Thinking Out Loud

January 2, 2012

Five Things to Give Your Kids in 2012

Trey & Lea Morgan

I have a regular reader who was part of the original newsletter which gave birth to this blog, and occasionally I will see her and she’ll tell me about something she read on one the blogs of other writers I referred to here, which she now visits regularly.  Her list includes some great bloggers, many of whom have gone on to be published authors.  Today, I want to give you a full taste of another one that I’ve mentioned before, but can’t recommend enough, and that’s Trey Morgan. 

Ideally you’ll click to view this piece directly — it had a holiday spin, but we’re taking an all-purpose application from it now — but if you choose to read it here, I’m also going to tempt you with another one of his great family checklists at the end of this one.

…Some of the best gifts my parents gave me weren’t gifts that came from a store, but gifts that came from their lives. Here are a few gifts my parents gave me growing up that I’m trying my best to pass on to my children.

1. THE GIFT OF A HEALTHY MARRIAGE: My parents were always affectionate, loving and respectful to one another. Watching how my dad treated my mother (and vice-versa) has taught me how to treat Lea. I wish as parents we’d realize that a vital marriage is the best gift you could ever give your kids. Parents who maintain a strong and vibrant marriage set a positive example for their children. A healthy marriage is better than a cell-phone or an X-Box, and it’s the gift that would really last their lifetime. When children see the way their parents love and respect one another, it teaches them to do the same.

2. THE GIFT OF INTEGRITY: I was taught from a young age that we didn’t lie, cheat or steal. When I did things like that there were consequences to pay. Wouldn’t it be nice today if as parents we’d practice what we preach. I wish we wouldn’t tell our children one thing and then do just the opposite. That has to be so confusing to our children. Don’t ever lie for your kids. When a parent writes a note to school saying their child was sick or had a doctor’s appointment, and really they just over slept …. YOU are teaching them it’s OKAY to lie. Don’t you get it? Don’t lie to help cover up mistakes for your kids. This is simple … practice what you preach!

3. THE GIFT OF DISCIPLINE: This is going to be hard for some of you to believe (smile), but I remember on more than one occasion the principle calling my mom to ask for permission to “paddle” me for something I’d done at school. Always the same response from my parents, “Get him!,” they’d say and then add, “And tell him he’ll get another one when he gets home!” Ugh! No child likes discipline, but it’s necessary for their development as adults. As a parent THE WORST thing you can do for your children is pull strings to get your children out of trouble. Instead, if your child has done something that deserves punishment, let them be responsible for their own actions. Don’t threaten to call a lawyer, talk to the principal or talk to a superior to get your child out of trouble for something they’ve done. Have you ever heard of “you reap what you sow” or you have to be responsible for your own actions?

4. THE GIFT OF LOVE. There are different ways to spell love. T-I-M-E spells love. L-I-S-T-E-N spells love. Love can be spelled T-O-U-C-H. It’s important to touch your children. Nothing is better than one of my children’s arms around my neck, whether they are 19 or 7 years old. Love is spelled R-U-L-E-S. Believe it or not, it really is. Love is spelled P-L-A-Y. Do some fun things as a family.

5. THE GIFT OF SPIRITUAL TRAINING: Growing up, we never left for school without my mom reading us a bible story. Spiritual training was a deliberate part of my parent’s plan to raise children. Personally, I wish as parents we’d see that spiritual training is not optional but essential. Families today don’t need a small dose of God, they need a large dose of God. Children need spiritual training. Talk about God in your home, read bible stories together, attend church together and let them see that God is important to you and a part of your life. Come to think of it, the gift of God is not just a gift that lasts a life time, but it’s a gift that lasts an eternity!

Here’s another great year-end piece from Trey which can greatly help your marriage.  Click to read Ten Marriage Resolutions for 2012

Trey Morgan is a Christian husband and father, who moonlights as the minister for the church of Christ in Childress, Texas. Trey, a cancer survivor and his wife Lea have been married for 23 years and are doing their best to raise four boys, who are all growing up way too fast.

1 Comment »

  1. love is also spelled N-O
    somedays it is hard to remember that saying “no” really is love, when yes would be so easy and bring a quick smile

    Comment by mj — January 2, 2012 @ 11:56 pm


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