good lung function in early adult life is believed to lower the risk of developing chronic lung disease later in life, but until now, there has been very little evidence that childhood fitness had any bearing on adult lung function.
Chronic lung diseases, such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), are a leading cause of global ill health and, with an ageing population, this is projected to get worse. The new study provides early evidence that keeping children fit could help reduce the burden of lung disease in the future.
The results show that fitter children had better lung function and the more their fitness improved during childhood, the greater their lung capacity when they reached adulthood. The link between lung function and fitness remained after the researchers took account of factors such as height, weight, asthma, and smoking. The results also showed a stronger effect in boys than girls.
The better your lung function as a child, the better you’re protected against lung ageing in later life. It seems that regular sports in childhood and adolescence, ensuring development of peak exercise capacity, may be your lung-insurance for later.
First, deal with those intense emotions by calmly removing your child from the situation and sending him to his room…the fewer words you use to do this, the better. Second, when you sense he is ready, ask your child to write down what he’s angry about and why he’s angry…writing it down works because it activates reflective thinking in a child. After the note is written, discuss it with your child, and talk about how he can deal with the situation differently the next time. Sure, he’ll have an angry outburst again…but eventually he’ll learn an important lesson on how to deal with his anger.