Love Well Today & Tomorrow (A Love List)

In today’s world, it would seem in many instances that love is confused with personal desires or goals, or minimized to a single expression of it through romantic emotion. The temptation is to see “love” through a selfish lens or as a means to an end. This list of what I believe are the manifestations of love poured out of my mind and heart for today. Love is certain things, but love also does certain things as well. Check out the list, and as always, I hope you find it to be a blessing.

Love well today.

Listen to understand.

Be enthusiastic.

Be fair.

Show initiative.

Endure.

Be careful.

Share hope.

Choose to try to understand someone’s circumstances.

Use appropriate boundaries.

Be vulnerable.

Be compassionate.

Be other-centered.

Assume there may be things going on that we don’t know about.

Be quiet.

Don’t gossip.

Serve.

Stop the sarcasm.

Lead and follow.

Nurture.

Persevere.

Restore.

Be sensitive.

Be thoughtful.

Accept.

Have vision.

Stop judging.

Be kind.

Be available.

Have integrity.

Seek joy in your relationships.

Be strong.

Talk about Jesus’ love.

Be optimistic.

Ask better questions.

Talk less about yourself.

Don’t let anger last.

Be faithful.

Follow up.

Pray.

Be alert.

Listen longer.

Grow.

Be cheerful.

Discern.

Be full of grace.

Speak truth in love.

Express gratitude.

Be courageous.

Look for progress, not perfection.

Be teachable.

Don’t bully.

Be gentle.

Choose beauty.

Share hope.

Be at peace.

Be humble.

Be bold.

Forgive.

Sing together.

Slow down.

Make eye contact.

Believe.

Listen carefully.

Create together.

Don’t assume.

Pay attention.

Uphold what is true, right, and just.

Be transparent.

Look.

Be purposeful.

Connect.

Do not be jealous.

Be good.

Care with action.

Rest together.

Dare to be different.

Stop comparing.

Be confident.

Trust.

Put your phone down.

Don’t be afraid.

Learn.

Be self-controlled.

Touch.

Regret what you should.

Go deeper.

Give wise counsel when you’ve earned the right.

Encourage.

Be honest.

Choose better.

Stop whining.

Be helpful.

Prioritize people.

Don’t hate.

Speak up.

Be positive.

Have fair expectations.

Don’t treat people as projects.

Share.

Be generous.

Be passionate.

Choose to forget what you should.

Choose to remember what you should.

Don’t fear.

Be authentic.

Be flexible.

Be grateful.

Honor.

Mourn with those who mourn.

Rejoice with those who rejoice.

Grieve together.

Celebrate together.

Do not envy.

Love unconditionally.

Sacrifice.

Be spontaneous.

Be patient.

Treat people as unique individuals.

Seek good.

Empower others.

Look up.

Lift people up.

Be resilient.

Understand.

Be fully present.

Love well tomorrow.

In this video, Dr. Kathy explains that many young people believe they are the center of their own universe. After briefly explaining why they think this, she shares practical, realistic things you can do to combat the lie and lead them to truth. Even inviting someone over for dinner can help. Listen and you’ll discover why.

To learn more about Dr. Kathy’s book “Screens and Teens: Connecting with our kids in a wireless world” and the wide selection of resources provided by Celebrate Kids, please visit shop.celebratekids.com

Diana Waring Interviews “Picture Smart”

When you were a child, when did you feel smart? Think about that for a minute.

One of the reasons I love teaching about multiple intelligences and a main reason I wrote the book, 8 Great Smarts, is because there are far too many children who struggle in school and believe they are not smart. Also, they have great strengths but don’t think that means they’re smart. Depending upon your background you may believe the lie that you are not smart.

For instance, I imagine that people who remember coloring well and enjoying it when they were young didn’t necessarily feel smart because of it. Did you enjoy dot-to-dot books or mazes as a child? That’s because you’re picture smart. Was art one of your favorite classes? This is because you are picture smart. Did you enjoy and do well with maps, diagrams, and designs? Were your favorite assignments ones that involved drawing or creating? Are you creative today with color and design? You are picture smart. This smart could show up with the outfits you wear, or how you decorate your home, the way you display things on your desk, and even the way you plant flowers with a particular attention to the colors. There are so many ways to demonstrate you’re picture smart!

