Browsing all articles in Parenting

Stop Squashing Your Child’s Initiative

Author Steven Cribbs    Category Parenting     Tags

A few days ago I encountered one of those times with my kids where I found myself saying “wait just a minute; stop what you are doing; you didn’t ask permission to do that.” This is a fairly normal series of statements for parents. However, in this case, this was not the right response. There was something more important going on that I needed to pay attention to.

What was going on, you ask? Initiative. My son was taking some initiative and doing something that he knew needed to be done – something I had not told him to do. In this case, it was something that he was totally capable of doing and it was a way that he could help the family.  I am sure that my response made him feel like the egg in this picture…

Easter Series

After my initial reaction, I realized…finally…that I needed to STOP SQUASHING my son’s INITIATIVE.

I have really been challenged by Seth Godin’s book “Poke the Box”. Definitely on a personal level; but, also on a parental level. Throughout the book, Seth challenges our perspective on taking initiative and rails on the fact that we have created a culture that suppresses our desire to take initiative and do something new.

So, I have to ask myself: What would happen if read more


A Kiss Makes Everything Better

Author Steven Cribbs    Category Parenting     Tags

My two-year-old daughter is a very active little girl. She loves to do everything that her big brothers do.  And, sometimes, in all of her activity she does something to get hurt. Ok, often times she does something to get hurt.  Fortunately, it tends to be little hurts.


This morning my daughter decided to jump rope in imitation of a brother.  Of course, she can’t jump rope; at least she can’t jump rope the way you or I would jump rope. Instead, it was more of jumping up and down wildly while holding a flopping plastic rope in front of her.  A site to bring a smile to your face for sure.

Eventually the rope smacked her and brought the tears.  She came running for the comfort of a parent.  A simple look at the ouchy was not enough.  A re-assuring word was not enough.

A kiss was demanded! read more


Why Parents Should Stop Saying “Sorry”

Author Steven Cribbs    Category Parenting     Tags

When was the last time that you said “I’m sorry” to your child? Did you use the phrase in an attempt to shrug off or down-play an issue; or, did you truly describe something you were apologetic towards with an attempt to make the issue right?

Sorry on Australia Day-sky writingphoto © 2010 butupa | more info (via: Wylio)

As parents, we are very interested in how our kids make apologies and how they use the word “sorry”. But, do we apply the same standards and desires to our own use of the word?

I know that I am not perfect. And, I admit, there are times when I use a quick and insincere “sorry” to escape the situation. The embarrassing part is when my children observe my antics knowing that I am doing what I have told them not to. The sad part is when I do this to the detriment of my children.

read more


Why I Told My Children to Stop Saying “Sorry”

You are too loud. Sorry. You spilled your grape juice on the carpet in the room you were not supposed to have drinks in. Sorry. You hurt your brother when you hit him. Sorry. You took that without permission. Sorry. You broke the window. Sorry. You lied to me. Sorry.

Sorry on Australia Day-sky writingphoto © 2010 butupa | more info (via: Wylio)

The list could go on and on. You probably have similar stories. Your child does something wrong, makes a mistake, either by accident or intention, and then simply says “sorry” to atone for the problem.

That’s the right thing to do, isn’t it?  Yes; but, no. read more


12 Ways To Get Your Child’s Attention

Author Steven Cribbs    Category Parenting     Tags

I am constantly learning and discovering things in my quest for better communication with my kids. Recently I shared some tips for engaging children in conversations – see Eight Tips for Effectively Communicating With Your Kids. But, before you can have a good conversation with your kids, you have to get a line through to them.  You have to get their attention. And sometimes this can be a difficult challenge.

Get a line through

There are so many things that gain the focus of our children – including television, video games and even things that we generally encourage like books and their imaginary world of play. I am all for learning the discipline of focusing on a task at hand; but, when our children are in the middle of these things, it can be almost impossible to engage them in any sort of meaningful conversation.

[For tips in getting the attention of a group of kids, see this helpful post: “10 Ways To Get The Attention Of Kids.”]

So, what do we do? Here are twelve popular methods of moving a child’s focus from something else onto you: read more


8 Tips for Effectively Communicating With Your Child

Author Steven Cribbs    Category Parenting     Tags

Have you ever gotten that blank stare from your child after you just finished a passionate conversation?

Boy Thinking

A few days ago, I spent a lot of time trying to help one of my children understand something that I believe to be extremely important. I used eloquent words and well crafted arguments. I felt good about the conversation and excited about how things would change…until I tried to get my child to share the conversation with the rest of the family and I got the blank stare and the infamous words, “I don’t remember what you said.” read more


Changing Your Child’s World

Have you ever experienced that beautiful moment? Sitting with your child and, for the first time, your child begins to read a book to you?


This is truly a beautiful moment. You hear the excitement in their voice. You begin to see the potential of a changed life as your child begins to understand a world around them that they never saw before. This is just one of the many blessings and opportunities that come when you take the time to read with your child.

There are many ways that reading with children can change their world…and yours. Here are four top picks:

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Someone Needs A Time-out: Is It You?

So there I am talking with my child, trying to help him understand the gravity of the problem that he just created.  Yes, he is in trouble; but, I am trying to talk things through hoping to help him make better choices next time.  And then, boom!!  Things just explode.  The anger and rage were unbelievable.  And, the negative reactions were, undeserved at the least.  A perfect time to send someone for a bit of time to re-collect themselves.

Oh, did I forget to mention?  The explosion was mine!  I got so upset over something that really was not that big of a deal.  Yes, the point was important and my child was not being respectful.  Should I have gotten that mad that quickly?  Maybe…Probably not.  But, at that point, I couldn’t back down…could I?  I didn’t want my child to think that I was wishy-washy, that he could get away with something, that he could change my mind if he just kept at things long enough, or…gulp…that I was out of line.  But, then again, the example that I had just set was exactly the sort of behavior that I did not want any of my children repeating.

Have you ever had one of those days? read more


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