Seek the assistance of others. Develop a support system

Posted on by YFC Lincoln

Successful parents recognize the need for an effective support system. My wife has always encouraged to me to spend personal time with the kids through Dad’s Class, ski trips, fishing trips, going to concerts, or taking them on business trips. Patty and I also work hard at being on the same page with discipline and expectations for appropriate behavior from our kids. We try to discuss and resolve differences in private, not in front of the kids. During the years of infertility and adoption applications, Patty and I had more time than most to think about the type of parents we wanted to be. Then when our family started to grow rapidly, we realized how overwhelming the task of parenting could be. Patty is the creative one in our family and not only encouraged me as I began the process of developing my Dad’s Class routine, but also came up with other parenting systems as well. One that she initiated was what we just call “days.” With six kids eleven and younger, we began to systematically pray for one another each day. On Monday, everyone in the family would pray specifically for Sarah, our oldest. Tuesday was the day to pray for Adam. Wednesday we all prayed for Jordan. On Thursday, Friday and

Saturday we would pray for Chelsea, Bri and Lauren, respectively. On Sunday, everyone would pray for Mom and Dad. On his or her special “day” that child would pray specifically for Mom and Dad. We still encourage the kids to follow Mom’s daily pattern of prayer that we began many years ago—no matter where we are in the world today. On Mondays we still pray for Sarah and know that she’s praying for Mom and Dad on her “day” too. In addition, Patty came up with a system called “weeks” to deal with the challenges of having six kids in the house. Each child would be assigned a week, in rotation. During their week, they would have specific duties and privileges. The person of the week would be responsible for:

  • Taking out the trash.
  • Helping mom cook dinner each evening.
  • Clearing the table and washing dishes after dinner. They would also have the following privileges:
  • Answering the phone for the family (and Mom made sure they answered properly).
  • Sitting in the front seat of the van whenever Mom drove (once they reached the legal height and weight minimums for front seat passengers).

Going grocery shopping with Mom and picking out food they wanted to have at home.

  • Picking out where we would eat Sunday dinner.
  • Going out on a date during their week with Mom. Patty and I developed other systems as well.

By 7th grade, we taught our children:

  • How to wash their own laundry.
  • How to put themselves to bed early enough to get themselves up on time. (They no longer had an enforced bedtime going into 7th grade.) I have to admit, some of them developed this habit better and faster than others.
  • The importance of serving others less fortunate through missions, outreach, and community service. During junior high (or no later than early high school years) we would begin looking for a mission trip for each of the kids to go on with our church. For over ten years our family has gone annually with a team sent out by our church to Ensenada, Mexico. In that community we have developed a relationship with a local church and ministry base. This was their first taste of foreign missions. From there they have gone to India, Bolivia, Brazil and Venezuela. The kids raised their own funds to serve on these teams. We’ve also worked at a rescue mission, conducted a neighborhood vacation Bible school in a city park, led Bible studies in the local prison and taught in a small seminary.

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Dennis Nun has served on the board of SE NE Youth for Christ for many years. He has written a book “Dad’s Class” ( Dennis has made this book available free of charge to all Campus Life parents. You can download the book here>

Copyright © Dennis L. Nun
Reused with permission. You can download the entire Dad’s Class Book Here >

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