Prayerful Parenting Messages
Segment One: Life Matters. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? I don’t think it is a mistake
that the cold, gray days of January serve as a reminder of the death sentence handed down 27 years ago, when the Roe V Wade decision legalized abortion in our country. This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone and 43 million babies have given their lives for our “freedom of choice”. Their innocence and their rights ignored in favor of our selfish choices. “Right to Life” has
been a passion of mine since a bold pastor read the “Diary of an Unborn Child” to our congregation and I offered my typewriter and writing skills to become the newsletter writer for a local Right to Life Chapter. I was 15 years old. Later, at a fairly prestigious public college, I was rigorously chastised in an upper level Psychology Class, when I challenged our professor, who “shared” her personal experience of having not one but four
abortions as an example of her “growth and power” as an adult. Teach your children the truth about life and the hard choices one must make in order to maintain integrity and the “clean hands” that Isaiah 1:15 speaks of: “When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims.”
Segment Two: Divorce Still Hurts. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? I’m still laughing at
the antics of Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in the holiday movie release, “It’s Complicated.”
This dark comedy about mid-life romance, marriage, and relationships rings true in so many ways. This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone, and while the film is not white-washed nor religious in any way, there is a stark moment of Christian sentiment that demands our attention. When long-divorced parents decide to “try again” on their marriage, the them in
an embrace, is poignant and troubling. The kids are near tears, shaken, and clearly confused. The eldest tones: “But we are still trying to get over the divorce.” reaction of their
three grown children, upon finding The divorce that occurred a decade earlier. The
message to Prayerful Parents: Divorce destroys children. It is never easy and it is never over and it is almost never the right choice. Abuse and addiction? There is probably little choice, but for the garden variety reasons that parents split….think again. Your children, and yes….according to Hollywood today…even you might regret it. Scripture says: “God
hates divorce.” ( Malachi 2:16) No wonder. It’s too complicated.
Segment Three: Hollywood Movie Messages.Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? It has
been an interesting winter season in terms of Hollywood’s perspective on what appeals to the American public. For the first time in a long time, there is a decidedly “spiritual” and “hopeful” theme in the cinema and it speaks to our souls on many levels. This is Dr. Linda
Karges-Bone and Prayerful Parents have some interesting choices this winter. Keep in mind, I’m not stretching the positive swing to accommodate a Christian world view. I’m not that naïve. However, films such as “Avatar” , “The Blind Side,” and “Up in the Air” expose our need for love and peace to prevail over selfishness and loneliness. Perhaps it is the recession or the decade of disillusionment and scandals that we just left in 2009, but people are seeking now more than ever. Hollywood responds to that hunger, but what about our churches? I’m not thinking of a movie night, but rather of sermons and outreach that deal with loneliness, separation, healing, justice, and compassion. Proverbs 11:14 speaks to this: Proverbs 11:25“The one who blesses others is abundantly blessed; those who help
others are helped.” As we move into a new decade, how does your family and your
choices reflect that belief….in the small screen that really matters…God’s eyes?
Segment Four: Sleep for the Brain. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? "Sleep patterns
and sleep routines matter because they have both long-term and short-term implications for health and cognitive development," said Lauren Hale, an assistant professor of preventive medicine at Stony Brook University Medical Center in Stony Brook, New York. "If it sets a pattern in the way you treat sleep or bedtimes, these patterns may last your whole life unknowingly."This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone and a new study published in the Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Practices suggests that families, especially single parent and poor families may be ignoring the critical importance of bedtime. In fact, the study showed that only 67% of children living in poverty have a set bedtime and in that group, only half of the three year olds are put to bed before 9:00 PM! Sleep is critical for neuro-genesis, the growth of new brain cells and for the hippcampus to work in reatining new learning. Children need sleep and routine. Parents need quite time and routine. Perhaps 2010 is the year for your family to commit to regular bedtime routines . Scripture has it right: In Psalm 3:5 we read: “I stretch myself out. I sleep. Then I'm up again—
rested, tall and steady.”
