Friday, November 1, 2013

Parenting Value: Self-Control

Parenting Value: Self Control, Discipline

Self Discipline

Physical, mental, and financial self-discipline. Moderation in speaking, in eating, in exercising. The controlling and bridling of one's own appetites. Understanding the limits of body and mind. Avoiding the dangers of extreme, unbalanced viewpoints. The ability to balance self-discipline with spontaneity.


This year, as he approaches fourteen, our most undisciplined child is beginning to show great progress. Three years ago he simply could not remember to do his homework. On occasion when he did do his work, he couldn't seem to remember whether or not he'd handed it in. His thoughts were immersed in model airplanes, snakes and gerbils, and computer games. Nothing else mattered much to him. I was constantly nagging him to clean his room and "get his act together." 

Then two fairly significant things happened to him: Our family moved to England, and he was enrolled in an extremely disciplined school for boys, complete with a school uniform that included black wool pants, black leather shoes, gray socks, a white shirt, gray V-neck sweater, school tie, and blue blazer. Any boy lacking any part of his uniform was severely reprimanded. Not only that, each boy was required to take thirteen subjects, which included physics, chemistry, classical studies, and mythology. Not a bad schedule of classes for a seventh-grader! Each boy was required to carry an assignment notebook in the left-inside pocket of his jacket. Each class and the assignment for that day were to be carefully printed inside. Any teacher could stop any boy and ask to see his notebook at any time. If the notebook was not there or was not complete, the student was doomed to detention. 

At about the same time, I decided that my relationship with this child was suffering because of my incessant reminders to practice, to clean his room, to get his homework done. I eased off, and decided that my communication and friendship with him were more important than the tidiness of his room. 

This year this boy was transformed from a caterpillar to a lovely moth. (He can't really be classified as a butterfly, because his room still looks about the same -- even though he cleans it up at least once a month now without being asked.) 

I find little homework lists in the jumbled place he calls his room, and he just became an Eagle Scout and a member of the National Honor Society. Instead of thinking of him as a thorn in my side, I now regard him as one of my favorite people. -- Linda 

Self-discipline means many things: being able to motivate and manage yourself and your time, being able to control yourself and your temper, being able to control your appetites (and here the companion word moderation comes into play). 

Self-discipline and moderation are two sides of the same coin. Self-discipline is pulling up and away from the laziness of doing too little. Moderation is pulling in and away from the excesses of trying to do or to have too much. 

Discipline and moderation are profound and universal values because their presence helps us and others and their absence inevitably causes short- or long-term hurt. 

These are values on which all parents must work personally. And it is our example, more than any other method or technique, that will teach this value to our children.


Review the activities and stories that go along with this months value. Make sure everyone in your family understands the value so they can see how they can apply it in their own lives and situations.

Talk about the Monthly Value every morning and remind your family to look for opportunities to use the value throughout the day. They may also observe how others don't understand the value. Get your children to share their experience with the value each day at the dinner table or before you go to bed. Be sure to share your experience each day as well. It will help your children know that you are thinking about the value too.

Stress Relief, Classical Music, and Tchaikovsky

Lift your Holiday Spirit with wonderful Tchaikovsky classics


Sleeping Beauty Waltz

Serenade for Strings

Piano Concerto No. 1 in B Minor

1812 Overture
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Friday, October 18, 2013

Stress Relief and Georges Bizet

Georges Bizet Musical Selections


Bizet Orchestral Selections

Placido Domingo and Andrea Boccelli: Perle Fishers Duet

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Classical Music: World Class Pianist

Vladimir Horowitz, World Class Pianist

Stars and Stripes Forever

Chopin Etude

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Classical Music and Charles Gounod

Dinner Topics for Friday

Waltz from opera "Faust", by Charles Gounod

O, Divine Redeemer, by Charles Gounod 

This is heavenly!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Christianity, Parents, and Marriage

Dinner Topics for Thursday Here Christian leaders make a clear statement on Biblical values and moral absolutes. The Family A Proclamation to the World The First Presidency and Council of the Twelve Apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

American Culture and Ten Commandments

Dinner Topics for Wednesday The Tenth Commandment is: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife …nor anything that is thy neighbor’s. This may be the tenth commandment, but it definitely is not an

President Obama Scandal Update 2

From Rush Limbaugh Show President Obama: Scandal Update 2 RUSH: I mentioned in the first hour that I wanted to go through some of the scandals, or if you will, some of the irregularities.  Here

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Abortion Victim: Fathers

Another victim of abortion By Anne Reed It is a simple fact that conception of a child requires the equal biological participation of a female and a male counterpart – mother and father. The baby is obviously the first victim

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Stress Management, Classical Music and Robert Schumann

Dinner Topics for Friday Listen to Music by Robert Schumann From Wikipedia Robert Schumann[1] (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era.

