I’ve been procrastinating writing this chapter. If you are here for the first time you may want to start with this post,, because this IS a manual and I’ve been trying to write it in a linear way. Hopefully, individual posts are helpful but I’d like to think it’s read as a whole.

Why has it been so hard to start? Well, that’s an age old problem I have no answer for. I’m as lazy as the next guy, and do dread the act of actually putting it down on paper. I’d much rather tell y’all this in a video blog, but that means I’d have to put on a face. Much too lazy for that!

But truthfully, I kept pondering what I really wanted to say. I mean, knowledge is a large word that contains everything there is to know!

And that’s what you need to share with your children. Everything you know.

When I went to Girl Scout camp at 9 years old we all made up nicknames. I crowned myself “Fawn”. Very soon some older girls started calling me “Fawn Kotex”. I didn’t know what a Kotex was. Wasn’t happy when I found out.

I decided when I did, that my children would never be the butt of a joke they didn’t understand.

I’ve been accused of starting too early talking about certain things but I really think that if you are going to err, err on the side of more talking!

It can be uncomfortable.

When my son was around 11 years old, he was a fan of Adam Sandler, who I thought was pretty tame. I listened to a song my son was singing that he had heard on the CD. Adam was joking about a Peeping Tom and mentions how much he wanted a golden shower.

Gah! Not something you want to hear your 11 year old singing! I asked,

“Son, do you know what a golden shower is?”


I have to say I’m glad I hadn’t waited until 11 years old to explain the birds and the bees. Made it a little easier to explain how some people, who momma thinks were unloved, find sexual excitement by having someone urinate on them.


Didn’t sing the song again.

I want you to tell your children all the secret knowledge you know. The stuff no one told you. The stuff you had to learn the hard way.

Give them the edge. The jump up.

Start with things like polite people don’t pick their nose and kids will tease you if you do. Warn them, people.

Anything you did stupid and wish you’d never done. Tell them!

This idea we have to hide our stupid pasts doesn’t make sense to me. We are supposed to be evolving. We need to share our mistakes so that hopefully our kids make new mistakes!

You have to answer their questions. And it’s usually nice to give the other side of what you may have opinions on, so they are prepared for that too.

Do you want their first introduction to the other side of things to be coming from the other side??

You need to be talking all along. They need to trust that you tell them the truth as you know it. And there are things you believe but don’t know and you have to tell them that.

I did have to do some convincing to my husband. I didn’t want to tell my children that Santa, the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny were real. I didn’t want them excited or have their hopes up and then disappoint them with the truth. Especially as at the time it was important to me that they believed in an invisible Jesus.

I don’t believe in toying with little minds.

My 24 year old just told me that she believed in Santa but thought it was clever that I told her Santa bills each parent as to what they can afford. I guess I wasn’t perfect. But I tried to answer direct questions pretty directly. I also got stronger in my belief in telling the truth. But I still believed in the “traditions” of Christmas. The things we like to pretend together. So we put out carrots for the reindeer and cookies for Santa. It was a gradual awakening to the truth. They didn’t feel deceived.

By that time they had learned the little secrets we keep so we can surprise those we love. Then they enjoy being in on the secret! But no bully on the play ground shattered their dreams or made them question if their mother told the truth.

Start talking early, and don’t stop except to listen.

They still will hit you with, “Why didn’t you tell me??”

But you’ll be able to say, “I didn’t know”

and then they tell you what they know!




I’ve had this thought;

We finally decided to not shame children anymore by calling them bastards & illegitimate or their mothers “unwed”.

So why are we shaming children of gay parents by calling their parents illegitimate & unwed?

It isn’t the gay parents hurting their children, it’s society’s labels of their parents union that hurts.

“Wrong, immoral, sin, evil, perverted, twisted, ungodly, bestial, comparable to the worse that humans can do.”

Think any of the children want to hear their parents called that?

Words mean things. They hurt people.

Stop saying hurtful things and hurting people.




To start, I’ve had five kids that are now 13 to 28 years old and I can’t remember punishing them in the old fashion sense ever.

Did I sing around them? Talk to their friends? Hug them in public?


Did I slug my 9 year old son in the arm (he remembers an upper cut to the face) when he tried to interrupt mother while the Scattergories game clock was ticking?


But did I spank them, humiliate them, ground them for days on end, take away their things?