Segment Five: The Truth About Happiness
Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? Even though the US Constitution guarantees us the right
to the “pursuit of happiness”, most Americans have a hard time finding , sustaining , or perhaps even recognizing this elusive feeling. This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone, and Prayerful Parents might be surprised to learn that having children actually has a small “negative” effect on happiness and on marriage for that matter, but then again, some of you might not have spent six to eight weeks of your life with a colicky infant! Seriously, it is not children nor money nor material possessions that bring you happiness. As researchers look for what does inspire happiness, they found some surprising answers. 1) Happiness is found in transcendent moments. It is not a state of being. 2) Happiness is found in simple pleasures not expensive items; 3) Married people are more happy than single people, if it is a good marriage; and 50% of your ability to be happy is probably inherited from your parents. So, it is not really circumstances that make one happy, but the way that one approaches life! Baylor University professor Michael Frisch notes that happy people make more money and are more content in every aspect of their lives. That’s a happy thought, but how can we tap into this positive psychology? Scripture has an answer: Ecclesiastes 2:26 “To the man
who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness”.
Segment Six: Heathy New Year. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? After a joyous holiday
season that might have included too many rich, sweet, and salty foods, you and your family could be feeling lethargic and stuffed. Perhaps it is time for a New Year’s food makeover? This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone, and Prayerful Parents should be aware that certain foods can help you and your children feel better, think more clearly, have more energy for family, faith, and fun. What are the “feel good” foods for 2010? Try a snack of air-popped popcorn
seasoned with herbs to boost mood. Start the day with a cup of green tea or cocoa made with dark chocolate to create warm feelings. Non-fat milk can ease mood swings. A handful of nuts feeds the brain with choline and evens out mood. One holiday food that you want to keep around is turkey. Tryptophan boosts serotonin levels and mood. High fiber, whole grain choices in breads, pasta, and rice keep blood sugar even and create more energy and better moods. Dark chocolate made with 60 or 70% cocoa can ease tension in a tough business meeting. I always bring a basket to our weekly faculty meetings! Finally, Olive Oil may decrease the effects of aging on the brain and lower blood sugar levels. Scripture notes the importance of this brain-friendly food in Deuteronomy 7:13: “The LORD will
love you and bless you by giving you many children and plenty of food, wine, and olive oil.”
Segment Seven: Smarter Children. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? The world is a
tough, competitive place these days. It is often the “survival of the fittest” and today, that means….the “smartest”. This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone, and helping children to become
more fluid and flexible in their language, thinking, and problem solving is a critical parenting task. It doesn’t just happen and it doesn’t happen only in school. The early years
and time at home contribute enormously to children’s cognitive development. So, how do
you increase the gray matter that matters so much? I will give you the color RED as an
acronomyn. The R is for READING. Read to children daily. Make sure they have books of
their own. The E is for Engagement. Engage your children in conversation. Teach them to
ask questions, to consider options, to evaluate situations carefully. And the D is for DOING.
Active rather than passive boosts brain power. Outdoor play. Helping with chores around the home. Caring for pets. Playing sports. These are ways to connect neurons. RED can make your child’s brain RED HOT for learning. Ecclesiastes 10:10 nailed it!
“Remember: The duller the ax the harder the work; Use your head: The
more brains, the less muscle.”
Segment Eight: Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? Valentine's Day is February 14th and if
you are dating or engaged, it is a Big Deal! The right card, the right gift, the right restaurant all figure into staying in the good graces of one's romantic partner. This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone, and I want to challenge Prayerful Parents to get back into the good romantic graces of spouses, in ways that the world will not understand. Here is what you need to do. Re--think your marriage vows. If you truly believe in a sacred, life-long commitment to marriage. If you believe that your first marriage is ordained by God, no matter how imperfect each partner might be….then you need to care for that marriage with the utmost
sensitivity and sacrifice. If this is the only shot you will get at marriage….then you need to make two decisions right now; 1) Stop admiring other future mates and pay attention to your own mate. Lust is dangerous and a waste of time. 2) Stop tearing down your partner and start building him or her up. If you keep on bullying, nagging, and criticizing your husband or wife at the rate you are going, there will be nothing left in six months. 1 Cor.
13:14 says: “Love is patient. Love is kind.” Most of the time, marriages decline because of
starvation and selfishness. So, invest affection, support, and respect and you will have a marriage to cherish on Valentine's Day and every day.
