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Love is so strange, even in Oz

Copyright ©2014 Kevin Spear
Copyright ©2014 Kevin Spear

Cartoon of two women and a scarecrow. One woman says, “We met at a gardening convention.” Continue reading “Love is so strange, even in Oz”

Five reasons why kids need Saint Valentine’s Day

Cartoon of a boy holding a valentine and a jaded girl

Cartoon of a boy holding a poster with a heart on it and a jaded girl. The girl says, “Do you realize that heart isn’t anatomically correct?”

Saint Valentine’s Day can arouse some negative emotions, especially when people feel pressured to impress their loved one with extravagant gifts.

But if we treat Valentine’s Day right, it’s a great opportunity for kids to see love in action. Here are five reasons why kids need Valentine’s Day.

  1. Kids need to see love is far more than the physical attraction popular culture tries to make it out to be. Valentine’s Day may focus on the romantic side of love. But it can also be an opportunity to show selfless love (agapé), family/affection love (storge) or brotherly/friendship love (philia)
  2. Kids need to receive a note of encouragement. We all need to hear something positive about ourselves once in a while
  3. It’s an opportunity for kids to hear why love is so great (and challenging). Take the time to read 1 Corinthians 13 with your child.
  4. Kids need to see that love is more than a feeling but is  action.  We can love even the unlovely, the grumpy and those family members that get on our nerves!
  5. And kids need lots of candy hearts. Come on! Who doesn’t need candy hearts with corny sayings on them?

Valentine’s Day is a great reminder that love goes far beyond physical attraction and getting our selfish needs met. After all, when it comes down to it, we all need faith, hope and love. And the greatest of these is love.

 

 

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How to deal with picky eaters at Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving can be a real challenge for parents with picky eaters.

When I was growing up, my mother had two kids that would eat about anything and two that were extremely picky eaters. I won’t tell you which one I was, however the fact I was the first-born child may give you a hint. (we first-borns tend to be parent pleasers!)

Keeperofthehome.org has a great article on this subject. They mention this can be a problem of an affluent society where food is thrown away without a thought. This blog had some great tips for dealing with picky eaters.

  • Prepare real food as much as possible. The closest the finished form is from the farm to you the better.
  • Have the children help you prepare the food. We naturally take pride in something we’ve made.
  • Pray and thank God for your food. Just that simple act gives us a different outlook. It reminds us our food didn’t just come from a nameless farm factory.
  • If a child says he or she isn’t hungry, save the meal for the next time. It shows we don’t waste good food and reminds them food is valuable.

The Thanksgiving story is a great example to teach the kids why the Pilgrims were grateful for food. Here is a link of the first Thanksgiving for kids. Forty-six of the original one hundred-two pilgrims died before the next fall.

Find a way to encourage a child to try new things without shaming them. It can be tempting to use the old phrase, “There are people starving in… “ The goal is to teach your kids gratitude, not give them a guilt trip! And if a child gave a food an honest try and they still don’t like it, relax! We don’t have to like everything to be grateful.