Everything listed under: Parenting

  • Empowering Your Kids

    Today Sarah Collier and Melissa King join me for a conversation about parenting during your child’s social crises. Whether its dealing with the bully, the mean girl or some other social hiccup that your child confronts, how a parent engages with their child can either bolster or frustrate their development. Although our mainstream culture is currently bent toward overprotecting children from even the slightest threat to their identity or worth, Melissa and Sarah have some great insights into the importance of neither over-protecting nor under-protecting your children. I think parents of any age child are going to find today’s conversation helpful.

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  • What NOT To Do When Your College Student Comes Home This Christmas!

    Today Stace Huff and Sarah Collier join us for a conversation for parents of young adults. In anticipation of college students returning home across the holidays, they've got some advice about What Not To Do while your college students are home for the Holidays.  

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  • Hi, my name is...

    Sometimes I think we walk around with invisible signs hanging around our necks like, "Hi, my name is bad parent, or bad child, or bad husband or wife..." People walk into Tapestry so discouraged at times. The struggles that brought them here seem so never ending that the conflict, pain, and feeling of failure becomes their identity.

    The constancy of the battle of wills with your child can wear you down over time. Not only do you as a parent become discouraged but it becomes increasingly difficult to delight in this child who is defying you or disrupting your family life at every turn. Some children as well as adults take on that cognitive distortion of grabbing hold of every negative criticism like Velcro while affirmations slide off like Teflon. A good friend of mine says we all are well-rehearsed in what's wrong with us but rarely can name the good things. The constant push-back, soaring anxiety,  all absorbing OCD, and battle for control distorts your view of your child as well as yourself. What happens in that tug-of-war is that it becomes harder and harder to see the real heart of your child.

    Even the delightful things - the childish chatter, constant whistle and wiggling become irritants as they are bouncing off the wall and off the conflict with every other sibling or member of the family. For a while, for your child and for yourself - the outward smile remains as this negative identity takes hold. In time, both the inward and outward smile begins to fade.

    "Don't grow weary in well-doing." Ask God to show you what delights him about your child, your spouse, and yourself. Then choose your battles, bite your tongue, pray for wisdom, humor, timing, and patience. Lean into God for your own re-filling. What everybody needs is hope and a new perspective! God offers new mercies every morning. We don't have to drag around a lifetime of hurt, regret, and failure into each new day. Equipping ourselves with new strategies, re-connecting, encouraging, and leaning into each other brings fresh hope.

    As we offer ourselves and our loved ones the grace that God so freely offers us, we can begin to see ourselves and our difficult situation with fresh eyes. Hebrews 12:3 is so rich on so many levels. One of the many benefits of fixing our eyes on Jesus is that we can view ourselves more accurately in the reflection of his eyes on us. There is love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, compassion, and tenderness. There is delight in His gaze on you. The waterfall effect of such amazing sacrificial love is energy to meet our challenges knowing we don't have to drag around our own inadequacies but can meet the issues head on with His life-giving strength.

    "Hi, my name is loved, redeemed, saved, and set aside, what's yours....."

    - Beverly Elliott

  • Engaging Kids After Newtown

    As difficult as it is for adults to comprehend the violence that took place in Newtown last week, children and adolescents will also have to confront the reality of this tragic event.  In the days and weeks ahead, parents and caregivers can help kids cope with tragedy by engaging them relationally, conversationally, and spiritually.   

    Relational Engagement

    Exposure to violent experiences can potentially undermine children’s basic sense of safety and trust in others.  You can offer reassurance by deliberately spending time with your kids, allowing them to experience your caring presence on a regular and consistent basis.  Be physical, caring, and loving to them.  Young kids, especially, need to be held, rocked, and cuddled.  Cultivating strong relational bonds is one of the most effective ways of buffering the negative impact of traumatic stress.          

    Conversational Engagement

    Do not be afraid to talk to children about the shooting.  Avoiding talking about it can make it seem even scarier and more threatening.  Begin by asking what they already know and listen carefully for misinformation, misconceptions, and underlying fears or concerns.  If children do have information that is inaccurate or untrue, be sure to correct them in simple, age-appropriate language.  Be honest but wise in sharing details of the shooting.   

