Archive for Elva’s Blog – Page 2


Getting to Know Each Other

Getting to Know Each Other


Guest blogger Elisabeth Stitt

Joyful Parenting Coaching

This week look forward to some tips on communication from guest blogger, Elisabeth Stitt.

When Parents Disagree about Parenting

Do you love your spouse but find it hard to parent together? You are not alone. Because we care about parenting it is hard to be reasonable when it comes to our kids. When our parenting partner has a different idea about what is appropriate, yes, it is hard. Very few people are good listeners. Learning skills to resolve this problem can lead to better relationship between parents and between a parent and children.

Tomorrow I will introduce you to a skill that will make you one of those few. It will help you learn more about your spouse and it will open communication with your children.

Grandparents’ Day–September 13th

Grandparents are awesome--Laura with Lily.431372_10101465230603028_1315297678_nEvery child should have a grandparent. If you didn’t have one, you missed something irreplaceable. Most grandparents give their grandchildren a rare gift–unconditional love.

I had all four grandparents. My Grandpa Drake would say, “I have no doubt you could grow up to be the president of the United States. I would be even prouder if you decide to be a missionary. Whatever you decide to do, I will always be proud of you.”

My Granddaddy Tewell treated me like I was the most special little girl he had ever met. Of course, his other granddaughters problably felt the same way. He would try to teach his grandsons how things grow. He would let them drive his tractor. He always had a box of chocolates to share. That was a rare treat.

I adored my grandmothers as well. I loved it when my mother was struggling to get the tangles out of my long hair and my grandmother said, “Jessie, be careful. You’re hurting her.”


Love my little girl

Love my little girl


At What Age Should You Marry

Every Child Should Have a Grandparent

Have you ever noticed that often parents who did not know how to be good parents change when they become Grandparents? Mark Gungor contributed to Susanne M. Alexander’s book, “All-in-One Marriage Prep” which is a collection of tips and wisdom by 75 relationship experts. His contribution advocates marrying young.

He warns, “There is an additional threat when people wait so long for marriage and children: the elimination of the role of grandparents. These people who love their grandcildren unconditionally and whose age, wisdom, and financial resources play a key role–in some cases, the key role–as stabilizers in those children’s lives.

Our friends’ grandchildren were graduating high school about the time we had our first grandchild.These people would look at me sympathetically and say, “You don’t know what you are missing.” I would say, “You don’t miss what you don’t have.”

We now have two wonderful granddaughters and I do know what I was missing.



Parenting Changes Your World


Parenting Experts

In listening to the other fourteen parenting experts on the Parenting Summit during the past three weeks, what struck me was the powerful advice given by the experts who are mothers themselves. All of them described the impact of the birth of that first child.

The surprising feeling of helplessness, loneliness, crushing responsibility, complete entrapment and the guilt for feeling those feelings just added to the hopelessness, because we tried to hide the fear.

Every mother who shared on the program wanted children and loved the baby but somehow the complexity and power of the conflicting feelings came as a shock.  The birth of the baby changed our lives forever.

Women handle this huge change in different ways. The women in the Summit were women open to learning. Most of them had jobs teaching, counseling, writing or in some way significantly connected to parenting or with children. Some of the experts shared clinical information. I am sure that was helpful to some listeners. Some were young and some were old like me.

More and more the clinical information makes me smile because reading books like most of us did before becoming parents didn’t prevent the panic. Help! How do I do this and what if I make a mistake! An awesome responsibility.




Purposeful Parenting: Expert Advice

Parenting Coach, Elisabeth Stitt, has put together a free online event called “Purposeful Parenting: Expert Advice on Creating Your Own Family Plan.” She has invited me to participate as an expert speaker along with 14 other professionals in specialties like nutrition, financial literacy, emotional resiliency, talking to your kids and how to stay grounded as a parent. I am thrilled to be a part of it.

To get free access go to  Once you register, starting July 6, 2015 there will be a new audio interview released every day. Audio recordings can be accessed by phone, computer, in your car, ipad or even during your workout.

My 30 minute interview, “Becoming Soul Mates and Great Parents, Too” will be released all day Wed. July 8th. To see other topics and speakers go to

A great opportunity for friends or family who are parents. Lots of expert answers to parenting questions and so easy to access. Best of all they are free. Let them know.

Importance of Fathers’ Self-Esteem


Basic Needs for Everyone

All human beings, old and young, have three basic needs:

They need to feel loveable

They need to feel competent

They need to have a sense of belonging

Fathers, how does your parenting help your children meet those needs? In order to help your children meet their needs, you must first examine yourself. Do you feel loveable, competent, and a sense of belonging? You will have a hard time giving what you don’t have.

Children learn from how you treat yourself and those around you. Do you treat your children as unique separate persons? Do you spend time with them finding out who they are:? Focused attention, trust, acceptance without judgment help them develop self esteem.

Do you encourage your children to own feelings and perceptions by listening to them with understanding? Do they feel loved and respected? If so, they will probably love and respect you.

Are you teaching them to manage themselves, their belongings, time, and money in age appropriate ways? If you manage yourself, your belongings, your time and money well, you will be able to teach them. They will learn because they see how it is done as well as by what you teach.

The last thing to ask yourself: How do you treat their mother? There is a saying, “The best thing a father can do for his children is to love and respect their mother.

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Animals Teach Parents about Differences

394366_277775995661332_1217572458_nOne Size Does Not Fit All When Raising Children

Dr. George H. Reavis, Assistant Superintendent, Cincinnati Public Schools, 1939-1948 reminds us of this fable.