Classical Music and Robert Schumann

Dinner Topics for Friday

Robert Schumann Spring Symphony


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Parenting: Teaching Justice and Mercy

Dinner Topics for Thursday Teaching Justice and Mercy June Value: Justice and Mercy, Introduction and part 1 From Richard and Linda Eyre

Parenting Value: Justice and Mercy

Dinner Topics for Thursday

Justice & Mercy

Obedience to law, fairness in work and play. An understanding of natural consequences and the law of the harvest. A grasp of mercy and forgiveness and an understanding of the futility (and bitter poison) of carrying a grudge.
Justice and mercy -- these words seem too abstract, multifaceted, maybe even too religious for children to understand. Yet when they are broken down into their simplest form, they are the basic values for every household -- the values around which everything else revolves.

There is both security and unity in the justice and fairness that exists in the home. The beginning lies in the developing of clear family laws and providing for repentance and apology as well as for consistent justice. 

Perhaps the two most important things we've ever learned in our family about justice and mercy were taught to us by our oldest daughter as she was growing up. The first lesson came when she was about seven. We had tried to set up some "family laws" for her and her five-year-old sister. We had done so democratically by asking them to suggest laws. We wrote their suggestions on a list, along with our own and ended up with twenty-four family laws, ranging from "don't hit anyone" to "don't plug in plugs."
One Sunday seven-year-old Saren came home from Sunday School with a suggestion. "Dad and Mom," she said, "I think we've got way too many laws. I can't even remember half of them. I learned today that Heavenly Father only gave us ten laws! We need to simplify!" 

And simplify we did. We worked our list down to five one-word laws that each child knew and understood; we connected them with natural-consequence punishments, and we felt that we at least were beginning to teach the value of justice in our family. 

About three years later this same oldest daughter, now ten, reminded us, of the other principle that needs to go hand in hand with justice. Again it was Sunday, and again we had just returned from Sunday School. One of her little brothers had become angry with his sister and pushed her down. We were in the process of administering the punishment of sending the boy to his room, but Saren noticed the look on his face, which said he was sorry for what he'd done and concerned that he had hurt his sister. "You know, Dad," Saren said, "if someone is sorry and wants to apologize and promise not to do it again, he shouldn't have to have the punishment. In the Bible they call it repenting." -- Richard
Saren was right of course. One reason for repentance is to avoid punishment. And more is often learned from repenting than from being punished. Our five family laws now carry provisions for repentance and thus give us frequent opportunities to learn the two most difficult (and perhaps most important) skills of life -- namely to repent or improve and to forgive.
This value carries such importance -- and such relevance to our happiness. Children who learn to obey laws, to treat others fairly, and to be both repentant and forgiving can largely avoid the bitterness, the grudges, and the guilt along with the mental or physical imprisonment that are the consequences of not understanding or living the value of justice and mercy. 

General Guidelines
Set up simple family laws. This will help children know their limits and understand what is expected of them. It is best to do this in two "sessions." The first session is briefly to discuss with children the importance of laws. For example, there are government laws about stealing or cheating or hurting others. There are traffic laws that make it safer to be on the roads, and so on. We also need laws in our family so that we can be happier and so that everyone can know what is expected. Then ask the children for their input. What laws do they suggest? Make notes. Then tell them that you (as the parent or parents) will work on the laws and hold another family session when you are ready to discuss them. 

After you (as parents) have decided on your family laws, write them on a chart and hold a second family session to explain them. 

We suggest five simple, one-word laws that children can fully understand and easily remember:
  • PEACE (no hitting, fighting, yelling, whining, etc.).
  • PEGS (make a pegboard for each child, each with four pegs -- one representing family job, one for homework and practicing (if the child is learning a musical instrument), and one for evening things (room clean, teeth brushed, in bed on time). The law is to get each peg in each day.
  • ASKING (don't go anywhere, invite anyone over, etc., without permission).
  • ORDER (room straight, pick up after self).
  • OBEDIENCE (do what parents say).
Discuss how each law makes family members happier.
Establish rewards to go with the keeping of each law and punishments to go with the breaking of each law. This helps children learn cause and effect and understand elementary justice.
Enhance the "payday" system for pegs by having a bonus for each of the other laws they have done well on keeping during the week (peace, asking, order, obedience). Adjust the payday reward system to match the ages and needs of your children. 

The main punishment for disobedience to the five family laws should be the absence of reward. On payday praise a child who did well and basically ignore (rather than chastise) a child who did poorly. 

