Don't Buy Your Child's Love!

Remember Vercua Salt from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Here is a funny momment!

We all had a laugh watching this scene in the movie and many of us laughed when she fell down the shoot with the "bad eggs". The problem with this is her father would buy everything for her instead of dealing with the issue. Parents who buy presents to "smooth things over" so they do not have to deal with the child screaming are in for a shock as that child gets older. When the child gets older, he or she will start to learn that if a temper tantrum is thrown, he or she will get their way. This will get out of hand and also get expensive.

I mean think about it. A 16 year old girl wants a car. If she asks her parents in a respectful way, she might not get the car. Now, she has been raised all her life getting things bought for her when she throws her temper tantrums. Knowing this, she starts a temper tantrum wanting a car. Her parents, not wanting to hear her scream and yell, buy her a car.

Some might think, she got what she wanted but there are more serious things going on here. The child never learned to share. She never learned to obey her elders. She never learned to have respect for others and she has become very spoiled.

Don't let your child become a Veruca Salt. If your child is throwing temper tantrums and your instinct is to give in for what they want, STOP. Take a deep breath. It is ok to spank your child but please remember to do it out of love and not anger!

A Good Church Home!

One thing that is so important is faith! From early on, Shannon and I discussed faith. We came from different "religions" and of course there were concerns. We started talking about getting married and having children and we really wanted to raise them up how God wanted them raised. We knew we needed to find a church home that we could raise our children in. We found Grace Lutheran Church in Huntington Beach. We attended the ALPHA course they were teaching there. I, being a bass player, joined the Praise Band. We become members. After Haylee was born, it was time for Grace to plant a church. As part of the Praise Band, we decided to go with them. Robinwood Church was born. We recently moved into a new, larger venue. The members of this church have been through the good times and bad with us when we had no income and especially when our girls were born. They are an extended family for us and I can see the benefits in our girls lives already. It has been a blessing to find such a wonderful church home and I encourage everyone to find a good ALPHA teaching, bible-based church to make their home.

Teeth Brushing!

We had a terrible time getting Haylee to either brush her teeth or let us brush her teeth! We have to keep in mind, those little teeth are always cutting in, swelling up, and generally not comfortable. When we stick that toothbrush in there and brush back and forth, we are hitting those swollen gums. It doesn’t feel good. This is why the Lord has us forget the pain of cutting teeth. One thing we started (after her first visit to the dentist) was saying it was time for dentist boy (Me). She totally gets into this. I act like I am the dentist and she is my patient. She tells me her daddy brought her to the dentist but he is waiting in the lobby. She tells me about her day while I brush her teeth. When we are done, I tell her she has perfect looking teeth and to thank her mommy and daddy for doing a great job with her teeth. She says good bye and then asks, are you daddy now? My point is, I have distracted her enough to get her teeth brushed and we do not have to pin her down anymore!

Change Their Diapers Dads!

I know this is a disgusting topic. Trust me I have (very recently) had to change some really explosive diapers. With Sarah, it was so bad, I had her in the kitchen sink spraying her down with the dish sprayer. It is a smelly situation but it does a couple of things. By changing your diapers, your spouse will appreciate the fact that you are not leaving it up to her to change the diapers. It will also help you bond with your little bundle of joy (even if it doesn’t smell like joy) I have two children so far and I have never been grossed out to the point I wouldn’t change them (although there were times I needed to call reinforcements in, Thank you Shannon) This is not just an effective parenting tip, it is a tip from the heart. Bond with your kids by changing them. Dads do not get the bonding of breastfeeding so we need to find other ways to bond. Don’t blow off this important phase in raising your kids!

Selective Hearing!

I remember growing up my mom would only hear things she wanted to hear. I always thought she had a hearing problem until I had kids of my own. Selective hearing is selecting what you want to hear. It is so hard when our kids are saying Daddy, Daddy, Daddy over and over when I am trying to read something or talk to someone on the phone. I have started the selective thing and I don’t like it. Sometimes this is the only way they girls know how to communicate and I am ignoring them. Parents need to listen to their children. There are times the kids need to understand mommy and daddy are busy and they need to wait but sometimes parents use the selective hearing thing too much! Just listen to your kids and chances are they will not do the Daddy, Daddy, Daddy thing!

