2019: Teaching Our Children – A Guest Post By Jaime Buckley
New Year Greetings to all our readers and contributors on the eve of 2019.
In fact, for Philipscom, this year starts with a different note! An Inspirational Post!
A few days back while chatting with one of my longtime online friends and a renowned writer Jaime Buckley (Read more about him in the author bio) I requested him to contribute an article for Philipscom.
Gladly he accepted my invite and within a short span of time, he wrote a 5000+ words post for the readers of Philipscom.
I am so thankful to Jaime for his valuable time spared, even in spite of his busy schedule of writing assignments as well as his two daughters marriage arrangements.
In such a busy situation he gladly accepted my request and shared this massive post. In this post, he shares some of his touching life experience he underwent and learned as a good parent.
I am sure this will be an inspirational reading to our readers/parents at the beginning of a New Year.
I am so glad to share that with our readers.
Over to Jaime.
“How can we agree on anything if we’re not in the same library, let alone on the same page?” – A Quote.
I was SO honored when Philip contacted me and asked if I would be willing to start out the new year with his flagship article.
It was also a lot of pressure.
What do I say to everyone? I pondered.
Then the pondering turned to, Oh CRAP,…what do I SAY!???
Thing is, all I had to do was look at what was happening in the world around me and I knew.
When I’ve been writing from sun up to sun down, there are times when I become overly sensitive to the words I use to entertain others. But those words become increasingly important in the way I interact with friends and most importantly when teaching our children.
Lately, I have found myself cringing during conversations. Literally having my stomach heave and the skin of my body flinch as people express themselves to me personally.
I’m not trying to be rude, but I sit here, writing this at 4:30 am after tossing and turning all night, afflicted with nightmares unequaled in my recent past. Time and again I woke up in the night, my back cramped and mind racing, thinking:
How can I teach our children and still solve the horrible problems I’m experiencing?
The answer was always better communication.
But it wasn’t as simple as listening, giving someone the benefit of the doubt or even body language. I kept falling asleep and reliving real-life events. Talking with others, having a hard time connecting or understanding one another…or worse, assuming what is being said and jumping to the wrong conclusions.
Those dreams expanded to watching leaders around me, from police to judges, to politicians and spiritual leaders. Each affecting my life, but not truly listening to me or each other.
It was CHAOS!
After five or six times waking up, it hit me: Teaching our children comes down to a definition.
Now, this isn’t much more than a working theory here, so before anyone gets critical with me, let me try and express what I’m trying to say here as clearly as I can.
Do you notice conflict in your own life?
Do you have a conflict during conversations with friends and family, meetings at church, work, how government leaders use their podiums or users of In-Yer-Facebook interact one with another online?
Maybe they’re not fights or full-blow ups, but how about constant irritations? People easily offended on a regular basis?
Why is that?
I personally don’t think people are afraid to express themselves anymore. Social networks are proof of that. Frankly, I’d like to see more of us shut our traps and stop vomiting emotional garbage for the world to sift through.
Yes, I included.
People are all too willing to speak their minds, whether you want them to or not. So we’re interacting, but for some reason, there seems to be more hostility, more arguing, more accusations, more assumptions than I can remember up until now.
That’s when I went to my Facebook page, to read “conversations” from my news feeds. You know what I found?
People constantly arguing about definitions.
I don’t know why, yet, but this has me worried.
There’s such power in a definition. It can unite or separate people. Using the wrong legal word, because of its definition, can send you to jail or set you free.
But our society has become a community where people “have their own individual reality.” It’s true–and he/she who controls that definition is the one in charge.
Maybe I’m worried because I don’t have much trust, hope or confidence in a selfish society. Teaching our children has become far more challenging.
Years ago when Ron Paul’s movement was spreading, the focus was to free people’s minds by educating them about Liberty.
But in every single case, I personally witnessed, it turned my stomach. Everyone wanted the right to chose for themselves, felt it was wrong for the government to encroach upon their freedoms…but not one of them felt that same right should be extended to their neighbor.