  • You’re not just creative – you’re smart!
  • You’re not just talented – you’re smart!
  • You’re not just good with colors – you’re smart!

At a speaking event yesterday I met a 63-year-old professional artist. She creates and sells beautiful oil paintings. I grieved with her when she told me that some people still ask her when she’s going to get a real job. This is probably the perspective of people who have the smarts most validated by the school system. They’re wrong and it’s sad and it’s among the reasons I’m glad you are here reading this blog.

Here you can watch Diana Waring’s video about being picture smart. Enjoy it. Choose to believe her. And then gather some children to watch it with you so you can talk about it. If you know any adults like my new 63-year-old friend please forward this to them with an encouragement from you. tell them you know they’re smart!

Diana’s Biographical Sketch

Diana Waring is one of the pioneers of homeschooling. For nearly three decades she has been an author and speaker to the international homeschool movement. Diana is the author and publisher of the History Revealed curriculum, the Experience History Through Music series (William T. Anderson authored one of the titles in this series), Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest, and numerous world history and homeschool encouragement audio CDs. She is a video blogger, blogger, columnist for The Homeschool Minute, guest writer at The Old Schoolhouse magazine, curriculum writer, singer/composer, actress/playwright, wife, and homeschool mom. To learn more, please visit www.DianaWaring.com

Inspire Academic Improvement By Resisting The “Perfection Infection”

It happens often. I bet you do it. I totally understand and yet I hope my insights encourage you to stop. Curious? Keep reading.

When you empty your children’s backpacks or go through their school folders looking at their daily work and returned tests, do you ask, “How did the other kids do?”

As soon as we ask, we’ve decreased our children’s security. Suddenly they feel as if ita’s not really about doing their best, even if that’s what we said as they headed to school. No, in reality, it appears we care about how they stand in comparison to their peers. But is that wise? Necessary?

For example, your son may have earned a 92% and been thrilled because the test was challenging. When you ask, “How did the other kids do?” you imply the 92% is only good if it’s a better score than most of his peers earned.

Your daughter may have earned a low score and she’s already feeling badly about it. She’s not looking forward to you finding out and now you’ve put additional pressure on her. Now she may feel the score is even worse because it’s among the lowest in her class. Having to admit this to us may not motivate her to do better next time.

Constantly comparing our kids to others causes our encouragement to “do your best” and “concentrate on yourself; don’t worry about others.” to fall on deaf ears. They’ll stop believing us. They may get angry. These comparisons violate the key identity that they’re unique miracles. Comparing them can negatively affect peer relationships.

Comparing our kids is also one of the things that causes them to think we’re never satisfied and we expect them to be perfect. Jill Savage and I wrote, in No More Perfect Kids: “The more we compare, the higher our expectations climb. There it is: the Perfection Infection.” (p. 37) and “If they compare, or if they hear us comparing, they may feel inadequate and without realizing it, the Perfection Infection can raise its ugly head.” (p. 184) Among other negatives, perfectionism can paralyze our kids and make it less likely they’ll take risks and aim high.

Asking our children how they did is often appropriate. We may not always have to ask. Sometimes wait to see if they bring it up when they want to. We must ask about more than their scores and grades. If we don’t, they’ll think that’s all we care about. This can cause them to put their security in their grades and performances. This is never a good idea. For suggested questions to ask that are often much more important than “How did you do?” check out this relevant video.

When we do ask about their grades, rather than asking how other kids did, we can often follow up with one or both of these questions:

  • How satisfied are you with that grade?
  • Is there anything you’ll do differently when studying and preparing for a similar assignment/test?

Now we can follow up appropriately. If they’re satisfied with a grade lower than we would have preferred, let’s look for teachable moments to discuss why we think they’re capable of more. (But, be careful that they don’t assume perfection is what we want.) The same thing is true if they’re hard on themselves when their grades were excellent and they’re disappointed because they weren’t perfect. We might be able to talk about it immediately. Or, look for an opportunity to bring it up later. If they’re satisfied and so are we, let them know! This will increase their security in themselves and in us.

