Monthly Archives: January 2015

Continuing The Joy

It seems only fitting, in order to form the skills for Life, to further cement the importance of setting goals for these skills. Happy Reading!!


A speaker impressed me once with an uncommon answer to a common question. The question posed to him was, “With all you have to do, how do you look so relaxed?” (The boy who asked the question went on, partly for humour, partly for impact, to say that his father didn’t have nearly as much responsibility, yet always looked frazzled & tired.) The answer was, “Each week, on a certain day at a certain time, I spend some time alone, setting goals for the week. I follow the priorities of family first, others second, myself third. I set objectives in each area, & if time is too short to do all I want to do, I put my goals into priority order so that I know the most important ones will get done. Then I plan how, & write my plans into my weekly calendar book.”
Most anxiety comes from wondering where we should be or what we ought to be doing. Most joy comes from knowing both.

How To

The joy of goal striving & achievement is like a diamond with many facets, each one a separate & distinct joy. There is the joy of knowing our long-range purpose, the joy of responsibility, the joy of shorter-range goals, the joy of causes & commitment, the joy of organisation & order, even the joy of failing occasionally & of sometimes making mistakes.
Understanding the concept of goals. A three- or four-year-old is capable of understanding the concept & nature of goals. Explain that a goal is “something good that we want & that we work for.”
Experiencing a goal. A three- or four-year-old can experience the joy of setting & achieving a simple goal. Ask the child if he can think of a goal for himself. Help him decide on one. It might be self-improvement: Learning to zip his coat, flush the toilet, or walk across the street safely. It might be solving a problem: Not getting so dirty at school or not sucking his thumb any more. It might be making a new friend or earning money to buy something special.
Write the goal down & put a big circle by it. Periodically, as the goal is achieved, let the child fill in part of the circle. (When the goal is half completed, the circle will be half filled in.)
Help the child develop a plan to meet his goal, such as asking the neighbours if they need work done, trying to zip his coat each night before he goes to bed, not kneeling down in the dirt, inviting a new child over to play, or putting his blanket away etc.
Praise the setting of the goal, praise the plan, praise every step the child takes toward the goal.
Feel the joy of setting goals & working together. These might be anything worthwhile, from reading a book to doing the Spring housecleaning together as a family. Involve the children. Write down the goal & plan it first together, go to work on it & then discuss the results of each phase–how you are going, how it makes you feel as each part is achieved.
1. Together, do the kinds of chores in which results are visible, such as pulling weeds, washing windows, raking leaves, or waxing the floor or car. Part of the joy comes from seeing the result.
2. Have family jobs & responsibilities for each family member. For example, a little child can be in charge of clearing off the dishes after Sunday dinner. Again, lavish praise on the child, saying, “Doesn’t that look nice?” Make a chart showing each family member’s responsibility, & discuss these responsibilities as a family.
Teach the law of the harvest. There is security in knowing you will reap what you plant. Teach this joy by actually sowing & actually reaping. Have a garden. Let the children plant, weed, water & harvest. Then use the example of the garden as a way to explain many things: How brushing the teeth grow up into the joy of no cavities, how kind deeds grow up into the joy of happy feelings, how selfish deeds grow up like weeds to choke the family.
Organisation & order. Have a good set of shelves in a child’s room. Help him organise his possessions, with a place for each item. Then give strong encouragement & praise as he keeps things in their places. The simple lessons of order in a child’s life will go a long way in building the critical, later-life skill of organising his thoughts & ideas.
Gather the children in the middle of the room on the floor & tell them you want to see if they know what two words mean. The first word is mess. Ask them what it means. Then talk about how unpleasant it is when things are messy & how easy it is to lose things when there is a mess.
Then tell them the next word is order. Explain to them that order is when there is no mess. Things are in their places, nothing is lost, everything is neat & clean & tidy. Talk for awhile about how nice order is & how bad mess is.
Then tell the children you are going to tell them a secret about order. It is an important secret, & they should remember it. Get them to lean very close so they can hear you whisper. Then say, “Things will always stay in order if you take only one plaything at a time & put it back in its place before you take another out.” Repeat this a couple of times.
The joy of mistakes & failure. Discuss your own failures. Show your children that you are not perfect, but that you accept your failings & try to learn from them. The key here is simple: Praise them as much when they fail as when they succeed. Praise the try, not the result.
Share some of your goals with your children. The fact that you are reading this book probably indicates that you have a goal of being a better parent. Why not share that goal with your children? Tell them that your goal is to be the best daddy or mommy, & that you need their help on your goal, that you want them to tell you how you can improve.