Seriously? You want freedom, but enslave and burden the other guy?
What is wrong with you people?!? Seriously, makes me so mad I could spit.
Yet I see the same thing happening in definitions. Think about all the horrible shootings in schools. Mark my words…definitions are going to change through the government. The mentally unstable, crazy…or whatever politically correct term they decide to use, will broaden until it encompasses enough regular- everyday folks. Then those who irritate or anger authorities will be locked up as needed.
The noose is getting tighter and tighter and people will hold you to their own interpretation of what they heard.
Hmmm, I’m starting to see the importance of contracts. Not to bind people, but to help both parties remember the exact same thing.
I’m rambling now and I’m so very tired from lack of sleep, but I hope this makes some sense to you.
Definitions are so very important in all of our interactions, in the very fabric of our society and essential to our future. But my central point still comes back to teaching our children and families.
How much heartache would be alleviated if we were understood?
What are we teaching our children through our lack of communication? What kind of example are we setting?
Think about it.
Success in 2019 is about Teaching our Children
So how do we battle these variable definitions in our communications?
We can’t change the world by throwing some switch, but we can make sure we’re communicating clearly without own circle of influence.
It’s been a while since I’ve been able to make a post on my own blog, mainly due to the stresses and rigors of everyday life (have two daughters getting married this month).
But it’s also one of the reasons I’m focused on clear communication—which blows up in your face during the planning of a wedding, let alone TWO weddings!
Then add the deadlines to publish another book (or three) in my Wanted Hero world.
The experiences we’ve been having are worth noting because I have seen a tremendous change in my family…especially the children. As challenges arise from struggling out of our poverty (we lost our home last year and were homeless for a time), each of the children has stepped up in their capacity and assisted the family as a whole.
From working jobs to keep diapers on the baby and gas in the car, to helping mom around our new little house with meals and laundry, to the younger kids eagerly becoming master gardeners in our new backyard. Even the smallest children find ways to come to mom’s rescue by keeping the babies of the house smiling and laughing.
That has left dad freed to write and draw with all his might, day in and day out focusing on the bills of the household, which have become substantial.
It may not sound like much to you, but the point I’d like to make is: because Kathi and I are teaching our children, we have a certain level of harmony in our home.
The harmony that could not have been achieved unless we had the same definitions and also been blessed enough to experience the opposite.
That’s how we will triumph over 2019.
We will practice clear communication with one another and find gratitude in everything we experience as a family, especially the opposite!
To appreciate the food we eat every day because we have experienced going without food for a time–always making sure the little ones had enough first. To be grateful for heat in all its forms, when we were forced to live outdoors, cook by firewood or take sponge baths with a bowl of warm water.
The funny thing is, the world didn’t matter.
For all the people I hear complaining about not having certain games, or phones, or cars, trucks, designer clothes, blah, blah, blah…none of my children ever remembered or complained about the TV, or the radio or the Internet being gone.
Why is that?
The great blessing I have seen as ‘dad’, is my family working together…as a family. Like they should: lovingly, patiently and with an eye focused on the body as a whole.
Society is missing this when teaching our children. The youth of today are losing sight of what’s important and I’m telling you, this will come back to bite them.
…and it will be primarily the fault of their parents.
The ones who didn’t do their job to teach them, prepare them, to mold and shape a personality that can be a valuable member of society and stand on their own two feet as self-thinking individuals.
We were blessed to go camping this year and to be with our extended family in the mountains. A couple friends of ours was so kind as to loan us the vehicles we needed to make the trip, just so we could have the experience and get away from the struggles of life for a moment. Thank you, Simon and Travis.
It was heaven. Everyone was happy, we worked together, we had rationed out our food and even brought some home. But when I asked the children what they liked the most about the whole trip, the answer was unanimous:
They liked that we were together.