Segment Nine: Lent. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? This message is for Father Tony, a
Franciscan priest who influenced my walk as a believer, and whose passion for Jesus Christ led me to become an Evangelical Christian. Father Tony knew how to get ready for Easter. As soon as the Christmas tree was tossed, he began teaching the sacrifice of Christ and how believers should prayerfully prepare for a remembrance of the Crucifixion. I remember one Holy Week service, in which he prostrated himself at the alter, overcome with sorrow and weak from fasting. He wanted us understand the pain and power of Christ’s love. This is Dr.
Linda Karges-Bone, and my favorite devotional writer, Dr. Oswald Chambers cautions believers against teaching solely about a God of love, ignoring the huge price that Christ paid for our sins by dying on the Cross. Yet, we tend to gloss right over the death of Christ and start celebrating the Resurrection. Galatians 6:14 says:”May I never boast except in
the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ,” This winter , Prayerful Parents, consider how you
will prepare you family for Resurrection Sunday. It was a long walk down the way of Sorrows for our Lord Jesus, and we need to teach our children to appreciate the sacrifice of the Cross in order to celebrate the Freedom of the Resurrection. Thank you Father Tony. I was listening
Segment Ten: Signs of Autism. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? When the poised and
attractive movie star Jenny McCarthy spoke before a Congressional Panel about the need for autism research and support, people listened. Her bold message and her organization www.generationrescue.com have done much to help families. This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone and the word Autism comes from the Greek word “Autos”, which means “self” and these young children display a spectrum of behaviors that make it difficult for them to connect to the outside world. They are focused “inward” and cannot communicate, make eye contact,
or play in normal ways. The latest studies suggest that autism is more prevelant in white, middle or upper class boys born to highly educated, older parents, though any child could present with the illness. What are the signs? Children who do not “babble” by 12 months or
say words by 18 months. Toddlers who will not make eye contact or cuddle. Little ones who seem to regress inward, perhaps spinning, twirling, or making repetitive hand motions. Early diagnosis and intervention can help in 2/3 cases and often to great advantage. Don’t delay. Go with your gut and seek help immediately. Autistic children can re-connect to the world when Prayerful Parents connect with expert help.
Segment Eleven: Baskets Break Down Clutter. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? As you
prepare for Spring Cleaning, consider the handy option of baskets to teach your children organizational skills and to cut down on clutter and disorder in the home. This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone, and research suggests that children raised in neat, orderly homes have higher grades in school. Clutter contributes to anxiety, wasted time, lost projects and papers, and unhappy parents. No wonder grades may drop. Try the system of giving each child a colored laundry basket to use to “tote and transfer” his or her items. Train children to push, pull, or carry the basket through the house, putting away toys, shoes, books, and even clean folded clothes. The same basket can be used to bring dirty clothes to the wash room. Keep a separate basket on the counter for important school and doctor’s papers. Retain yet another basket with handles by the door that is for the trip to school or daycare. Pack this basket the night before so that you can simply grab it on the way out. Colossians 2:5 says:
“I am delighted to hear of the careful and orderly ways you conduct your affairs.” An
orderly home and children who learn early to maintain that order is an excellent witness to your commitment to Prayerful Parenting.
Segment Twelve: Sibling Studies. Welcome to Prayerful Parenting.? Do your kids always
seem to be fighting? Do you worry about spacing the births of your offspring to coordinate with some magical “best practice”? Do you fear that having an only child might be a negative? You’re probably worrying needlessly. This is Dr. Linda Karges-Bone and much of
the folklore surrounding family science is confusing. A new book titled Nurture-Shock:
New Thinking About Children by Bronson and Merryman offers some comfort. Studies
from around the world seem to suggest that only children may be better adjusted and more capable than those in larger families. The “social interactions” that occur with siblings can be just as unproductive as nurturing . And, there is no ideal spacing of children. Two years, three years, or ten years…what matters most is the personality of each child and the skills
in getting along that the parents model for them. And…keep in mind, it is normal for
children to an average of 3.5 “clashes” with siblings in an given hour. Finally, the scripture in Proverbs 18:23 about a “Friend who is closer than a brother” is uncanny.. Kids
generally do treat their friends better than siblings, because they have to. A brother or
sister is going to be there no matter what….God willing….and that is a cool thing.