Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Three Steps to Getting Your Kids to Listen

I recently wrote a blog on "How to Use the 'I'm Going to Count to Three' Rule in Parenting." The blog was all about discipline, and getting your children to listen when they give you push-back.

Today, I want to tell you about how to get your children to listen without giving you push-back. It's a proactive approach, and a way of instructing and leading them to obedience. We always have to be one step ahead of our children, and here's how to do it.

It needs to be a three-step process. But, before I explain it, think about this. How often are you telling your children to do something during the day? How often do they respond with a lack of excitement? Does that make the tasks drag on, de-energizing you and the entire family? What if there was a different approach that would be a relief to you and a joy to your family?

The process is a way for effective communication. It's telling your children your expectations in advance, and laying out the rewards. It's letting them decide to listen for the benefit of everyone. We, as parents, have a lot of responsibilities, and we can use this process to work as a team.

The 3 step process is formed by you,  but here is how to do it. Think about your busiest times of your day, when you really need your kids to behave -- possibly the morning, the evening, and whenever you go out in public. In each of these times, come up with 3 steps for accomplishing your tasks.

An example (for the evening) could be...

1. Pick up 
2. Get cleaned up 
3. Snacks and have some fun! 

As you use the process, here are some tips to remember...
*Repeat the process.
*Make your children repeat it back to you.
*Remind them what step you are on as you go.
*Remember to reward them with step #3.

This approach can help your kids to stay focused, and it can help you to stay productive even on the stressful days. Your attitude towards your family will naturally transform from pushy to positive and proactive.

As Christians, our lives are moving in a positive direction, in an upward spiral, as Pastor Dave Cass described it. So we can have joy in all we do before we even step into God's eternal Kingdom.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

What Can a Marriage Do for a Broken World?

Walking into church on Sunday mornings, it's always encouraging to see married couples sitting together. Marriage is a great example of God's love, and it's exactly what the world needs.

In marriage, we can love our kids, our gifts from God. We can accomplish great things, which we cannot accomplish on our  own. We can encourage one another when life gets tough, and we can celebrate when times are good.

Marriage can help mold people to becoming all that God created them to be. Most people never see your potential, your gifts, or your interests. But, your spouse does. And when you are cheering one another on, the two of you can make a great team.

There is strength in a team. A winning team can be inspirational. But, a winning team must realize that they need one another. They, also, need to listen to the coach, so that they can continue to work together. Marriage can put you on the winning team.

Of course we all want to be on the winning team, but how does marriage put us on that track? And why is marriage so important?

Family is the foundation of our lives. If you think logically, you realize, we all have to go home at the end of the day. We all need a roof over our head, and food to eat. We all have work to do to take care of ourselves. And God chose to give us a helpmate for all that we do.

Sometimes we start to believe that we don't need a team, that we don't need one another. But, think about our children. They are molded by their environments. They, too, have to go home at the end of the day. And they need their family to be the foundation of their lives. As Mother Teresa said, "Love begins at home." The love that our kids know, is the love that we share. That is what they will take everywhere they go. And, that is where change begins in our broken world.

Thanks for reading!

~Melissa Seng

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Great Bible Verses to Memorize with Your Kids!

Children are quick to learn many challenging tasks, like walking, talking, eating, and swinging a baseball bat. They are quick to understand and to respond to this complex world we live in. And, what we teach them shapes their way of thinking and living.

Our brain is a powerful tool. It helps us to breathe, digest food, walk, and carry on a conversation. The brain, also, allows us to make connections with messages we receive so we can interpret the world around us. The more constructive messages we receive from the Word of God, the more we can be guided in the right direction.

As our children are young, we can use Scripture to teach them and to guide them. Taking time to memorize Scripture will allow God's words to stay with them in all that they do. I have chosen verses that can be great for teaching and encouraging our children, and they are ones that will stay with them all the days of their life.

I encourage you to take your calendar and write one verse at the top of the page for each month. Recite it daily with your kids. Once a week go back and review verses from the previous months. You will be amazed how much Scripture your child has remembered. I, also, encourage you to say these to a fun tune, or in a fun way, so that your kids enjoy learning wisdom from the Bible.

Here is a verse for every month of the year (plus 2 bonus Scriptures!)...