So though, life is providing greater challenges, I would suggest that you consider working more closely as a family. That the goals you make this year are done as a family.
…because when you do, those ‘challenges’ become blessings and experiences you’re not likely to trade for anything. Teaching our children suddenly became an added blessing to my wife and me.
Teaching our Children means embracing your house of creativity…or insanity.
Do you embrace the beautiful uniqueness of your family?
I do and that’s another reason why I know we will not only survive but thrive in 2019.
Honestly, sometimes I don’t know what to think about my own family. Most days they’re a bunch of loons. Brilliant loons, mind you, but loons nonetheless. Yet by the end of the day, I usually smile and silently thanking the heavens for this crazy lot that lives with me.
Teaching our children has always been a pleasure to Kathi and me.
Good example: right now all I can hear are Jessica and Asia in the other room, laughing. They’ve been at it for over an hour, telling one another stories about how people have scared them and made them jump in the silliest ways. Kathi laughs as they tell their stories and cut out sections of cloth for blankets they’ve been making.
I recently got the “Little Rascals” movie for my younger kids. I loved the originals when I was growing up–so I wanted to share them with my kids. Teaching our children with creative entertainment is so very powerful, which is another reason why I spend my efforts writing wonderful fantasy adventures.
To reinforce my point here…at dinner, Carley walked past me, arms waving through the air as she loudly gave her dramatic speech:
“Dear Darla…I hate your stinking guts…you make me VOMIT…you are the scum between my toes…love Malfalfa.”
I couldn’t stop laughing…and she turned to give me her famous ‘Spock look’ with one raised eyebrow. It just made my sides ache as I doubled over.
In the background Simon is singing to himself at the kitchen counter as he makes his next human eating monster out of blue clay:
“You are so beautiful, to MEEEEEEEeeeeeee….you are so beautiful to MEEEEEE…can’t you seeEEEeeeeEEEEeee!???”
(Then the verse is repeated…about 60 times…)
*…pauses to laugh…*
I have carved bars of soap lining the kitchen counters that look like little, blue, evil grinning mini’s of the moon (courtesy of my son Nathan), and as I sit down to watch a movie–I get poked in the butt by a mechanical pencil. It was left on the clipboard containing galactic cyborg gladiators (Evan maybe?)…while stubbing my toe on a second clipboard at the foot of the couch containing every imaginable variation of Hello Kitty meets the Care-a-Not Bears (thank you Jami Taylor and Ethany).
So when people tell me that I’m nuts for spending a week crafting timelines and 1560 years of complex planetary history for my fantasy Wanted Hero world including genealogy charts, war records, national treaties and hiding the fragmented remains of a demonic prison….
Just imagine what creativity and insanity is being bred into the next generation through my children,…coming to a community nearest you. Muahahahahahahaha!!
We should watch what we say when teaching our children
Always, always keep in mind that your children are smarter than you realize…and they’re listening!
Readers of my blog know from my posts that we are a Dr. Who household. My family loves that BBC series and have watched it for years. We own every season as soon as it comes out and even have the older versions back to the 70’s.
This obsession run through all of my kids, even the babies. Simon was a fan the moment he saw his first show when he was 2 years old. But I didn’t know how much he loved the show until a good friend of mine came to pick me up for a Game Creators Guild meeting.
He came inside for the first time since we moved. Simon didn’t know who he was and…being Simon and a whopping 4 years old, he drilled my friend to see if he was worthy to be in the Buckley home.
“Do you like Doctor Who?”
“Yes, I do.”
“You DO?!? …I do too! Do you like the one where…”
Simon proceeded to talk about shows he’d not seen since he was 2 and my jaw dropped.
He described in perfect detail the villains, the plot and how the Doctor won the day (with full sound effects included of course). This continued for the next few days–Simon sharing all the things he’s remembered to such an extent, we pulled out the old DVD’s and started watching them over again.
Simon, of course, had to point out the details and say “See,…I told you that’s what happened.”
