Keep Children Safe

Dear parents, guardians and caregivers here are a few tips by Sarah Parisi, of Toddling Around Chicagoland, on ways to help keep children safe:

  1. Don’t teach “Stranger Danger.”

That was the warning when we were kids, but it’s probably best to leave that one in the past. First of all, it invokes the image of a scary person. In truth, an abductor will look like anyone else and they can approach children in a friendly way. Once they introduce themselves or claim to be a friend of a parent, they may not be a stranger in your child’s mind. Stress to your child that they can not identify whether someone is good or bad based on their appearance.

Second of all, there may be times when your child does need to talk to strangers. The important thing is to talk to the right stranger. It’s tempting to tell your child to find a police officer, but children often can’t distinguish between a police uniform and other uniforms, and abductors have used uniforms in order to gain trust. Helpful tip: If a child is lost or needs help, tell them to look for a mother with kids.

  1. Teach your kids that adults don’t need help from kids.

If an adult needs directions, help finding a pet or anything else, they should ask another adult, not a child.

  1. Have a code word phrase.

This is a phrase that you would share with your children, especially as it relates to adults they should and can trust. They should know that if you send someone to pick them up from school or any activity, the code word will be used. Make it something funny or personal so it’s easy for the kids to remember. A child should only go with someone who tells them that phrase.

  1. Let your child know it’s OK to yell, scream, and say no to an adult if they feel uncomfortable or scared.

We teach children to listen to adults and not to be disruptive, but there are times they should disobey and be loud. It’s a good idea to practice with your kids. Give them a scenario and have them practice say no firmly and loudly, screaming, and running away.

  1. Be cautious and aware of identifying clothing.

Personalized shirts, a team uniform or clothing from your child’s school can provide a potential abductor with valuable information. If they are able to call your child by name or mention their school or team, they may be able to trick your child into believing that they know them.

The most important thing when trying to keep your child safe from abduction is to communicate with your child. Talk to them regularly about the dangers and what they can do to stay safe.

Raising Obedient Kids

The Formula

by John Rosemond

Obedient kids are happy kids. Therefore, whereas an obedient child is certainly a blessing to a parent, the greatest benefit of obedience accrues to the child.

Getting a child to obey is a matter of six features of parent communication that I call The Formula:

1. Speak from an upright position. I know that some “experts” say to kneel in front of the child, but they’re wrong.

2. Use as few words as possible to convey the instruction.

3. Precede the instruction with an authoritative phrase such as, “I want you to . . . ,” “It’s time for you to . . . ,” or “I expect you to . . .”

4. Do not explain why you’re giving the instruction. That results in the question, “Why?”

5. If the child asks why, respond with, “Because I said so.” Again, I know that some disagree; but, again, they’re wrong.

6. If possible, walk away. Don’t stand there giving the child someone to push back against.

In September 2016, a couple in Richmond, Virginia, heard me describe The Formula. Their three-year-old has been obedient ever since. Mind you, prior to the fateful speaking engagement in question, this child ignored, complained, cried, and otherwise refused to obey instructions from her parents. The child’s oppositional defiant disorder was cured in one day.

A couple who attended a small-group retreat in Atlanta in February 2017 began using The Formula with their four-year-old. The first day, the little fellow cleaned up his toys by himself, dressed himself, and when straightforwardly told to stop interrupting conversations between his parents, he stopped and remained quiet. All three were firsts. When his dreaded nap time came, his parents used The Formula, and he took his nap without a fight, whereas prior to this, there had always been a nap-time scene. He also had a habit of following his mother around the house. She told him to stop and leave the room. He left the room.

The parents, amazed at how much progress they’d made in such a short time, applied a similar recommendation of mine to their son’s refusal to eat vegetables. At dinner they gave him one green bean cut into pieces, one half teaspoon of fried chicken, and one half teaspoon of mashed potatoes and gravy. They informed him that when he ate everything, he could have seconds of anything. He ate everything. Over subsequent nights they increased the veggie but not the meat or starch. A week later, he was eating a regular helping of broccoli without complaint. In addition, his teacher reported that he was also eating veggies at school.

The proper discipline of a child is a matter of presentation, folks. It isn’t a matter of using correct consequences, although there will be times when consequences are necessary. The Formula keeps the use of consequences to a minimum, meaning everyone is happier.

Your great-grandmother could have told you this. Despite what people in my profession have been saying for 50 years, there is nothing new under the sun concerning children.

 

Raising Financially Responsible Kids

Many of us discover a little too late that when it comes to money and finances we are ill-equipped and lack the education we need. In important matters as these the earlier you start teaching your kids the better. Children should be taught responsibility, remuneration, and resourcefulness at an early age. So what we want to do is teach them these simple but valuable lessons:

1. You Have to Work to Earn Money

Teach them that in order to have spending money they have to spend time working. Work teaches them to be responsible individuals and helps them build self-worth.

2. It Is Wise to Be Resourceful

Point out the difference between spending their money on what they think they should and what they actually could do with it instead. For example when my 7-year-old would want to buy and expensive zoo set I would point out that we have all the animal toys we need and we could use the Lincoln logs we already have to build the set ourselves. This would give us something to do and would prove more rewarding than just taking something out of a package. The money could be used for going on a desirable trip or be donated to an important cause that the child is passionate about.

3. Learn from Small Disappointments

Teach them the value of money and let them make their own decisions with their hard-earned dollars. Even though they will be making mistakes we need to allow this to happen.  Learning from the small mistakes when they are young will help them avoid the big ones when they are grown. The small disappointment from wasting their money as a result of a poor choice could save them from a bigger disappointment in the future.