If our children claim they want to study differently and prepare differently, we can remind them and help them as best we can.

Conversations after school about school are something to take seriously. I trust these ideas will help you successfully get your children to share with you. I know you want to know how things are going. Good for you!

Diana Waring Interviews “Nature Smart”

Interests and abilities. They’re both valid when thinking about multiple intelligences. The ways we and our children are smart show up first as interests. Then, when these interests are responded to, abilities may follow. They may not. Or low ability may follow, but not high. It depends on God’s choice when creating us. right?

I have relatively high interest in some elements of nature, but not all. And, my abilities across the board aren’t strong. This is one of my less developed intelligences. What about you?

I’ve been on safari in Africa and here in the States, including at the fabulous Fossil Rim Wildlife Center near where I live. I go to our fabulous Fort Worth zoo often. I enjoy observing the animals. I don’t need to understand why they do what they do. I don’t need to remember which deer is which.

I appreciate brightly colored flowers and especially in beautiful arrangements. This is because my parents gardened well and my mom had a real talent for arranging flowers in vases. There’s an emotional interest here, but no personal ability.

When my brother and I were young, we caught a garden snake and built a cage to keep it for a while. I paid attention to it, but looking back it was more my logic smart that engaged me than being nature smart. I wanted to know how it lived in the burlap covering of our garden’s rose bush. How long had it been there? How did it survive in the winter? What did it eat? Were there other snakes under other burlap coverings that we didn’t notice when it warmed up and our dad took the burlap off? As I often write – smarts never work alone. They always partner for effectiveness.

You’ll enjoy this week’s video about being nature smart by my friend, Diana Waring. Listen to how she describes the strengths a nature-smart person has. What careers might interest them? Listen to what she believes makes someone great and not just good. I agree with her. Watch this with your kids, too, because it will give you much to talk about.

—————–

Have you missed the smarts we’ve already covered? You can watch Diana’s videos here. And, you can read more about Diana and her curricula using the smarts at www.dianawaring.com.

Diana’s Biographical Sketch

Diana Waring is one of the pioneers of homeschooling. For nearly three decades she has been an author and speaker to the international homeschool movement. Diana is the author and publisher of the History Revealed curriculum, the Experience History Through Music series (William T. Anderson authored one of the titles in this series), Beyond Survival, Reaping the Harvest, and numerous world history and homeschool encouragement audio CDs. She is a video blogger, blogger, columnist for The Homeschool Minute, guest writer at The Old Schoolhouse magazine, curriculum writer, singer/composer, actress/playwright, wife, and homeschool mom. To learn more, please visit www.DianaWaring.com

In this Valentine’s Day video, Dr. Kathy shares a special tradition she has with her two nieces and her nephew. Maybe this is your year to start a new tradition – they make holidays richer. She then wisely cautions us on our use of social media surrounding our gifts and how we’re celebrated. And for anyone for whom the day is hard, her last bit of advice is especially for you.

Content, Grateful, Loved, And Single

When I was a young adult, my brother and his wife called me into their bedroom during a family gathering. They had never done this before, so I knew something was up.

Both Dave and Debbie spoke, but my brother took the lead. They just wanted me to know that if I remained single, they would always be my family. They’d remember my birthday and invite me for all holidays. If I needed something, they’d do everything possible to help.

Until they loved me with these statements, I didn’t know how badly I needed to hear them.

Our parents were still alive and in good health. I still had my old bedroom to stay in when visiting for holidays. But, Dave and Deb were correct – there would be a time when our parents wouldn’t be alive.

Debbie and Dave opened their home to several single women who needed a place to stay for various reasons. Getting to know them and their concerns prompted their declaration to me. They came to appreciate the very real issue for many singles – where will I go when my parents die and will anyone remember me on my birthday?

I’m grateful to God for how comfortable I am being single. I don’t take it lightly. I know many single adults who would prefer to be married and some who are angry at God that they aren’t. I’ve met parents whose greatest concern seems to be whether their children will get married. In those cases, I’m happy to model contentment and fulfillment as a single.