Be Their Parent, Not Their Friend!

This could be a big mistake. Many parents, especially parents who are divorced, try to make up for the divorce by being the childrens buddy. This could mean less discipline than normal, wanting to hang out together, and eventually losing control of the child as he or she gets older. The child grows not to respect the parents as an authority figure and trouble begins in the house. Just don’t do it. They will respect you more as a parent in the long run!

Men Be Careful

This is directed at guys but women have the same problem. If you are married, do not go behind closed doors with the opposite sex. You are just asking for trouble. I am not just talking about the physical doors. I am also talking about the online doors such as email and chat. There was something that happened to me that if I did not show Shannon what it was, it could have potentially ruined our marriage. I look back now and I realize it was the Lord telling me to show her. If you get emails or chats from other women, either show her or stop it. It is not worth the chance of ruining everything you have worked together so hard for.

Anti-Christian Christian Churches

Today I was looking around the internet for topics I could write about. I came across a Baptist church that made me sick. The article I read was about disciplining children. They said to beat the child with a bible and refer to them as demons. I don’t know the entire bible but I can’t find a reference of where Jesus would beat a child with a bible and call them little demons. It made my heart hurt that children are being treated this way by so called church leaders. I usually do not comment on things I read but I had to send them an email saying they disgust me. I went away from that article thinking they are child abusers and not Christians. It really is bothering me that people call themselves followers of Jesus and then post things like:

The following violations will result in a monetary fine of no less than $200.00 as to be determined by Church Pastors and Elders: Failure to show up at church on time, Failure to attend a church service without written permission from a pastor or other agreed upon authority, Church parking lot violations, Single males or females caught in the houses of members of the opposite sex without proper supervision, out after curfew, failure to tithe, failure to perform Christian Service obligations, Use of a church key without proper permission, Sleeping and/or horseplay during church services, reading of ‘crime oriented’ comic books, possession of alcohol outside of Post Communion Party regulations, idol worship, inappropriate dress in town or in church, dress related to ‘counter-culture’ movement, beards are not allowed except with special permission from Pastor Smith himself, long earrings on women, use of tampons is strictly prohibited, men with earrings or jewelry of any kind, hugging, possession of pornographic material (except for widowed or single men over the age of 65), failure to identify oneself to a church authority, failure to answer a call slip, witchcraft, dancing and/or skipping, association with Catholics, Presbyterians, Mormons, Methodists, Unitarians, Episkypols, or any other occult activity (unless under supervision by Dr. J. Edwards), failure to conform to rules and regulations, failure to submit to authority, the questioning of church authority is not tolerated and may result in dismissal, failure to bring at least one new guest to church a week, failure to win at least one soul a week, disrespect, lying, stealing, cheating, plotting, failure to have a demon-possessed infant sterilized, attendance at non-Christian owned picture houses, and rock music. General Rules are subject to change at any time without notice. Members are expected to find out what the new rules are within two hours. Let us note here, ‘A Christian who is interested in doing their own thing, will not feel comfortable at xxxx.. we would even go as far to question whether or not that individual is a Christian to begin with.

No wonder why people get confused with “religion”. I am pretty sure Jesus wouldn’t get caught up in all these beliefs. I am glad we have Robinwood Church who believes we are all broken people. At Robinwood, we accept all people no matter how broken. The only people we do not accept is the unbroken and since everyone is broken, everyone is welcome!

Death is Just The Beginning!

I remember seeing The Mummy. In the movie, the mummy scratched the phrase “Death is Just the Beginning” in the top of the casket. I started thinking in a spiritual sense what that means. If you believe Christ is your personal savior like I do, you know “Death is just the beginning” but if you do not believe in Christ, do you still know “Death is just the beginning.” The main point is what is the beginning? If you believe in Christ, you know you will be in heaven some day and that is your beginning. If you do not believe in Christ, you will have a beginning of eternal torture. To me, that is a no brainer. Find a church that is bible-based and teaches ALPHA and start reading the bible. Find Christ and be eternally saved. Get ready to start your beginning!