Certain laws also need specific punishments. These should be as close to "natural consequences" as possible. Some examples and suggestions:
  • PEACE: As discussed earlier, have a "repenting bench" where children who argue or fight have to sit until they can tell you what they (not the other child) did wrong.
  • ASKING: If a child does something or goes somewhere without permission, then the answer should be "no" next time to remind him.
  • ORDER: Other family members pick up a child's things and throw them on his bed. He has to put them away that evening.
  • OBEDIENCE: Establish the password of please. When you ask a child to do something, say please. His trigger response word is "Yes, Mother" or "Yes, Father." When a child doesn't obey, or forgets the response word, say, "Let's start over." Ask him again, emphasizing please. If he still does not obey and say, "Yes, Mother," send him to his room.
Add provisions for "repentance." This is a good opportunity to teach children the powerful values (and skills) of asking for and giving forgiveness. Once family laws are established, along with rewards and punishments, add the principle of repentance. Teach small children that repentance consists of saying you're sorry for a specific thing, asking for forgiveness, and promising that you'll try never to do it again. 

Try to use repentance rather than punishment wherever possible. Let children avoid sitting on the fighting bench if they repent to each other, or avoid going to their room if they say they are sorry for not obeying and quickly rectify the situation. 

Set the example. Show that justice and mercy are your values and that you, too, are trying to repent and forgive. When you make a mistake, lose your temper, fail to meet one of your responsibilities that involve a child, and so forth, make an obvious point of apologizing to the child and asking his forgiveness. 

Strive to be viewed by your child not as one who is perfect but as one who is really trying to do better. 

Be fair and consistent, but also tender and merciful. Again, teach this value by example. It is important to try to let neither rewardable behavior nor punishable behavior go unnoticed. Try to be consistent. On the other hand, don't make "quick justice" your whole goal. Always opt for repentance and forgiveness first, and only resort to punishment (showing your regret that it is necessary).
Review the activities and stories that go along with this month’s value. Make sure everyone in your family understands the value so they can see how they can apply it in their own lives and situations.

Talk about the Monthly Value every morning and remind your family to look for opportunities to use the value throughout the day. They may also observe how others don't understand the value. Get your children to share their experience with the value each day at the dinner table or before you go to bed. Be sure to share your experience each day as well. It will help your children know that you are thinking about the value too.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Dinner Topics Newsletter: Parents, Fathers, and Christian Traditions

Dinner Topics Newsletter: Parents, Fathers, and Christian Traditions Dear Valued Readers, VOTE FOR EPICWORLD DINNER TOPICS. Do you enjoy this web site? If you do, please consider voting at the link in the right-hand sidebar beneath the Follow button. If

Monday, June 3, 2013

Parents, Students, and Gender Insanity

Yet Another Reason to Home School It looks like if we want our children to have Judeo-Christian values, we’ll have to teach them ourselves. Unless you want to burden yourself with an almost impossible task of de-programming, keep them out

Saturday, June 1, 2013

U.S. Constitution and the Immigration Trap

Dinner Topics for Monday Warning! Pay close attention here to the sneaky way this will make America a one-party system. Not good. Watch out! The gang of 8 immigration bill is a trap. Well, what

College Students, Scandal, and Big Government Abuse

See what your tax dollars are paying for? Answer: Brainwashers R Us Solutions: Home school, Christian schools and colleges College Students Sign Thank You Card to IRS for Anti-Conservative Discrimination On Thursday, the Centennial Institute released a video from Caleb

Friday, May 31, 2013

Social Media, American Culture, and Parenting

These comments from the Rush Limbaugh Radio Show reflected so powerfully my own thoughts on this issue that I am posting his monologue. At some point when they grow older and mature, they have to get serious, and certain things

Thursday, May 30, 2013

President Obama, Terrorism, and Homeschool

Dinner Topics for Friday US Grants Asylum to Muslim Terrorists but Not to Christian Homeschoolers By Dave Jolly See video About ten years ago, the Tsarnaev family was granted political asylum in the United States. Curiously over the past 10

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

College Student, Yale University, and Morality

Immorality at Yale Another case for homeschooling. Before you spend your life savings on a famous university, watch out! You may want to do some homework! There are a lot of courses you can take online, save money, and your

Monday, May 27, 2013

Capitalism, American History, and Vanderbilt

Dinner Topics for Tuesday From Wikipedia Cornelius Vanderbilt (May 27, 1794 – January 4, 1877), also known by the sobriquet Commodore,[2] was an American industrialist and philanthropist who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Veterans, Soldiers, and Honor

