When I was a child I had very few choices in life. My mom made meals that all 10 family members ate. She did not ask us what we wanted to eat. When I went outside my dad told me which cows to milk. He didn't ask when I wanted to start. Most families were similar at that time. Then child experts began to tell parents they should teach their children how to make decisions. That was a good idea, but as usual, some parents took it too far. Now, in many families children are asked what they want to eat, when they want to eat, and if they want fries with that. Children are asked to make every decision for themselves and allowed to make all decisions in their life. We've gone from one extreme to the other in my lifetime.
I want to encourage you to allow your children to make decisions, but they should make decisions appropriate for their age. A child should not make every decision about what he eats, drinks, wears, or does.
When my children were adolescents I asked them what decisions they would like to make. We made a list of those decisions together. I assigned an age which they would need to attain before they could begin making each of the decisions on the list. In that way they gradually assumed increasing autonomy over their lives. Still, we as parents had control over the biggest decisions, until they were in their late teens.
So why are we tempted to allow our children to make all the decisions? One reason is that we want to be their friend rather than their parent. In addition we consider it our responsibility to make them happy. The irony is the more we try to make someone happy the less happy they will be. So let your children make decisions, but give serious consideration to the age at which each decision is made. Choices are not a right; they are a responsibility to be earned.
Blessings on your parenting,
Our kids today have all grown up in a world with terrorism. To be sure, terrorism has been around for hundreds of years, but that terrorism was not visible on the news or social media. In today's world we see images of terrorism every day. Even our children see images and hear stories of terrorism whether we try to protect them or not. As parents we have a choice of whether we want to pretend that we are sheltering them from the knowledge of terrorism or whether we want to deal with it. My bias is that we deal with it.
· Talk to your kids about what's happening in the news. They will understand. And it's better for you to explain it to them than another student to take that role.
· Help them see the good that other people are doing. There are many examples of people who are doing the right thing, both adults and children. It's easier to understand evil, when it's compared with good.
· Involve children in acts of service. Help them be a part of the good in this world. Do it as a family. We do this as classes, when we take our children to Grace Care Center to sing to the residents.
We can't totally stop terrorism, and we certainly can't prevent kids from seeing its images. We can practice helping them learn how to deal with evil in our world. We can also help them learn to be a part of the good in the world.
Blessings on your parenting,
Please permit me a few moments to brag about our Academic Quest team. They competed last week at Lutheran High North. Against competition from some larger, older, and more established schools Epiphany continued our path of excellence. We successfully defended our title and took first place in the overall team event. The team was composed of Grace, Luc, Ava, William,and Stephen.
Part of the competition was open events, in which individual students competed against all middle school students. In these open competitions the following students won:
· Stephen took first place in World Geography
· Luc took third place in World Geography
· Rachel took fourth place in Women of the Bible
· Ava took sixth place in Women of the Bible
· Gabe took fifth place in Astronomy
· Julene took fourth place in Literature
· Emma took sixth place in Literature
For events that are specific to a grade level the following students won:
· Stephen was the overall champion for seventh grade
· Stephen also took third place in math and first place in science in the seventh grade division
· Gabe took second place in seventh grade science
· Daniel took fifth place in eighth grade science
· Abby took second place in sixth grade grammar
· Julene took sixth place in seventh grade grammar
· Luc took third place in sixth grade History
· William took first place in seventh grade Bible knowledge
· Stephen took second place in seventh grade Bible knowledge
· Rachel took fifth place in sixth grade Bible knowledge
Although we always enjoy our extra-curricular activities, academics is the place we really shine. Next week I'll return to my normal blog, but this week I appreciate you taking the time to read some bragging.
Thanks for reading,
Tim Miesner, Principal