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We Insult our Young People by Calling them “Snowflakes”

We Insult our Young People by Calling them “Snowflakes”

snowflake

Snowflake

The term “snowflake” that has been hurled at millennials is, to say the least, not a nice term. People have used that term to describe our young people born after 1980. I want to suggest that we look closely at these young people we call “snowflakes” and embrace them instead of simply insulting them. Click To Tweet  They are our children and the way they are reacting to current issues is, in large part, due to the way we raised them.

We allowed our “snowflakes” to get participation trophies just for showing up. We guarded their self-esteem so they wouldn’t feel bad.Trophies meant less than what they were supposed to.  No longer were they symbols of mastery. They were turned into something that meant you were there and you were breathing .” Let’s give our children a little more credit and help them discover their unique qualities.  They need to understand that the Lord has placed gifts and talents and a destiny in each child and we don’t have to create some false feathered bed for our children to land on to protect their self-esteem.

Let’s not insult their intelligence.

Our young people are good people but we have allowed them to believe that their feelings should dictate life.   We have allowed them to think they are just supposed to get what they want because they feel like they should. Click To Tweet How misguided is that?  Where is the motivation to work hard at something?  Where is the drive to create something or find the answer to a problem?  There is none.  They may not even feel that they can be creative or work hard to achieve something. We have raised children that are lost and insecure. They look to some outside source for answers instead of looking inward and engaging the Holy Spirit.  That makes for an unsettled human being.

I believe we, particularly those of us that are Christian, need take responsibility and impact our children’s lives for the better.  Take the ‘snowflake” label off of them and engage them in conversation that may serve to enlighten them.

I applaud you!

Let me just acknowledge the many parents and children out there that are on solid ground and have a healthy growing relationship with each other and the Lord.  I know you are out there and I applaud you.

However, my heart hurts for those millennials that are confused and throwing tantrums when things don’t go their way.  They tend to react to what they see instead of thinking critically about what is going on around them.

This post concerns millennials that are right around college age. In so many ways, the college age student is still developing and maturing.  The questions that they have are being addressed by the college professors on the college campuses.  Many of the college professors on the campuses are liberal.  Much of the media is liberal as well.  When all that surrounds you is leaning in one direction, there is very little opportunity to think critically about what you are hearing and seeing.  When an opposing view does come up our millennials are often, not willing to listen.

A large group of students writing.

 

How do we address the issue?

Now is the time to step in and let our children know that we stand with them and are willing and able to guide them through some of the challenges of life.  Yes, they are young adults and need to be able to make decisions on their own. But we can be present to help.

  • Keep the dialogue going.
  • Talk to your child about their classes.
  • Talk to them about dorm life.
  • Express your thoughts and opinions.

You must be aware that on most college campuses, liberal professors outnumber conservative professors. These professors are going to challenge tradition values that you have placed in your child.  This is why the conversation is so important.

Live what you believe.

Equally important to speaking truth, based on biblical teaching, is that we live lives aligned with and submitted to Lord Jesus Christ. Click To Tweet That takes boldness and courage and our children are watching.  The millennials want to know is this relationship with Jesus real and relevant for them in their college years.  We lose many children that grew up in the church right here. Life presents challenges.  The challenge is designed to rip them away from their faith and a genuine relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  They need to know your relationship with the Lord is real.   They want to see where we make sacrifices and what we make sacrifices for.  What do we truly value?

 

Live the Bible

They need to know that there is Truth that they can commit to and hang onto.  They are smart enough to know that college life is only for a season and they are going to leave the campus and enter life as a young adult.  What does a relationship with a living God have to do with their lives? Our steadfastness will help them answer that question. When they see us paying lip service to important convictions, they longer see us as trustworthy and we lose ground with them.  Furthermore, it opens the door to error.  It leaves our children vulnerable to bad choices.

Let them continue to see your walk with the Lord.  They may not be at home with you but your conversation will let them see that your relationship with the Lord continues to impact your life. They are going to think about that in their own lives when they make decisions.