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Skills for Life

At the end of November, Sunbird held a seminar “Dare to Discipline” for the parents. Parents took many notes, as the topic is vast and there are many points that one may not deem important unless it comes alive in the day to day interaction. It was very encouraging to see parents follow up on the advice and it will certainly pay off in the long run.

One aspect that was brought out in the seminar was the importance of schedules and encouragement of work. Below are two small articles which help parents encourage their children to ‘work’. Please also look at the link given.

401 WAYS TO GET YOUR KIDS TO WORK AT HOME!By Bonnie McCullough & Susan Monson


By the time your children reach 18 years of age, they will have spent 32,234 hours under your guidance & training. Consider that it takes only 2,100 hours of classroom & outside study time to complete a bachelor’s degree in college, & half that time to learn some skilled trades. Your home has 16 times more teaching hours than does the university! What do you want to do with this time?

Think about your children walking out the door, on their own! We assume they can cope with the everyday challenges of living, but should we? We assume they know about basic household duties & maintenance, but do they? We assume they can efficiently prepare well-balanced, nutritious meals, but can they? We assume they have mastered some basic skills of orderliness with their personal belongings, but have they? We assume they will handle their earnings wisely, avoiding unnecessary debt, but will they? Too often parents let the chips fall where they may, hoping all will turn out for the best. Can we leave the basic teachings to chance?

This book will help focus attention on a workable plan for parents & children to follow in using those 32,234 teaching hours productively. It is not too late to start, no matter what the age of your child, although the methods & incentives may vary.

Setting the Goals

You may ask, “Do we as parents have the right to decide on the goals our children should achieve?” Our answer is yes, because once the parent establishes the parameters in which the child can safely act & develop skills for successfully meeting life’s challenges, then the child’s right to choose comes into play. The child usually does not have the maturity to set goals without these limits. Unfortunately, we usually give more careful planning to a two-week vacation than we do to the training of our children in the basic home living skills.

It is interesting to note that in a survey we took, asking 250 children about working at home, 97% felt they should work.

If you don’t decide on your goals, you’ll become like Alice in Wonderland, who was asked by the Cheshire Cat where she wanted “to get to”. When Alice answered that she didn’t “much care where,” he said, “Then it doesn’t much matter which way you go.”

101 ways to boost your child’s self esteem  by Alvin H. Price  supports the same idea, here is an excerpt:

Teach Your Child to Work

The child who knows how to work will be happier. He sees how he’s contributing to his family & to his world, & this makes him feel more valuable as a person.

Every young child wants to learn to work. They think it’s fun to do the things that Mom & Dad get to do. Take advantage of that willingness, but don’t give them more than they’re ready to do, & take the training slowly; you’ll have to expect a less-than-professional job for quite a while.

One thing that makes every child more willing to work is to have his mom or dad working beside him. This makes the job easier; everything seems to go smoother & faster.

Work is something everyone needs to learn to do. Teach it to your child consistently & enthusiastically, & he learns to be successful with work.

The following link puts skin on the idea and has wonderful tips of how you can encourage your child to help”

Snaps are taken from the November Seminar “Dare to Discipline” and special moments of ‘helping hands’ by peers during activities.



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new year and new prospects

Sunbird wishes its readers a very HAPPY NEW YEAR with good health, lots of fun and happiness with the children and growing together in Love!

“The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth and privilege.”

Charles Kuralt


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