Well, I did take away things sometimes. But not the way my mother did. My mother told me,”If you can’t keep your room clean you’ll live in a cell”

And at 9 years old she threw away most of my toys, breaking things over her knee in a rage as she did it. She ripped up my favorite “dress-up” dress, which SHE had actually painstakingly created for me out of an old light blue prom dress. She had hemmed each layer of tulle to graze the ground when I walked and she ripped it to shreds in front of me.

Ask me how long it took for me to keep a clean bedroom?

I know there are a lot of parents out there, who like me, are push overs and know they should be harder on their kids. Or parents that are drill sergeants and tiger mothers. But it’s not the kids we have to be harder on, it’s us.

If you take the time to be with your children as they learn there isn’t much punishment necessary.

When they are toddlers you have to be prepared to physically correct their course. If they are going somewhere they shouldn’t, you have to literally go pick them up. You say, “NO” and REDIRECT them to something positive.

It helps to have a kid friendly environment. Don’t put your child in a place that he’s set up to fail in.

I remember babysitting a child before I even had children. He was a 1 year old. He’d scooch around the room and everything he could touch I’d say,”Yes, yes, yes!” and everything he couldn’t touch I said,”No, no, no.”

HE thought it was the best game. No one had ever said yes before!

One of my more practical mothering tips is to make sure you give your child back 90% of what you ask them for.

Ever hear a parent say, “GIVE THAT TO ME!”

If you have taken away everything you ever asked your child for, there may be a time the baby is holding scissors and you say,”Give me that!” and he RUNS  away because he REALLY wants them and you NEVER give anything back!

SO, when he’s holding a ball, a stuffed bunny, a book, a spoon you ask politely, “May I see that? Oh, that’s a big ball, a soft bunny, an interesting book. Here you go, you can have it back”

Now you are creating trust. And you are expanding their descriptive language.

When your child is pre-verbal you are in charge of how they might learn to express themselves and how they view the world.

If they fall and are startled, you can calmly say,

“Oh, that must have startled you. It’s ok, see?”

You wouldn’t scream as you jumped from your chair,


Because that’s not what happened. They are reading your emotions. They follow your lead.

Even if they are bleeding you still stay as calm as you can. Luckily with blood flow, first aid calls for you to cover it with pressure immediately. By the time the blood clots most wounds look a lot less life threatening.

Children are SO aware of everything, SO early.

I remember my daughter under three telling me she wanted a gun.

I said, “A gun? You don’t mean that?”

Yes, she did. “I want a gun that hurts the peeples.”

Gah! I had thrown away my cowboy cap gun with the simulated ivory handle with Texas Longhorns on it, because I was going to be a peaceful mother.

And my precious two-year old was asking for one! I had no idea where she saw or heard it. But she did.

They will get to the age when their brain is full of other things and other people but at the start it’s ALL about you.

Remember I said we are the universe to our children?

In Mormon theology, which is what I was practicing as a new mother, I learned that we are here to practice to live with God. We are learning his rules and if we want to be near him we have to follow his rules.

He can visit us wherever we are but he can’t have us coming in screaming profanity and mucking up his streets of gold.

My children learned very early on if they wanted to be with ME, they followed my rules.

No jumping on momma’s bed when she asks you to stop.No whining, no screaming, no biting, no hitting. Use your words. Or go be alone.

If you can’t play nice with other children. Go be alone.

I WAS a big intervener in my children’s fights. Not to pull them away or cast blame on the other, but to facilitate an understanding between them.

They are young. They don’t have all the words. Help them with words.

Ask them!

“Are you feeling left out?”

“Did you want to play another game?”

“Are you cold?”

“Are you hungry?”

My 13 year old told me recently that, “A lot of people feel annoyed and are grumpy at others when really what they are feeling is “pee stress.” Just go the bathroom and you’ll feel better!”

Can’t tell you how many times lately I’ve told someone, “I’m sorry! I have pee stress! Give me a minute.” I added that because it may take a few probing questions to find the answer.

“Are you scared?”

“Are you homesick?”

“Can I make you feel more at home so we don’t have to wake up your mother at midnight?”

But back to course correction, which is what we should be doing rather than laying out stiff punishments. Think about it. Our children are like defendants with no representation. Some of us mete out punishments harden criminals aren’t receiving.


I think prisoner’s get a daily/weekly phone call or visit. They also get an advocate. In an ideal world that is what two parents are for. Keeps them from getting the hanging judge all the time.When you are at your angriest at your kids, that’s when you,

Go be alone.