Parents, bless your children

We as parents have a unique perspective and insight that our children don’t have.  We are better able to see the bigger picture because we have more life experiences.  Millennials may think they know enough but we all know that is not true. We have the responsibility to show share our perspective with them.  This goes back to the conversation.  Talk about lessons you have learned.  Some of these conversations may difficult or embarrassing but your child will come to understand that you are sharing these things in the hopes that they learn from your mistakes.

Joseph

Joseph may not have immediately understood how the Lord was using him when he was thrown into a pit for a crime he didn’t commit, but in time, he understood that the enemy was trying to take him out but the Lord had other plans.  That is an extremely difficult perspective for a young person to take but it is something they must grow into.  When you are vulnerable and share your stories, they can get a glimpse of your perspective.

What is the focus?

Fruitfulness and success are two different things. Cole points out that an important key is understanding that there is a difference between fruitfulness and success. To be successful means to focus on what one can accomplish or how much wealth one can obtain. This tends to be man-centered where fruitfulness is more focused on God and living a life that is a blessing to others.  This focus is everlasting and eternal.  What we do in response to the leading of the Lord is going to withstand the test of time.  1 Cor. 3:13 every man’s work shall be made manifest; for the Day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall rest every man’s work of what sort it is.  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereon, he shall receive a reward.

Let's lead with courage! Click To Tweet
What Happened to Cursive!?

What Happened to Cursive!?

What Happened to Cursive?

Cursive handwriting is a unique form of personal expression.  Some schools are finding cursive handwriting worthy of revitalizing.  Writing in cursive decreased in popularity to being just about non-existent.  Joe Helm, of the Washington Post, reports that some public and charter schools are once again embracing cursive handwriting.  https://www.washingtonpost.com/

In fact, Alabama and Louisiana are the two in the line of 14 states that have passed laws in 2016 mandating cursive handwriting instruction (Karen Matthews/AP TIME Staff). I am so glad to see a comeback of cursive.

Cursive Handwriting

As an educator, I know the value of teaching children how to write in cursive.  You will see some of the reasons cursive handwriting is important below. Many of our schools today do not take the time to teach the formation of letters at all.  Some of our children are on their own in this regard.  Some have taken on the task of learning this form of writing on their own.

 

Four Reasons Children Should Learn Cursive

4 Reasons Your Child Must Learn Cursive.

4 Reasons Your Child Must Learn Cursive.

1.Life Sills – Signing one’s name is a life skill that every child should know. Each person’s signature is unique and it has meaning. Make sure your child can write his or her name in cursive.
2.Reading Grandmas Letters.  Our children should be able to read letters or even recipes from their grandparents.  This is a wonderful connection that many of our children are losing. It’s wonderful to be able to go to a recipe written by grandma or grandpa. Wonderful memories come flooding back as those recipes are read.
3.Speed-Being able to write in cursive is faster than writing manuscript. This is of particular benefit as children grow older and need to be able to write notes in class.
4.Original Documents-Many of our original documents were written by our founding fathers in a type of cursive and our children need to be able to read these documents. It is good for them to be able to read documents like the Constitution for him or herself. They need to be able to read those documents in order to know what

It is easy to see the importance of cursive handwriting.  Here is a resource for printable sheets that can be used in teaching cursive.

Phonics and Cursive Handwriting Connection

The nature of cursive writing connects the letters to each other. This gives the student time to focus on the formation of the letters, the sound of individual letters, as well as letter combinations.  This is the foundation of phonics and reading.

Cursive handwriting is particularly helpful for the dyslexic student.  Some letters are easily confused when printed.  These letters are shaped differently when formed in cursive. Students focus on text rather than figuring out letters.

Having good handwriting takes practice.  Establishing the habit of practicing something is good for our children and it is good for us as adults. Habits help to make our lives run more smoothly and they can help us master something.  Just think about becoming the master of that chocolate cake when you practice saying no to it often enough.  (But that is a little off topic.:)

Personal Expression

Cursive handwriting is personal.  Each person has peculiarities in the execution of the letters.  This is the beauty of cursive. In the grand scheme of things, handwriting doesn’t take a long time to teach. Much of the instruction is a matter of practice.  Teachers are taking 15 minutes out of the day to show children the strokes and then providing time for practice.  This can be included in their homework as well.

