Posts Tagged ‘Parent’

I came across this article (below in italics) and felt it had many great points for those who are single, have families, and are of any religion. Even though the article is geared to those who have a small-business and family, many of the points apply to all of us.

Personally, family life can be balanced quite well, when one decides that their priorities fall in this order:

Faith, family, and then work.

Unfortunately, for most people today their order looks a bit like this: Work, Work, Work, Work, and somewhere way down the line is family, and quite often no faith at all. No surprise we have a 50% divorce rate, broken families, and youth gone wild is it? The wealthy families are often living no different from poor families when it comes to family life either. Wipe out the material aspect, and just look at the family aspect, and you will understand my previous statement.

All that people are frustrated by financially and politically can be managed by re-setting priorities. The world will fix and heal itself, if we all just refocus on what is important in life. It sounds simple, but for many they just don’t have the character, or will to stand up and fight. They give in to man’s ways and spin in the cycle of unhappiness.

So here is the article. What do you think?

How to Keep Your Small Business Without Losing Your Family by Craig Ford

Unfortunately, work often competes with family.

Ideally, the two would work together, but …

The small business owner always feels this tension. The traits that make a small business person successful in the work place include strong work ethic, creativity, and determination. The book Overcoming the Dark Side of Leadership: How to Become an Effective Leader by Confronting Potential Failures says your greatest assets are also your greatest liabilities. Your leadership strength is also the thing that is most likely to lead to your downfall.

The small business owner who invests 80 hours a week in his or her business – because of strong focus and determination – is also the most likely to burn-out and neglect his or her family.

So how do you keep your family without losing your business?

The 30 Second Commute : The Ultimate Guide to Starting and Operating a Home-Based Business has a list of things for the home-based business owner to consider:

Involve your family in the business plan developing stages – be clear about what will change, might change, and won’t change.

Communicate openly with your spouse – know the answers to the following questions:

What are your expectations during this new phase? – be with the kids during the day? home on weekends?

Are you on the same page financially?

What is your greatest fear as you enter this new endeavor?

What will the family need to sacrifice, for how long?

How do we know the plan is not working? Have an exit strategy in place.

Communicate clearly with the children – what are their new boundaries.

When spouses work together:

Consider this carefully as few spouses can spend such extended hours together and their marriage be blessed.

The game plan
Before starting any new business venture I believe a husband and wife should sit down together and clearly discuss the family implications of a new business. Here’s how:

On a piece of paper write your average weekly, daily, or monthly activities. Then ask, “How will this activity change if I take on this business?” Beside each activity indicate if it will change, might change, or won’t change.

As a couple, ask each other if you are willing to sacrifice those items that will change.

Never Go in it Alone
In the book Moms Needs, Dads Needs: Keeping Romance Alive Even After the Kids Arrive Willard F. Harley,Jr. suggests the following agreement:

Never do anything without an enthusiastic agreement between you and your spouse.

This is a rule I often break and the reality is that when I break this rule the results have not been a blessing to our marriage. Most of us operate with the following rule:

As long as you won’t be ‘too mad’, I think I’ll do it.

However, when running a small business a lot will be demanded of your family and your marriage. If you are not both enthusiastic about the choice, that decision will put more and more pressure on your relationship.

The Exit Strategy
In the post on How to Evaluate Risk When Starting a Small Business we talked about the importance of having a financial exit plan. What if things do not work out according to plan?

You must also have a family motivated exit plan.

What if the business starts demanding more time? What if the business is not on track in terms of growth? While one spouse might be willing to make a longer commitment to the business, both must agree when enough is enough and it is time to move on to something else.

I believe there is a broken correlation between those who are highly successful in small business and those who have fantastic families. In other words, it is hard to have both – hard, but not impossible.

Remember the Important Role of Prayer
While God is already with us, prayer is an intentional invitation for God to join you in the midst of your discussions.

In prayer, barriers are removed and anger released.

Commit to spending time in prayer over major decisions. A flesh act is one where we proceed with a plan without first consulting God. Even in business we walk by the Spirit.

Remember, there are some things that should never be sacrificed.

What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul? (Mark 8:36 NIV)

In the same way I would ask – what good is it if you have a successful small business, but lose your family?How I categorize gains and losses, I would actually call this a loss.

Read more:

Job Requirements

Provide affirmation, information, clarity about values, limits, boundaries, and guidance.

Establish clear boundaries with family power dynamics.

Establish a sense of confidence in the home along with authority.

Keep your child young as long as possible

Keep them away from things deemed for adults

Do not let T.V., advertisements, and peer pressure undermine your parental authority.

Teach children to respect and obey biblical authority, but to challenge sinful authority.

Teach them adults and children are not equal.

Teach them about entitlement; teach them they are entitled to love, care, and education, but not worldly possessions. Explain the difference between needs and wants.

Model values, purchasing habits, and communications skills

Hold tight to parental authority and stop any manipulation immediately.

Nurture your child from birth to adulthood and beyond

And always remember that no computer, television, or iPad, can teach your child how the world works.