Scary monster parent doesn’t live with God either. Call your partner, a friend. Ask them, “Am I crazy to be this mad? Is this my hormones? Am I projecting on them?”

And a good partner will usually tell you, that you aren’t crazy to be that mad, but maybe you are being scary. And they calm you down and back you up, that you are both disappointed. Which is why you were really mad in the first place.

We feel very strongly our children are reflections of us and how well we parent. But they aren’t our reflections. They are fellow travelers who need to know the ropes.

I don’t believe in humiliating my kids. I don’t call them names in front of their friends. I usually don’t even get mad enough to send their friend home. Might as well teach them both a lesson. I’ll call them out. I’ll use peer pressure.

“You allowed to talk to YOUR mother that way, friend of son?”

“Do YOU feel sorry for my son?”

“Please share. You know we have more cookies where that came from.”

I have found if you show your child even by humor how silly what they are doing is, they usually stop.

It works both ways. My oldest son can impersonate me so well that it makes me cringe and laugh out loud because he has captured some weakness I have. We can both laugh and I change MY behavior.

My mother once followed me around my high school track on her hands and knees (really long story) crying in the dark, “I can’t change.”

I vowed then and there not to be that kind of mother. I can change, I have changed and I will continue to change. And so will your child. Grandpa Dr. used to say, “No stage lasts more than 6 months. By the time you are used to it. They have changed.”

I’ve often said if we could grow spiritually as much as a baby grows physically in a year we’d ALL be enlightened by now.

Above all else I believe in  mercy.

I  allowed my children go to special events even if I had grounded them. Life is very short and many things only happen once. Didn’t want them to miss the good things in life or punish the birthday boy or girl by denying them the company of my entertaining children!

Your children will recall when you were merciful as well as when you weren’t. We’re teaching by example remember.

I guess the biggest weapon I’ve had as a mother is my ability to talk through  awkward and uncomfortable moments. I believe that there is little we can’t talk about. It’s been a lie perpetuated that we can’t talk about sex, money or politics in polite society. We need more talking in polite society. Knowledge is power. My next post.

I haven’t been afraid to tell my child the truth about all things as I knew them to be. Not believed them to be, but knew them to be. As for the mysteries I didn’t know, I shared what I thought and what I hoped for. But they knew I didn’t know everything.

One of the most rewarding parts of parenthood is when your children teach you something you didn’t know.

And then you realize how equal as humans you are. You aren’t their God really. You only know a little bit more in the scope of things than your children do. You don’t have all the answers.

And that’s a discussion that comes up around four years old, when your child learns you don’t know everything, life isn’t magic and it’s a one way street. And even though they have wanted to be a big boy or girl since they started on life’s path they now realize there is no going back to being a baby. And that’s a scary thing.

We’ve been encouraging them all along,

“What a big boy you are! Look what you can do.”

“Eat like a big girl. Don’t be a baby.”

But they are babies. So let them act like babies occasionally while they can. Don’t be surprised when your four year old suddenly wants to be held like a baby. Or suck from a bottle “to pretend”. We all feel better in the fetal position sometimes.

Lastly let me opine on the “being a parent not a friend” controversy. We hear a lot of the strictest parents saying, “It’s not my job to be his friend!”Really?



  1.   a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.
  2.  a person who gives assistance; patron; supporter: friends of the Boston Symphony.
  3.  a person who is on good terms with another; a person who is not hostile: Who goes there? Friend or foe?
  4.  a member of the same nation, party, etc

Check, check, check .

I am my children’s first friend, most loyal friend and everlasting friend.

The world punishes us all.

Be sanctuary.

Be ME kind,

KT 🙂



I think the only discipline worth having is self-discipline. Do any of us like being told what to do and when?

As I began to write this morning, it occurred to me that discipline must come from the Latin for disciple.

A disciple I thought is someone in training to become what their master is. Like Jesus and his disciples.

I looked it up. had this to say:


1. training to act in accordance with rules; drill: military discipline.
2. activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training: A daily stint at the typewriter is excellent discipline for a writer.
3. punishment inflicted by way of correction and training.
4. the rigor or training effect of experience, adversity, etc.: the harsh discipline of poverty.
5. behavior in accord with rules of conduct; behavior and order maintained by training and control: good discipline in an army.

