Archive for June 2009

My ears need a rest!

It is fascinating to watch the progression of  speech in a home with children. My grandparents thought is was funny to see my parents go through this, and my parents think its funny to see Tim and I go through it. The journey from “Say ‘dog’, Johnny, say ‘dog’. You can do it honey!” to “My child will not stop talking!” is relatively short in parenting years. I have learned a lot over the years about the importance of words, the value of silence, and selfishness in conversation. I could have used this information as a child – it might have saved me some relationships or at least some nasty comments on my report card. Here are some phrases we use to train our children on how to value how and why we use words wisely:

  • “Please respond to your brother” – shows speaker as valued
  • “Mommy’s ears a a little tired right now” – takes ownership for choosing to stop conversation and shows that stopping conversation can be healthy and helpful
  • “I am choosing not to or am not able to connect with you right now” – takes ownership and shows value in conversation as a connection between people not just words
  • “You are interrupting. Please wait until it is your turn to speak” – shows value of the words of others
  • “There is nothing good or helpful coming out of your mouth right now” – show values in building up and encouraging others
  • “You may sing that song or tell that story to me at another time” – shows value for time and place of words
  • “Please sing or say those words to yourself” – show value of silence

It may seem rather odd to talk about being self-controlled in our speech on a blog site; the blog world could use some self-control. Training our children to value the words they speak and the words spoken by others appears culturally unimportant in the age of twitter, texting and blogging. This is, then, all the more reason to be diligent in following what God says about our mouths, our words and our purpose of speaking.

Encourage one another and build each other up – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you oh Lord my rock and my Redeemer –  Psalm 19:14

Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry – James 1:19

Don’t let any foolish talk come out of your mouth, only what is helpful for building other up according to their needs so that it may benefit those who listen – Ephesian 4:29

The last one is the verse we taught our children when they were old enough to form sentences. It has helped us all –  reminded us that ears deserve a rest. Hopefully it will save us from nasty comments on report cards also.

Parenting Tip: When Tim or I are speaking with someone, instead of interrupting with words, our children will place their hand on our leg to get our attention when they need to speak to us; it shows them their comments  are valued while teaching them how to wait their turn.

Resource: Books we like that help train ourselves and our families with truths from scripture: Wise Words for Moms and Don’t Make Me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman


I promised someone that the first parenting blog would explain why the Eisel children stop everything at the sound of “Freeze.” No, they are not convicted criminals nor are Tim and I former police officers; “Freeze” as a command came from something called behavior training.

Tim and I had great parenting mentors. We have no family in Columbus so it was important to get involved with a local family worthy to emulate. We started spending time with, evaluating, and discussing families who we knew. Basically we stalked families: in the park, at the store, at church, in their homes (when invited). Mike and Lynn Radigan made the cut as people who ran their home with discipline, grace and godly encouragement. Radigan’s have no small task – they have six kids.

Behavior training was one of the most practical things we learned from the Radigan family. They encouraged us to train our children in various situations before so that we not set them up for failure. Invest some time in practice and you will reap rewards long after. Most people train for work, sports and at school. How can we expect our kids to behave if we never show or have them practice how to behave? Here is an example.

  • Practice Shopping: Go to the store. Have fun showing and telling kids what is correct and incorrect behavior. Leave if they are misbehaving to practice discipline and give positive reinforcement for learning well. Once they can behave in practice – then shop with them. Every time you go, review with them your expectations verbally before hand.
  • Never, if possible, take a kids who is tired or hungry into a store – you deserve the fit that is thrown because you have set them up for failure. The child is more important than the shoes – a life truth that is hard for me to remember sometimes in my selfish desires!

This brings us back to my promise. “Freeze” is a game we started to help our kids know how to stay safe in any situation.  We practiced many hours at home in the back yard as a running game and in the house as a wiggle game. Now when our kids hear “freeze” – they stop; it is trained into them. (Unless they are tired or hungry – and then we deserve the disobedience we get!)

“For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for bothe the present life and the life to come” I Timothy 4:8

Welcome to our blog!

It official! The inaugural blog post for Vista Parents is a bit daunting for me. I really don’t know if I am up to this task. The great thing is that I am not alone. I think that parenting can be a scary and lonely task. Anytime we share our fears, concerns and success in community, it gets a little less intimidating. God says in 1 Thessalonians  5:11 that we are to “encourage one another and build each other up”.  That is our goal with this blog.

Mark Holmen writes about this community encouragement in his book Take it Home.  Vista seeks to follow a pattern that “helps parents transform the spiritual formation of their children from the one-hour drop-off each Sunday to a daily walk with Jesus” (Holmen p. 23).  By meeting together for parent equipping classes, blogging real life struggles and solutions, and praying together we will follow God’s plan for the home as exemplified in Deuteronomy 6: 4-9

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Ultimately our comfort through the rigors of family life comes from the power of Jesus Christ to renew, restore and refresh every area of life. Our children belong to Him first and He loves them more than we can ever imagine. We can encourage one another because we are encouraged by the promise of John 1:12 “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” The power for any task comes from Him who loves us and calls us to complete the plans we were created for on this earth.  He knows our families and encourages us to help each other prepare for everything we will encounter on the journey.