Laughter Kills All ILL's

Laughter can cure everything. I love sitting back and listening to my girls giggle. It is so infectious. The other day I found out that I did not get a job I really wanted. I was in a really bad mood. I could feel myself getting angry and I did not like it. The first thing that started lifting my spirits was I asked Sarah to smile and she gave me the biggest, cheesiest smile she has ever given. The next was I was in the other room doing some dishes and I heard the girls trying to make each other laugh. They were giggling and laughing. It completely changed my entire mood. I was happy and I went in and started tickling them so they would laugh more. If you are in a bad mood, try laughing. It will change your entire outlook!

Play with Them!

Nothing will make your child not want to be around you faster than you telling them you have no time to play. I know it is difficult when you have bills to pay, dinner to make, and countless other things. There are times Haylee will ask me to play with her and I have to tell her I cannot. It makes my heart sad to do that cause all I really want to do it play with her. I try not to say no very often. All it takes is 5 minutes to read her a book until she gets focused on something else, then I can go back to what I was doing. We get married at least once a week. Another thing Haylee and I do together is dance. We can be walking in a shopping mall and she will turn to me and ask me to dance. The embarrassment factor kicks in and all I want to do is say not right now. What I actually say is of course. When she is grown and on her own, I will remember those times of dancing with her in the middle of everything and know that I did my part in playing with her. When Sarah is at the age of wanting to do these things, I will do the same with her, whatever her “thing” is.

Don't Criticise Your Child

One comment I have heard and just makes me cringe is when someone will say “That Child is Bad.” No child is bad, they choose bad behaviors. Another thing I have heard parents tell their children is “Stop being a brat.” I do not like when parents do that. Parents need to discipline the behaviors of the child and stop using words that can be very hurtful now and later in life. We say “What you just did was not good” or “We are not happy with what you did.” This way, they know we did not like the behavior they used but we still love them!

Believe in your Child!

One thing our girls will not have to worry about is do we believe in them. Shannon is especially good with that because she always tells them “God made you amazing and beautiful. You are wonderfully made” I tell Haylee and Sarah that I believe in their abilities and God has great things in store for them. Even as adults we want to hear someone believes in us. The most important people in our lives to say this is our parents, even if you didn’t have a great relationship with them. As a matter of fact, if you had a bad relationship with your parents, you want to hear they believe in you even more. Take time to tell your children you believe in them

Let them do it!

This is something I didn’t experience with my own dad. He was a contractor and very artistic. Whenever I had a project for school, it turned into his project. He got a lot of A’s for me. The problem is I didn’t learn anything from it. There were many things I wished he would just let me do it on my own. Now I have noticed when my wife or others in my life try to help me, I get upset cause I want to do it on my own even if I goof something up or break something. I find myself doing the same to my girls and I have to stop and let them do it, even if they are going to fail. I don’t want them grow up wishing I let them do it on their own. This is one way children find their individuality. If everything is done for them, how can they become independent?

Praise your Children!

Praising children for a job well done can be foreign to some of us. When our children do something good, we first assume they did what they were supposed to and shouldn’t need praising. Now think about you in your own job. When you do something good at work, your boss or supervisor will hopefully say “Hey you did a great job on that” or “thank you for your hard work.” If you do not hear this after doing something, you might feel let down or under-appreciated. Now picture your son or daughter doing something to get your attention and you do not acknowledge them. This tells them that nothing will impress you so why bother trying to do well for you. If I am guilty of anything, it is over praising my girls because I want them to always know I am so proud of them and everything they do.


