Since Saturday is July 4th, Dr. Kathy shares July 4th memories from her childhood. She challenges us to think about what we value about America (or wherever we’re living) and whether we’re passing these values onto our kids. Her suggestions for how to do that will encourage you.

Honoring Family The “Smart” Way

It Was Their 51st Anniversary. Their Grandchildren Had A Special Gift...

girl piano

There are many benefits to children understanding how they are smart. As I’ve often written about and taught, smart is a power word. All children want to know they are smart. It empowers them to be more optimistic about school and to take it more seriously. But there is so much more.

Children who know how they are smart know how they can serve. How they can say thank you. How they can bless others.

On Saturday night I experienced a beautiful example of this. My host and hostess were celebrating their 51st wedding anniversary and four of their grandchildren were with us. Their grandmother asked each to play the piano as a gift to her.

No one complained. Some of the girls asked what piece she’d like to hear. Some played their favorite song. Each played beautifully. The sisters listened to each other respectfully.

It was a great night. Each girl was affirmed and their grandparents were loved.

Make sure your children know how they are smart. Raise them to serve and add joy to people’s lives through their smarts. Everyone benefits.

Freedom To Think, Freedom To Speak

If you want those around you to think, start with respect.

college girl opinion

On Saturday night, I observed something beautiful. Picture this. Four teenagers, their parents, and their three grandparents were all in the living room. A friend and I were also there.

Our conversation went here and there and it was truly enjoyable and stimulating. Asking, answering, talking, listening, laughing, respecting.

The oldest teen, who just finished her freshman year in college, spoke up. She respectfully stated her opinion about something and was able to back it up with reasons that were solid to her.

I waited.

No pushback. No disagreements. No shock expressed by anyone. Her sisters didn’t disrespect her. No adult made her feel bad or stupid. She hadn’t been either.

I imagine at least some of the adults in the room were concerned about her opinion or her reasons for her opinion, but they didn’t argue or negate her. No one wrung their hands worried. There were no sideways glances. None of us were plotting, immediately thinking about how we could get her to change her mind. That wouldn’t have been the place to do it.

This summer, how many times have your children already whined, “I’m so bored!!” Dr. Kathy suggests a very practical solution that might work in your home. She also addresses the reality that children need to learn to live with boredom, responding to it in healthy ways rather than always trying to avoid it. It’s a fact of life. Listen all the way to the end for another golden nugget. Then, please share it on your social networks.

Can You Help? Input Needed for “How Am I Smart?” Update

Moody Publishers has asked me to refresh the book, "How Am I Smart?" I Need Your Help

ckhaisbk091Have you read my book How Am I Smart? A Parent’s Guide to Multiple Intelligences? Have you heard me speak on this topic?

Moody Publishers has asked me to refresh the book. I’ll be updating illustrations, adding ideas about how technology and intelligences interact, adding more about how important proper character is to the healthy uses of our intelligences, changing chapter organization, and more. We’ll republish the book with a different title and cover in March, 2016. I’m excited!

I’d be so very grateful if you’d comment here if you have a story to encourage me and my readers. (If you post, you’re giving me permission to use your illustration. Thanks!) Here are questions I’ve thought of, but I’m sure there are others.

  • How have your children benefited from understanding how they are smart?
  • How has an understanding of multiple intelligences positively influenced your relationships with your children?
  • Have you, as an adult, benefited in any ways from understanding how you are smart?
  • Do you wish you would have known about the smarts when you were a child? What difference do you think it might have made? What if your parents and teachers would have understood there were 8 ways to be smart?
  • What questions do you have that you hope my new book will address?

Can you take some time to serve and help me? Thanks so much!

Have you heard the dreaded, “I’m bored!!” more than you’d like already this summer? Although it’s good for kids and their brains to learn to handle some quiet and slower pace occasionally, Dr. Kathy recognizes it’s challenging when kids think they’re bored. That’s a key – observe to see if they’re really bored or if it’s something else. Maybe your son is jealous that a sibling chose a toy he wanted. Maybe your daughter is lonely and frustrated that her sister won’t play with her. Let’s teach our kids to express what they’re really thinking and feeling so we can help. (Make sure to watch for next week’s video about responding to kids’ complaints they’re bored.)

Joy Abounds At Tech Free Church Camp

More Kids Enjoy Being Offline Than You Might Think

The worship times were amazing.

On Monday night at camp, three-fourths of the students raised their hands. Interesting! I believe even more would have raised their hands on Thursday if they would have been asked the same question.

930 middle school and high school students from one church spent last week at camp together. They were without phones or other handheld devices. I was so glad to be there to speak.

Mud pit. Unique slides and other activities in the lake. Mountain biking. Crate stacking. Zip line. Rappelling. Riflery. Slip ‘n Slide. Archery. Orienteering. Hiking. Super swing. So much more.

Because Dr. Kathy just attended a wedding reception for good friends and her niece got married last month, she’s been thinking a lot about what makes people attractive to each of us. What about you? What do you find attractive in people? How would you hope your children would answer this question? Do you want them attracted to teachability or pride? Optimism or pessimism? Talk about it and why you value what you do. They’ll benefit in friendships and beyond.

“Go Fish!”

Enjoy Slower-Paced Activities From Childhood To Continue the Blessing...

father daugher hands holding

I was in and out of a half-sleep. If you’ve tried to rest on plane trips, you know how I was feeling. Groggy. Out-of-it. Somewhat frustrated I didn’t have the energy to concentrate long enough to get anything done and somewhat glad.

Then I heard it. Or, did I?

“Go fish.”

A minute later I was sure I heard it.

“Go fish.”

I opened my eyes to see a dad and his young daughter playing the card game in the row in front of me, to the right. Such a warm feeling followed.

Earlier on the flight, the dad had been reading something on a device. I’m not sure what his daughter was doing. Now, he was fully engaged with her.

“Do you have any 9’s?”

“Go fish!”

I loved hearing this. It wasn’t just because a dad was being a dad, but it brought back warm memories from my childhood. I hadn’t thought of the game in years, but it didn’t take much for it to come back to me.

What could you introduce your kids to this week from your childhood? What slower-paced activity could you engage in? Who can you engage with?

Do it and enjoy!

Children must understand they’re important. It can be the truth that helps them overcome challenges and motivates them to keep walking through valleys. Dr. Kathy shares three very significant insights related to this understanding. Believing them and parenting so our kids believe them can be the difference between healthy and unhealthy children. They’re that important. Please watch and share with your friends.