In addition to Dave and Deb’s welcoming statement, what has contributed to my contentment?

  • Jesus was single. If there was anything wrong with this choice, God’s only Son would have been married. Jesus understands my temptations, fears, anxieties, confusion, lack of support, etc. If the single life was good enough for God’s only child, it must be good enough for me!
  • Marriage is not a cure for loneliness or any other thing. Jesus completes us (Colossians 2:10) and people complement us. Expecting one person on earth to do what Jesus came to do is dangerous and will lead to deep disappointments. Marriage is hard work and I know it doesn’t come with guarantees.
  • I’ve cultivated a dynamic relationship with God and expect Him to meet my needs.
  • I’ve become comfortable with who I am so I can be content alone. I accept what aren’t my favorite qualities that can’t be changed and I work on the others. I humbly celebrate successes.
  • I know the difference between being alone and being lonely and use the words carefully and accurately.
  • I don’t allow myself to isolate, but spend time with friends. I have several activities I enjoy and things I do to relax.
  • I’ve learned to ask for help because there are many things I can’t do by myself and other things I don’t know how to do. Asking doesn’t make me weak.
  • I enjoy the freedom I have to spend my money the way I want, eat what I want and where, decorate the way I want, make decisions in the way I think is best, …
  • I pamper myself. I cook good food and sometimes buy myself flowers. I own beautiful china and many other nice things. (I tell young people not to get married for the party and the gifts! Buy what you want.)

Does anything in my list help you think through your situation and contentment? Do you know singles you could share it with? Youth not dating who think they must?

There’s one more thing that’s significant to anyone’s contentment and life satisfaction. Obedience.

Whether single or married, the bottom line is obedience. Singles may not be single forever, but the key is contentment and acceptance for what the Lord has for each of us at any given time in our lives. We must make the most of every opportunity. (Ephesians 5:15‑17)

If I don’t believe my current situation is God’s best for me, what makes me think I’ll trust Him in my next phase? Living with a “grass is greener on the other side of the fence” thinking pattern dishonors God and isn’t appealing to me at all. Is it to you?

In this video, Dr. Kathy recommends some places that can be tech-free so conversations occur and relationships are strengthened. She also addresses a decision many parents make to only use technologyMonday-Friday for educational gain. Limits are wise. Watch this with your teens and talk about it. What can you do because people matter more than devices?

To learn more about Dr. Kathy’s book “Screens and Teens: Connecting with our kids in a wireless world” and the wide selection of resources provided by Celebrate Kids, please visit shop.celebratekids.com

“Come to Momma!”

Upon entering the room, you’re surprised your child is standing. You realize a big milestone is about to occur. You don’t shout, “Sit down. You might hurt yourself!” Instead, you have someone run to get the video camera while you get in position.

You expect progress, and you show that to your child through your behavior and language. Positioning yourself four feet away with your arms outstretched, you smile broadly and use only an encouraging tone of voice. Focused on the goal, you communicate, “Come to Momma!”

One step. Then another. A fall. A second try will appear as a false start. Over the next few days there are missteps. Attempts. Half-steps. Fall downs.

These aren’t “mistakes” though. We would never tell people our child made a mistake trying to walk, even if he fell down on his tenth attempt. Rather, it is more likely we would announce his every attempt. We call our parents, siblings, and friends and perhaps even post it on Facebook: “Jared tried to walk today!” This is our attitude because we’re looking for progress, not perfection—for growth, not completion.

We know error-free walking is the goal. It’s possible, but only if it’s the destination. Perfection can’t be the journey. The journey must be built on faith in the possibilities and an expectation for good, better, and then best.

As you’ve noticed, children don’t crawl for long. They pull themselves up, walk around things, walk alone, skip, gallop, and eventually run. When they fall down doing any of those things, they almost always pick themselves up and keep going unless we react as if they should be upset. Gasping, looking at them with alarm, running toward them, and asking if they’re okay will likely cause the tears to flow even if they are not hurt by the stumble. Our reactions are often mirrored by our children’s.