Psalm 86:11 "Lord, teach me how you want me to live. Do this so that I will depend on you (NIRV)."

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not depend on your own understanding. In all your ways obey him. And he will make your paths smooth and straight (NIRV)."

Romans 10:9 "Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe it in your heart that God raised him from the dead and you will be saved (NIV)."

2 Corinthians 7:1 "Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God (NIV)."

John 3:17 "God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him (NIV)."

Romans 6:23 "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (NIV)."

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose (NIV)."

Isaiah 40:30-31 "Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint (NIV)."

Genesis 1:1 "In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the earth (NIV)."

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 "Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus (NIV)."

Mark 12:30-31 "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, with all your strength...Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these (NIV)."

Philippians 2:14-15 "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure children of God without fault in a wicked and depraved generation, so that you will shine like stars in the universe (NIV)."

John 14:6 "Jesus answered, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father, except through me (NIV)."

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast. It is not proud, it is not rude. It is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails (NIV)."

When we memorize scripture, we can hear the words of God throughout our day, and our kids can learn to walk in His ways. "My son, keep your father's command, and do not forsake your mother's teaching. Bind them always on your heart, fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you; when you awake, they will speak to you (Proverbs 6:20-22)."

I hope you enjoy memorizing these verses with your children, and thanks for reading!

~Melissa Seng

Friday, March 2, 2018

Tips to Help Busy Parents Fit in a Workout At Home

Is it exhausting to think about all the tasks you have to complete every day? We are pretty complex creations and just to take care of ourselves, it is a chore, let alone taking care of our children. The thought of working out makes it even more daunting. So, how do we begin to think about fitting in a workout at home?

I was reading a library book to my son the other day about sleep. It was actually about the importance of sleep. It explained how your body recovers during the night, rebuilds, and fights off infection. It mentioned that a 10-year-old has slept about 3 years of his life. Ironically, I took the contents of this book that explained the importance of sleep and was encouraged to focus on just the opposite. I could wake up early; after all, I have already slept about 10 years of my life!

Of course, we all need sleep, but it does give us a new perspective. If we get up a little bit early each day, we will still be alright.

So here are some tips to help you get out of bed...

*Start your morning off with water and your favorite healthy beverage. If you plan to drink something right away that you enjoy, you are more likely to want to begin your day. I would recommend XS (www.amway.com/melissaseng). It is refreshing, carbonated, sugar-free, and tasty! Wild-berry, Lemon, and Rootbeer (3 different flavors) are some of my favorites.

*Take vitamins. Many people walk around exhausted. If you are focused and energized, getting up will be a delight, rather than a chore. At www.amway.com/melissaseng, you can find a Women's Pack or Men's Pack, which is about $1 a day, less than a cup of coffee!

*Set a timer. If you set it for 20 minutes, you will keep moving and get down to business. Before you know it, your morning exercise is complete.

*Trade off days with your spouse. Some mornings, ask your spouse to be in charge of the kids, so that you do not have to worry about any interruptions. Other mornings, encourage your spouse and you take care of the kids.

*Start off with a bang. Push yourself to see results. When you do, you will be encouraged to keep going.

*Use exercise videos to start. They will teach you proper form and new exercises. Then, once you have a good list of exercises, ditch the videos. Focus on your own personal new levels, rather than the accomplishments of others. You can always go back to learning new exercises when you need them.

*Remember that when you "Sharpen the Saw," your daily chores will not be as daunting (Covey, 2003). According to 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, "sharpening the saw" is like self-renewal. It may take 30 minutes to cut a log (complete a task) with a dull saw. But, what if you sharpen the saw first?
      5 minutes to sharpen the saw (i.e. taking care of yourself) + 10 minutes to cut the log with a sharpened saw = 15 minutes. The job, including the time it takes to build yourself up, is done in half the time! If you take time to work-out, the time it takes you to do certain tasks in the home (or at work) could be cut in half!

With some strategy, tasty motivation, a little freedom from the kids, and a mindset on self-renewal, you will be on your way to a healthy exercise routine at home. I hope these tips are a great help to you! It's the season to begin feeling good again. Thanks for reading!

~Melissa Seng


Covey, Stephen R. (2003). The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Personal Workbook. Simon & Schuster; New York, New York.