Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Graceful parents will give their children a vision for their lives. Yes, they will tell their children I believe that you are going to do great things. You have the ability.And the parent will help them find their niche It is more than words of their affirmation. It is affirmation plus.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Parenting and grace

I would like to inspire the world to change their homes and their lives to graceful living. Just think of a child born into a home where grace abounds. It will be so wonderful to grow up in a house where people believe in me and show it. How wonderful to grow up with a positive self-image but still be humle. Children who have everything going for them in an atmosphere of love and grace. And have zeal for God and spend time with God.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Parenting and disciplining at the Thamsanqa Cluster Foster Homes.

Please read my previous article and comment if you would.  My wish is that we will be able to lead (caoch) the foster mothers into grace-filled parenting. We do our utmost best to give to the children a safe home. What I also realise is the importance of discipline and boundaries. I firmly believe that children should be brought up without scream or shout. We have few rules and the child who does not stick to the rules will know what the conbsequences are -  no pocket money, no TV, no outing etc. etc.
It is a process to teach the foster mothers as there are things that she must unlearn and then she must be taught about consequences. 
This idea of a safe haven that I wrote about in my previous article, this is what the Thamsanqa Cluster Foster Homes are all about - a place where children can be children, where children laugh and play. The Dutch volunteers are such a great help in this regard.


How does this family look like and how does this family operate? What does graceful parenting entails? I thought about this a lot during  the past few weeks. Children  seriously benefit from a home where grace is in place. I wanted to write three words down that will be the blueprint for this family but unfortunately more and more words came and I nearly used the complete alphabet.
A.     ATMOSPHERE. In this home (family) there is an atmosphere of grace and of loving kindness. This stands out above everything. In this atmosphere of grace, the members are affirming each other. AFFIRMATION.   They do out-loud affirming. Shame is not part of this family. ABUNDANCE. They have an abundance mentality in every area of their lives. Children flourish in a home where grace is in place.  The members of this family will feel cherished and favoured. They live in the grip of God’s grace.
B.     BELIEVE. They believe in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. They have accepted Jesus as their Saviour  and understand God’s grace - that He has given his only begotten Son for us to have everlasting life and have it more abundantly. They also believe in themselves. – a positive self-image. They receive BLESSINGS UPON BLESSINGS UPON BLESSINGS.
C.     CARE. There is a spirit of care. They cannot stop caring for each other and caring for other people. CHURCH. Every Sunday morning everyone is up and ready to go to church. CONFIDENCE.. They know their parents care and that God cares. COMMUNICATE. They have good communication skills. In this family matters are being discussed, information is being shared, decisions are made together. The children or some family members will not be kept in the dark. They do not believe in secrets.  Communication is clear and straight. Threats do not exist. They do not devise evil in their hearts against each other. The members are CREATIVE, CAPABLE AND CONTENT.  I love the word content in a family set-up. Everybody should be content.( Consistency and consequences are used with discipline in the next paragraph).  
D.     DYNAMIC AND DARING. They are not afraid to take chances or risks as they feel safe and comfortable. In this grace-filled home children are empowered.,  DISCIPLINE. There is graceful discipline in the home. There are rules with consequences. The rules and consequences have been formulated in a family meeting. They are consistent and followed through without scream or shout or threat. Children need boundaries and especially moral boundaries.
E.      EXAMPLE. Their home is an example to the rest or the world of a Godly Home. They are examples of grace. They edify and build each other.
F.      FAVOUR. Grace is God’s unmerited favour. Every member of this family understands God’s unmerited favour. They know – we have His favour.
G.     GRACE UPON GRACE UPON GRACE. GOD is in control. Grace-full words are being used 
H.     HOLY SPIRIT. The Holy Spirit is their guide and comforter. They live Holy lives. .HEALING.  They believe in God’s healing powers. HEALTHY – they are healthy and eat healthy foods.
I.        INTELLIGENT. They are intelligent and incredibly interesting. They believe that they have the mind of Christ.  I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
J.       JOY. I like this one so much. The members are joyful and jubilant. JUST.  The parents are just and every member feels secure and justified.
K.     K IND.  Kindness speaks through all their acts. Jesus was kind and so are they.
L.      LOVE. God’s love is being reflected in their lives. They love each other, they love their neighbours and they even love their enemies. This lifestyle of grace and loving kindness is seen in every aspect f their lives.
M.    MERCY. I hope you know the difference between grace and mercy. Grace is unmerited favour. Mercy is when you have done something wrong and the other one shows mercy to you. This means that  they forgive easily.
N.     NURTURING. Good care is taken of the members of this family. They are well nurtured and well nourished – physically, emotionally, socially and spiritually.
O.     OURS is important as well as OTHERS. They respect our things as wells as other’s things. They respect our feelings as well as other’s feelings. They do things for each other.
P.      PLENTY. There is plenty of everything for the family members. The fruits  of the spirit are plentiful - love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.
Q.     QUIET. They are quiet in the Spirit. QUICK. They are slow to anger and quick to forgive.
R.     RADICAL. Radically saved was the first I could think of. RESPOBNSIBLE is just as important.  They know their responsibilities and act responsible. RELATIONSHIP. They have excellent relationships with each other.  
S.      SAVED AND SLOW TO ANGER. SAFE. The house is a safe haven for its members.
T.      TRUTHFUL  God is love and truth. Honesty is an important characteristic.
U.     UNDERSTANDING. The parents are very understanding of their children and their challenges. There is mutual understanding
V.     VICTORIOUS.  The members live victorious lives as they are victorious in Christ. They are VIRTUOUS people.
W.   WORK TOGETHER. There is a team spirit.
X.     X
Y.     YAHWEH. They are children of Yahweh.
Z.      Z
Anyone wants to help me with the X and the Z ?