Project honors Marine who gave life for comrades Donate to Paralyzed Veterans of America   By Joy Lucius Semper Fidelis! Always Faithful! More than a motto – for one group of Marines, these words exemplify their devotion for a fallen

Friday, May 24, 2013

President Obama, Scandal, Socialism, and American Culture

Learning, Definition, and Critical Thinking Culture of liberalism and socialism Definition of sycophant: servile, self-seeking flatterer. Application today: President Obama is a cult figure for socialists and liberals; they follow him slavishly, defending criminal behavior with blind adoration, totally oblivious

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Jesus Christ: Christian Art

Dinner Topics for Thursday From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Carl Heinrich Bloch (May 23, 1834 – February 22, 1890) was a Danish painter. He was born in Copenhagen, Denmark and studied with Wilhelm Marstrand at the Royal Danish Academy of

Monday, May 20, 2013

Quotations: Holy Spirit, Virtue, and Vice

Dinner Topics for Tuesday Quotes by Alexander Pope “Vice is a monster of so frightful mien As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.”

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Praying Hands: Story of Inspiration

Dinner Topics for Monday Praying Hands: A Story of Inspiration  Late in the fifteenth century, two young and zealous wood-carving apprentices in France confided in each other their craving to study painting. Such study would take money and both Hans

Friday, May 17, 2013

President Obama, Scandal, and Big Government Abuse

Unfortunately, there is no way the Senate will impeach a sitting black president. But we must keep fighting for our liberty, because they want us to give up and quit. Obama classmate audited 2 years ago now

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Learning, College Students, and “Cultural Diversity”

Dinner Topics for Friday Warning: If you are looking at colleges, buyer beware! College tuitions these days will bankrupt you, and what follows is only one example of what is going on nationwide, in some of the most prestigious colleges.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Economy, Taxation, and Integrity

Calvin Coolidge represents the exact opposite of President Obama. Coolidge had integrity. He deserves a lot more respect than he ever got. ~C.A. Davidson Dinner Topics for Thursday “Reprinted by permission from Imprimis, a publication of Hillsdale College.” “We must

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

History: Israel and Palestine

Dinner Topics for Wednesday So, journalists, activists, and foreign ministers of the world: you still have time to ask yourselves and others these questions; still have time to prevent a great wrong from being done; still have time to save

Monday, May 13, 2013

President Obama Scandal: Update

Obama Lied; People Died The Damning Dozen: Twelve Revelations from the Benghazi Hearings Obama calls Benghazi controversy a

Government, Beast, and Homeschool

Dinner Topics for Tuesday Starve the Beast — Homeschool Your Children Not to mention that most schools, including expensive universities and colleges, are woefully inept at teaching critical thinking. ~C.A. Davidson Whoever controls the schools rules the world.~ Gary DeMar

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

President Obama, Communism, and Truth

Russian Calls Out Barack Obama As A Communist by Leon Puissegur Barack Obama is called a pure Communist by the Russian Press and many in Russia are making that statement. Maybe that is why the Boston Bombers could get away

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Quotations: Liberty, Socialism, and Economy

Dinner Topics for Wednesday Quotations by Friedrich Hayek If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion. ~Friedrich August

Monday, May 6, 2013

President Obama, Scandal, and Truth

Obama Lied; People Died There is an old saying about the Emperor Nero in Roman history: Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Update on Benghazi Scandal Cover Up Benghazi Blows Up on Bob Schieffer May 06, 2013

Parenting: Teaching Kindness

Dinner Topics for Tuesday More about Teaching Kindness: Parenting Value: Kindness Kindness

Parenting Value: Kindness

The value of Kindness
& Friendliness

Becoming more extra-centered and less self-centered. Learning to feel with and for others. Empathy, tolerance, brotherhood. Sensitivity to needs in people and situations.
Richard and Linda Eyre

Simple kindness and friendliness is a great human value. It involves parts of other values, such as the empathy of sensitivity and the boldness of courage, but it is a very separate and different value from these. This value is also partially an extension of the value of peaceability. In peaceability we try to teach children not to hurt and to avoid conflicts. Here we teach the positive side of being a friend, acting friendly and kindly, and becoming more polite and courteous.

Friendliness and gentleness also apply to self. Children who learn to be gentle and tolerant with themselves grow up to be less stressed and more relaxed and self-secure. 

Simple friendliness (based on our earlier-established criteria and definition of a value of something that helps others and diminishes hurt in others) is a profound value. Often a simple act of kindness or a word or two of extended friendship can change another person's attitude and mood for the rest of the day -- and longer.