You must teach your child. The best teacher is you the parent.

Proverbs 22:6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

With several years experience in education, I get asked quite often,”How do I choose a school for my child?” There are several factors involved, but I will go through a few things to be aware of and look out for.

The number one thing a parent should look out for is the willingness of a principal or tour guide to answer their questions, and allow them access to all parts of a school. There are times when tours are allowed, that principals advise their staff to keep certain areas of campus off-limits to visitors, even though it is public and you have every right as a parent to see every part of the campus. The reason for this is the school could have 25% high achievers, and 75% low achievers. What the tour guides want parents to see are the 25% high achievers, even though they may know it could affect your child in a negative way if they are mixed with low achievers. You might ask,”Why would they do such a thing?” The answer lies in Federal dollars. The more students in a school, the more money a school receives.  When principals think about keeping doors open ethics are often compromised, because in reality they know with a huge population of low performing students, the high performing students will avoid the campus. Principals will even keep their worst performing teachers, and fire their better teachers, because often, the better teachers complain about these types of administrators. Things get really hairy on mismanaged school campuses.

The number two thing a parent should look for is the school profile sheet. This information is public record. A parent should look it over carefully. Three things that often affect academics in a school are constant discipline problems, poor attendance, and poverty.  You can look at expulsions, in-school suspensions, and attendance information online. If you want your child to succeed, it is advised that you look for the schools with high attendance, low-free and reduced lunch, and little to no expulsions or suspensions, unless of course the school completely isolates it’s high achieving population. This is like a school within a school and the campuses are divided basically between achievers and non-achievers.

The number three thing a parent should do is online research. There are plenty of sites that give school ratings and reviews. They are often very truthful ratings no matter what a principal may say about them.

The number four thing a parent should do is talk to students and parents. If a parent talks about how good a school is please find out how often they go on campus or are actually involved.  A lot of times, you could get bad advice, if they are just throwing an opinion out there with no hands on experience at the campus. Ask the students,”Do you feel your principal and teacher care about you?” The kids will often tell the truth, especially the high-achievers.

In review, if the campus is totally open, the attendance is high, discipline problems low, most students are paying for lunch, online reviews are great, and you hear great word on the streets, you are more than likely picking a fantastic school for your child. Keep in mind that fantastic schools are fantastic because of parental involvement. So be ready to work as hard as your child.


So what does it take to be a great dad? It takes heart. Everything we do comes from our heart. You either want to do it, or you do not. It’s as simple as that.

Dad’s are more important in the direction their children will take than media, society, or they themselves realize. Having talked with several kids over the years the number one thing I hear is,”I wish my dad were around.” There are literally thousands of adults walking around on any given day wondering,”Why did my dad leave?” There are thousands of children following negative paths because dad left. To be a great dad you must be in the game.

To be a great dad you must lead by example. Your kids are watching and so are their friends. If you are married or single, take time to cook meals, sit down and talk with your children at dinner, spend time with them doing an activity that they love, if you dislike something, do it anyways. Be open and talk them about the hot taboo topics. If you do not, their friends will. These things teach your child or children that you are interested in them, and that sometimes you have to do things that you dislike. To be a great dad you must show interest and lead by example.

Children will often test the waters and see how far they can swim. We know that our abilities only allow us to swim so far. To be a great dad you must discipline. Discipline can be accomplished a variety of ways and there are several books that discuss this. The key is that you let your child/children know in a loving way that you are the leader and that they must follow. I watch National Geographic shows with my kids and tell them,”Look at the animals. Who is leading and disciplining? The father and the mother. Even the animals understand.” To be a great dad you must discipline.

All over the World children starve or lack the material comforts that we are afforded in G8 countries. We buy our kids so much, that often we have sacks of items to give to thrift stores. Teach your children to appreciate and value what they have. Teach them not to waste food. Teach them to conserve. Teach them to care for everything they have. To be a great dad you must teach your child/children to appreciate.

When a child is born they know nothing. Children learn through experience and practice. You must teach your child the path you want them to take. When children fail, dads we have to self-reflect, and ask ourselves,”What are we teaching our kids?” From learning how to ride a bike, swimming, fishing, or the many other things children can do, fathers must teach. To be a great dad you must teach your child skills and challenge them.

At some point you will hear,”Dad I messed up.” During this time it is wise to stay calm, ask questions, and understand the situation. Show empathy and compassion no matter how much you want to explode in anger. Your child coming to you means they want help, dad’s advice, and possibly just an ear to share whats on their mind. To be a great dad show empathy and compassion.

Child: “Dad you forgot my newspaper for my homework.” Dad: “Sorry. I forgot to pick it up.”  Dad’s often make mistakes. To be a great dad admit your mistakes.

Father: “Hello, boss. I am sick and unable to come to work today.” If your child is nearby, and know you are not sick, you just taught them dishonesty. Often we rationalize dishonesty. We take a pencil home from work, yet we feel guilty with stealing a dime.  None of us are perfect, but as father’s we must do our best and make a conscious effort to be honest. To be a great dad be honest.

