Category Archives: Principles

Articles that support and relate to principles in Starts at Home vision and mission statement.

Love is the Greatest Gift

 

Love is the Greatest Gift

It’s not the presents under the tree nor the shopping at the mall that make the holidays and Christmas joyful, it’s Love and Peace within us we seek.

  • More than the presents under the tree, love is the greatest gift. “For God so loved the world He gave His only begotton son”. John 3:16.

  • You’re happy that your children are healthy, joyful, talented, and smiling . Sometimes they may not be perfect but pure joy shines through it all.

  • The children are sometimes rascal, curious, yet when parents speak they listen and obey.

  • The family comes together to celebrate the holidays and Christmas, each heart yearning to hug one another, or missing each other from afar.

  • It’s a time to forgive and leave the past behind and to not look back.

  • Grandparents, parents, children, in-laws, and family laughing and remembering times they shared, some memories a challenge yet worthy of life’s mysterious journey.

  • Then came uncles, aunties, and loved ones gathering to share the holidays.

  • We love that special spirit that fills the cold winter air with a special warmth and fire.

  • The joy you give when you invite someone who is away from their family and needing of cheer.

  • And, importantly first children loving God, secondly children honoring their parents.

These gift are more than enough.  It reminds me what my wife Amy Lou said,  “Love is like a piggy bank, if you don’t deposit, there is nothing that will come back; unfortunately some children don’t want to come home for Christmas.”  It’s never too late to start seeking the greatest gift, giving more love and your time this Christmas.

Happy Holidays and Very Merry Christmas!

The Battle Inside of Us – “Which Wolf Wins”

Dad's with their children - Bonding in early childhood development

Parents love their children and want the best for them; our children become who we train them to be.  The wise quote below by an unknown Cherokee Indian says many things to parenting of children and the future of our communities.

The Battle Inside of Us – A Quote by Cherokee Indian

One evening an elderly Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between 2 “wolves” inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Cherokee Indian

Source: Unknown

Don’t Spoil the Children – Helping Children through Chores that Develop a Work Ethic

I'm not doing that!
I’m not doing that!

Training children is about age appropriate education.  Parents do not intentionally spoil or overindulge their children, however children who are overindulged may become spoiled by  caring and unknowing parents. This message is not directed to toddlers under the age of three who are  learning about boundaries set by caring parents; if you experience tantrums by a toddler this is a normal behavioral transition from infant to toddler.  The future favors prepared parents and children,  in this light we share with you important lessons on chores, work ethics, and overindulged children.

Have you heard the saying “the kid is going to be a spoiled brat”? The daughter of singer, Elvis Presley, Lisa Marie Presley says, “I was quite the spoiled brat. I have quite a temper, obviously inherited from my father, and I became very good at ordering everyone around. I was the princess; the staff were absolutely terrified of me.

Also, you may have seen a  young boy having a tantrum, screaming, crying in the department store as a means to get something, with everyone watching, the parent “gives in” and the child gets want he wants; who’s training who?

Contrarily, “daddy made sure to instill in us a work ethic” – Kathie Lee Gifford, Hostess, NBC’s Today’s Show.

Amy Nishi-Kessinger
Having chores helped Amy become a productive person throughout her life.

Chores do work for the benefit of children.  My wife Amy Lou Kessinger’s early years were with an abusive alcoholic father, and her parents subsequently divorced.  Fortunately her mom was loving, nurturing, and strict, and didn’t enable or spoil her daughter.  Amy’s mom was ill for many years, so while they lived with Amy’s grandmother,  Amy became a young care giver to her mom to help in the household and with her two younger sisters.  Life was good and there were many necessary chores.  The four of them (Emiko, Karen, Sharon, and Amy) lived in a small bedroom at their uncle George Nishi’s home. They received financial help from the welfare system.  Another person who influenced Amy’s life was Pastor Davis from Kinoole Baptist Church in Hilo, who picked her up and took her to church every Sunday for three to four years.

