A Tale of Two Pink Slips

pink slip

This post is about two different pink slips.  If you are my age, you remember when that meant, you were fired, or that you owned your car.  I am not discussing those  pink slips.  Rather two completely different approaches to child development.  Pink slips coming home from school have become “a thing.”  Who knew!?   I am not sure why they chose they color pink, but it seems to be theme.  Perhaps it is because bad news delivered in pink is supposed to be less condemning.  I am thankful that God’s judgment will not be meted out on pink slips.

This tale of two pink slips will hopefully demonstrate different approaches to school-parent communication.  While it is true that life rarely fits into tidy little scales where we can weigh one concept neatly against another, there are things we can learn from differing approaches.

Pink Slip #1

Once upon a time, a pink slip was created for a school.  It’s purpose was noble.  It would convey vital information to parents about their child, in order that they may be part of the development process.  This way, the school and the home are operating in perfect harmony and the child is the beneficiary of this focused attention.  As the pink slip grew, it began to demonstrate some surprisingly dark tendencies.  When our pink slip reached maturity, it was no longer the lovely herald of tidings that it was intended to be, but rather a harbinger of doom.  How did this happen you say?  The explanation is actually very simple: There was darkness in its heart from the beginning.

Yes, I know, it is a little over dramatic, but I think you get the point that what looks like a good idea, can easily turn out to be a bad one if the execution is off.  The pink slip in our first scenario details a list of infractions that a child may have committed throughout the day.  Possible infractions include: forgetting a textbook, failure to turn in homework, a uniform infraction, etc.  The pink slip I am describing (not in the picture above) is one that is distributed at a very well known, and respected school.  So respected, it is emulated across the country in various manifestations.  I am not criticizing the school, or even the pink slip.  Rather, I am challenging the thinking behind it in the first place.

Parents I know, of children I have watched grow from infancy have been recipients of multiple pink slips a week (for one child) and most have more than one.  I understand that all people make mistakes, but you probably don’t know these kids.  They are a genuine blessing that I believe any parent would be proud of.  Here is the first execution problem: more is less.  To help understand this, consider your email.  I don’t know about you, but between my work and personal email, I am receiving close to 400 email messages a day.  That means I have to be very selective about what I pay attention to in order to get anything done.  When you communicate this level of minutia, you have to expect that much of it will be downplayed.  Why?  Because it should be.

Every time the child brings one of these pink slips home, the school is forcing the parent to make a statement to their child.  Verbally or not.  Here is the second execution problem: the school derives its authority from the parents, not the other way around.  The school is forcing the parent to either adopt its culture at home or undermine the school.  Neither choice is good.  If you ignore the pink slip, you are undermining the school’s authority.  In other words, you are telling the child you disagree with the school.  Therefore, your only option is to discuss it.  If you address it, you are acknowledging their behavior was a problem.  Given all of the important things to discuss with our children do we really want to spend time discussing why they neglected to wear their belt today?  Or why the textbook was left on the kitchen table when they went out the door rather than in their backpack.  I am not saying those things don’t matter, I am just wondering how can they possibly be important enough to receive a special note home from school.

In my opinion those execution problems really pale in comparison to the last execution problem: forcing the child to carry home their own condemnation.  Many of you may have not have issues with this because “normal” kids typically don’t show symptoms of a problem with this, until they are much older. Even then, many of them will likely just laugh it off when they are older (because they will see it as silly).  For those that have children with challenges, you will know right away what the issue is here.  Children with challenges frequently have issues understanding the degree of an offense, but they know that pink slip means there was an offense.  This means that guilt for wearing the wrong socks will feel to them the same as guilt associated with knocking down a classmate.  And, we are making them carry that home.  Regardless of whether you have children with challenges or not, this is a horrible idea.  How does this fit with the correction cycle of teach, model, and reconcile.  You may remember “wait ‘til your father gets home.”  How did the rest of the day go for you?  Is a child going to get anything out of the rest of their classes?  Not much, I would think.  So in the end, if  the pink slip was effective at anything, the children missed learning so their uniforms would be neat and orderly in the future.  That is completely counterproductive.

There has to be a better way.  In fact there is.

Pink Slip #2


The picture to the left is an actual  pink slip that PC brought home.  This pink slip is what inspired this post.  It was such a refreshing difference from our friends experience that it shocked me.  The child is able to bring good news to their parents and it is something they are proud and happy to share.  Positive mental chemistry results and learning is much more efficient and effective.  What a contrast.  Our little pink slip is an angel of good news again.  Adults are happy.  Children are happy.  What could be better?

