29 01, 2015

Say Yes as Much as Possible

By |January 29th, 2015|Parenting|4 Comments

I am a firm believer in the word “no” — I affirm that right out of the gate. I have a strict, “No I will not but you that,” policy when I take the kids to the store (unless we have a prearranged agreement).

No you cannot play in the street.

No you cannot play with that sharp knife.

No you cannot stick those keys in the electrical outlet.

When kids are very young, “no” keeps them safe. It helps them live longer. I am a firm believer in no.

Our oldest, M, is four now. I still tell him no, A LOT. I’m starting to realize the “no’s” have changed though.

No I don’t want to play _________ right now.

No we can’t go to the park.

No we can’t have your buddies over.

No is safe. It’s a comfortable word. It protects my boundaries. It’s a word that I use to avoid engaging with my children.

Don’t get me wrong I think healthy boundaries are important.


With my kids, I am realizing more and more that my boundaries are selfish. I like to spend my time in the way that I want to spend it. I don’t want to spend it pretending I am a fire breathing pirate that has to save the princess from a mutant penguin… Or something like that.

I can’t remember a single time one of the “no’s” I have given to my children ended up leading to great memories.

But the word “yes” that’s a dangerous word…

Saying yes has led me to memories I treasure. M and I have imagined most everything there is to imagine. We’ve saved countless lives. Explored endless places. We’ve had fun.

I fear, someday, the tables will turn and our kids will be the ones saying no to us. I have this hunch, if we say yes as much as possible when our kids are young they will be more apt to say yes to us once they are grown.

No is easy. Yes is hard. It’s worth it.

IMG 2183N-… Yes, I’d love to build a train track with you.

A lot of my thoughts about “yes” come from a conversation I remember having with our Pastor of Equipping Brian well before I had kids of my own. Talking about parenting with the next generation is a worthwhile endeavor. Grateful Brian shared his heart with me.

18 01, 2015

The Best Parenting Verse

By |January 18th, 2015|Parenting, Scripture|0 Comments

As a Kid’s Pastor and parent of 2.9 kids, I’m often searching the Bible for the “smoking gun” parenting verse(s).

Where does the Bible tell me how to:

-Get them tucked into bed by 7:30.

-Have them sleep till 8:00.

-Make them eat all their meals.

-Prevent them from harming each other every 5 minutes.

-etc. etc. etc.

I still haven’t found it.

I have found one that I am starting to believe may be one of the best.

…let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no… James 5:12c

Conviction. Lots of it.

When I am with my kids I can get frazzled. “M, if you don’t do this… Then… !!!” And so it goes.

When I’m frazzled I fail to follow through. When I fail to follow through I become inconsistent. In those moments I can see their little brains soaking that in, “Is dad REALLY going to ________ this time?”

Nope. He’s probably not.

Funny thing though. When I am on a good streak of following through with my kids they seem to be happier and they behave better (not perfect but better). I’m more predictable. Kids like that.

Let’s be honest. I will fail at this again. Today. Maybe, though, I’ll get it right a little more often. If I do… I’m pretty sure I’ll be a better parent.

M and his BibleM, and his beloved Jesus Storybook Bible.

Next Post Up: Say “Yes” as Much As Possible

15 04, 2014

Let It Go

By |April 15th, 2014|Parenting, Traditions|3 Comments

There are a handful of experiences in my life that stand out.  I grab onto those moments and hold them tightly.

One such memory happened close to Christmas 2012. Amy, M and I were in Kansas City and decided to head to Krispy Kreme for some donuts.

Getting a donut is fairly routine for us. This time was different. We purchased an entire dozen and everyone had permission to eat as many as they wanted (I believe the final tally was 4-3-3, we revoked M’s permission, he was still going strong). It was awesome. I decided then and there Christmas donuts were a new family tradition.


Fast forward to 2013, we had every intention of getting our Christmas donuts. We made concrete plans to go get them… Four different times. We even got out of the house once. We were in route, visions of donuts dancing in my head… Then, it happened. M fell asleep.

You don’t simply wake that boy up, it’s not wise. As I drove, I had a debate with myself. Wake him up? Let it go? I wanted those donuts. To my dismay, the only end result I could imagine wasn’t pretty.  Our new family tradition had failed before a single recurrence.

We opted to go to the mall instead (sounds logical, right?). Amy bravely entered to pick out our family Christmas ornament.  I drove the kids around the parking lot to keep them asleep. She texted me pictures of ornaments. I procured a hot chocolate chip cookie from a nearby drive thru. The excursion provided several laughable moments.


I now have another memory in my handful. It wasn’t bad to try and recreate the first donut trip, that is what traditions are made of. On that day, the wise choice was to simply let it go. When parenting young kids letting go of “our plans” can lead away from disasters and towards new unexpected and equally great memories.

Would love to hear your stories of letting go or failing to do so.  Share them in the comments below!

If you read this expecting something related to the movie Frozen… You took the bait.  That said, here are my three favorite renditions of Let it Go. (Awesome) (I would do this) (Cute)