Thank God, due to her mother’s insistence, Amy studied hard and was a good student who received work-study grants to complete her undergraduate and graduate degrees. Whether a child earns a degree or not, the important point is having a good work ethic will lead to a successful path and life.

One funny example of Amy’s mother’s traditional values, is her grounding us one month before our wedding, because we came home after Amy’s curfew.  We couldn’t date, while Amy stayed home to complete sewing her four bridesmaid’s dresses and tend to other wedding details.  We have been married over thirty-nine years, thank you Mrs. Kessinger.  While Amy’s upbringing is from two generations ago, it still holds true today: productive, responsible adults had parents who instilled in them good work ethics by giving them chores to do and rules to follow.

Tani Katada-Freitas a friend and contributing writer of Starts at Home shares how she had a part in teaching her ten children about chores, beginning after the age of two (2).  An important household rule was:  “No Chores, No Dessert” a simple rule.  If the children didn’t finish their dinner it was bed time, and the uneaten dinner was put into the refrigerator to be served for breakfast.  If the children were hungry later in the evening, Tani was sympathetic, but explained, “Sorry, but dinner time is over, you’ll have to wait till breakfast”.  Each child helped with cleaning the dishes and kitchen after every meal, and there were lots of other chores for them to do around the house.

Here are some suggested chores for toddlers to help them develop good work ethics

  • Putting away their toys after play time.
  • Helping parents with their chores around the home.
  • Helping clean up the dishes and kitchen after meals with their leading parents.
  • Helping set the dinner table, dishes or cups or both, keeping it simple.
  • Making the bed in the morning.
  • Feeding the pets and reminding their parents if more pet food is needed.
  • Brushing their teeth in the morning and evenings before bed.
  • Helping the teacher in school, church, or other organization.
  • Helping clean the house windows, sweeping and vacuuming the floors.
  • Helping their parents on their weekly chores.
  • Having homework time and checking their work for correctness.

Encouraging Actions and Words to Enforce their Chores.

  • Wow Johnny your bed looks well made, great job!
  • Remembering to compliment for doing something well.
  • Chore charting with rewards chart stickers.
  • Have a big prize after achieving a longer term goal

Many Times Parents Don’t Realized these Actions Contribute to a Spoiled and Narcissistic Child who is Self Centered.

  • Never saying “no” to the a child and let them have whatever they want, because “it’s easier”.
  • Make them feel they’re always the center of attention and center of the universe.
  • Not asking them to share with other children.
  • Never receives spanking, timeouts, and other forms of discipline.
  • Allowing the child to boss, hit or bully other children and adults.
  • Allowed to them watch TV while others are required to clean up and do chores.
  • Pampering a child to be always so cute and pretty and not teaching chores, social skills, and following up with school homework.

Life will be good for children when they are raised and trained using chores, encouragement, and obedience.  Amy and I recommend parents find a church with a Sunday preschool program as a church will help instill good spiritual and moral values as well as educational fundamentals in children.  From this will come good relationships at home, with friends, and the community as good work ethic in the marketplace. Have fun and enjoy the children, it starts at home.

On the Web:  Narcissism – Psychology Today

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Teaching Budgeting and Savings – “Sorry, Our Budget Is All Gone”

ArcadeTo teach a child about a budget, when going to an event give your child a “budget”.  Let them know it’s their budget and when it’s all gone they is no more money.  As parents, Amy and I used this lesson when taking the children to the Fun Factory arcade.  Our children or course spent their budgets quickly the first few times they went to the arcade. When they asked for more money, our answer at that point was “Our Budget is All Gone”.  By keeping this consistent answer the concept of budgeting was learned quickly.  And, yes they may have a tantrum to assert themselves, it’s important to stand wisely and with kindness say, “sorry, our budget is gone”.

Budgeting and savings are important concepts for children to learn.  Contrary the fool spent in all.  Have fun teaching the children, you’ll be glad you did.