We, as parents and even adults, should watch very closely what we say when teaching our children. It’s not just about our definitions, but our tone, our body language and always knowing that we have small eyes, watching our every move.
Our children are learning how to become better versions of themselves.
Make sure you are a good role model.
If you find that your child or children have a misunderstanding, don’t be afraid to redefine what your kids have learned by having a heart to heart discussion.
Teaching our children when real-life experiences hit
Years ago we had a flash flood.
It devastated us.
Our home at that time was in a basement, where all the water pooled.
We are very grateful for the help we received from kind and loving friends who came to our immediate rescue. The experience was rough, yet it became a tender opportunity for teaching our children. It also became an example of how well children listen to their parents.
The Sunday previous to the flood, I had spent some personal time with my little son Simon.
He’s a brilliant boy, and I wanted to tell him a great story with strong visuals to help him remember–which ended up being about Jonah, the Whale and Nineveh.
He listened with great intensity as I acted out the scenes, describing the wickedness of the city, the people and why the big fish swallowed the Prophet.
I knew he would remember the story, but not the concepts behind it.
I was wrong.
While our home had adults wading too and fro, boiling water, trying to save what furniture was left and a few personal belongings, little Simon was slowly walking through the muddy water. It was a sad visual and I’ll tell you teaching our children wasn’t the priority on my mind.
Tears in his eyes, he looked to the left, then to the right, adults ignoring him as they rushed to save what they could from the water rushing in.
When his mother noticed her baby, she stopped, leaned down and put her arms around him. Hissing him on the forehead, she asked if he was ok.
“No mom. Look.” he pouted, pointing around at the muddy water, his eyes red and swollen with those alligator tears. “Heavenly Father is mad at us. We have been a bad mom. Very, very bad. We need to be the good guys!”
It took walking my little boy outside, who was emotionally devastated, and to explain about nature that he finally believed once more that God loved him!
Friends, I’m telling you that teaching our children is so very important—that what you do, why you do it and when you do it, can shape a heart and mind for life!!
I explained to Simon that there were experiences in our lives that didn’t have to do with whether someone was good or bad—that sometimes it was just experiencing the events of life. That sometimes we are blessed through hardship because
it allows others to serve. That we can make new friends, learn gratitude or learn new skills.
He eventually understood that sometimes negative things happen for a good reason. During our flood damage control, we received word that we had been accepted for a new place to live (I also explained the big fish was there to take Jonah to Nineveh to do his initial job).
The experience also helped me see that the personal time we spend teaching our children, instructing them and sharing is never in vain.
Which leads me to a question I’d like to ask you.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
How often do you think about your future?
Is there anything in your mind or heart that tells you a change needs to occur in your life? Perhaps a small voice or feeling that says there’s more to life than what you’re experiencing?
What do you do with those feelings? Ignore them or act on them??
Being the father of 12 children–schooling them to be self-thinkers and powerfully willed souls increases my desire to encourage others to reach for all they can in their own lives. When I watch my kids learn, make choices day after day…and especially when they come to me asking for council–my heart literally burns with a desire to assist in any way I can, without getting in their way.
Teaching our children truly becomes a joy.
If you don’t mind, I want to share something I tell my loved ones:
Life is an experience you need to learn in motion. It’s based on choices.
Day after day, one choice after another–your choices hinder or help you.
The great part about life is the choice is always yours. Oh sure, you don’t control anything,…except for how you react. But it was never about control.
It’s about making choices to create a flow.
Ever wonder what LIFE means?
Let It Flow Effortlessly
It’s about making those choices that guide you to what you want…or take you further from that very goal.
I’m saying this to you as an adult or as a parent, but what would happen if we all started explaining this when teaching our children? What kind of foundation would our children have to deal with the world around them if they knew it was all about choice?
How many opportunities will open when you choose to be kind? When you choose to be respectful? When you choose to exercise manners? When you choose to endure? When you choose to get up one more time than you get knocked down!??