Cursive handwriting is something worth hanging onto in our schools.

Do your children get to learn cursive handwriting at school?  Do they ask to learn how to write cursive?  Put your thoughts in the comment section.

 

 

Key Habits That Make Life Run Smoothly

Key Habits That Make Life Run Smoothly

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Smooth Running 

Good habits make life run smoothly Click To Tweet. Charlotte Mason (1842-1923) talked about habits being the tracks that we can run our lives on.

Charlotte Mason was a British educator that Loved the Lord and loved children. She observed children and taught others how to nurture children and guide them to their destiny.  Her approach is used in many homeschools and some charter schools.


Her philosophy has not only impacted the education arena but has also impacted the home life of many families.

Habits Make Life Run Smoothly

Good habits lay the foundation for the character of a man later in life. What is a habit? How would you answer that question? I would say that a habit is something you do, on some level of frequency, without much thought. For example, I don’t give much thought to buckling my seat belt when I get into a car.

Do you?

I just reach for the seat-belt and fasten myself in while I am thinking about something else or talking with someone in the car. I don’t expend much mental energy at all in getting that task done.  It’s a good habit that keeps me safe.

Step by Step

What if I had to think about every step of brushing my teeth? Normally, when we brush our teeth, we think about a million other things. Or if you are like me, you are half asleep in the morning or falling asleep as you get ready for bed. 

It’s a good thing that brushing my teeth is a habit. We do not have to give much thought to the process. When we brush our teeth, we think about so many other things at the same time. 

It’s not uncommon for your mind to be engaged in something totally unrelated to brushing your teeth because it’s a habit. It is second nature to you. You’ve done it for a long time, right?

Think back to when you first started brushing your teeth.  Don’t worry. This will be a quick trip down memory lane.  When you were much younger you had to figure out how to hold the toothpaste tube just right. You thought about how to hold the tube. You figured out how NOT to squeeze too much toothpaste out. Then you start brushing your teeth. 

Did you ever push too far back and nearly choke yourself? Or maybe you were a little too aggressive and you scraped your gums. Oh yeah, someone had to watch you and make sure you were doing it the right way.  Thankfully, you learned how to brush your teeth so well that you didn’t have to spend hours going over each part of the process. We all have good habits and bad habits. Even though habits do not take much thought, they impact our lives greatly.  

If you have a good habit of washing the dinner dishes after you have eaten dinner then you have the wonderful delight of walking into a kitchen with a clean sink every morning.  (I’m still working on that one).

Good Habits Make Life Flow

Making up your bed every morning after you get out of it means you are going to have a neater looking room when you get ready for bed. Those habits make your life more pleasant and easier to manage.

What are some of your good habits that make life more pleasant and productive? Your habits can also take place in your head. Your thought life is an important part of your life that we all need to pay attention to. Good Habits make life run smoothly

Thought life

Recently, the Lord has been drawing my attention to my thought life.  He highlighted some negative thoughts I began entertaining. The thoughts centered around a loved one that has some habits that annoyed me.  I’m sure you can relate to the reality that those closest to us can irritate us the most.

I hear you mothers out there!  Oh, there are several dad hands up as well.  So, you can relate, good?

As I allowed the negative thoughts to bloom and grow in my head, the Lord arrested my attention and prompted me to think about what was happening.  I was allowing negativity to take a color my mood.  The color was very dark and unpleasant.

Those negative thoughts can creep in without our realizing it. There was nothing positive or productive coming from those thoughts.  In fact, I sensed frustration and agitation as the thoughts lingered.

Our Thoughts are Powerful

The alarming thing that occurred to me was that the person I was thinking about wasn’t even present.  I was getting annoyed and agitated by thoughts and the person was nowhere near. I promptly repented and asked the Lord to forgive me and help me with the thoughts.

He, in turn, had me bless the person I was thinking about. He reminded me that  “The weapons of my warfare are not carnal but they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” (My paraphrase of 2 Cor 10:4).  Our Heavenly Father is a good father and will teach us good things.  He will help us form good habits.