In trying to teach kindness and friendliness to our children we once again realize that they are not lumps of clay to be molded as we choose, but seedlings -- already who they are -- ready to blossom if watered and fertilized and exposed to a lot of sunlight.

Wherever your children fit on the scale of natural kindness and friendliness to others, there is always room for improvement on this important value of life.
A friend of ours told me a story that I thought illustrated how parents can be kind and friendly to their own children and thus improve the rapport and feeling between them.

He came home from work one day, went into his "private" bathroom, and found little five-year-old Lulu, who loves trying to clean things, holding an empty cleanser can and standing over a bathtub that was overflowing with soap suds onto the carpet. He nearly reacted the way most parents would have: "Lulu! You used way too much soap! You're ruining the carpet! You should never try to do things like this without help!"

But he had some especially tender feelings in his heart that day for Lulu, and he said, "Oh, Lu, you were trying to clean Dad's tub, weren't you?"

Little Lulu looked down and said, "But Daddy, I used way too much soap!" It was a tender, warm moment that ended in a big hug.

If the father had said, "You used way too much soap," Lulu would have said, probably with some bitterness or some hurt, "But Daddy, I was just trying to clean your tub!" It would have been an unpleasant, separating moment. -- Richard
Sometimes we don't need to tell our children what they did wrong. They already know. If we are kind and gentle with them and come to their defense, they will say what we would have said, and the moment will be warm and the feeling will be right.

General Guidelines
Have a "gentleness and politeness" pact." This can create a mood of particular kindness and warmth in your home during this "month." Get together as a family as you start this month and discuss how pleasant a place the world is when people are kind and gentle. Ask the children to join you in a "pact of gentleness and politeness" for the month. Explain that this will mean a commitment of two "do's" and two "don't's."

·  Be polite -- say, "please," "thank you," and "excuse me," and look for chances to extend acts of courtesy.
·  Smile and ask, "How are you?" Expect a real answer to the question and listen to it.

·  Don't yell or raise your voice or be critical of another.
·  Don't say anything critical -- neither of someone else nor of yourself. (No "I'm so stupid" or "I can't do anything right.")
Talk frequently about how things are going, how people feel, how hard it is to remember, and so on.
Decide where your child stands in his natural abilities to be kind and friendly. Know what your challenge is with each child. There is nothing quite like the joy one feels as a result of kindnesses to those who really need and appreciate it, whether it be a good deed for one little old man across the street or kindness on a more grander scale. However, kindness and friendliness are never as easy as they sound. Some children show their insecurities by pretending to be popular but putting other children down in ways that are outright cruel, while other shrinking violets and painfully shy children spend all their time wondering why no one likes them. Others are genuinely well adjusted and naturally look for ways to be kind and friendly to those around them. Try to determine where your child fits in his natural abilities to be kind and friendly so that you know where to begin.

Teach by example. Give your children clear and specific models for friendliness, kindness, and politeness. This value is one that cannot be overdone. During the month be extra friendly and polite to everyone, including your children. Use "please," "thank you," and "excuse me" profusely. Say nice things. Practice Emily Post etiquette in everything from opening doors and holding chairs for women to setting the table in a proper and special way. Even help children with their own jobs. Smile a lot.
Watch children respond. Once they get over the suspicion that you're putting them on or rehearsing for a part in some play, they will begin to mirror what they see in you.

Teach your child the value of relationships, not only with friends but with family. This will increase their appreciation of close "blood" relationships. During an evening meal every few months take the time to reinforce the importance of having friends and being a friend. Foster and nourish the idea that even though outside friends are very important, the best friends they will ever have should be their brother or sister (as well as his or her parents). Childhood friends will come and go, but family members will last throughout life. Those friendships should be nurtured and treated with care. You could even try a private game among family members. When one child is persecuting another or arguing or calling names in a way that he would not think of doing with a friend, have the persecuted child say the word friend, which is a code word to the other child to lay off and begin treating him a little more like a friend. Although it may not work at the moment, it will help to raise the awareness of what they're doing. (The same game works for parents who talk to their children in less than glowing terms, or vice versa.) You could even suggest that when a child is angry or being rude to another family member, an onlooking child has a responsibility to walk up to the child being attacked, put his arm around him, and say, "Don't talk that way to one of my best friends."


Review the activities and stories that go along with this months value. Make sure everyone in your family understands the value so they can see how they can apply it in their own lives and situations.
Talk about the Monthly Value every morning and remind your family to look for opportunities to use the value throughout the day. They may also observe how others don't understand the value. Get your children to share their experience with the value each day at the dinner table or before you go to bed. Be sure to share your experience each day as well. It will help your children know that you are thinking about the value too.