Their goal to walk is accomplished and celebrated. At a young age, they long for progress.

What if, throughout their growing up years, we had a “Come to Momma!” perspective? What difference would it make if we could see progress even in the smallest of ways from our preschooler, gradeschooler, teenager, young adult? What if we expected them to stumble along the way and we didn’t consider that stumble a mistake? What if we stayed at four feet away, not eight? What if our arms are reached toward our children, not folded in front of us? What if we smiled instead of frowned? What if we had an encouraging, optimistic tone in our voices, issuing a request our children want to fulfill, not demands they can’t live up to?

What if our children had a “Come to Momma!” belief system? I can accomplish what my parents are asking me to do. Attempts aren’t failure; they are part of life. I can pick myself up to try again. Perfection may never be reached or even necessary because I know my parents will celebrate my progress.

This “Come to Momma” mindset is incredibly important to remember in growing our children’s confidence and managing and motivating positive change. When things can get tense because of everything that’s going on and children wish they could be perfect, let’s remember this. (I write more about this belief system in the book Jill Savage and I wrote for you, No More Perfect Kids: Love Your Kids for Who They Are. There’s tons in it to encourage you.)

Welcome Focus On The Family Radio Listeners!

Welcome! If you’re here for the first time because you listened to No More Perfect Kids on Focus on the Family Radio, we’re glad you’re here!

You are your children’s first and most important teacher. The ways you love them, mentor them, and teach them matter! Celebrate Kids is here to offer you ideas, practical skills, new ways to see your children as well as encouragement for the tough times.

Teachers face many challenges in their work. When they attend one of our workshops, they gain different concepts to add to their understanding of their students and can plan innovative and effective ways to meet the needs of all their students. Educators are heroes in our eyes!

Church-based teachers, leaders, and volunteers are equipped to love, lead, and teach well during these days when culture is teaching our children and us if we’re not careful, that Truth is what ‘I’ want it to be, and you can have your own Truth. Teaching God’s Truth is just as important as it’s always been.

Our seminars, whether in a church, school, camp or another setting, promote these truths, so children and adults become convinced they apply to themselves:

  • I can be smart with my smarts.
  • I am created on purpose with purpose.
  • I am who I am supposed to be.
  • I am a human being, not a human doing.
  • I am a unique, one-of-a-kind, created-in-the-image-of-God miracle.
  • I will control my technology. It will not control me.

Radio is an efficient way to influence people, and we’re grateful to Focus on the Family for the opportunity to be a guest on their show. Speaking at events sponsored by Christian schools, public schools, homeschool groups, churches, camps, corporations, and conventions are the most common way we meet people’s needs. Providing hope and direction is a privilege! You can learn more here.

We also support you in these ways:

  • This blog. Check out a list of recent and popular posts in the right sidebar. Clicking on “multiple intelligences” at the top will direct you to the posts about our smarts. You can subscribe near the bottom of the sidebar, so you don’t miss any posts.
  • Our twice-a-month email newsletter will keep you inspired and equipped to celebrate your kids well. Subscribe here.  There’s no risk. We won’t use your email address for any other reason, and it’s easy to unsubscribe. We hope you won’t, but we’ll understand if you do.
  • Kathyism videos are posted to our Facebook page and on Vimeo.com. Two-five minutes in length, they’re produced for you to watch alone or with your kids. Fun and influential!
  • You can also connect with us on other social media sites for an open exchange of experiences and ideas.  Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
  • Our website includes information on my main topics. For instance, you can read about multiple intelligences here. My speaking schedule is posted there, and you can get to our shopping cart to see what books, CDs, DVDs, and other materials may meet your needs.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope that you’ll continue to follow us and take advantage of all our resources so you’ll find solutions for today and hope for tomorrow. It’s why we do what we do!

During the scheduled airdates, the streaming audio of this broadcast will appear on the Focus On The Family Radio broadcast page along with a brief description. Click here to find a station in your area. After the airdate, the program will be posted here for 31 days.

In addition, a downloadable podcast will be available on iTunes (just search for Focus on the Family Daily Broadcast). Thank you for listening!