We are dealing with monsters in our house. These monsters seem to get Haylee out of bed in the middle of the night ending up in our bed. We have a really wide bed and I seem to get shoved to the edge of the bed every night. Why is it children see monsters? Some believe it is triggered from a scary movie or something they heard that scared them. Others feel it is their imagination working on overdrive. Whatever the real reason is, it is very troubling to the child. Sometimes the fear is lack of faith! According to my pastor Dave Housholder’s Daily Life Coaching, “When you start to feel fear welling up (financial, social, physical, spiritual), ask the Lord to remove it. The sooner the better.” Is this possible for a four year old little girl? I used to think no. After seeing Haylee talk to Jesus in her childlike faith, I do believe it is possible for her to ask the Lord to remove her fear. That is why when she starts talking about monsters, we tell her to ask Jesus to take away her fear of monsters cause the only monster we have in our house is the Tickle Monster!

Parenting Tips Books to Read!

I have created a list of books, some of them I have read, some I have not. You can view these books and purchase them on this list. Parenting Tips Books! I think it is important to read many different points of reference when trying to understand a particular topic. Reading books is a great way. If you have read a book that is not on this list, please let me know and I will add it. I am open to all types of learning materials!

Childlike Faith!

We have all heard we need to have childlike faith! This theory is explained in Mark 10:13-31Mark 10:13-31
English: World English Bible - WEB

13They were bringing to him little children, that he should touch them, but the disciples rebuked those who were bringing them. 14But when Jesus saw it, he was moved with indignation, and said to them, Allow the little children to come to me! Don't forbid them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15Most assuredly I tell you, whoever will not receive the Kingdom of God like a little child, he will in no way enter into it. 16He took them in his arms, and blessed them, laying his hands on them. 17As he was going out into the way, one ran to him, knelt before him, and asked him, Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life? 18Jesus said to him, Why do you call me good? No one is good except one God. 19You know the commandments: Do not murder, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not give false testimony, Do not defraud, Honor your father and mother. 20He said to him, Teacher, I have observed all these things from my youth. 21Jesus looking at him loved him, and said to him, One thing you lack. Go, sell whatever you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me, taking up the cross. 22But his face fell at that saying, and he went away sorrowful, for he was one who had great possessions. 23Jesus looked around, and said to his disciples, How difficult it is for those who have riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 24The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus answered again, Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! 25It is easier for a camel to go through a or, the needle's eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of God. 26They were exceedingly astonished, saying to him, Then who can be saved? 27Jesus, looking at them, said, With men it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God. 28Peter began to tell him, Behold, we have left all, and have followed you. 29Jesus said, Most assuredly I tell you, there is no one who has left house, or brothers, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or land, for my sake, and for the Gospel's sake, 30but he will receive one hundred times more now in this time, houses, brothers, sisters, mothers, children, and land, with persecutions; and in the age to come eternal life. 31But many who are first will be last; and the last first.

where Jesus explains we need to receive the Kingdom like a child or we will never enter it. Childlike faith is hard to have as an adult. We have been hurt by many things. We have done and seen things that work against childlike faith. A week ago while praying for our dinner, Haylee out of the blue prayed that daddy would get a job. The very next morning I got a call for a job I really wanted. I didn’t get the job but it was Haylee’s childlike faith that if she asks God for something, he will provide. When I told her I didn’t get the job, her faith kicked in again and said well you will get a job tomorrow. I wish I could have her faith. My goal for her and Sarah is to learn about God from them! They are on their way!

Trusting God!

This is a topic I have had a lot of experience with. It seems like since we got married in 2000, Shannon and I have been doing just that. We went to making a lot of money between the two of us, to Shannon getting laid off and we needing to move in with her mother. We then moved in with my mom and after Christmas we finally moved into a new place. Around 2006, God told me to go be a special education teacher. Trusting in Him, I enrolled at the University of Phoenix for a Masters Degree in Special Education and full credentials for mild/moderate K-12. In February 2008, I had to quit working at Merrill Lynch (our only income) to start student-teaching. This is where the trust really came to play. We had rent and bills to pay, girls to raise, and I had to stop earning money and give up our medical insurance so I can do what God told me to do. God has provided during this time! He has brought Shannon many paintings and murals that have basically allowed us to survive the year. The tax stimulus check provided a much needed trip to Walt Disney World. (We took some flak for taking that trip when we had no other income but I am glad we did because I am tired of living my life with woulda, coulda, shoulda. I don’t want to live my life saving money all the time and not experience the world the Lord made for us). I just found out I did not get a job that I really wanted. I for awhile almost gave up on God. I started thinking about a passage in the bible in Psalms 13 which basically asks God how long will you forget me and in the end it did not matter cause God is in control. I know I will be teaching some day but I need to trust in God all days.


