Success and marshmallows

Research is showing that self-control may play a tremendous role in a child’s future success.  Psychologists have done tests with children who could either have one marshmallow now, or two a little later – if they were able to wait. In later years, a follow-up study revealed that the children who were impulsive and ate the first marshmallow right away scored more than 200 points lower on their SATs than the impulse-controlled children who delayed gratification in order to get a second marshmallow. And the children who waited did better in school, were considered more dependable later on as adolescents, and better able to deal with stress and frustration.

Helping our kids learn the value of saying “no” to themselves while they’re still young might just help them achieve a greater measure of success in their adult life.

Honoring fathers

In 1909, Sonora Dodd created the concept of Fathers’ Day to celebrate the many sacrifices her father had made to preserve his family after her mother had died. She described her father as a selfless, courageous and loving man. Today, 108 Fathers’ Days later, more than 24 million children in America live in fatherless homes.  The absence of fathers from their children’s lives has led to poverty, low self-esteem, low academic achievement, juvenile delinquency and teen pregnancy. Fathers change lives.  Honor those fathers that are working hard to influence the next generation.

Have you heard “I’m bored” yet?

Are your kids spending too much time in front of the TV or computer? If you answered yes to either of these questions, have your children volunteer. They can visit nursing homes (check into bringing their dog along to cheer up the residents). They can help out at your place of worship or at other non-profit agencies. If they’re curious about the medical field, have them volunteer at a hospital or veterinarian clinic.

Focus on their interests and let volunteering bring value to their summer.  

Summer can be a dangerous time for teens

When teens are out of school they spend more time behind the wheel. That’s why they’re at greater risk during summer break. What can you do to help protect them? Insist that they wear their seatbelt. Let them know that driving is a privilege. Make sure they understand the dangers of speeding and drinking while driving. Remind them to avoid getting distracted by: friends in their car, cell phones, eating or putting on make-up.

Confident kids

I heard of a father who has a 6-foot-tall daughter who asked him to take her to the prom.  And, since she wanted to wear high heels, he was the only one tall enough to take her.  She wasn’t concerned about what her friends thought… she followed her heart.  She was able to do that because her father had instilled confidence in her by letting her know that she was unique and beautiful.

So let your daughter know that she is special… one of a kind.  She may not ask you to the prom, but she’ll go, with confidence.

Mastering your mountains

Steve May shared the following story:

There’s a story told about Sir Edmund Hillary, who was the first (along with Tenzing Norgay) to reach the top of Mount Everest.

It happened on his third try. On Hillary’s previous attempt he not only failed to reach the summit, but his team also lost one of its members.

After the failed attempt, Hillary spoke to an audience about his experience. Behind him on the platform was a huge photograph of Everest. Hillary turned toward the photograph and said, “Mount Everest, you have defeated us. But I will return. And I will defeat you. Because you cannot get any bigger … and I can.”

When it comes to facing mountains, do you know how we ‘get bigger’? It starts with faith. Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20)

Edmund Hillary became ‘bigger than Everest’ through better planning, more detailed research, greater teamwork, and tenacious perseverance. And it started with faith — the faith that this mountain could be conquered.

No doubt you’re facing a mountain or two today: a mountain of debt, a mountain of fear, a mountain of uncertainty. Mountains don’t move without determined effort, thoughtful planning, or courageous perseverance.

And these things all begin with faith. It is faith that gives you the wherewithal to attempt something bigger than you. Not faith in ourselves, but faith in the God for whom nothing is impossible.

Changing your perspective on time

When your children were younger, it seemed as if the days were very long.  Getting up often at night went a long way to convince you of that.  But looking back now, you see that your kids are growing up fast and, in fact, the years have been short.  And they will get shorter.  There’s no better way to live your life than enjoying your children right here, right now.  So leave work a little early today and go play catch with your son or have a tea party with your daughter.  There’s no time like the present.