If your married, honor and value your wife. Husband: “Did you empty the trash?” Wife: “No, I forgot.” Husband: “Do you always forget?”  That word always is a killer. I must admit that I have been guilty of this word. The kids listen. Father’s must make effort to show appreciation for what the wife does, and value her work. When you kiss your wife in front of your children, you show them your love her. Show affection often. Tell her you love her. To be a great dad, value your wife.

In summary to be a great dad you need to be in the game, show interest, lead by example, discipline, teach them to appreciate, teach them skills,  challenge them, show empathy, compassion, admit mistakes, be honest, and value your wife. This will go along way in your quest to be a great dad.

One final thought, which is a preference of mine,  is to follow God’s teachings to the best of your ability, and be an active church member with your family. The reason I state this is we often fall short of the glory of God. I have on many occasions. I have prayed more than once saying,”Dear Lord I have messed up and I am not worthy to be in your presence.” The Bible has so many inspirational stories that give us insight on being a great dad and why we should follow them. It also gives a higher source to look towards than man. I have read many self-help books, psychology books, and I love the resource that all the professionals provide, but the Bible exceeds them all in my opinion. The church provides an outlet to socialize and share with other believers that are working towards, or already on a path of positive change. When my children ask,”Dad why do you love God?” I say,”I have been around the opposite of God. Drugs, alcohol, criminals, and people who practice the opposite of truth, and I cannot find peace, truth, love, or honesty among them. When I am in church, or in prayer, I feel a sense of love, peace, and happiness. God provides, Satan takes away.”

When I am spending time at the park with my kids as they play there are often large groups of mothers with their children, and periodically I get to hear their complaints, and struggles with being a stay-at-home mom. I would like to address a few of them. And let me state upfront this is not meant to slam anyone, but just observations I have made.

One of the biggest complaints I hear is,”I do not have enough time for myself.” What this complaint often boils down to is poor time management. When managing time one must set it up like a bank account and do debits, credits, and decide what is important.  Many mom’s look to load their children up with activities to get them out of the house so they have more time.  Of course there are mother’s who do this for their child’s social skills, and educational benefit, but I am just going by what I hear off the tongue. What the mom’s thought would be a break, ends up being a daily routine of running from one activity to another. And guess what? Yep! You guessed it. They have no time for the other household duties. The biggest one being a hot healthy meal for their kids. What happens then is the trip to the local fast food joint for some processed slop. Childhood Obesity is a problem in American? No! Really?

Another complaint that I often hear is,”My husband does not spend enough time with the kids.” I see that in many father’s, but often dad’s are locked into rigid employment schedules that do not allow them the time to get away, or the personal finances are so over-stretched he has no choice. By the time father’s have time, most want to just unwind on the golf course, fishing, etc. Unfortunately, many men do not enjoy unwinding with their children after a hard stressful day. And throughout history mom’s have had the child rearing responsibilities. It really wasn’t until the feminist movement came along that some mom’s said,”Hey, what am I doing at home with kids?” Personally, I find that totally weird, but that is my opinion.

The strangest complaint to me is,”My husband does not make time for me.” Men love woman! We are loaded with testosterone.  When a man is losing interest the number one area for a woman to look is within herself. What is the biggest turn off for a man? Nagging! Did you do this? Did you do that? Why are you never……? What’s wrong with you? You always do……” Etc, Etc! The Bible makes reference several times in Proverbs that it is better to live on top of the roof, in a desert, or to have a rainy day than listen to a nagging wife. It’s the worst thing ever for a man, and you can look like Ms. American ladies, but if you’re a nag,”Forget it!” Keep in mind the man you are nagging is busting his derriere for you at work to provide all the necessities and more often your wants. Woman I know to be nags often could not earn, or supply what the husband does financially. So in regards to that, I say stay-at-home moms should be thankful for their husbands hard work while they are at home. When thanklessness and nagging exceed acceptable levels, we often see breakdowns in the family unit and divorce. Sadly, these stay-at-home moms, and their children, end up worse off financially.

With these observations, I can conclude there is too much,”What about me?”, poor time management, and thanklessness for one of the greatest jobs on Earth. Stay-At-Home moms be thankful for your role because you are lucky beyond measure, have the most important job, and are truly blessed.

Teaching in America today is quiet interesting. We have the education businessmen who push products to improve profit. We have the huge testing environment to check on progress. We have people in the system who tell fairytales about success.

If you ask any child including your own, about their perception of school change most will tell you that from elementary to high school they have noticed a decline in schools. Interestingly many parents blame the school system, which is partly to blame, but who has the child over 16 hours per day? The parent.

From my perspective as a teacher the person who has the most influence on a child is the parent. This is why as a parent, I spend a great deal of time teaching my own kids. Who has more interest in the product of your child’s success than you the parent? Nobody!

So if schools are to improve in America, we are going to need parents to step up to the plate and bring about change. Statistically, the best schools, have the most involved parents and the most educated parents.

The change resides in you!