Renewing the Mind is Powerful

The Lord also highlighted the importance of renewing my mind. Romans 12:2 tell us not to be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Click To Tweet The enemy is relentless in his fight against us.  It takes an emersion into the Word of God to keep our thoughts healthy.

What Comes Next!

I am excited to see that long-term fruit comes as a result of taking unhealthy thoughts captive and allowing the Lord to purify them. The immediate benefit is that my attitude changed from being ugly to being more pleasant but I am sure there will be more benefits as I allow the Lord to help me tweak my habits.

 Establishing Habits Early

Parents have a wonderful opportunity to assist their children in developing good habits that will make the home a happy and peaceful place.  These habits will also help the child as they grow into adults.  As mentioned earlier the habits of the child are the character traits of the adult.

Habits of observation

Let’s take some time and look at Habits of Observation.

 Careful and close observation are key to narration.  Narration is a skill that Charlotte Mason stressed in helping children attend to something and then report on what they noticed. This is a habit and a skill that serves children and adults well.

We will discuss what observation is and how it can enhance life in different areas.

Observation is putting your mental energy on a particular thing and allowing yourself to experience what you are seeing or reading to the fullest extent.  Parents can encourage observation skills in many different ways.

Employ the senses

 Key Habits That Make Life Run Smoothly | rosemerryblash Read about how good habits can make life run more smoothly. Good habits make for peaceful days. #CharlotteMason #habits #peace

 

When doing nature studies, children can look at a tree and notice colors and textures.  They can further the observation experience as they touch the tree in different areas. Children can be directed to ask themselves questions about how the tree feels when they touch the trunk and how the leaves feel.

Smell is an important element of observation as well.  How does the trunk smell?  How about the leaves?  Children can note sounds they hear when they are observing a tree.  The leaves make a particular sound as the wind blows by.

As far as taste goes, you would not encourage a child to use this sense when observing outside.  This can be saved when you are inside preparing dinner.

Spices and sauces can be sampled.  Children will develop the ability notice different spices and how they change the taste of certain foods.  You may discover you have a budding chef on your hands as you explore different tastes.

Benefits of observation

Careful observation helps children store up pictures in the mind.  These memories can be recalled at any time and individuals can enjoy those memories even into their adult years.

Observation can help children take notice of the needs of someone else.  Children need to be aware of the needs of others. This helps the children focus on someone other than themselves.  Parents can guide children to notice the needs of others and assist where appropriate

Careful observation also causes individuals to be truly present with their family and friends. Many people are easily drawn in by phones and other electronic devices and miss connecting with people around them.

Connecting with the people that we love is important and makes life pleasant, rich and full.  The attachment to electronic devices creates an empty atmosphere that leaves people feeling lonely and detached.

Observation also enables us to focus more intently.  This applies to reading a book or listening to a sermon or lecture as well as to our children and family.

Academic excellence

This practice of focus and observation lays the foundation for improving academic performance. Click To Tweet

A student is able to pay close attention to what they are reading or listening to.  As attention is given to these platforms children and adults remember what has been said or read.  This will enable the person to receive the information or concepts shared.

They are able to use their power of thought and concentration to learn from what has been shared.  A child will learn to judge for him or herself whether or not what is being taught is true or not.

This skill is becoming more important as time progresses.  People have agendas and would like to skew information to promote a particular narrative.  Our children need to be able to recognize faulty thinking when they come upon it.

Children will also be able to pay close attention to directions given. This is important because often students breeze over directions and as a result, the work they produce is sometimes lacking in accuracy.  Furthermore, children will increase the stamina in their ability to read and write.  This will also translate to writing and composition skills.

 Crystal Wagner, at Triumphant Learning,  does an excellent job of further describing the benefits to developing Habits of Observation.  She also describes different activities that can be used to teach our children how to observe in different ways. Check out her post and take advantage of the resources she highlights.

 

What habits have you been working on?  How has the Lord helped you with those habits?  Leave a comment in the comment box and let me know.

 

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