The world will open to you.
So what do you want to be when you grow up?
Teaching our children: What to do once you choose
Now you know that family is important.
You know that the world is a tough and often brutal place.
You know that 2019 will hold it’s own challenges, but that you can not only survive, but thrive if you stick together as a family and make good choices.
The next thing you need to prepare for is the time when a line must be drawn in the sand.
What am I talking about?
I’m talking about a point in your life when patience has been used up, long-suffering has endured and yet the abuse continues. A time when it feels as if the challenges never cease and the pressure never abates.
Thoughtfulness, manners, and respect are quickly becoming myths in our society. Sadly the soft spoken word is being ignored, so I am suggesting another option should be utilized.
Eat and Fight.
The instant interpretation might be violence, but that’s not what I’m referring to.
I’m referring to a focus of mind and purpose of heart. I’m talking about a determination to do what is right, because it is right, regardless of the opposition, mockery or lack of intelligence, manners or class of another. It’s about taking a counter-offense to the situations of life and ‘bridging’ your efforts (starting with a finishing move).
In short, it’s about putting the monkey when the flippin’ monkey belongs for a change and standing your ground! Allowing the natural consequences to follow the path of choice.
What would that do for you, for your family and for society if we allowed the natural consequences to follow when teaching our children?
No bailouts, no refunding bad ideas, no turning to the morons that caused the problems to fix the problems…and allowing those who are willing to take the risks, take the initiative and take the responsibility step into their own.
Think about it on a smaller scale.
Now is the time to think big, act big and to take the initiative when it comes to our lives.
You’re not doing anyone any good thinking small, I can assure you.
Change your surroundings, change your community, change the world.
You have the brains, you have the talent and God has placed the tools in front of you. Open your eyes and make a real, foundational difference in life.
No one gives a damn when you whine. In fact, more companies and even social environments/organizations are finally realizing that it’s far easier and intelligent to change the squeaky wheel instead of giving it grease.
Take the time to understand that you are living in a world where YOU MUST BE PRO-ACTIVE.
Act or be acted upon.
Eat and fight.
Teaching our children by living a life of miracles
The world is changing. Many would say that it’s not for the better. I’m not sure I agree.
In 2009 I had my #1 client sue me out of existence. They were afraid of me leaving and working for their competition. I lost my business, my amazing partners, my home…heck–even my lawyer was sued out of his practice for good measure.
Two days before having to move under a freeway (literally), my family was saved by some kind friends who allowed us to take our 10 children and an aged father-in-law and move into a small 3 room basement–then cut their laundry room in half, to make room for a private space for my wife and I to place our bed.
I felt life was over and depression hit me as day after day, week after week and month after month I couldn’t find work. Skills that were worth nearly $40K a month one day, were suddenly useless the next. We lived for a year of mercy and the grace of others. I don’t know how else to put it. It hurt in many ways–but we learned true gratitude, how to work together, how to smile despite the fear, the conditions and how to praise God regardless of the circumstances.
Then one day I poured my heart out to God and begged for work. ANY work, to let me care for my family…just give me a job to use my skills.
I knew He had a purpose for me, and that I couldn’t get out of this situation unless he let me out.
The prayer was interrupted by a phone call from a previous client, who said, “Brother Jaime, the good Lord told me to call you at this precise moment and ask you if you’d like a job.” (exact quote)
I’m crying as I share this with you—because it was one of those amazing, perfect moments in life that cannot be explained other than a loving God.
It turned into the best job of my life. Creating new technology, writing, promoting people of integrity, passion and meeting dynamic, amazing and talented people from all over the world–while our basement was completely flooded.
We moved from that basement into the largest home I have ever lived in with my wife and children.
This happened because the owners of the company came to our rescue during the flood. None of them knew how hard we were struggling and couldn’t believe so many children could live in such a little space and be happy. Now we were all standing in the middle of the water, our small corner of life snuffed out.
