Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Some Things Just Aren't Band-aid-Worthy

It’s week two of church camp for me; fixing boo-boos, giving kids their medicine, checking to make sure sunscreen has been amply applied, and a host of other ‘mom-type’ things they need done for them when they’re away from home.

One thing I’ve noticed with the kids this age (8 to 10) is that they have very different perceptions of what is and isn’t a big deal. For example, one night while playing hide-n-seek three or four of the kids fell and scraped their shins or knees.

A couple of them were pretty ‘good’ scrapes that required a good washing with soap and water followed by ointment and a bandage or two. Both of these kids were far more concerned about getting back out there to play than they were the blood oozing from their knees.

Another child, however, came to me sobbing and moaning as if they’d just been critically injured. In fact, I heard her before I saw her and thought, “Oh, my gosh, this is gonna be bad!” It wasn’t. She’d barely scratched the surface of the skin. It wasn’t even bandaid-worthy. I wiped her knee, dried her tears, gave her a hug, promised her she was going to live, and then sent her back out to finish the game.

As she left (limping as though her leg was about to fall off) I thought about how more often than not, we as parents need to tech our kids to ‘shake it off’ and go on instead of treating every disappointment, every boo-boo, and every rejection like it is the end of the world.

I’m not saying we need to raise up a generation of emotionless, hard-hearted young people. And I’m not saying we shouldn’t be sensitive to our children’s physical and emotional pain. Not at all! But what I am saying is this: children need to have a solid understanding of what is and isn’t worth getting upset over. So what if they don’t make varsity! So what if they don’t get all A’s! So what if they don’t get to go to someone’s party! So what if you tell them no and they don’t like it!

Your kids need to learn that there are a lot of things in life that simply aren’t worth getting upset over and they need to learn that from you! They need to see you as someone who is calm, sensible, able to deal well with stress and who doesn’t panic or over-react. They need to see you model these behaviors so they can be this person, too.


Momma D
                            copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Up And Over The Wall You Go

I would like to apologize for being late writing this week’s blog. So let me take a minute to explain why and share something that happened this week with you—something I hope you’ll take to heart as you parent your children.

            I’ve spent this past week at church camp with 55 junior high kids. No, I’m not crazy. I love them!

Anyway…each evening after chapel service we have what is called social hour. Social hour is a time when the kids participate in an organized activity that is fun, somewhat competitive, and all about building relationships and comradery. Some of the activities for social hour are somewhat traditional; meaning we do them every year. This year, however, we tried something new—an obstacle course.

The course consisted of several ‘traditional’ obstacle course activities—including a ten to twelve foot wall the kids had to go up and over using the rope and three furring strips for toe-holds.

When several of the kids (boys and girls) saw the wall, the first words out of their mouths were “I can’t do that!”

“Yes you can,” I’d say. “You can do this. Emily is going to help you get started, Drake and Austin will be there when you get to the top, and I’ll be here when you come down on the other side.”

“I can’t,” some of them would repeat…as they grabbed hold and started to make their way up.

When they came over the wall and landed next to me, the look on their faces was priceless! Ecstatic…confident…pumped…amazed…and proud are just a few of the words I would use to describe their attitudes. Not one camper failed to make it over that wall!

In less than two minute’s time these kids went from being scared and anxious to being NOT scared and NOT anxious. Why? Because they were able to conquer their fear and experience the joy of knowing we believed in them.

As parents your children need to know that you believe in them—that you are there for them to cheer them on and help them conquer their fears, and to show AND tell them that they can do anything they set their mind to.

Your kids are going to have a lot of walls to go over in this life—walls they are going to come to with an attitude of “I can’t”. Will you be there to tell them they can and will you be there when they come down the other side to say “Great job! I knew you could do it!”?


Momma D

                        Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

You Get What You Get And Don't Throw A Fit

A couple of weeks ago while my daughter was mowing the lawn, she stopped to cool off and asked three year-old Laney to bring her a bottle of cold water or Gatorade® out of the refrigerator so she wouldn’t have to track grass clippings through the house.

Laney was happy to oblige…on one condition: As she went inside to get her momma a drink, she said, “You get what you get and no throwin’ a fit.”

Hhhmmmm….wonder where she heard that?

After Elizabeth quit laughing she assured Laney no fit would be thrown and that whatever she brought her to drink would be fine and appreciated.

Parents, you need to make a point of showing and telling your children what Laney told Elizabeth: You get what you get and no throwin’ a fit.

*When your child cries foul over not getting first chair in band because the teacher likes someone better, don’t coddle and agree with them. They are still in the band and playing music.

*When your child isn’t voted Stuco President, don’t let them wallow in their self-pity saying the only reason the winner was chosen was because they’re rich or their dad is on the school board, or….

*When your child is pouting because they didn’t get as much time on the field as they wanted, don’t side with them and speak negatively or disrespectfully about the coach.

*When your child is upset over not getting in the same class or on the same team as their best friend, don’t let them whine and complain about it. They can still be friends…and make new ones, too.

In other words, you need to teach your children to be content with their circumstances and to make the best of them instead of whining, throwing a fit, and complaining that things are good enough or unfair.