At our children’s school, the teachers are in constant communication with us.  There are so many forms of communication available now, it is almost unfathomable that we would make the child carry home bad news on paper.   We know before the child gets home if they had issues.  In addition, as their parents, we can decide how to address it (or whether to address it).  This is how to empower parents to more effectively raise their children.

If a school truly understands that it derives its authority from the parents, and not the other way around, then you can simply do this.  It is a small change, but it will have profound positive fruit:  let the child bring home the praise, and communicate the correction directly to the parent.

Happily Ever After

Communication with children is a complicated subject because parents are regularly dealing with issues with children.  We all pray that it would be as simple as remembering to bring your things to school.  However, we all also know that there is a lot more at stake than that.  Real children have real life problems and our conversations with them ought to be spent helping them navigate those.  If not, the alarming rate of kids that abandon the previous generation’s values will continue.

Here is on last thought on the subject.  Something to ponder as an exercise if you will.  Schools that want to see more of their children “own” those great values that they are trying to instill should consider what values they are actually communicating. That is the only way we will all see the happily ever after for our children.



kissy heartsParenting is all about shaping the eternal.  Like craftsmen, our goal is to bring out the very best in those little hearts and minds by putting the very best into them.  Each child we work with is a unique work of art that will last forever and will go on to invest in other little, eternal people.  It is an amazing process, but it is also a full time job because their little minds are constantly being exposed to images, and thoughts.  Some will be good, some bad, and others amazingly funny.

P.C. demonstrated this in typical P.C. form.  We are all (im)patiently waiting the arrival of “Little Buddy,”  that cute little bundle of love between Coco and Sweetness.  There has been all kinds of interesting ideas exchanged between the ladies about how to get the labor started.  I have no idea if any of them actually help, and I am not about to even begin to speculate about that.  That would sort of be like the pot telling the potter how to go about their work.  Even so, that did not intimidate P.C. from offering his own advice.  Partly because he is just P.C. and will offer ideas to anyone (even if they didn’t ask), but more importantly, because he had some valuable information to share.  He knew how this all worked.

Beautiful decided to take the “farm route” to school yesterday.  This was the inspiration that P.C. needed.  He informed Beautiful that he knew how to get Little Buddy out.  He told her, “Coco and Sweetness just need to eat, then kiss and then hearts will pop out of their heads.  After that, Little Buddy will come out.”  You see, that is how the chickens do it in Minecraft.

Yes, my son has his understanding of reproduction from a virtual Lego building game.  We will fix that when the time is right, but for now, that is close enough!  Our minds were created to know creation.  They do not handle a knowledge vacuum gracefully.  I am grateful that there was information there for him to work with.  Given P.C.’s creative thinking, I am not sure where that would have gone without his Minecraft knowledge.  I am glad I will never find out. 

In the constant struggle to shape their little minds and hearts, we sometimes miss things. That is why it is important that we think about how to reach and grow our children.  We would like to miss as little as possible.  As a parent, it is comforting to know that Minecraft has my back.

And, yes, we are still (im)patiently waiting Little Buddy’s arrival.

Shifting Solar System

IMG_3355We had a change in the solar system recently.  You would think something like that would be memorable, but honestly I could not pinpoint the day it happened.  It just did.

It is sad for us, because, Beautiful and I enjoyed the old order.  We were the twin stars of Pooh Bear’s little world.  He would love nothing more than to see either one of us.  No matter what was happening if we walked into the room, everything else in his world stopped.

Every morning he would get up and charge into my office to get his morning hug and see what Daddy was working on.  That was then.  That was the old star.  Oh, he will still come see me, and I still get hugs, especially when he is tired or just needs a little “pick me up.”  But there are other things he needs to do now.

Pooh Bear is a busy toddler with a jammed packed schedule.  There are only so many hours in the day to play cars, watch Cars, or read about cars.  He has to make sure he is getting the most from his day.  If he were older, he might say he was “Redeeming the time.”  Or “Being a wise steward with his day.”  If he were more classically trained, “Carpe Diem,” might be his mantra.

As a parent it can be somewhat deflating to know that even in the eyes of a two year old, you take a back seat to things (sticking with the car theme here).  And that is where the problem is.