Way down on the bottom it did say:

1175–1225; Middle English  < Anglo-French  < Latin disciplīna  instruction, tuition, equivalent to discipul ( us ) disciple + -ina -ine

So I was right.

But I’m going to go with definition #2.

Activity, exercise, or a regimen that develops or improves a skill; training.

I’ll add that #1 is a close second!
Training to act in accordance with rules.

Children need to know the rules. I also tended to teach my children which rules they could break.

ALWAYS stop on red.
SOMETIMES it’s ok to not brush your teeth.
ALWAYS say please and thank you.
SOMETIMES it’s ok to have desert before dinner.

Remember, I’m talking about raising children here.
There is no NEED for military discipline.
We PRAY they are spared from the discipline of poverty,
and  about the last definition ” punishment”,
see previous post.

Short answer, DON’T.
See previous post.

Short answer, it’s not our job.

We are here to HELP our children find the strength of character to become SELF-disciplined.

They need to get themselves up, get themselves dressed.
Attend to their own bodily functions.
And feed themselves.

Most of us in countries where obesity is epidemic, know that we do a LOT of emotional eating.
Our mothers, not knowing what to do with their anxiety, let alone their children’s, do what most of them know how to do, they COOK.

They are occupied and busy so their anxiety goes down.
But now they have  made food that SOMEBODY has to eat!
Luckily, for my children I didn’t like to cook.

Matthew 4:4 says,
“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

Their father was the bread maker and short order cook and I was their huggable mother and Guru.

When they would come to me upset about anything, we’d talk about it.
Sometimes their problems were an easy fix.
They didn’t know the resources they had available to them. I’d do anything I could to help fix it or find someone who could.

Then there were the times there was no fix. It was just the pain of growing up in the world.
After letting them vent until the story had been repeated 2 or three times, I’d say,

“Take a hot bath, and go to bed. If you still feel this way in the morning, we’ll see what we can do.”

Off they’d go with their heart lighter because they had vented.
IMPORTANT part parents!
It might make you uncomfortable to hear your child is suffering but you have to let them tell you!
Telling them, “Oh, don’t be silly. You aren’t weird, fat, skinny, short, tall, slow, clumsy or any of the other 1000 ways our children hurt each other.” doesn’t help.
They’ve heard it. They have been called it.
Because the other children listen to their parents judge and condemn others and belittled themselves and their children. They repeat mean things that they hear.
Your child’s embarrassment, shame and hurt are REAL.

But ninety nine percent of the time they woke up like we ALL do. Feeling MUCH better and ready to take on the new day.

HINT: Don’t necessarily ask them in the morning if they are still obsessing over the thing they talked about last night! Good chance it’s forgotten!! And though they hate to hear it, a lot of it is hormones.

There was a morning my child was acting ill and I knew he wasn’t. I probed and probed and discovered he was scared and nervous because he had to play his String Bass in front of the class and wasn’t prepared.

Can anybody relate to THAT feeling?

Guess what I did. I said,

“You have permission to go to the nurse with your stomach ache at Orchestra period. There is no need to miss the whole day because of the fear of one class.”

When the nurse called, I let her know,

“I’ve let him go to you because he is afraid. No, I’m not picking him up, send him to class in an hour.”

Of course my son couldn’t believe I’d told her the truth. But that’s a future post.

We need to emotionally feed our children…
They want your arms and UNDERSTANDING  not chips!

Now on the self-discipline building and practical side of not feeding your children in excess of their nutritional needs.

You may ask your kid to clean their room until the cows come home and they will willfully and happily sit on that pile of clothes texting their friends until you’re blue in the face.

Grandpa Dr. always said,
“Your child’s room should not be included on the tour you give your friends. It’s their room. Close the door”

BUT, don’t make lunch for them?
You’ll hear about it.

That’s when self-discipline comes in!
You let them make it themselves or at least ask for it.

My two-year old knew how to make peanut butter crackers.
I use to say he’d be the child that would be sitting on my undiscovered dead body with the crackers and peanut butter jar. And he’d be using a fork because that’s the best way to put peanut butter on a cracker.

I don’t put a lid on my peanut butter, at least not a tight one.
You have to have things available for your children to get to. Which is why you are still in charge of what they eat.

If you have carrots and celery sticks in the veggie drawer, that’s what they will eat when they get HUNGRY enough.

You can’t be afraid to let them get hungry! That’s KEY. They should only be eating because they ARE hungry!