You need to teach your child that being first, winning, being popular, and making straight A’s isn’t a requirement for being awesome and amazing. They also need to know that when they aren’t first, when they don’t win, or when things don’t go their way, jealousy, throwing a fit, and pouting aren’t acceptable behaviors.

Life isn’t fair and things aren’t always going to go their way, but when it isn’t and they don’t, whining, complaining, and throwing a fit doesn’t help. As parents, you need to instill in your children the basic truth that says: YOUR BEST ISN’T ALWAYS GOING TO BE THE BEST, BUT IF YOU DO YOUR BEST, IT’S ALL GOOD.


Momma D

                             Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

A Hamburger Named Albert

Growing up on a farm meant the kids had a realistic view of life and death. They also grew up knowing and appreciating what it takes for food to ‘magically’ appear on the shelves at the grocery store. Zach and Elizabeth basically had a matter-of-fact attitude about it all, but when it came time for our tender-hearted and wee-bit dramatic Olivia to be old enough to understand that some of the animals on our farm ended up in our freezer and on the table, we weren’t sure just how understanding she would be.

Thankfully she was very mature and very Olivia about the whole thing…

Three year-old Olivia raised Albert the little bull calf on a bottle. She’d even shown him in the fair a few weeks after he was born. But when Albert was a little over a year old, it was time for him to fulfill his purpose in being on the farm. It was time to butcher Albert.

Since Albert had grown far too big for Olivia to care for, she really didn’t seem to be bothered with the fact that he was no longer there. But the first night I fixed hamburgers for dinner (courtesy of Albert), we had a split-second of panic that bothered might not even begin to cover it.

Olivia knew that John had picked up our meat earlier that day so when she took a bite of her hamburger, before she started chewing, she asked, “Is this Albert?”

John and I exchanged glances and then calmly, but unapologetically, John said, “Yes, Olivia, it is.”

Olivia very thoughtfully and deliberately chewed and swallowed what was in her mouth, smiled really big, and said, “Well, he tastes pretty good, don’t he!”

NOTE: Collective sigh could be heard around the table.

At the ripe old age of four Olivia understood that everyone and everything has a purpose and that we should do our best to do just that.

As parents we have a responsibility to love and nurture our children in such a way that they can fulfill their purpose in life—the purpose of growing into loving, capable, and honorable adults.

Oh, there will be many stops along the way; experiencing childhood, puberty, first-love, a disease called I-know-it-all-you-know-nothing, and waking up to find themselves in the real world. But by keeping them focused and pointed in the right direction, they’ll make it. And when they do, you’ll thoughtfully and deliberately watch them and say to yourself or anyone who happens to be around…

“He (or she) does real good, don’t he?”


Momma D

                               Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be copied or used without permission from the author.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

I Told You I Saw A Giant Snake!!!

If you read last week’s post you know I said that this week I’d be doing the ‘sequel’ to the birdhouse story. I changed my mind. Instead, I’ve decided to share a memory of me, my grandpa, my great-grandpa, and a really big snake.

Sunday afternoons were spent at my great-grandparents’ house. Coming from a large family, it wasn’t unusual for there to be anywhere from six to thirty-six relatives there. On this particular day, the crowd was slim and I was the youngest one there—three or four years old. My grandpa, great-grandpa, and two or three of my great-uncles were sitting on the front porch visiting and the women were in the living room of the house doing the same.

Bored by all the ‘grownup talk’, I hopped off my grandpa’s lap and went to play in the back yard. But on my way I encountered a really big black snake. I knew enough to turn around and run back to the house—in the back door and straight to Granny. When I told her there was a giant snake outside she didn’t believe me. I told her again. She still didn’t believe me. It was highly unusual for Granny to not believe me. I think the fact that I was liberally using the word ‘giant’ may have had something to do with her skepticism.

Realizing I wasn’t getting anywhere, I went outside and told my grandpa. He questioned my use of the word giant, too, but asked me where it was. Finally! Gee, it wasn’t like I was the little boy who cried wolf. Why was this so hard? Taking his hand, I told him I would show him. Then turning to my great-grandpa I asked him if he wanted to see the giant snake, too. He grinned, nodded his head, and stood up to follow me.

We didn’t have to go far, though, because the snake had decided to pay his respects and was now making his way onto the porch! Hopping up and down I started squealing, “I told you! I told you there was a giant snake

The next thing I knew my great-grandpa was ‘taking care’ of the snake with the garden hoe propped up against the house on the porch and all the commotion brought Granny and the others outside—where they saw the giant snake.

Once the commotion died down you can be sure a few apologies came my way for not believing me. But hey, it wasn't like I was in the habit of telling big ole whopper-lies, so it was the least they could do, right?

Have you ever ignored or not believed your child when they were trying to tell you something? I sure hope not, because I can tell you first-hand that being ignored or given the ‘brush off’ when you have something important to share is agonizing. It could also be dangerous. That black snake could have been a copperhead and your child’s story about the mean boy or girl, the creepy or unfair coach/teacher, the scary neighbor, or the cries that no one likes them should be heard, listened to, and acted upon.

Remember…always believe in your child unless they give you obvious and undeniable reasons not to. Believing what your child tells you should always be your initial response. If you don’t, they’ll quit talking. And I don’t think I have to tell you how dangerous (and sad) that would be.

Momma D

P.S. Just for the record, it really was a giant snake.
                          Copyright 2016 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.