In the long run it is less painful to learn these principles earlier than later. Teaching our kids to be  financially responsible prepares them in a practical way to face the realities of life.

 

Apricot/Coconut Cream Cake

I made this cake for my son’s birthday and he loved it. Many people liked it too and wanted the recipe so here it is:

Dry Ingredients:

2 cups flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp turmeric

Wet Ingredients:

¼ cup peanut or sunflower oil

¼ cup applesauce or pear sauce

1 cup apricot nectar (orange juice works too)

1 cup brown cane sugar

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 cup hot water

Instructions:

Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and turmeric in a bowl. In a blender combine the rest of the ingredients, except the 1/2 cup water and blend for about 1 minute. Pour the blended mixture over the dry ingredients and mix well. Add 1/2 cup hot water to the batter and mix again. Then pour batter into a greased pan (springform type pan works best for this) and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Let it cool but keep in the form.

Icing:

½ block of firm tofu (about 7 oz)

1 can coconut cream

3 Tsp honey, maple syrup or cane sugar

1/8 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 can of canned apricots minus the liquid

In a blender combine tofu, coconut cream, honey, salt, vanilla extract, and apricots. Blend until smooth and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight. Add the creamy icing to the cake while it is still in the form and refrigerate. The icing will get thicker as it sits. Enjoy!

Note: The flowers on the cake are edible. They are fresh Nasturtium flowers.

A Happy Family

A subject that cannot be overly emphasized in our modern society is the importance of a healthy family unit. Home should be a place where cheerfulness, courtesy, and love abide; and where these graces dwell, there will abide happiness and peace. Troubles may invade, but these are the lot of humanity. Let patience, gratitude, and love keep sunshine in the heart, though the day may be ever so cloudy. In such homes angels of God abide.

The home should be to the children the most attractive place in the world, and the mother’s presence should be its greatest attraction. Children have sensitive, loving natures. They are easily pleased and easily made unhappy. By gentle discipline, in loving words and acts, mothers may bind their children to their hearts.

The father’s spiritual leadership
In the morning before he leaves home for his daily labor, let the father gather his children about him and, bowing before God, commit them to the care of the Father in heaven. When the cares of the day are past, let the family unite in offering grateful prayer and raising the song of praise, in acknowledgment of divine care during the day. Fathers and mothers, however pressing your business, do not fail to gather your family around God’s altar. Ask for the guardianship of holy angels in your home. Remember that your dear ones are exposed to temptations. Daily annoyances beset the path of young and old. Those who would live patient, loving, cheerful lives must pray. Only by receiving constant help from God can we gain the victory over self.

Little courtesies between spouses
Let the husband and wife study each other’s happiness, never failing in the small courtesies and little kindly acts that cheer and brighten the life. Perfect confidence should exist between husband and wife. Together they should consider their responsibilities. Together they should work for the highest good of their children. Never should they in the presence of the children criticize each other’s plans or question each other’s judgment. Let the wife be careful not to make the husband’s work for the children more difficult. Let the husband hold up the hands of his wife, giving her wise counsel and loving encouragement.

Children trained to contribute
Children as well as parents have important duties in the home. They should be taught that they are a part of the home firm. They are fed and clothed and loved and cared for, and they should respond to these many mercies by bearing their share of the home burdens and bringing all the happiness possible into the family of which they are members.

The mother should cultivate a cheerful, contented, happy disposition. Every effort in this direction will be abundantly repaid in both the physical well-being and the moral character of her children. In the children committed to her care, every mother has a sacred charge from God. ‘Take this son, this daughter,’ He says; ‘train it for Me; give it a character polished after the similitude of a palace, that it may shine in the courts of the Lord forever.’

The more quiet and simple the life of the child, the more favorable it will be to both physical and mental development. At all times the mother should endeavor to be quiet, calm, and self-possessed. Many infants are extremely susceptible to nervous excitement, and the mother’s gentle, unhurried manner will have a soothing influence that will be of untold benefit to the child.

Consistent child care
Mothers who desire their boys and girls to possess the vigor of health should dress them properly and encourage them in all reasonable weather to be much in the open air.

The importance of training children to right dietetic habits can hardly be overestimated. The little ones need to learn that they eat to live, not live to eat.

In many cases the sickness of children can be traced to errors in management. Irregularities in eating, insufficient clothing in the chilly evening, lack of vigorous exercise to keep the blood in healthy circulation, or lack of abundance of air for its purification, may be the cause of the trouble. Let the parents study to find the causes of the sickness, and then remedy the wrong conditions as soon as possible.

Teach your children from the cradle to practice self-denial and self-control. Teach them to enjoy the beauties of nature and in useful employment to exercise systematically all the powers of body and mind. Bring them up to have sound constitutions and good morals, to have sunny dispositions and sweet tempers. Impress upon their tender minds the truth that God does not design that we should live for present gratification merely, but for our ultimate good. Above everything else, let parents surround their children with an atmosphere of cheerfulness, courtesy, and love.

In harmony with God’s plan
In the beginning God placed our first parents amidst the beautiful sights and sounds He desires us to rejoice in today. The more nearly we come into harmony with God’s original plan, the more favorable will be our position to secure health of body, and mind, and soul. Better than any other inheritance of wealth you can give to your children will be the gift of a healthy body, a sound mind, and a noble character.

Instead of dwelling where only the works of men can be seen, go where you can look upon the works of God. Find rest of spirit in the beauty and quietude and peace of nature. Go where, apart from the distractions and dissipations of city life, you can give your children your companionship, where you can teach them to learn of God through His works, and train them for lives of integrity and usefulness.—E. G. White.

From Radiant Living by Project Restore http://www.projectrestore.com