Right then and there, standing in water and next to my wife, the owners all raised their hand and voted to take portions of their own personal monthly salaries and pool it, to give me the income to get a home that fit the needs of my family. With a unanimous vote, I got the biggest raise in my life.
All this time I had dreams of WANTED HERO as a novel series and a voice whispered, ‘Write Jaime,…write!’
But I didn’t.
I wanted to make more money. I wanted to get ahead. To finally give my family what I always wanted them to have. All the things I thought were important…that they never asked for.
That job went away, overnight, my wonderful employer passing away from cancer…and I was left with the largest monthly overhead of my adult life and again, no job, and skills worth $10K a month one day, were completely useless the next.
And I ended up homeless for the second time.
That voice never stopped, but it took some time for me to listen.
Not to the voice itself, but to all the people that voice then turned to–to wake me up. My wife, my friends, my spiritual leaders, my previous boss, my children…and the list grew.
Each telling me they had strong impressions, even burning testimonies that I was supposed to work on my story once again and not look back. It was crazy. I didn’t know how to make money writing books! The one thing I always wanted to do, but never believed it would happen.
That was more than seven years ago.
Over the years I let go of my preconceived notions and started walking.
I was afraid but willing.
Day by day I walked by faith and sometimes I could only manage moment by moment, straining to hear that small voice…trying my best to heed what I thought I understood. Working on the books with all my energy of soul, sometimes in great fear, I would lose a home and end up on the streets with my wife and sweet children.
But Kathi and the children stood there firmly, smiles on their faces, telling me this was what they KNEW, not merely believed, was the thing we were supposed to do as a family.
(Now you know why I brag about them so much…)
Miracles started happening. Weekly, sometimes daily. Always with perfect timing.
At one point I had all of our utilities on shut off. Electricity, water, gas, internet…each bill month overdue, to a total of $2000 exactly. My heart ached, but there was nothing in the bank-savings gone, the van in the driveway dry as a bone. It was a bleak morning at best and I asked my little girl to grab the mail for me. I figured it couldn’t hurt me to see the bills since I knew they would be shut off today anyway.
It was all food ads…with the exception of a small envelope.
I looked at it. It had my name on it and I recognized the return name. A man I had met last year. A very kind person, but I didn’t know why he would be sending me a letter, we’d only met once…so I opened it. There was a check inside for $2000 exactly! The memo note said “Friendship Dues”.
Kathi and I broke down and cried. It was a miracle…and it saved us. Amazing? Yes, but it gets better.
At one point I owed my landlord $6225 in back rent. That’s huge. I only had $25 in my account at the time for gas in the van. I was so stressed and prayed my heart out, desperate not to let my family or my landlord down (he was such a great man). That voice kept whispering peace to my heart as I left the house to start on an audio version of my book Prelude to a Hero.
About 3 hours later, I get a text from my daughter that there’s an emergency at home–call mom NOW!
Worried, I called.
A woman whom my wife had never met had called the house. The woman said she had been going through their family records and found a sum of money above and beyond their needs and she thought of us. She had been reading my personal blog and felt prompted to call. They talked for a while and this divine woman told my wife she now had a warm confirmation that this was indeed the right thing to do, and asked if it was alright if she sent us some money.
My wife told me, “What could I say? So I told her we would be very grateful for the help.”
A check arrived priority mail the very next day.
It was a check for $6200.
Yes, the world is changing. It will continue to do so, but I think we’re all being given an opportunity with these challenges.
So let me ask you: Are you doing what you were meant to do?
Because if you are, I believe with my whole heart that God/the Universe will bless you through miracles to assist you in doing what He needs you to do.
Believe my friends.
Believe and walk the path you were meant to walk, not just for yourself–but to be an example and light to encourage others to do the same.
Be the example to your children.
Be their hero and show them how to meet the challenges of life. Head held high, shoulders back and a smile on your face.
Live a Life of Miracles.
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