We don’t have children for our self-esteem or for how they make us feel important, needed or valued.  Children are a gift that we are able to enjoy protecting and pass along the pearls of wisdom that were given to us by our parents, or that we picked up along the way.  We are parenting well when we can equip them to not need us, and simultaneously do it in such a way that they still love us, and love to visit with us anyway.  Each child at each age has unique challenges that require help to overcome.  As we teach them to overcome those challenges, we are teaching them to stand, as much as possible, on their own.  You may be blessed with a special needs child that will always require your help their entire life.  Their independence will be limited to a large degree, but we need to give them what we can.

Being replaced in the solar system is a natural part of the world.  I have been through it seven times now.  It doesn’t get any more enjoyable to know you were demoted, but it does get easier.  At least in this case, a demotion is a good thing.  I might not be Pooh Bear’s sun anymore, but I know that is not because I got smaller. It is because his world got bigger.  That is fun to watch, if you are not too busy feeling sorry for yourself.

I might not be Pooh Bear’s sun anymore, but I know that is not because I got smaller. It is because his world got bigger.

A Logic Lesson for Parents

There is a REALLY common logic fallacy that is very popular today (which is also another logic fallacy, but that is for another post).  The Latin name for it is post hoc ergo propter hoc. Literally, that means “After this (post hoc), therefore (ergo) because of this (propter hoc).”  It is essentially confusing chronology with causality.  In other words, just because something happened after something else, doesn’t mean that the first event caused the second (unless there really is a causal link).

A Couple of Examples

Johnny and the Cookie Jar 

Suppose little Johnny goes into the kitchen.  You hear a crash and investigate and find the cookie jar on the floor.  You may be tempted to conclude that it is Johnny’s fault that the cookie jar fell.  That would be a fallacy without other evidence.  It is also important to note that if it is his fault, shame on you for having a cookie jar out where little Johnny could reach it!  What we don’t  have here is a causal link.  What knocked the cookie jar over in this fictitious example was the cat, startled by Johnny entering the room.

Improving Schools

This is not a home example but it is a recent one for us, and alarmingly popular so I thought I would share it.  Schools want to boost their scores because that is how we measure how effective the learning is.  Toward that end they make their curriculum harder in order to achieve that result.  Low and behold, each year their scores do go up (and they will, by the way, but not for the expected reason).  It would be easy to conclude that the more difficult curriculum did the job.  The kids are learning more and it is showing on the tests. However, there is no causal link here just like in the cookie jar example.  More than likely the children that were pulling the test scores lower, left the school because it was crushing them. 

To truly measure the effectiveness of the teaching, you need to approach this much more scientifically: 

  1. Take an exam on a set of material. 
  2. Teach the material. 
  3. Take the same exam with the same kids. 

Viola! (how about that – 3 languages in one post!)  This way you can measure the knowledge of the students before they were taught and then measure the mastery afterward to be able to measure what new mastery they have after the teaching.  Those of you who are scientists, will no doubt have a dozen additions to improve the method, but this is sufficient for you to get the point.

The reality is, no school (that I know of) does that.  Instead they are measuring the mastery of the students annually and that only reflects the pace of the school.  In other words if I teach the material before the other schools, my students will score higher because they have been exposed to new material that the other students haven’t.  Therein lies the subtle and dangerous fallacy. 

I am not maligning hard work.  I would just rather see the schools do what they want the students to do:  THINK.  I can bail water out of a sinking boat with a cup, or a bucket.  I will work a lot harder with the cup, but that doesn’t mean it is more effective.  Yes, you can build character with hard work, but you can also crush spirits with too much of it.  More effective learning should be the goal, not more work.  We want to help them build a better boat, not bail faster!

Okay, enough examples, how is this relevant to parenting.

Think about our Children

Parents are always trying new things with their kids.  That is a good thing.  Don’t get complacent.  Your children are always changing and your parenting needs to mature with them.  Don’t conclude just because you tried something and received the immediate result you wanted, that the reason the child responded was because you did what you did.  Or more importantly, that the lesson you wanted to teach is the lesson the child actually learned.  If you getting angry at the child for some behavior, and you do something stupid as a parent, the lesson learned might not be, “don’t do that”, but rather, don’t make Mom or Dad mad.  Right result – behavior has changed, wrong lesson – you didn’t really change their hearts, you just showed them you are a hypocrite.