Once upon a time the animals decided they must do something heroic to meet the problems of “a new world.” So they organized a school.

They adopted an activity curriculum consisting of running, climbing, swimming, and flying. To make it easier to administer the curriculun all the animals took all the subjects.

The duck was excellent in swimming, in fact better than his instructor; but he made only passing grades in flying and was very poor in running. Since he was slow in running, he had to stay after school and also drop swimming in order to practice running. This was kept up until his web feet were badly worn and he was only average in swimming. But average was acceptable in school so nobody worried about that except the duck.

The rabbit started at the top of the class in running, but had a nervous breakdown because of so much make-up work in swimming.

The squirrel was excellent in climbing until he developed frustration in the flying class where his teacher made him start from the ground up instead of from the tree top down. He also developed a “charlie horse” from over-exertion and then got C in climbing and D in running.

The eagle was a problem child and was disciplined severely. In the climbing class he beat all the others to the top of the tree, but insisted on using his own way to get there.

At the end of the year, an abnormal eel that could swim exceedingly well, and also run, climb, and fly a little, had the highest average and was valedictorian.

Remember. If you have more than one child, they will all be different from each other. Know what their differences are and how to help them develop their own strengths.




Parenting Risk-Taking Children


Do You Know Your Children

Can a youngster who naturally loves to live on the edge be taught to make better choices? I don’t believe you have a chance if you rigidly use one size fits all kind of parenting. Do you know your children? The recent crazy facebook arguement about the color of a dress illustrates an important truth. Everyone comes into the world with different ways of seeing.

For another illustration of this difference in perceptions check out the 1992 movie, “The River Runs Through” directed by Robert Redford. The movie, based on Norman Maclean’s memoir tells the story of two brothers growing up in a parsonage in rural Montana. The differences between the boys’ perceptions lead to dramatic outcomes because of the choices they made.

Children learn best through guided experience. Encourage your children to tell you what they have learned from an experience. Telling them what they should have learned or punishing them for bad choices often makes them more determined to make their own destructive choices. Don’t rescue them from natural consequences that followed bad behavior. They need to learn reckless driving, for example, means no more access to car keys for awhile.

Focusing on relationship must begin early.

Instead of:

“surely you realize”

“why don’t you ever learn”

“how many times do I have to tell you”


“what happened”

“what were you thinking”

“how did it turn out”

“what are you learning”

“how can I help you remember”

The younger children are when you start doing this, the better they get at suggesting appropriate natural consequences. They are much more likely to learn how to make better choices.


Nonbo’s Christmas at Our House


First Christmas in America

Christmas 1997 was like no other Christmas for the Anson family, because instead of numbering our usual five, that year we were six. Nozomu Ishimaru, a 16-year-old from Japan , had joined our family for a year. Everyone had been enthusiastic about his coming except Carla, our nine-year-old . She had reservations.

Nonbo (Nozomu’s nickname) participated in all our activities with wide-eyed interest. We made our Advent wreath with nuts, pine cones, and pine sprigs. The first Sunday in December Nonbo got caught up in the excitement of lighting the first candle in the beautiful wreath that now occupied the center of our kitchen table.

The six of us drove to the mountains where we tramped through the forest trying to choose the most appealing tree out of the hundreds growing there. We spent family nights making ornaments for our gorgeous tree. We transformed clothespins into soldiers, sailors, cooks, skiers, dancing girls, and angels. We strung cranberries and popcorn. Tiny lights sparkled from the tree limbs symbolizing the coming of the Light of the World. The children set up our Christmas barn, manger and hand-carved wooden figures of Joseph, Mary, the shepherds and the animals.

After Grandpa arrived on Christas Eve, we all went to church to sing carols and to hear the Christmas story. Then we gathered around the tree to put an end to the mystery of closed doors and whispered conspiracies as each colorful Christmas package was opened. Nonbo’s eyes sparkled like the tree lights as each of his thoughtful gifts was opened. He had made a desk organizer for me, a tool chest for Everett, a doll-house for Carla and a magician’s top hat for Eric. He and Carla had gone together to get Janee’ a hamster. Nonbo had built a cage for it.

In our family, after a gift is opened, the receiver runs to the giver and gives him a big hug and thank you. For Nonbo this was a very new experience. Carla’s hug was genuine. Christmas had melted whatever resistance she had felt toward Nonbo. He had become a member of our family.





Getting Kids to Help at Home

10559851_10152360247264093_2183566780063053162_nIntegrate Chores with Fun

Begin early to integrate chores with fun activities. “When you have your pajamas on and are all ready for bed, I will read you a story.” “When the table is set, I will put the dinner on.” “When you are dressed, you can watch TV.” “When your bed is straightened, we will get out the toys.” Be sure these tasks are not overwhelming. If toys are scattered throughout the child’s room, do not tell him when the toys are all put away you will read a story. The task is much too much for a little child to respond to favorably. It helps if you don’t allow things to get out of hand or too difficult to manage easily.

Giving your children too many toys is a disservice and will complicate the task of teaching them order and responsibility. For children as well as adults, a fundamental rule for organization and management of time and environment is simplicity. What your children do not have they do not have to feed, dust, hang, wash, stack, or put away. An abundance of toys is unmanageable and will prevent the child from carrying out the important task of taking care of the toys he has.

To see illustrations see Chapter 5 “How to Get Kids to Help at Home”.