When my wife and I first learned we (I say we because the men need to be part of the pregnancy as well) were pregnant with Haylee, we started deciding different ways to parent this little being. Since it took so long to get her (three years) we wanted to do everything correctly. This was probably a big mistake. There is no way to raise a child correctly in everything. One topic we talked about was discipline. Neither one of us wanted to spank our little girl. We decided to not spank. We looked at different ways like time out, taking things away, and many other things. Once Haylee hit two years old, this all changed. Haylee is a very energetic little girl. She goes until she passes out. We started taking things away but it didn’t help at all. If we took all her toys away, she would just find something else to do. We tried washing her mouth out with soap and she liked the taste. We tried time outs. This would work for awhile but she out grew that. We knew we needed to start spanking. We searched the Bible and found a couple of bible verses that shows us God commands us to discipline our child. One of them is Proverbs 13:24Proverbs 13:24
English: World English Bible - WEB

24 One who spares the rod hates his son, But one who loves him is careful to discipline him.
and the other is Ephesians 6:4Ephesians 6:4
English: World English Bible - WEB

4You fathers, don't provoke your children to wrath, but nurture them in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
. Once realized we needed to do it out of love of our daughter, it became easier to do. The first few times broke our hearts. We cried along with her. There will be times when you will not want to spank your child. Then there will be times when you are worried you did it too hard. They key to that is to never spank out of anger. Sit with your child and explain why you are going to spank him or her. Let the child know God commanded you to do it. Find passages in the Bible that explain this. Then spank your child. When you are done, tell your child you love them and that is why you had to spank him or her.

Tempur Tantrums!

We have all heard of the terrible two’s. I personally do not like this because it labels the childs attitude. The attitude the child is giving is nothing more than he or she trying to communicate. This is the only way the child understands how to communicate. This is also the child trying to become an individual instead of an infant. With both of my daughters, I know usually when they are throwing the temper tantrums, they are ready for a nap or bedtime. For a long time, I did not know how to deal with Haylee throwing temper tantrums. At times I still don’t. It can be a little embarrassing because many times it is in public. I have learned that we need to remove her from the situation. One time while in a Florida airport, she had a tantrum. I came back to where they were and she was crying. I had no idea why but my wife said take her to the bathroom for a spanking. Although I had no idea why I was spanking her, I had to support my wife. We went to the bathroom, Haylee screaming all the way. I wanted to find out why I was spanking her so I asked her to calm down and asked why she was crying. She said she didn’t want to wear shoes. I said if mom asked her to wear her shoes, she needed to wear them. At that point, she got mad, stomped her foot and said she wasn’t going to wear them. Now I knew it was time to spank her. I took her in the bathroom praying there wasn’t many people in it. She knew she was going to get a spanking so she went balistic. I took her in the stall and I noticed there was a man in another stall. I did what I had to do praying he would not think I was beating her. This was a very embarrasing event because I was afraid someone would report me that I was beating her. I just have to remember that God has commanded us to discipline our children out of love when they are not acting appropriately.


Mentors are not someone who will tell you what you did was right or wrong. Mentors are not just for men. A mentor is someone whom a man or woman can look up to. There are several men in my life who I look up to. They have gone before me and made the mistakes and found what works so I can hopefully not have to repeat their mistakes. Some of them know they are my mentor and some of them I watch from a far. It is such a great idea to find a mentor in life! Two men I know are mentors for parenting. They have kids that are either grown or almost grown. Their kids grew up to be great adults and this is what I want for my girls. I am watching these men to see how they raised their children. It does not mean I will do everything they did and it does not mean I won’t make mistakes, because, lets face it, we all makes mistakes. Watching these men will give me a better understanding of what to do when problems do arise. I reccommend to all recently new fathers or fathers-to-be to find someone you can look up to, someone who will help you through the tough times!