    Limit children’s exposure to media coverage.  Information and images related to the tragedy may be upsetting.  Ensure that they have time to play without the news being on in the background.  Whatever media your child is exposed to, be sure to discuss it with them, answer any questions they have, and reassure them of your love and care.   

    Consider sharing your own feelings about the shooting with your children.  This will help them understand that they are not alone with their feelings.  You may express sadness and empathy for the victims and their families.  You may even express some worry or fears of your own.  Talk about some of the ways you cope with difficult situations and invite your children to join you.          

    If you’re concerned that your child’s reaction to the shooting is interfering with his or her health and wellbeing, contact a local mental health professional who has expertise in trauma counseling.  The therapists at Tapestry Associates are available to help.      

    Spiritual Engagement

    In keeping with Jesus’ words to his disciples, let little children go to him.  Encourage them to pray their thoughts and feelings about what happened, and all that happens in their lives.  Avoid attempts to explain tragedies like these, but make much of God’s love and goodness in the midst of them.  Continually point children to Jesus, our greatest source of comfort in both life and death.

    -Stan Hoover

  • Living with Joy

    Imagine the TV show, “19 kids and counting” and this would give you some idea what the Elliotts experienced when our family of five brought into our home, seven more girls at Big Oak Ranch. Those days were rich with blessing, spilling over with activity, challenges beyond our imagining, much laughter, and sometimes heartbreak.

    One October we took our girls to the Fall festival at their school, to be followed by the high school’s football game, a highlight of the week. One of our youngest, newly eight- year old “Trina” became enthralled with the cakewalk. After several failed attempts, she soon turned in all of her tickets to increase her chances of winning the grand prize … a goldfish. Knowing the longevity of such fish in general and the chances of survival of this little fish, in particular,  in our busy household, I was praying Trina would give up and move on to other games. She had already experienced so much loss and pain in her short little life; I just wanted to protect Trina from anymore. Unfortunately, the Mom running the activity began to feel so sorry for this determined little girl, she finally rigged the results and Trina became the proud new owner of the treasured goldfish. I inwardly cringed as she came running to share her exciting news. “I’m going to call her Joy”, she sang out. Now I was really worried, how could I let Joy die in our home when we were already facing so many challenges?

    Right off the bat, Joy led a blessed life. Her first night consisted of sitting in a plastic bag in a very cold van for about six more hours, while we attended the game, before we could get her home and situated. But survive she did. She was the namesake of a much admired sixteen year old in our home. Now, at least two girls had quite an investment in keeping her alive. I don’t think there ever was such a beloved fish. She lasted for almost a year, due in part to Trina’s devotion and in greater measure to God’s intervention and grace.

    Looking back, I have thought of how I almost missed the Joy, and in doing so, would have denied Trina that experience. In this Christmas season, we too can become so overwhelmed with the frantic pace that we, too, might not slow down enough to invite Joy into our homes. Don’t miss it! Keep your hearts and homes wide open and expectant, hoping for and inviting in, the full measure of all that God has for you.

    Merry Christmas from our home at Tapestry to yours….

    -Beverly Elliott

  • Olympic Parenting

     In watching the Olympics I have so enjoyed seeing the parent interviews and their reactions in the stands as they watch their stellar children’s performances. Their faces reflect the whole gambit of emotions, from excitement and anticipation to agony and pain then back to joy and elation.

    It brought back to mind Derek Raymond’s performance in the 1992 Olympics where he was favored to medal in the men’s 400 meter sprint. At 150 meters into the race, he unexpectedly collapsed in a heap on the track with what was later discovered to be a torn hamstring. The race was over. Nevertheless, picking himself back up, he determined to finish it for himself and began hobbling his way down the track. Suddenly his father, having pushed aside security guards, made his way onto the track, and came alongside his son. Putting his arms around Derek and supporting him, they made it the rest of the way… together.

    What a picture of our roles as parents. We are to equip, nourish, and nurture our children, giving them dreams to dream of what possibilities God has in store. We are to share their joys and sorrows. But more than that, we are to come alongside, sharing their burdens, lifting them up and encouraging them.

    When life’s sometimes crushing disappointments and disasters come crashing down, we also have One who is not just a distant observer or critic, maybe cheering us on from afar, but One who comes down alongside us, raises us up and carries us across the finish line.

    When we offer the same to our children… it is gold.

    -Beverly Elliott