Children are complex little people and sometimes the lesson they are learning is not the one you wanted to teach.  I have had a couple of conversations with the older children (Coco and Princess) and they had a few stories about situations where Beautiful and I thought we were so clever in how we handled a situation and it turns out the lesson learned was utterly the wrong one.  Not because we got angry and did something stupid, but because they learned about how we operate, not the moral lesson we wanted to teach.

You cannot completely avoid the post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy in parenting because we cannot see inside their heads or hearts to know exactly what is going on.  If we could the “whodunit” conversations would be a lot shorter!  Instead, we need to be vigilant to see if the children are growing and maturing and keep adapting to provide the right nutrients for their precious little hearts and minds.  Children learn how to “play” their parents early so don’t expect that to go away just because they got older.  Think and pray and ask good questions.  The children will help you help them if you give them that respect.

Love is . . .

Giving Bread I have always felt that the posts that end up on this site are inspired.  Not inspired as in Apostolic Authority inspired, but inspired as in our lives serve a purpose and part of that purpose is to share it with others.  You may notice that I have not been inspired since last December.  There has been a good reason for that as our family has been in a bit of turmoil and I was not in a position to write about it.

The emotions are too raw for me to get too close to the actual topic at this point, because it has been a heartbreaking disappointment to watch it all unfold realizing that so few people get it.  But, I have been inspired to share this with you.  I hope it is helpful to someone.

An authority figure in our children’s lives that we were parting ways with recently told Beautiful, “I want you to know, I loved your son a 110%.”  We know she meant it because we have known her and her family many years.  We are grateful for her love and efforts, but we also know that it wasn’t enough.  That is why we are parting ways.

The fundamental problem is that as Christians, those who ought to know what love is better than any others, are frequently, the worst students of it.  We, the recipients of the greatest gift ever given, frequently do not know how to give, unless we are asked.

Jesus said, “Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (Mt 7:9–11)

The point of the Jesus’s teaching is that since we know how to give good gifts to our children, how much more will our Father in heaven outdo us.  This is absolutely the case!  However, in both examples, the child asked for something and it was given to them.  Frequently, the child or recipient in question doesn’t know what they need.  This is further complicated when we think we know what they need because we know what other kids need, or, worse, we know what worked for us.  Therein lies the problem.  We take the command, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” literally.  God wasn’t commanding us to love the exact same way we need to be loved, but with the same priority, and effectiveness.

Here is another way to think about it.  As Christians, we understand the importance of objective love.  This has two dimensions.  First, the object of your love is important.  I love Milk Duds.  They are not giving me any benefit other than the enjoyment of chewing that tasty treat.  They are not good for me in any way.  The object of my love affects me, but it does not help me.

The second part of objective love is that the manner in which you love is important.  Many people feel admiration and affection for Jesus the same way I love Milk Duds.  They love what He does for them.  The problem is that that love is ineffective.  Jesus also said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15).  In other words, love that does not manifest in obedience is not love.

Let me bring this all together.  Love, no matter how vigorous and heartfelt, is not love if it does not match the object of our love.  If we do not take the time to learn about the needs of the children in our care, we are not loving them as they need.  We may be heartfelt, committed, and energetic, but it will never be enough for the child, because it isn’t what they need.

We recognize physical differences all the time.  This one is gifted athletically. This one is gifted academically. And this one – well they just are.  Unfortunately, we cannot see beyond those differences to differences of brain chemistry, spirit, interests, etc.  One size does not fit all.  As long as you believe that it does, you will be handing your children stones when they really need bread.

If we are not students of the objects of our love, we will be ineffective at a minimum and more likely causing harm.  Does the child need more structure, or do they need more freedom?  Do they need exercise, or quiet?  Who knows if we are not paying attention and don’t know our children.

I pray that all of us as parents will figure out what our children need so will not have to answer for that someday.

On being really, truly Colorblind

Our little family is comprised of a veritable rainbow of race and color.  We have white, we have black, and we have all the shades in between.  Our children are beautiful.  I know that as their father, I am biased, but I am making absolutely no apologies for that bias!

My children talk about their skin color in the most superficial of senses.  They see it as no different than eye color, or eyelash length, or tall or short, or any other attribute.  That is how it should be.  They know God made them the way they are and they have no reason to be ashamed, nor does anyone else.

You see, our children are colorblind.  They are colorblind not because they don’t notice color, but because they understand what it is, nothing more than a physical attribute.  They understand that all people have value and that you measure a person by their character and their character alone.