The opposite of a grace-filled family is a shame-based family. The child in this family gets the idea that he is defective, that he is not loved. There is too much criticism in such a home.
Some parents have a pre-occupation with fault finding  and blaming. In a grace filled home it will be more important to boost the child’s self-image than to make a fuss about a bed that is not well made. Feelings and emotions and affirming are more important in a home where grace is in place, In a shame based home parents will not make their owns beds but will shout at children because they did not make their bed to the expectations of the parents. In the graceful home the parents are people oriented rather than performance oriented. It should be about who we are and not what we do. The behaviour must be criticised and not the child. The child must never, not under the worst circumstances doubt the parent’s love.

I think that is enough for today. I will write more often on my parenting blog now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Study time and the ADD child

(From Parenting with grace)
Children with ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) often have difficultly holding their attention, organizing tasks and attending to detail. This makes studying challenging and usually parents have to be more involved with homework to see that it gets done. Try different strategies until you find a system that works for your child. You cannot like another grade 8 child’s mother say “He must now study on his own. He still needs you.
I just want to remind that structure is very important. The ADD child wants to know when you are planning things for him. All planning should be done with or in consultation with him. If you are planning lifts for him tell him immediately .. why not involve him in the planning? Let him know what your plans are for tomorrow, for the weekend.
The add child needs a peaceful place to study.
Be creative! Help him create a special work space just for learning. It must be a place where he can study without interruptions. Have everything available like paper, sharpened pencils, erasers, and any other necessary tools for learning nearby, but preferably  not at the table where your child is working. The items could become an unnecessary distraction. He must have adequate space available with all the rest on another table next to him. Continuously check that he still has all he needs. He has a challenge and you must help him.
 Have others in the home spend their time reading or doing some other noiseless activity somewhere else so your child is not easily distracted during homework or learning time.. Avoid distracting stimuli. Try not to place your child near air conditioners, high traffic areas, heaters, or doors or windows.
Help him organise his study place until it is  comfortable and ready for him. It must look so nice that he just want to sit there. Perhaps it is time for Dad to add a few shelves.
Make sure that your child come home with all his homework written down. With much patience and encouragement help him to realise that he will not remember everything.  Tell him how you struggle to remember. A homework book is his  most important book.
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Work collaboratively with your child to set up a schedule that he can follow after school. Help him break the time up such that you are alternating work time with relax time. Place the schedule in a well trafficked place in your home. Consider laminating the schedule so your child can check off each block of time as he moves through the schedule.
    • 3
Allow your child to create a fun personal study area as suggested at the beginning.  Keep it free of sounds from the TV, radio and other distractions. Make sure the area has numerous study materials such as highlighters, post-it notes, pens, pencils and anything that makes studying more interesting. The area should be someplace where you can supervise your child while he works.
    • 4
Follow a routine in your day-to-day activities. Children with ADD thrive on routine. If you have an established routine all day, it will make the routine of studying easier for your child. Eventually, the routine becomes a habit.
Remember healthy snacks in between. Your child must eat something every 2 1/2 hours. It is more important for the ADD child than for others.
    • 5
Help your child study by practicing study strategies. Ask your child to read a paragraph aloud and then question your child about the details. Allow your child to create fun flash cards that you can use together to study. Attach the cards together with a ring so your child can bring them anywhere to study. Create songs with your child  that cover pertinent study material. You and your child can be creative together. For some pictures help for others main words in red.
    • 6
Establish a regular bedtime. Children who go to sleep at the same time each night have fewer night wakings and sleep more soundly. Don’t make it too early for the high school child and your ADD child will take longer to finish his homework.
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Enforce your schedule and reward your child when he follows the schedule and completes all assignments in his assignment book. Use a point sheet to track your child's progress throughout the week.
If your child has trouble remembering studies or tasks, you can help him by honing his memory. Not everyone is born with strong recall, but you can enhance what your child already has with a few practices:
    • 1
Have your child write down the summarised information repeatedly and the very act will help him  to memorize. Although children may see this as a punishment, explain that it will help them to remember things. Summarising or  writing             main words  in different colours.
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Teach keen observation. Remind your child to look around and memorize what he sees. You can make it a game. Have the child look around the room, and then have him close his eyes and repeat what he saw.
    • 3
Work out methods that fits each child. Each child is an individual who learns differently. Observe the child and see what works as a stimulus for him.  Association may do it or acting out parts or singing songs can provide the stimuli. Help him get words or numbers to remember the summaries by.
    • 4
Use the computer. The computer fascinates children. Find games, such as Concentration, that will hold their interest while they learn to memorize.
Teach your child the importance of completing tasks to the best of his abili

The ADD child is a very lovely child. They need and want their parents as well as their teachers to understand them. It takes a lot of time and commitment. Beware that your child does not drift away because you do not have the time and do not make the effort.
Remember that your appreciation of your child helps to shape his and your image of God. It is important that you encourage your ADD child through praise, through scripture quotes without preaching) and motivational phrases. If your child can understand, if it can become Rema to him, Phil. 4 verse 13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
On the other hand it is very important that you talk to God about your child. Thank God for your child. I have four wonderful children and I thank God always for them. Ask God
*    To help you see your child’s positive traits
*    To fully understand your child’s situation
*    To give you patience to deal with those traits that conflict with yours and to help you remember the positive side of those characteristics
*    To help you accept what you cannot change in your child
*    To be in charge of your child and help him in every aspect.
Father and mother enjoy in your child, enjoy your child, and enjoy the challenge to bring him up. He is such a wonderful gift to you.