Grandpa Dr.  used to tell mothers all the time,

“Your kids will balance their nutrition on their own. Maybe they do only want to eat potatoes for a few days, it’s ok.”

You ever binge for a while on something?

Kids are not machines. They may not want to eat when you feel like feeding them.
If feeding becomes a cooperative act between the two of you, life is much easier and you get to be lazy.

I don’t make food my children won’t eat. I don’t like waste. But it’s me wasting it not them, if I’ve cooked something they have said “no thank you” to.

I know all the parents out there that had to eat what was on their plate and every last bit of it.

It’s the 21st century people! Is it really so hard to make dinner a little more accommodating?

If you are eating something that your child doesn’t like, is it really so hard to scramble an egg? Haven’t met a child yet who didn’t eat scrambled eggs.

Remember, we are here to show our children that we care about THEM. Their tastes, their needs, their dreams.

If you read,
then you know I was a VERY picky eater. I’m SO grateful my father just let me live on peanut butter and tuna sandwiches.

He didn’t yell at me or tell me I was ungrateful.  He just let me eat a sandwich while everyone else was eating whatever they ate.
He didn’t shame me. He didn’t send me from the table. He didn’t make me eat something I didn’t like so I’d start some horrid cycle of eating and purging.

He didn’t make food a fight.
The other thing parents do.

Or else what? You’ll hurt me after I have thrown it all up?

It’s SELF-discipline.

Grandpa Dr. used to say,
“The only ways pre-verbal children can rebel are to clamp their mouth shut and squeeze their bottom!
They want control of what goes in and when it comes out.”

And you WANT them to have control!

We may have to force them to do what we want them to do, but the things they need to do, they are pretty excited about mastering.

Hmmm. Mastering.
Isn’t that what discipline was for? To help us become like our master?

Did you ever feel kinder after someone shamed you?

The other thing everyone tells parents is,
“They’ll do what they see you do.”

I didn’t make my earlier children do many communal chores. (The pendulum has swung back a little for the last one.)
They would help me, but they didn’t really have anything they were responsible for.
I figured if I just went around quietly picking up and rinsing off dishes etc. They’d SEE me doing it and would do it eventually.

Eventually, my 4.6 GPA , 16th in her high school class daughter was washing her clothes before going to BYU. She had used 3 times the soap required for her small load.
We all know what that does.
But not her.
Guess I really hadn’t taught her do the wash before she left.
But trust me she was working. You don’t get a 4.6 slacking off.

And she knew she was supposed to have clean clothes when she left. And since that load she has washed all her own clothes.
I’m smiling.

The last story I’ll tell is how I got my 13-year old boy to get up for school with little complaint or little help.

Started in Kindergarten.
It helped because he slept with me then (future post), but I would get up and get a bowl of cereal and bring it back to bed. I’d wake him up quietly and then remind him there was milk on his cereal and if he didn’t want it soggy he needed to wake up and eat it.

He’d roll over, sit up and take the bowl. I’d crawl back into bed. We’d watch EXACTLY 20 minutes of any TV show he wanted. After that he had to hop up and go potty. You know if you start eating something in the morning your bowels start working too. This is where you get to teach your own routine.

Some of my kids would regularly go after school. When I had 6 of us living in a  house with one bathroom, we couldn’t all relax for 20 minutes in the morning.
But a couple can, and a couple in the afternoon and mom goes when she hears the bus door close.

It’s a family problem.
Maybe little Suzy gets first dibs because she hasn’t learned self-control. Seniority is NOT always the way to go. But oldest does get shot-gun seat.

Back to our disciplined morning.

He had 20 minutes to go potty. (Always have reading material there!)
As he became older he wanted to shower every morning.
That’s a good thing.
I always made my children bathe at night, so the sheets staid cleaner longer.
But they could have a quick wake up shower in the morning.

But he split up his potty time. He decided how long he stayed in the shower now or sit on the pot.

I’d be shouting the time as we’d go.
“Son, it’s 6:40am. Get out of the shower!”

Then he had 10 minutes to get dressed and 10 minutes to brush his teeth and grab his school work.

And he was out the door.

There were mornings he cried after we did all that and I would calmly drive him to school and answer all his excuses with,

“We’ll see after school. Bye honey.”

He would dry his eyes and get out. There was no way THIS lazy mom would EVER take a clean, fed, dressed child back home.

And now he is 13.

We watch Survivor together, 20 minutes at a time.
(DVR greatest invention EVER!! I NEVER watch commercials. ALL my watching is by CHOICE not chance.)