That is the rub.  You cannot ever achieve colorblindness in any society where there is a vacuum of value.  The world is built around comparative value.  It cannot be ignored nor denied. The world is not egalitarian.  There will always be smarter, prettier, richer people than others.  There will always be people that can perform better, say things better, write better, paint better, and so on.  Kids understand this inherently.

If you teach them that every choice is as good as another, you are teaching them a lie, and what is worse, you are robbing them of the only true way to measure humans.  What are they going to fill that void with?  If you think they won’t you are kidding yourself.  Just walk into a classroom of any age and you will see their little “value” system at work.  They will establish a pecking order.  It is unavoidable.  The only question that remains is what is the basis of their pecking order.

You don’t solve the “race issue” by continuing to talk about it (even if you are the President).  You don’t solve it by the media highlighting some racial tragedy.  You don’t solve it by forums, coalitions, or task forces.  You don’t solve the race issue by legislating “hate crimes.”  And you certainly don’t get there by treating someone special because of their color (or lack).  These things just fan the flames with more attention to what should not be.

I remember when our President was elected and how everyone claimed it was a victory for the race issue.  It demonstrated how far we had progressed as a nation.  I remember kneeling next to my son’s bed that night and crying.  Crying for him and our nation in prayer.  If we are talking about the man’s color, we haven’t achieved a thing.  If people cannot look at our President the way I look at my son and only notice his skin in a completely secondary way, then there is no victory.

If you want your children to be truly colorblind, don’t teach them that everyone is the same.  Rather teach them to love their differences and value character.  You see, being colorblind cannot happen when we are blind to everything

Colorblindness can only happen when we see character in 20/20.

A good kind of Brokenness

This post is a little slower coming off of my fingers because I only have use of 9 of the 10.  One of them, a very important middle digit (important to typing that is) is in a splint for the foreseeable future.  Bone breaks are never fun, but I will take this one and understand the blessing that it represents because there is also a good lesson here.

When Beautiful and I went to urgent care on Sunday to have it looked at, and I explained that I injured it playing football with my son, she looked at diminutive P.C. doubtfully.  I explained that it was his bigger brother who is 12.  She was still skeptical that it was broken and not just sprained, but she ordered the X-Ray anyway.  That is when things changed.

When the doctor reappeared in the room a short time later, she was a lot more animated than before, in fact she seemed a little excited.  That is when she said, “It is not only broken, it is an impressive break.  The bone is completely detached in the finger.  I would like to see the 12 year old that threw that ball.”  We had to laugh a little.  We are used to Thunder doing all kinds of things that people don’t expect (keep in mind this the boy that scaled out of his crib, jumped off of the dresser and came running out of his room at 10 months).  Beautiful gave the doctor a few details on him and I provided the picture on my phone.  We received the familiar refrain, “He is only 12!?”WP_000157

Thunder in adult catchers gear

The whole thing is sort of funny now that Thunder is not feeling guilty about it (it was my fault after all because I was the one that made that lazy catch).  And therein lies the lesson.  Thunder was not created to be an average child.  The differences that make him what he is, also come with special challenges. He is WAAAAY past the age where I can play at anything less than my best with him.  But, even when doing that, I have to expect I will be visiting more doctors in the future.  I will take that with joy.  There aren’t any purple hearts for a non-Samoan raising a Samoan Son, but I am okay with that.  That kind of brokenness, acquired while helping my son figure out how to be the most that God made him to be, is a good kind of brokenness. 

Planting and Harvesting Smiles

A couple of weeks ago Little Z hit that milestone where he could smile based on stimuli.  Prior to that you will get an occasional smirk, but you never know if it is response to your antics, or if they are just having irritable bowels.  During those weeks before you know he is smiling at you, you are doing every fool thing you can to get a reaction out of the cute little bundle.  In addition to that, you are changing innumerable diapers, getting up at unhealthy hours of the night to feed the little guy, and toting him pretty much everywhere.

In short, you are putting a lot more into the little guy than you are getting back out.  From an economics standpoint, this would seem like a bad investment.  While parenting is like economics in some ways, it is also like farming.  If you have never grown something, let me just summarize by saying that you will spend significantly more time working on getting the crop to the point of harvest, than you will actually eating the harvest.  Parenting, like planting, is not about the return on your investment of time.  It is all about rewards that are impossible to measure with human metrics.  The flavor of fresh grown produce that goes directly from the garden to the table is amazing.  It has so much more flavor that many who try it for the first time, find the experience a bit shocking.

