Do your kids struggle with memorizing something?

Cartoon of a boy with a mechanical thinking cap on his head


Cartoon of a boy with an industrial-looking cap on his head. He says to a a woman, “Thanks to my thinking cap, I’m going to win this year’s memory verse challenge!”

We are always looking for an easy way to do something. It’s usually the way innovation happens. We are always looking for ways to make something easier. We want to buy the latest gadget to make something in our lives easier.

Do your kids struggle with memorizing something like a Bible verse, the presidents of the United States or prepositions? Instead of finding a steampunk-inspired thinking cap, have your kids try these tips.

  • Get some index cards and have kids make their own flash cards. The very act to making the cards will help with memory. You can get creative and use images as well as words. This works with visual as well as kinetic learners. If a child speaks it while he or she writes it, it also helps auditory learners.
  • Kids can walk or use hand motions to help them memorize. It helps kids who learn kinetically to move as they learn. It also helps emphasize important passages.
  • Make a song out of it. Auditory learners may grasp something when it it put to music or a rap.
  • Be an example. Find something you want to memorize and try these techniques. You may find something that works for you also works with your child.

Even though we live in an age where we can search the Internet for a fact, memorization is still an important skill. Encourage kids to memorize facts and passages.

I drew this cartoon for Kidzmatter Magazine.

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How a book can give wisdom

Cartoon of a dad and a boy with a broken window

Cartoon of a boy with a baseball bat and a broken window. An angry dad says, “That was NOT a wise choice, young man! Go inside and read Proverbs!”

I drew this old cartoon when I was thinking how I would need to discipline my newborn son. I believe he had to go to his rooms a few times, though I don’t remember if I specifically told him to read out of Proverbs!

When it comes to books in the Bible, Proverbs is unique.  There are no stories. It is a book of wise sayings that will keep you from big trouble if you follow its advice.

But reading Proverbs or any book does little good if you don’t put it into practice.  I have read many a book with great advice that I have never put into practice. The danger in that is you can feel you have accomplished something without really doing it. It’s all the satisfaction without the hard work!

My goal today is to actually put into practice what I’ve read today. Now where is that Bible?

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How can you be good at Christmas?

Cartoon of a boy and an annoyed girl


Cartoon of a boy sticking out his tongue and an annoyed girl. The girl says, “How do you expect me to be good for Christmas with him in the same room?”

It’s not easy, is it? I’m ashamed to say I was probably that antagonist to my sisters a few times. If I could go back in time thirty years ago and advise my sisters, I’d say, “Just stay away from that guy. And if he persists, remind him he’ll be on the naughty list before you will.” If he believes he is already on the naughty list, remind him there is grace. Yes, Santa gives grace to, but don’t push it!

The secret behind great parenting

Spear Cartoon 3976

Cartoon of an annoyed boy next to a sleeping mom. The boy says, “Hey! It’s four in the morning. Why aren’t I the center of your universe?”

Whenever you become a parent, you want to do everything you can to make sure that precious child will have a great life. You start to think about college. You may have a baseball mitt already picked out. You may even start dreaming about what a great boy or girl that child will be.

Of course, nobody can prepare you for the challenges. Maybe the baby has colic for the first few months. Perhaps you had no idea how much time it would take to take care of this little one. But you pull through and continue to think of your child’s future even when they’re driving you crazy. Everyone wants to see their child succeed, right?

There is one secret to parenting that will help your child succeed, even thrive in the world and it isn’t about make him or her the center of your universe!

“Wait a minute!” you may ask. “What about my child’s self esteem?”

I’ve got news for you. Making your child the center of the universe will only cause her to be disappointed when she gets into the real world. Either he will find out he wasn’t as special as he though and begin a downward slide, or he will push back against the world and end up becoming a jerk and a bully.

Now you shouldn’t make your child feel horrible either. Beating anybody with words or deeds doesn’t make them better. It only makes them resentful, bitter and a bully.

The secret is to teach our kids to love others as they love themselves. You can’t do that by making them feel they are better or worse than anyone else.  You do that by showing love and respect to others as well as themselves. You do that by teaching them to respect and obey you, even while they learn to respect themselves and others.

If you teach your kids they are special… but so are the other seven billion people on this planet, then they can have a hope and a future.

How to fit things into your schedule

Cartoon of a boy talking to a Sunday school teacher. He says, “Today’s class was great. I’m glad I could fit this into my schedule.”

I drew this cartoon for the August, 2013 Church of God Newsletter.