The other morning he showed up at my door when MY alarm went off.
All dressed and ready to walk to school.

Another alarm went off!

“NO Tanner, I’ll still take you. I don’t trust your self-discipline enough that you’ll get yourself there on time. But come sit on my bed and we can watch ALL of Survivor.”
Smiley face.

I’ll stop. Not because I don’t have more to say, but because I’m trying to be disciplined in my writing. I’m trying to write a book one blog at a time. Starting with those things I think most important. Forgive all the self referencing links, but I’m trying not to get boring or repeat myself. It’s hard writing a book people are reading backwards.

Your children are YOUR disciples. Remember how kind, patient and forgiving He was to his.

Matt 9:13
But go you and learn what that means, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice…

He doesn’t want you to beat up your kids to do ANYTHING.
He doesn’t want you to beat yourself up. No flogging, no sackcloth.
BE merciful.
I’ll talk about punishment in the next post.

Be me kind,
KT 🙂

There but for the grace of God, go I.


Happy & Content New Year!

My given name is Katherine Grace. Katherine means pure. Pure Grace.

It is by pure Grace that I enjoy the blessings that I do. I don’t believe I have done ANYTHING to deserve the life I’ve had. In fact, I would expect to have had it a whole lot worse if we, are in this life held accountable for every misdeed, bad choice, or stupid behavior.

So, I find myself very hesitant to offer advice because I couldn’t tell you how the big picture works. I laugh when I think how I would explain how I’ve lived.

“How did you do it KT?”

Well, first you need a wonderfully generous Dr. Father to subsidize your lifestyle for 54 years.

What? You don’t have one? That’s a problem.

So, I don’t have big advice for big problems. I have little advice for little problems.

I DO have quite a bit of general knowledge about a lot of things. Mostly varied theologies and history. However, I think I have some wisdom on parenting, I’ve raised 4 adults and am still raising a 13-year-old.

Wisdom is defined  as “the ability…to think and act utilizing knowledge, experience, understanding, common sense, and insight,”

Today’s WISDOM…

Remember you are your child’s first conception of God. I mean the big picture of God. How the universe works. Before you teach them your traditions, you teach them what they might expect from God. How God might treat them.

Do you meet their basic needs? Do they have to scream to get them? Are you stingy?

Do you anticipate their needs? Do you listen to their quietest pleas?

If you want your child to “believe” in a loving God. You need to BE a loving parent.

Although I don’t identify myself strongly with any religion, I was raised Presbyterian and converted to Mormonism and have now evolved into a peacenik “Be ye kind” Buddhist type. But I still tend to couch things in Bible text terms.

In Matthew 7:9-11 it reads:

Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?…If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Seems clear that we are to shower our children with good gifts just like our Heavenly Father showers us. Don’t be afraid to answer your children’s prayers. Don’t be afraid to explain why they may be praying amiss. Don’t be afraid to tell them they can dream (pray) about anything and one day if they get an education and are lucky,THEY may get those things on their wish list. You don’t have to demean the dream or feel guilty you can’t provide it.

Provide what you can.

What can we ALL provide? No matter our big problems?

A safe place for our children to express themselves. Validation that we hear what they are saying. Encouragement that they are up to the task.


When my children did something wrong (too strong a word), let’s say unexpected, I would think,

“Did my Heavenly Father punish me every time I did something I wasn’t, maybe suppose to do?”

No he didn’t.

We have heard it over and over that we teach by example. Doesn’t matter what our words are.

So, if we want to teach mercy? Be merciful.

I’m not talking about letting your kids get away with bad behavior. I’m saying that if you have a child looking at you with remorseful eyes, maybe a big hug and a talk is what you should do, not a strict punishment. I have found that explaining to my children how what they did might have hurt them or me, I usually get understanding. In the big picture ALL our laws and rules were (ostensibly) made for our protection. We don’t want to get hurt. We don’t want to hurt people or animals.

That IS the law. “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Don’t hurt yourself, don’t yell at yourself, don’t trip yourself.

Comfort yourself, feed yourself, believe in yourself.

And your children are your closest neighbors.

I have grown so grateful for the times both my earthly and Heavenly father had mercy on me.

There is the old poem about children learning what they live.


This year let us show our children what a loving merciful God could be like. And on the off chance there is no God, we have created the most loving environment we were capable of sharing with our children.

Be kind,