That is parenting.  You work the soil, plant the seed, tenderly water, and gently remove those weeds that would strangle your precious little seedlings.  One day, those seedlings grow to full-grown plants and they produce a crop that is staggering in its quality.

Having children with a big age spread helps Beautiful and I keep perspective.  Coco is 23 and making plans for a family with his new fiancé.  Thunder is 12 now and has had a fantastic year of highs and lows.  The lows were times where we had to wonder if there was anybody home (as you will with most 12 year olds) and the highs were times where Beautiful and I had to marvel at what a wonderful young man had just appeared in our home.

The reality is that this wonderful new version of Thunder didn’t just appear in our home, and Coco didn’t end up dodging many of life’s difficulties by accident.  By God’s grace, they have received the things young seedlings need to grow.  Working that crop is hard work.  And it takes endurance.  You have to keep working until the plants are ready.  Lapsing for a period of diligent care could be enough to kill your crop.  But, let me assure you as one would-be farmer to another.  When that crop comes in, you will marvel at how you ever had doubts, or times where you were ready to rest.

The choice is really simple.  You can more or less avoid the work and let school, TV and other entertainments raise your children for you, or you can work that soil yourself.  If you are satisfied with supermarket flavor where everything tastes pretty much the same, and none of it is all that moving, that is an option.

For us, Beautiful and I will keep on planting smiles because the harvest is bountiful.  Now, if only I had time to actually garden…

The Perfect Mattress

After a recent Elder’s Retreat, one of the men asked the pastor how he slept.  The pastor responded that he slept quiet well as the mattress had the perfect amount of firmness.  The first elder with a propensity for word play responded, “Let us pray that is how we are as elders.”

Not only did I give my amen to that, I immediately thought about the application to parenting.  As parents we want to have the perfect amount of firmness.  Too little firmness and you get all bent out of alignment.  Too much firmness and you become sore from the pressure points not allowing proper circulation.

With parenting, it is absolutely true that too little firmness will produce children that are not properly aligned with how they were created or how our Lord desires them to be.  Left to their own devices they will indulge some areas and neglect others.  Their gifts may or may not be the things developed, but their weaknesses will surely grow unchecked.

Too much firmness and you will stifle the spirit that burns within them.  Any initiative a child may have will be squelched because they begin to do the economics themselves.  While they might like to develop a gift, the consequences of making a mistake eventually crush that desire.

Just the right firmness will produce children that love their boundaries and understand the genuine care that is behind them.  Ultimately, it produces happy people and a good night’s rest for everyone.

#4 – Parenting is not “one size fits all”

I remember sometime after we had Coco and Princess, thinking we had parenting by the tail.  Sure there were things that came up that were new, but we felt pretty comfortable handling them.  Coco has Beautiful’s personality and Princess has mine so we could relate to each child on a variety of levels.  This made it easier to figure out how to work with the child through their various challenges.

I am convinced God gave us Thunder to show us just how little we really knew.  He is 1/2 Samoan so I knew he was going to be athletic and large.  I expected he would do things early and he lived up to those expectations by learning to walk very young (just before he turned 10 months).  However, I had no idea just what those ramifications would be until THE DAY.  Shortly after he learned to walk, Beautiful and I were in the living room reading and talking while Thunder was napping.  We heard a loud thump and then he came toddling down the hall into the living room.  We were in shock.  Somehow, our 10 month old son had escaped his crib (without injury) and was wandering around.  We were baffled.

We took him back to the crib and asked him to show us how he got out.  He proceeded to put climb the corner by putting one foot on the side and one foot on the end slats and using the pressure to simply walk up the side.  Then crawled across the changing table (a dresser) and jumped down to the floor, landing on his feet.

That was the day, I knew the Lord was serving me notice.  That was the day I knew that parenting was not going to be the “plug and chug” system I thought it was.

What works for one child may not work for the next. Our job as parents is not to conform them to a particular mold.  Rather our job is to recognize how God has gifted them and help shape those gifts into Christlikeness.  That is going to look different for every child and the process is going to be different for every child.  Coco, Thunder and P.C. will all grow to be men of God (Lord willing as we walk faithfully before Him), but they will be all be different.  All three will sing His praises and worship Him together, but all three will serve Him differently.  Our job as parents is to prepare them for that service, whatever it may be.