Wednesday, August 20, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Lessons children need to learn

By
From page A2 | July 17, 2012 |

How easy it is as parents to see the negative in a child as only that.

“He is so stubborn.” ”She talks too much.” ”That kid is so argumentative.” And on it goes.

Instead, years ago, a wise pastor friend encouraged me in dealing with my children to always try to find the positive side of a personality or character trait I was having trouble with. This isn’t to whitewash anything, but, rather, to help shape and direct — or just better understand — how a child operates by first understanding who that child is.

The flip side is also true.

I’ve seen parents oblivious to the fact that their outgoing child is also the one sucking the oxygen out of the room with his constant talking, or demanding that the spotlight always be on him. The one with self-confidence can at times be too full of himself. (I will neither confirm nor deny that we’re talking about any of my kids here!)

Here’s an example that is OK to share. I have a child who is extraordinarily passionate about everything she does, and there are times when that can be destructive. But it’s especially when that trait is driving me nuts that I have to remember, as I deal with it or help her deal with it, it’s that same passion that propels her to excellence in areas like the classroom and theater and to be an enthusiastic and sought-after friend.

As I seek to help her find positive outlets for her passion, I have to remind myself that it’s actually unfair for me to think that trait should be exhibited only when I like it, not when I don’t. She is, wonderfully, who God designed her to be. So it’s better for me to appreciate her passion even as I try to help her shape it in positive ways.

David Staal sheds needed light on the nuances of helping rightly orient our children in “Lessons Kids Need to Learn: Six Truths To Shape The Character of The Child You Love” (Zondervan 2012). Chapters include: “Believe That You Matter/Live Like Others Matter More”; “Find Your Unique Fit/Find Out You Can Fail”; “Forget Unimportant Stuff/Remember Life Has Consequences”; and “Be a People Person/Be Your Own Person.”

Staal, director of Kids Hope USA, works with at-risk kids and was formerly the director of Promiseland, the children’s ministry at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill.

His book is a great antidote to the “all or nothing” brand of parenting. Staal considers different sides of a necessary life lesson (versus character traits, per se), but also demonstrates why it is often so much better to consider nuance and balance when it comes to our children, rather than the black-and-white approach often found in books on parenting.

There’s a continuum there we have to help our children think about.

Of course, the bottom line is that thinking in terms of balance and shaping — whether in character traits or life lessons — requires something of us as parents. Something much more than just a “let the experts tell us the answer” mentality I often see on the one hand, or the “my parenting doesn’t matter; my kids will turn out how they turn out” on the other.

What a breath of fresh air.

So much of this, of course, is just common sense. But as Staal told me, when we ignore common sense, we make parenting complicated.

And there’s not much nuance needed there.

Betsy Hart’s latest book is “From The Hart: A Collection of Favorite Columns on Love, Loss, Marriage (and Other Extreme Sports).” Reach her through hartmailbox-mycolumn@yahoo.com.

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

Memorial flight honors beloved Gordon Valley man

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
 
Man convicted of failing to register as sex offender

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 11 Comments | Gallery

DUI checkpoint nets arrests in Vacaville

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

 
Geiger nominated for Fairfield planning post

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page:

 
Weather for Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

By Daily Republic staff | From Page:

 
Fairfield police log: Aug. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Fairfield police log: Aug. 16, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Suisun City police log: Aug. 17, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

Suisun City police log: Aug. 16, 2014

By Glen Faison | From Page: A12

 
Library’s teen board to meet next week

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

Recology goes pink to trash cancer

By Glen Faison | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
South Solano Dems schedule candidates meet, greet

By Glen Faison | From Page: A5

City reaches milestone for train station project

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 15 Comments | Gallery

 
Caltrans advises Highway 12 delays likely

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 2 Comments

 
.

US / World

 
Obama: Iraq has regained control of Mosul dam

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

Pope OKs protecting Iraq minorities, wants UN OK

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

 
4 at slaughterhouse behind beef recall indicted

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 5 Comments

 
Probe sought into possible water diversion

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 5 Comments

Lawmakers ask NFL to support Redskins’ name change

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
PG&E pleads not guilty to charges in deadly blast

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Body of Marine’s missing wife found in mine shaft

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Emerging solar plants scorch birds in midair

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 3 Comments

USDA: Cost to raise child up slightly to $245,340

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
In new book, Ryan takes on stubborn GOP orthodoxy

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Eyes on 2016? Clinton goes to Iowa next month

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

 
In Gaza, emotional wounds of war remain unhealed

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Ukraine: Dozens killed in shelling of convoy

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
100,000 elephants killed in Africa, study finds

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 7 Comments | Gallery

 
Police, protesters collide again in Ferguson

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

.

Opinion

Serve and protect? Certainly not

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A11, 21 Comments

 
Question of the week: Does school start too soon?

By Daily Republic | From Page: A11

 
.

Living

Community Calendar: Aug. 19, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page:

 
.

Entertainment

‘Ninja Turtles’ knocks out box-office competition

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Smokey Robinson, still writing, duets with friends

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NBC’s ‘Blacklist’ gets A-list marketing treatment

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Don Pardo, iconic TV announcer, dies at 96

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 1 Comment

TVGrid Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
.

Sports

Manziel’s gesture taints Browns’ loss to Redskins

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Oklahoma RB Mixon suspended for season

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Nationals sign Schierholtz to minor league deal

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Cardinals DT Dockett tears ACL, out for season

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Report: Ohio State QB Miller reinjures shoulder

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Ex-Giants RB David Wilson to train in triple jump

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Chris Froome to compete in Spanish Vuelta

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Kiel Reijnen of UnitedHealthCare wins Stage 1

By The Associated Press | From Page:

As Man U owners cash in, need to buy stars grows

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Suarez, Neymar play 1st game since WCup exits

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NFL games taking over Thursday nights on CBS

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Steve Ballmer debuts as LA Clippers owner

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Army grad Coach K takes USA team to West Point

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

 
This date in sports history for Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page:

Sports on TV for Aug. 19, 2014

By Paul Farmer | From Page:

 
Carr returns to practice for Raiders

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

In the Pits: Grief gives no timetable on Stewart return

By Jenna Fryer | From Page: | Gallery

 
Ex Iowa coach denies bullying players

By The Associated Press | From Page:

NCAA’s strongest argument might be cap limit

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Nadal won’t defend US Open title because of wrist

By The Associated Press | From Page: | Gallery

Simms, Dungy likely not to use ‘Redskins’ on TV

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
Fan suffers heart attack during 49ers game, dies

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

.

Business

Google’s pivotal IPO launched a decade of big bets

By The Associated Press | From Page:

 
McDonald’s confronts its junk food image

By The Associated Press | From Page: , 2 Comments

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Sally Forth Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Zits Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Blondie Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Frank and Ernest Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Beetle Bailey Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Crossword Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Baby Blues Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Sudoku Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Word Sleuth Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

 
Cryptoquote Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

Garfield Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
B.C. Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Rose is Rose Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Dilbert Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

For Better or Worse Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Pickles Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Wizard of Id Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Peanuts Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Baldo Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

 
Get Fuzzy Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

Bridge Aug 19

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5